Monthly Archives: June 2013

Angry birds

Does anyone know what kind of birds are those mean little black ones are? They are a tiny bit bigger than a sparrow, and feisty beyond reason.

I walk nearly everyday to the town of Half Moon Bay, under some trees where these birds live.

Yesterday  when I walked under the trees, a bird skimmed my hair and scared me out of my wits. Then, I noticed that same bird followed me, dipping down close to my head.

Today, I walked under the same trees and a bird followed me again, lecturing me and then he’d sit on the wires and watch me.

I told Brad and Brandon about it and they both have experienced the same thing.

They are brave and aggressive little monsters. What are they?

Today I had two of my painterly pictures framed by the local framer, Peter Welch of Arrowhead Framing. When I walked into the store, I was surprised to see he was the same guy who sang and played the piano yesterday at the Senior Coastside lunch. He has a booming voice, and writes his own musicals. His day job is owner of the frame shop, and his other vocation is composer/lyricist/dramatist, using the name, Peter Alexander. Under his name, the card reads, “et cetera, et cetera, et cetera…”

Yes, he’s versatile and talented. And helped me pick out two frames, keeping me close to a budget.

But those birds….

Shopping at ‘The Club House’

I walked to the CVS “club house”, purchased some stuff, and handed the cashier my red card that allows me to get a discount. He asked if I had found everything I needed and I said,”no, not really.” “How can I help you?” “Where are the big bags of pop corn?” “Sorry, I don’t know.” “Why did you say you could help me if you don’t know where things are?” “I’m sorry, but I’m suppose to say that.” Then he did have another idea and sent me there, and I came back with a big bag of popcorn. We both laughed, and made the folks in line chuckle, as well. So with my bag of popcorn and a few other things. I began walking back to the apartment. Something on a bicycle was quickly coming toward me, and it was wearing bright orange letters that spelled out BLEED.
It was a kid about 13, on the sidewalk and was aiming for me. I jumped off the sidewalk and nearly bumped into a homeless person who was climbing out of the bushes.

A weekend of creativity and reflection


A peek at the painterly project I did in Fallbrook. These are stairs near the old railroad station in Bingen, Germany, a town on the Rhine river.

A lovely weekend began with a long drive on Friday in Half Moon Bay to southern California.

I left at 6 a.m. and worked my way down highway 101 to visit my friend, Sumi Haru in North Hollywood. We have known each other since we were teenagers in Colorado. Sumi’s years as a television producer, actress, event producer and: most important; an activist,  can be read in her book, “Iron Lotus, Memoirs of Sumi Haru.”  After leaving Sumi’s place, I left for Fallbrook, near San Diego.

Traffic had been backed up when I left San Jose due to President Obama’s visit and then when I got to LA, President Obama was in Santa Monica. It took me longer to get there, as  I was in my Ford Escort, while he was on Airforce One.

Bumper-to-bumper  for miles and miles, and hours, and hours, to get to Fallbrook, I got a bit confused and called my friend, Kira Corser, who’s house I’d be staying the night. She met me and I followed her car to the house on a hill, through two security gates.

I followed her again the next morning to the Fallbrook School of the Arts, where she taught ‘painterly’ – a process of painting on photos. I had previously sent her some digital photos of my year long journey and she had them enlarged and printed on heavy paper. There were two other students and together we took expert direction from Kira; used pastels and let our imagine run loose.

It was fun and I learned a lot about color combinations, and I ended up with two paintings that I’m proud of. One is of  stone steps near the old train station in Bingen, Germany – a town near the Rhine River. The other is a street scene of houses in Cork, Ireland.

On the way back from the class, I stopped for the night in Ventura. This is one of my favorite towns. I went for breakfast at the Busy Bee restaurant, a 50s diner, complete with juke boxes on every table. I put my quarter in and heard, ” Rock Around the Clock”. The diner, the music and the walk I took on Main Street; one that’s full of second hand and antiques, and don’t forget my meeting an old friend, there was much to reflect on during the long drive back to Half Moon Bay.

It was a great weekend.





I’m no longer a ping-pong ball

It’s never too late to understand oneself.

I have learned a bit about myself this morning. But let’s begin at the beginning. I have the Serius radio built in my car. It came with the car when I purchased the Ford Focus in 2008. It was free for a few months, and then I went ahead and paid for the service until I left in April last year. It isn’t that costly, and it has many stations that are nice when traveling distances. When I worked as a reporter, I could get to work feeling great after having listened to Elvis, or Frank Sinatra, or the happy music of show tunes, or even a comedy station.

But when I returned, and got my car out of storage from my son, Larry’s ranch, the radio didn’t work. I was a ping pong ball until this morning.

I’d call Serius and would go through the question and answer period every time, and there were eleven times total: your name, your address, your problem….on and on and on, only to be told during the fourth conversation, that it was the problem with the Ford Dealership in Salinas. So I took the time to drive down to the Salinas Ford Dealership where the technician checked everything out, and who told me it was the fault of the Serius company.

Back to Serius: you know the drill. Then I was told the radio needed a tuner, so instead of going to Salinas, I opted to go to the local Ford dealership in Half Moon Bay, where they were going to charge me $150, with no guarantee it would work. The Serius tech guy told me Serius and Ford have a contract and they should refund the $129 I put out. But Ford in Half Moon Bay told me my warrantee was no longer in effect and they would never refund that.

I stormed out and drove down to Salinas again.

The manager of Salinas Valley Ford was so nice. He called in the original tech guy and he went through the whole testing service again, and even spoke with a technician at Serius, but not the man who originally told me of the need for a tuner. This new person said that now the radio needs a new modular, which includes a tuner. I paid for that and when it comes here, it will be with a manual and my grandson and son will help me install it.

During this confusing and very frustrating situation, I got the name and address of the Serius CEO and sent him a registered letter. I hadn’t heard anything from him, so my unhappiness overcame my eagerness to get going on my life back here in the good old U.S. of A (a la Archie Bunker).

But the CEO listened, and I received a call from someone in the customer service department. She said after we install the modular/tuner, to call her back to make certain it works. If not, she’ll take it from there. She apologized and said they would refund the cost of the work in Salinas Ford and also the cost of the modular/tuner.

Now I got a spurt of energy from this situation, and I’m amazed how set back I can feel when something not my fault comes hailing down on me. I did believe that a positive solution would eventually come about, but the frustration made me sad. I wonder why?

A naughty boy lives here

Well, he is very naughty. He begs. He whines. He likes you only when you give something to him. He is annoying. He is also beautiful, has dreamy eyes, and shiny grey fur. His name is Pharaoh and he can be such a brat of a cat.But, he’s a cozy little critter when it’s in his best interest.

He shadows Brandon around the apartment, but will cozy up with him on the couch. He begs for food from each of us, trying to fool us into thinking he’s been forgotten. He’s getting fat because we all were feeding him, thinking we were the only one serving him breakfast and dinner.

He gets ‘cat massages’ from Brad, nice conversation from Debby and picked up and hugged by  my myself. His favorite place to sit is on the window sill near the kitchen. He is accused of being too lazy to jump up to the window, instead, taking a short cut that sometimes knocks out the wifi and all of us on line, gets shut out.

He is a character and well-loved. Pharaoh rules!

I’m a ‘Groupie”

Bobby hit two home runs! There I was walking into the stadium in San Jose, with Debby, Brad and Brandon, when Bobby, the first guy up to bat, hit a home run.

Well, that was exciting as all get out, but that wasn’t all, because later in the game, he hit another one out of the park. Before that, he, as an outfielder, caught a high flying number while nearly  hitting the ground.

We sat up on the bleachers with Bobby’s mom and dad, Larry and Sue, and their extended relatives and Bobby’s girlfriend’s, (Lindsay)bobby after game parents, and after the game, we stood around like groupies, waiting for him to come out of the shower.

It was a joy to see him with his usual big smile on his face, and a gentleman, greeting his Oma, Uncles, Aunts, Cousins, friends and other relatives.

It was a great day, indeed.

Today, my daughter-in=law, Debby (known as Aleida) was introduced as the new Stephens volunteer. She will be called upon to minister to people in need.

I feel she is perfect for this calling, as she is a caring person.


Family assignments

Today, we’re heading off to San Jose to watch grandson, Bobby Crocker play ball for the Oakland A’s farm team. Yesterday he was a featured player.

I’m also helping my son, Ronnie with a political science test. He has the notes, I’m just going to help him put it all in sequence. Then after this class, he will be earning his second AA degree.

I’m exchanging cars with grandson Brandon. His car, my old Buick, slurps up gas and takes a lot of his hard earned money. I’m not going far away these days, so it works out great. It’s a big luxurious car, but when I first gave it away to grandson, Michael, he and his friends thought it was cool. Speaking of Michael, he is getting good at video production at his college, Luther, in Decorah, Iowa. Producing those gives him the experience he’ll need in a career when he graduates next year. It also helps may for his education.

Cousin Barbie, a college professor, will visit me this Monday. I always look forward to seeing her. She is a supportive person with lots of good talk.

I’m still ‘surfing the couch’ at Brad and Debby’s apartment, and they are so generous to let me stay as long as I want. Eventually, I’ll have to move on, but will do that when I have found a place of my own. Soon, I’ll be pet sitting at a home in Half Moon Bay for over one month. Then, come August, I may have a travel plan, but wait until then and I’ll announce it. I’m just in the ‘thinking stage’ now.