Monthly Archives: November 2013

Sinking and waiting for a unstopper to stop


How do you like this? Right during the Thanksgiving dinner prep and the clean up, the sink wouldn’t drain. But we put the dishes in the dishwasher and they did get clean, however, now the dishwasher is full of dirty water, too.

I called the landlord, but oh, lordy, he/she plumber hasn’t shown up, even when I stayed home all day yesterday to greet the good royal plunger, unstopper-in-person.

Whatever dishes were left over, I washed in the bathroom sink.

So here it is Saturday, and it’s a good thing I cannot shop because I must stay home to be here when the unstopper stops here.  Staying home saves money.

My roommate came home last night from her time in Chicago. She was so excited to tell me that she flew on the plane with the Lakers. They were sure tall, she told me.

Happy Saturday everyone who reads this.

Forgot the stuffing

Thanksgiving dinner was over, the guests left, and I remembered the stuffing and couldn’t find it. Then I looked in the oven that I had turned off and there it was.

I took the casserole out of the oven and the stuffing was hard as a brick. I made extra for Brad, as he loves it the most. Guess all that came out of the turkey was enough.

Other than that, everything went very well. I made candle holders out of large apples, and table cloths were remnants. The tables looked nice.

Everyone brought something and the food was absolutely delicious.

Thankful for everything.

Thankfulness in 100 ways

One hundred reasons to be thankful: Larry, Sue, Treva, Bobby, Brad, Debby, Michael, Brandon, Ronnie, Ronnie’s music, Larry’s easy humor and smile, Sue’s horses, Treva’s discipline, Bobby’s baseball skill, Brad’s intelligence and humor, Debby’s dancing.Barbie, Max, Dave, Jan.Paula, Bud, Sarah, Mary. Paula and Bud’s generosity and support.Paulette, Jaqui, Alyssa, Klara, Ellen M. Anna Mae, Marilyn R and Marilyn M, Sumi, Pat M. Ellen K, Robert, Sonja,  and many other friends. German and Dutch relatives and relatives of relatives who are my friends.A place to live, a roommate, my car, my camera, computer, telephone, my friends, my skills.I have plenty to eat, a place to sleep, a love of travel, a love of reading.I am relatively healthy, medicine, a good doctor, who I don’t need to see that often.AmeriCorps, future travel, payday, social security, turkey, dressing, green beans, cranberry sauce, fruit bowl, mashed potatoes, and other things on their way. Tables, chairs, couch, bookcase, paintings, back yard, Ft. Ord. Good coffee, half and half, sparkling cider, silver ware, dishes, soap and a dish washer. Clothes washer, vacuum sweeper, carpet, nice bathroom. Memories of Thanksgiving, Uncle Art and Jean, Uncle Bill and Aunt Roberta, Barbie, Dennis, Claudia, Beverly and Marilyn, my brother Jack and sister-in-law Carol, John and family, Lori and daughter and soon to be grandmother, my mother and father. I’ve been given much in my life, and I’m happy most of the time. There that’s 100. It was easy!





Feeling appreciated

I had lunch today with my coworkers at the Arts Council. The staff was there and one board member. She graciously told us how hard we work and how difficult it could be to please board members.

She has been on both sides and therefore, understands both sides. Because of  her appreciation,  she gave each of us a little Christmas dish with home made fudge. It’s little things like that, that mean so much to me.

Later, the executive director showed me a story I wrote awhile back about an art teacher who teaches with a grant from the Arts Council. It’s being used for the Arts Council’s advertising and public relations.

At the yellow hat day I spoke with someone who had a good thing happen to him regarding his house when the financing looked bad a few years ago. He is a single father who takes care of his invalid daughter. You see them together everywhere. She smiles but doesn’t talk, and he’s a proud, proud father, and a very good one. I’m so happy I helped him along the way with a story that got the attention of a congressman. He saved his house.I learned  how much power the press has, and it’s good when used to benefit humanity.

Thanksgiving and Aunt Roberta

I got word yesterday from my second cousin, Scott that his grandmother, my aunt died. It’s strange how this works: I had been thinking about her because I remember her daughter, Claudia who is my cousin, and Scotts mother, telling me that Roberta had alzheimer’s and probably wouldn’t know me. And lately I wondered how she was doing. I had good intensions of asking Claudia but didn’t.

Not only did I think of Roberta, but since it’s close to Thanksgiving, I started thinking about our family dinners with my cousins: Claudia, Beverly and Marilyn in Denver. We would stuff ourselves and then run around the block.

The kids; my three girl cousins, and sometimes another girl cousin and a boy cousin, my brother and I all sat at the kids table, and I always thought my job would be to make them laugh. I think it worked.

But now back to Roberta, she was married to my uncle, who was my mother’s brother. He was a gentle man and very sweet. I loved his good nature and humor. He married Roberta, who was poised and I always thought, a very classy lady. When I went to Colorado University, she recommended me for a sorority during pledge week. I didn’t pledge that sorority or any other.

I remember how she helped me on the day of my mother’s funeral.

The older generation is leaving me now with that status. I have only one aunt left. That aunt was married to another uncle was also  my mother’s brother. She lives in Sacramento.

Yellow hats landed…again

The renowned sculptor, Claes Oldenburg and his late wife, Coosje van Bruggen, created the sculpture: “Hat in Three Stages of Landing” decades ago for the grounds near the rodeo, but it had deteriorated over the years.

Oldenburg asked that the hats be restored or have them removed, and the city council opted to have them restored and so they were removed for a year. And today a celebration welcomed Oldenburg back to Salinas to greet the crowd and receive honors again for his work. The hats sit on the grounds next to the rodeo, but back a bit from Main Street.

They appear as though a giant cowboy threw his hat while galloping away on his horse and it took three stages to get on the ground.

I was part of the Arts Council of Monterey County’s  children’s art station, and where I spoke to people about volunteering for the two big events coming up in January.

Our booth was next to the Monterey Jazz Festival booth, where another volunteer coordinator was also asking for volunteers. He suggested that all volunteer coordinators should get together and pool our information. Not a bad idea.

So all this time I thought Oldenburg was Dutch as he has, what I thought was a Dutch name, and certainly his wife’s name was Dutch. So I searched him out and spoke to him. He seemed to understand a bit of what I said, but not entirely. I thought it was my bad pronunciation. But then I learned he isn’t Dutch but Swedish, but his wife was Dutch. He understands a little, from having a Dutch spouse, just as I did. We laughed about it, when he spoke back to me in perfect English.




“Hat in Three Stages of Landing” arrived in Salinas on Monday after being gone for nearly a year to be restored. The hats, which stand at different levels as if just tossed from the Salinas Sports Complex, are now painted a much brighter yellow than the original.

“Hat in Three Stages of Landing” was more than a monumental work by the world-renowned Oldenburg and his wife Coosje van Bruggen. It was a point of civic pride, a way to let the world know that Salinas was a place where art and culture thrived along with endless acres of lettuce and broccoli.

I folded, stuffed, stamped and boxed

There were no volunteers to take on the folding and stuffing of papers into envelopes to be sent to potential donors for the Arts Council, so I volunteered.

I wanted to fold the brochure to be flat and smooth,  fitting nicely into the accompanying letter, not wrinkled all up and then shoved into an envelope. I also wanted the stamp and address label to be straight.

Not usually a compulsive person, this was one time I got completely wrapped up in doing an exemplary job at something very easy. I had to make certain the name on the letter matched the name on the label that I pulled off a sheet.

I day dreamed. It was nice not having to think too much; I just set up my own assembly line and went to work.

One thing I dreamt about were those IBM cards we used to get in the mail or even in school, and where it stated: “do not spin, fold or mutilate this card”.

I often wondered what would have happened if I did spin that card? Would I have been put in jail? How would you spin it, anyway? In the dryer?

Then my mind went to the tag on my new pillow that warned me  that if I removed that tag, it would be under a penalty of law.

My mind wandered here and there and before I knew it I had accomplished the task, but now I’ve learned there will be about four times more to finish. For certain I’ll have to get a volunteer. I must get back to thinking.


Seeing old friends

The Power Point presentation at the Soledad Rotary club today was well accepted by the Rotarians.

I got there first, as usual. I’m always early every where I go. Then the Rotarians came walking through the door of the Windmill restaurant where the club has been meeting forever and when they spotted me, they all came over to me and gave me a hug.

Their questions during the talk and power point were very good, some were funny, and one elderly man who always loved to tease me, when everyone made remarks about me, as a brave, adventurous, woman, and on and on, he said, “she’s nuts.”

He must be right because I took that as a compliment.

My replacement for the newspaper was there doing what I used to do, taking photos and getting comments down on tape. I never used tape, I always used notes.

She is a kind person, and had a tragic event in her life just a few months after she was  hired. Her husband was stabbed to death inside their home. She will be going to court in the spring as the only witness. I wish her well.

The community rallied around for her and helped her get through the first shock and continues to be there for her. I’m impressed with her good nature and how she manages to keep on keeping on.



Training all over again, but new ideas

Every Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. I attend an AmeriCorps meeting at CSUMB. The purpose of the meeting is to share our successes, and our challenges of the past week and what is coming up for the future.

We get updates on the AmeriCorps requirements, and we take turns training each other.

I’m the oldest in the group, as I’ve said before, and some of what I’m being “trained” to do seems a bit mundane. I’ve been around a long time, and, while I know there’s always something to learn at every age, much of what we talk about I’ve heard somewhere else in my former years.

But, none the less, there are new ideas and new ways to look at the same challenge. So, I’m part of the group, and continue to take part in all of it with  my heart and mind. It’s a good group of dedicated young people, energetic and hard working.




Volunteers needed for New Years and the Ro day o

Volunteer darn it.

I have to have over 100 people signed up to work on New Years eve day, and it’s slow going. We need groups of folks to take over certain duties for the all day event.

That’s not all; I need about 25 folks for a couple of weeks after New Years to work on another big event.

That’s not all: everyday there is an activity that needs to be manned by a volunteer. Tomorrow, I’ll be the volunteer at the Government building for a gallery show that is on three floors and many, many walls. I’ll help hang pictures.

Then on Saturday the artist of the three flying hats at the rodeo grounds in Salinas is having a party to welcome the original artist who comes from Holland. I’ll try out my Dutch on him. This party is to, not only welcome the artist, but to look at the renovated sculptures. It’s a big deal for Salinas and the Ro day o.

You must say that correct if you’re in Salinas. It is the only rodeo anywhere in the U.S. that is pronounced in Espanol. I’ll volunteer hostess for this event.