Monthly Archives: March 2014

It’s such a pretty day today, look at the sunshine

Who sang that song? I can still hear it.

It is a pretty day, and for the first time in months, I took a walk. I found a path, and believe me, there are many of those in Ft. Ord. I know it would be very easy to get lost if you’re not careful.

I walked on an old path to an old dirt road and saw a young lady walking on the road. I stopped her and mentioned that it would be easy to get lost.

“I know it,” she said. “I’m going down that road.” She pointed to a long up and down road that seemed to go on forever.

I can imagine, I told her, the many soldiers who ran, marched and practiced war games out here on my path and on the road she was on.

She agreed and said that there are often times shell casings still found on the base. She found one, she told me and held out her index finger. “It was this long.”

Can shell casings be as long as a finger? Well, I know nothing about guns so I guess I believe her. I do know that it’s not wise to get off the beaten path, as it may be possible to step on something that would explode.

In spite of ghosts of war on the pathways in Ft. Ord, it is a beautiful day.

I even found a wild turkey in back of our condo, and some wild flowers that popped up in response to the sun. I also found a little pill bug that kept me amused.

Life is good.

Authentic Oaxaquenos food found in Seaside

Too lazy, too unmotivated to cook dinner, yesterday, I went to a restaurant that I stumbled on when walking on Martin Luther King Day. It’s El Milagro on 1774 Fremont Blvd. Seaside.
The food is authentic Oaxacan – Productos Oaxaquenos. Totillas, Chocolate, Mole y todo typo de products tipcos Oaxaquenos. I had a tamale stuffed with chicken and mole inside a banana leaf. Chips are served with a rich sauce sprinkled with Oaxacan cheese. The restaurant has a large room with two large TV’s. It would be great place for a big party. The folks are nice there, too.
I fist thought of ordering only one tamale, but the waitress pointed to the menu that said two tamale’s so I agreed. When I saw how big they were I knew one would be taken home in a box.
I had hibiscus water with it, and my glass was refilled with no extra charge. I was so full when I left!


Get me out of here

I got stuck inside a building where I work two days a week, because I couldn’t figure out the alarm system.

Well, that’s not quite right. I did know how to turn on the alarm and quickly get out of the building, but the door didn’t lock when I tested it. And when I tested it by opening the door that didn’t lock, the alarm went off.

I called the security people and they told me how to set it up again, and I did that. But then, how do I get out when the door won’t lock behind me? Did I need a key?I contacted the supervisor my texting, who was in another town and wouldn’t be back until late at night.

Why does this have to happen to me? She explained the system to me and I thought I understood, except for the door not locking. Now what, I asked myself. She already thinks I’m stupid  and now this? Why me, why me, why me????

Finally, after about two hours I got a text message that told me to push the iron bar on the door to unlock it. I did. So it was unlocked and ready to close and lock automatically with the alarm system.

So back I went to the alarm system and this time it worked. I got out and drove around the block and decided I’d better check it and everything was okay. Whew.

She neglected to tell me about the iron bar, but I’ll be blamed.

I’m tired.

Who’s old is up to speculation

Hmmm, I wonder how old she is? Those words are spoken or thought about when someone looks at a person and immediately decided that the person is on the ‘older’ side.

I gave a talk today to my AmeriCorps group of folks who are all younger than my grandkids. Well, when I signed up, my age wasn’t a question because of affirmative action for employment and volunteer work in the government agency.

For my presentation, I asked several friends what they thought was old age? The answers ranged all over the place, with most of them philosophical.

So I had each member of my group read what my friends had said, and then asked them what their own answers would be.  Philosophical again.

It struck me very strange that no one who wrote what they thought mentioned the one item that might be a dead giveaway that the person is older.

I then told my group that I was surprised about one item no one mentioned, but I knew it would be the first idea out of the mouths of children. One member got it…it’s appearance.

I remember that I knew I was getting older when people started calling me ma’am instead of miss. One of my friends got her feelings hurt when she ordered coffee in the McDonald’s drive up window and when she went to pay she asked why the price was lower than usual. “Oh, that’s because I saw that you are a senior citizen.”

That was a blunt comment that ruined the image she had of herself.

The aim of the talk was to be certain the volunteer recruiters were doing good interviews and lining up senior volunteers with what they really want to do, and to use their skills, and to respect their ideas.

When I was interviewed, for the job I have, I wasn’t told that I would be spending the bulk of my time at the computer. Later when the person who interviewed me asked if her explanation of the job was accurate, I had to tell her that it was to some degree, but not the computer business. Her comment on that was, “oh, I just assumed you would know all that kind of computer work.” Well, no I didn’t and I do not like to spend 90% of my day that way.

One of my volunteers, a retired banker, declined an opportunity because it involved a meeting. “I have sat in enough meetings and I don’t want to do that anymore. I only want to do the social things.” That was an honest comment and so she is my social hostess for gallery openings or event where she will be among the participants, greeting and laughing with them.

So the lesson is to do a good interview if the volunteers appear to be older and put them in places where they will thrive.


Went to a meeting/no fighting

It’s lovely to attend a meeting where the folks are civil and aren’t calling each other names.

I attended the Gonzales School Board meeting. Several kids were introduced by their teachers for getting speaking awards. They were in middle school. Several parents took photos of their kids. None of the parents spoke English, but one board member explained to them what their kids did and how proud the board is of them.

I felt like I had arrived home; for I used to sit for hours and listen to folks give presentation after presentation, and sometimes angry folks showed up for one reason or another.

Tonight a group of FFA students were also there to give a report, they wore their blue corduroy jackets and were so very polite.

The District Superintendent is on top of the  district business. She is a great superintendent. I’m proud of her. I first met her when she was the principal. Now the principal was my grandson Bobby’s principal way back when he went to Aptos High School.

My presentation went well, and hopefully some benefit will come of it.



Three good shops

Water in Marina tastes like pure Clorox. it’s so bad that you cannot even use it in making coffee. Big Yuk!

But there is a nice shop in the center where water is purified and I can buy a big bottle with a spigot for only $1.75. And it takes good. The workers make certain the bottles are cleaned before water is put into the bottle. It’s heavy to lift, but they have carts to use for transport to the car. It isn’t easy, however, to get it from the car into the house.

I remember when I lived in Marina two years ago, attempting to walk upstairs carrying the bottle. It took a very long time, step-by-step.

Another great thing about that shop is it is also an ice creamery, with the best flavors. Those are hard to pass up.

Right next to that shop is a store that features food from Germany…some merchandise comes from Holland, as well.


Tea, tamales and a ballerina

Son Ron and I went to Taco Bell in Marina. I wanted to show him what the 50s and early 60s were like and listen to the music from my era.

He had a good time and even knew some of the music. Be Bop and all.

Then we went to Willy bird’s and had chicken tamale’s and tea. Fun!

The purpose of the visit was to ask him to help me find things to sell from my storage unit. I found the Lladro Ballerina, but couldn’t make myself look any further. There’s a Bible verse that says something like, “store not treasures on earth where moths and rust corrupts, for where they are there is your heart.”

I probably didn’t get that perfectly, but you get the idea. It’s time to downsize and let other people enjoy what I have that I’m not using. And the money will be put to good use.

A ballerina and 1700 hours to meet my deadline

AmeriCorps requires 1700 hours to receive the stipend, and I’m trying to catch up by working nearly every day, nights and day.

I’m a little over one half of the requirements met, with only 3 1/2 months to go, so it looks like it will be work, work, work, recruit, recruit, recruit.

But there are other things to do: my son Ronnie will help me tomorrow in my storage unit. I need to get things out of there and sell, sell, sell.

One item is an Lladro sculpture of a ballerina. Anyone need a ballerina?


When are people old?

I’m taking my turn to give a report to the AmeriCorps group next Wednesday, and my subject is Senior Volunteers.

I want to first, define old. When is a person old? I’m getting lots of interesting replies on Facebook, and some are really funny, and most are different responses from each other.

I’m also trying to figure out how to describe senior volunteers; who they are, where do you get them, do you know any, and what makes them want to volunteer when they could stay home?

My father, at age85 ,was delivering Meals on Wheels.


Photographic exhibition gives me ideas

Mary, one of the Arts Council’s volunteers, held a gallery opening showing her photography from around the world. She is a travel agent and where she has been and her keen eye shows up in her artwork.

Yes, photography is an art.

This reminds me that I need to do something with my thousands of photos I took in Spain, Germany, Holland, Croatia, Republic of Czech, Morocco, Turkey, Rock of Gibraltar, France, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Ireland, Scotland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Denmark and England.

And on other past adventures in Italy, Egypt, Belgium, Costa Rica, Panama, Cuba, Nicaragua, and hmm, oh yes, the U.S. I’d like to give an exhibit of my photography and painterly work. I’m reminded, also that it’s the framing of the art work that’ll get you.

Mary’s work was nice and the prices were quite high. I don’t know how successful she was at selling items but while I was there for only one half an hour, she sold one piece.

So, maybe that’s another project for when I get back from Cambodia…and then there’s that other book from the blog.