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January 20, 2015, 8:52 amMom,Step Right Up To the Microphone!
When I was in school, History was a snore! It was probably my least favorite subject (along with Math,English,Biology..etc... ) It seemed to me we never got past the Indians. Oh, there were a lot of old war dates to memorize (like those came in handy) and...gee...I can't even remember. It all went in one ear and out the other.
Now art was fun. And piano and drum class. Wound up being the teacher's helper in piano since I had lessons for years and was way ahead of everyone in the class. It was my senior year and I had to just fill in time since the only class I needed to graduate was Government by then.
Yesterday's holiday got me thinking. Martin Luther King. Who was he? It's sad to admit after living half a century I never really knew much about him until I started googling yesterday and getting a crash course. Now WHY didn't they teach us things like THIS in school?
It probably wouldn't have been as interesting then as it is to me now anyway. I suppose there's a lot truth in the saying, "Youth is wasted on the young." Isn't that the truth,though? When you're young and bright and strong all you want to do is play. By the time you mature and wake up you think to yourself, "If only I knew then what I know now." Somewhere in between a lot of years get wasted just living and trying to find your way. Sometimes I wake up and think,"Where did the years go? I'm still 17, right? I still FEEL 17. Who's that person in the mirror?" lol
Life all happens so quickly. This Christmas really got me thinking about that and my own family history. What the heck is it? Growing up I don't remember my parents talking a whole lot about their childhoods and their life stories.
And most everyone in my family is now gone.
Dad, grandma's,grandpa's even my mother's only sister. MOM is IT. She's about all that's left besides an uncle and aunt on Dad's side. And they're in their upper 80's and can't remember what I said 5 minutes ago.
My mother's annual visit is coming up soon. (I'm preparing myself as of this moment,lol) When I was trying to think of a Christmas present for her this year the idea of a tape recorder popped into my mind.
My mother LOVES to talk as those of you who've read my other blogs about her already know,lol. Well, I thought, let's get her talking about something IMPORTANT for a change! (besides what time the neighbor put out his trash yesterday).
Let's hear her life story. Let's hear what happened before I was born. Stories about grandma and grandpa that I don't know. MY history.
It sounds good in theory. But getting her to actually DO it?
I was so late this year getting the presents out that I decided to just keep hers here until she comes to visit. So the tape recorder's waiting wrapped up pretty with a bow.
It's the "old fashioned" kind. One that actually uses cassette tapes. Knowing my mom it won't be long before a knob will "mysteriously" fall off or heaven forbid, she'll start talking into the machine and thought she pressed the record button but really didn't. I'm imagining the tapes getting lost or worse yet, my whole family history being "accidentally erased". It could happen.
With mom anything's a possibility,lol.
I know she will laugh when she sees it. Her nervous giggle. She will be afraid of a "machine". I will show her how to use it. Call her on the phone and REMIND her to use it. There will be questions and I'll have to give her blow by blow directions how to use it again. She will write them down.
Like she used to write EVERYTHING down. Like how many times her co-worker used to go out and have a smoke. And what time she came back. And who wasn't doing their job. (Talk about calling the kettle black! SHE wasn't working either!)
My mother has always been a "living" tape recorder. I have found literally hundreds of tiny pieces of paper where she has jotted things down. Her purses used to be loaded. (along with the napkins and straws,lol) She was always busy writing down what OTHER people were doing.
Even her old calendars were full of notations. "Left pinkie hurts. 7/14/75" "Stitch on left side" etc etc. I found a bunch of these years ago and just about every day there was some ache or pain mentioned. (real or imagined? lol) They made me groan just reading them.
Her sister used to call her from San Diego. Long distance was a BIG deal back in the old days. I only remember them talking about once a year. The first thing she'd do was whip out a pad and pencil and the whole time they were talking she'd be writing. Then she'd come and read us the notes after the conversation to let us know what our cousins were up to. It was never anything THAT important. So and so's graduating. So and so bought a used car.
But to her, I guess it was IMPORTANT. It's funny how what's important to one person is just mundane to another. This has been part of me and my mom's history. I'm always waiting to hear something important to ME from her. So far I've been out of luck.
I'm still trying.
Hopefully I'll get it out of her.
If the tape recorder doesn't do it maybe I'll buy her a new calendar instead. Maybe I should have kept all the old ones. After all they were part of her history.
All the belly-achin', toe stubbin', piercing headache bit of it.
Hmmmm...sounds like our relationship.
Guess we have had a history after all.
Last Edited: January 20, 2015, 9:05 am
January 9, 2015, 4:45 pmThe First Shakey's Pizza 1954
Yes,this is it,lol. I took this picture back in the 80's while waiting for my sister to get off work. It is just a few blocks from my house. This was her first job, my second. We both worked together here for awhile.
Ah...the old days. I can still smell the pizza. My sis wound up being an assistant manager. Me? I did everything. Made the pies, worked the bar,mopped the floors. I think my favorite time was spent in the dishwashing room. I liked to hide away and listen to smooth jazz on the radio all night. There wasn't even a dishwasher, besides me. Everything was washed by hand.
On Friday and Saturday nights there was a live dixieland jazz band. We were always packed. I loved the little stage in the back. It had a piano there and after we closed I'd go play sometimes. So I had my 15 seconds of solo fame,lol. It was probably the only time Beethoven's Fur Elise was played on that stage.
Upstairs were a bunch of rooms that used to be apartments. We used it for storage. There was always talk of it being haunted. I never witnessed a ghost but always felt a little "spooked" especially at 1 O'clock in the morning when I used to get stuck closing up. Luckily I was never there by myself.
The building is still there. It closed as Shakey's in the mid 90's but 2 other restaurants have come and gone since then. It's closed at the moment,nothing there. Before the first restaurant opened I peeked inside the window and saw how much remodeling they did. It was sort of disheartening...it didn't look the same, of course.
One time I was on the phone during my shift with a friend of mine. He'd just been to see the Rolling Stones and was telling me all about it. My back was to the register. I wasn't paying any attention but I did heard some rustling. My co-worker was talking to a customer (I presumed) and I heard the register open.
A few seconds later, my co-worker was jabbing his finger in my arm saying, "Get off the phone, we just got robbed!" LOL. The guy actually had a gun. Here I was 2 feet away and I didn't notice a thing. Crazy. Must have been a dumb robber...who robs a pizza joint on a Monday night? I think he got away with about $300. And it was EARLY in the night too. LOL
My mother told me when she was a teenager,she and her sister used to wake up their dad at midnight on the weekends to go get a pizza here. Same place,lol. She always talked about how delicious it was.
Well...by the time I got there in the 80's it was still okay but as time progressed the quality of the ingredients got cheaper. The sauce came out of a box and the cheese was like little pellets, not freshly grated.
It's too bad when you watch an institution go down the tubes. This place was really rockin' in its day but gradually, like most things, went downhill through the years. Near the end of my time here, my boss quit and they had nobody to replace him. So guess who wound up with the keys to lock up? Yep, me. I used to put the bag of money in the floor safe every night. (Not that there was that much,lol) Then I'd lock the door and my dad would be waiting for me in front to drive me home.
One late night I was locking the door and this drunk man came up and was trying to get past me to go inside. I saw my dad watching from the car...I could see his mouth moving like he was yelling something but the windows were rolled up so I couldn't hear what he was saying. He was also beeping the horn trying to get the guy's attention I guess. (big help,dad,LOL) I wound up pushing the dude real hard and he stumbled away and I got into the Ford Granada and we made our escape.
Funny the things you remember. I didn't feel like I was in danger or anything. (Maybe I should have seeing as my dad didn't even get out of the car to help me,lol) It all just happened so fast,I don't think anyone knew what to do.
This was my second pizza job. I was a traitor coming from Round Table,lol. But me and RT had an ugly parting. (That's another blog) Talk about fresh pizza,though. They had 2 prep people working in the morning, one for just the salad bar! (That was me!) I used to chop the lettuce,cut the cucumbers,tomatoes,onions. Open and drain the cans of kidney and garbanzo beans. Chop up eggs.
I eventually became the main prepper later on. Yep, making dough,(man,was that heavy!) putting the sauce together, grating all the cheese,slicing mushrooms. I also had to slice all the deli meats and onions. (Had to wear goggles for that) They used to have the greatest sandwhiches back then but no more.
Pizza Pizza! For years after I quit those jobs I rarely ate it. Even to this day I don't crave it.
I left them all behind with arms full of burn marks from taking pizza out of the brick ovens. They've finally all faded.
But my memories will live on........
Last Edited: January 9, 2015, 5:08 pm
January 4, 2015, 5:30 pmPublish Lottery Newspaper? Check! I finally did it :)
Well,I gone and done did it,lol. Yes, I published a little 8 page paper on lottery tips and such with a lot of plugs for the LP here. Am passing them out here in Sac Town. This paper is geared toward California players mostly. Am discreetly sleuthing my way through the city and placing them in "waiting" areas. Or lottery playing places. The first liquor store I went into and inquired about leaving a few copies said yes! So my hopes are high as I venture out to other retailers. Coming soon to a magazine table near you!
LottoLaffs is on the loose :)
Last Edited: January 4, 2015, 7:23 pm
October 27, 2014, 11:50 amBest Battle Round Ever on The Voice!
The Voice is one of those shows that gets me all wound up in the beginning and then disappointed at the end. Not one of my favorites has ever won on this show so I've pretty much given up.
It's kind of sad to revisit a lot of my past favorites Facebook pages or other media outlets. Most of them look like they've thrown in the towel and are back to mowing lawns or whatever they did in the past. Having a talent and not being able to share it is one of the most heart crushing realities any artist has to face. (Coming from a family of "artists" I can relate very personally.)
This new season I see another star in the making, Craig Wayne Boyd. I am not a country music fan in the least but do have to say this Battle Round was my absolute favorite.
Craig whooped some serious a$$ on this. I didn't pay the slightest attention to him in the blind auditions but he made me turn my head this time. It's such a wonderful moment to "discover" a natural talent. We can't all be "it" girls or boys but he definitely has "it".
Unfortunately he probably won't win now. Because I like him. Sorry,Craig!
October 25, 2014, 9:02 pmAre You A Newbie To LP? LL's One on One Consultation!
I thought I would offer some Pick 3, Pick 4 and/or Pick 5 help to the lucky one newbie who responds here first.
If you newly joined the LP and have some questions about what's going on in your state's games right now, I hope I'll be able to lead you to a more winning path :)
October 10, 2014, 11:36 amYour Pick 3 Pairs For OCT,NOV and DEC
AZ-92X 93X 94X
AR-90X 91X 92X
CA-07X 08X 09X
CT-51X 52X 53X
DE-27X 28X 29X
FL-30X 31X 32X
GA-35X 36X 37X
ID-83X 84X 85X
IL-48X 49X 40X
IN-06X 07X 08X
IA-53X 54X 55X
KS-47X 48X 49X
KY-07X 08X 09X
LA-50X 51X 52X
MD-86X 87X 88X
MI-31X 32X 33X
MN-82X 83X 84X
MO-85X 86X 87X
NE-23X 24X 25X
NJ-43X 44X 45X
NM-53X 54X 55X
NY-16X 17X 18X
NC-97X 98X 99X
OH-51X 52X 53X
OK-29X 20X 21X
PA-24X 25X 26X
SC-54X 55X 56X
TN-24X 25X 26X
TX-70X 71X 72X
TRI-27X 18X 19X
VA-08X 09X 00X
WA-86X 87X 88X
DC-14X 15X 16X
WV-58X 59X 50X
WI-04X 05X 06X
October 5, 2014, 9:04 pmThe Shield
The Sopranos on steroids?
Recently on ebay I got a great deal. The complete series of The Shield (brand new) for $35.00. Just couldn't pass that up.
Watched the first season years ago when I had Netflix. But when they started raising prices for people who just wanted DVD's and not all that streaming crapola I ditched 'em.
I do remember really liking this show so as soon as I received it on Friday the box got whipped open and Disc 1 plunked into the player.
Yep! Just as raw and intense as my old memory 'members. Wow. This show was CRAZY and to think they showed it on regular cable. Really diggin' this.
Vic Mackey reminds me a lot of Tony Soprano. The bad guy with a heart. What a great mix for characters. You want to hate them but you wind up lovin' em. Or is that just me,lol?
Well, I always was a sucker for the "bad boys" when I was younger. What girl wasn't? We all love the danger on the outside but inside we're always hoping to tame that wildcat.
This show is addicting. You can't just watch 1 episode!
October 2, 2014, 7:48 pmKids Today Vs. Kids of Yesterday
I'm sure everyone says this at one time or another.
"I'm sure glad I grew up when I did".
Thinking that now myself,lol.
Wasn't life "easier" in the 70's? Guess it depends on how old you were at the time. The 70's had a crisis or two. Or three.
I remember the gas shortage. Sitting in the Rambler station wagon in long lines on certain days to get gas. But that was FUN...when you were a kid!
I remember the drought here in CA. (It's the 70's again right now) We had to not run the water while brushing teeth and be careful about flushing the toilet.
But,for the most part,life was grand.
I had 2 parents. My real ones. Until death did them part. How many kids can say that today?
My mother was a "stay at home" mom. She made our lunches,took us to and from school, had dinner ready for us at 5:00 when dad came home. All bought from Lucky's market right on the corner. "Wal-Mart" was not a word yet,lol.
I lived in a brand new house that my father built right before I was born. It cost $20,000.
The price of a car now.
But that was normal for then. We were just normal MIDDLE CLASS folk. Does that even exist anymore?
With all these foreclosures and the rising housing market how many kids today will be able to buy a house? How many adults,even?
In school we caught measles and chicken pox. Not deadly respiratory illnesses.
We never had to worry about another kid gunning us down.
We had "fire drills" not "lock downs".
We didn't worry about Katrina's washing our house away or nuclear plants melting down in our backyard.
And when the mothers made cupcakes for special days nobody I knew ever had a "peanut" allergy. That was unheard of.
When we came home from school we went out and rode our bikes. Roller skated with the old clamp-on wheels. Before we "graduated" and got "tennis shoe" skates, the IN thing!
The only "screen" in the house was the 19 inch TV. (Imagine that!) Kids today practically grow up staring into a screen. I never saw a computer until high school and then that was only for the "smart" kids.
When a friend called, we used the one phone in the house. A land line, remember those? And it was right in the middle of the house between the kitchen and dining room. I remember doing a lot of "whispering" in those days so no one could hear me. Especially when boys called! (when I was a teen)
Remember waiting for that "special" boy's phone call? Well,geese,you really had to wait. Because if he called and no one was home...well..you just had to wait until he called back.
Remember when the phone rang and you never had any idea who was calling? It was always a surprise. Sometimes welcome...sometimes not.
In the evening we'd all sit down as a family and watch a show because if you wanted to see it you had to watch exactly when it came on. Otherwise you'd miss it. And the commercials too. Which you came to know by heart. They were so LONG in those days, it seemed. Not the rat-a-tat snippets you see now assaulting you every 30 seconds.
Sometimes there was a fight over what show to watch. But it didn't last long because there were only a few shows to choose from. Not 300 channels worth.
My GRANDMOTHER got a VCR before we did. Remember actually having to go RENT VIDEOS?
When I was in high school we learned to "type", not "text". On the old fashioned manuals. Once a week we got our chance at the electric ones. That was a good day!
When I graduated and started looking for a job I'd get the Sunday paper. The Want-Ads section was about an inch thick! There were TONS of jobs to choose from.
Now our paper is about as thick as a paper towel..the whole thing. Sad. Most job applications are online.
In the summers we'd pack up the Rambler and vacation for 2 whole weeks!
No burglar alarm...just a push button lock in the knob. No deadbolts or security doors. The neighbor would take in the mail.
People just felt safer in those days. No boogie men coming after you like terrorists,AIDS or ebola.
Three words kids today will grow up with along with many more horrifying ones we don't even know yet.
"Drought" and "gas shortage" sound so tame now.
"Disco" might have qualified as the most "horrifying" word we heard then,lol. (That was music to my ears but not to a lot of other people's,lol)
Gone are the days of not having to worry about walking around barefoot on the sidewalk or accidently touching your face before washing your hands. Or of not cringing when you hear someone cough or sneeze RIGHT NEXT TO YOU instead of saying "gesundheit!
Us kids of yesterday really had it made. Oh, we didn't realize it. Even if life wasn't so grand back then, I still can't imagine it being worse than it is today.
"Spoiled" is what we were.
Last Edited: October 2, 2014, 7:52 pm
September 30, 2014, 7:14 pmEbola Has Landed on USA Soil,Surprised?
Well....we knew it was coming. Needless to say, I am outraged. What is wrong with these airports? Why are there ANY flights at all coming and going from infected areas? And don't tell me MONEY because no amount of money is worth your life. That is unacceptable.
Did we American's think we were immune?
I say BOYCOTT all AIRPORTS and FLIGHTS right this minute. Sounds like we have to take matters into our own hands because no one seems to be doing a cotton pickin thing about this.
If there are no flyers, there will be no flights. Is it REALLY NECESSARY to be flying right now?
Is it more important than YOUR LIFE or the LIFE OF YOUR LOVED ONES?
Is it MORE IMPORTANT than saving our COUNTRY?
September 15, 2014, 3:36 pmCooking With LL--Apple Hill Cake!!
About 40 miles away from me there's this wonderful little town called Apple Hill.
And it's known for everything --you guessed it--apple! There are about 40 farms you can go between. Some have orchards where you can pick your own. Some are bigger than others and sell baked goods and candy. Some you can even go to and cut down your own Christmas tree.
Open Labor day through Christmas Eve I usually take a run up there at least once to get my pies for the holidays. Pumpkin/apple (yum!), cherry/apple, apple crisp,apple donuts,apple struedel,apple cidar, apple and pumpkin butter, apple cinnamon rolls...you name it,they got it.
One of my favorites is the Apple Cake. They sell booklets with recipes and this one I'm going to share with you. Makes the house smell delish!
And pretty simple to put together.
The recipe calls for:
4 cups diced apples (It doesn't say to peel them but I do) You should probably start by placing these at the bottom of your mixing bowl and dump everything on top. This recipe is not exactly very clear with some of the instructions.
Now Combine Together:
2 cups sugar (this time I used 1 1/2 cup reg. sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar. I advise to just use reg. sug)
1/2 cup oil (used Canola)
2 eggs (used just the whites but it's up to you :)
Now it says to:
Add,sifted together. (To sift or not to sift! I never do. Maybe I should start?)
2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. baking soda
Add to apple mixture. Pour into a 9x13 greased cake pan and bake at 350 for 1 hour.
Serve hot,warm or cold. Plain,frosted or with whip cream.
This is what it looked like before going in the oven. I think I screwed up because I dumped the sugars and oil together and while I was taking pictures the sugar really soaked up the oil making it kind of lumpy and not so smooth. It's very important to make sure you combine the oil/sugar and eggs and stir them immediately together.
And don't use brown sugar like I showed in the photo. It just doesn't mix well in the cake.
I must sound like a horrible baker,lol. But just sharing my mistakes.
Note: If you can find it, Saigon cinnamon is cinnamon at it's best! Much more cinnamon-y than regular cinnamon. So flavorful!
My end product was not what I wanted. I've made this several times before with perfect results. It was because of that sugar/oil thingy mentioned above that really ruined it.
My biggest suggestion is if you are going to be showing folks how to do a step by step recipe...hire a photographer!! LoL.
August 3, 2014, 8:37 pmAll This Time I Never Knew I Was Riding In Starsky's Car!
Lately I find myself addicted to "Starsky and Hutch". I bought the first 2 seasons quite a few years ago but just recently purchased the rest of the series.
I was probably about 10 when the show first came on and never watched it. Watching the opening credits brought me back to my high school days and my first boyfriend. (He was no Starsky,tho!)
But yes,he had a Gran Torino. And it was red! LOL.
Unfortunately it didn't have the white stripe. But when I see the interior shots they show of the dashboard on the show it brings me right back to 1984. It all looks very familiar.
I spent a lot of time in that car,lol. It seems to me that most of the time it was in need of some repair. It ran rough.
Paul Michael Glaser hated that car,I've read. He used to be really rough on it during the shooting of the show...stopping fast and bumping into things. He said it was so hard to maneuver. I just watched an episode where he was braking and banged right into a forklift looking tractor.
How cool was that show,wow. Oh yes,of course...it was silly at times. You could always make out the stuntmen doing the fight scenes. Some shots of the car driving by on their way to a crime scene were shown again and again and again. The budget must have been on the cheap with a clothes and makeup allowance an afterthought.
The music was so funky I find myself listening to the opening credits for every episode! Lovin it :)
The creator of the show,William Blinn, said he had originally written the script with a green Camero in mind because he had one years before. But when the show was finally going to be shot,Ford was providing the transportation so that went out the window.
Who knew the Gran Torino would become a star in its own right? Even today it looks flashy on the screen. With 2 hot guys in the front seat,how could they miss?
I guess what people really loved about the show was the friendship between the 2 cops. Paul and David have more chemistry then most male and female actors you see nowadays!
Take me back to those "feather hair days" with Ditto jeans and Lip Smacker's lip gloss. And long haired boys with flared cords and a brush in their back pocket.
Oh how I miss them.
But as for the Gran Torino? Hmmmm. Now maybe if it had a white stripe on it and the real Starsky at the wheel, I wouldn't think twice about jumping in,lol.....
Last Edited: August 3, 2014, 8:49 pm
July 23, 2014, 10:44 pmThe Plot Thickens...
Now I find out that "Mimsy" is a HE not a she. Also turns out the other neighbor who brought him to the vet is one I've known for years. He DOES know who the owner is. And here I spent all day Saturday networking trying to find out who this person was and I can see his house from my front window!
The neighbor went over and talked to this owner. He said he looked visibly shocked that the cat is in as bad as shape as he is. WHAT???? Is he blind? My neighbor said that the owner told him he will call the vet and see what his options are and that he will take care of it.
Well...guess who showed up on my front doorstep yesterday evening? Good old Mimsy. I gave him some milk and he just lapped it up. I petted his bony neck and cried. This cat just breaks my heart,I want to "cat-nap" him so bad. But there's nothing I can do.
Didn't see Mimsy today. Hopefully the owner did the right thing. I will be calling the vet to see if he really DID call and if I can find out anything. Yes, I am nosy. Yes,I am the animal police of the neighborhood,lol.
Dear sweet Mimsy. I knew you were in bad shape but not as bad as all that. Enlarged spleen,a mass on his stomach and shrinking kidneys. Plus the vet thinks he has a hyperthyroid condition because he just devours food but never gains weight. Whatever they could do for him would be just to "maintain" his condition the vet said.
He was also a "pound" cat who probably has had a really rough life. I wonder what the message is in all this. When I was outside talking to him he'd just look at me and meow. Once in a while he'd reach his paw out and touch my knee gently. Was he asking for help? Did he just need a pet? I petted him as much as I could. His matted fur made it hard and the bones underneath made me so sad.
But I love him. How could you not? The story hasn't ended yet until I find out what happened.
It finally (almost) happened. I really thought I had a new friend.
July 21, 2014, 4:35 pmCat Fight!
Here is an update on "Mimsy" the stray cat. I now call her "Misty".
A lot has happened since Friday when I first saw her. This morning I took her to the vet. Guess what they told me? Someone else had brought her in last week! To the same place.
So she'd already been examined. Turns out she is over 10 years old and her prognosis is "not good". That's all they could tell me.
To make a long story short I am not able to put this poor cat down. The other good samaritan who brought her in to the vet apparently lives down the street from me. The vet told me the man who brought her in might know who the owner is so I had to give the vet permission to give the neighbor my phone number. Spoke to him earlier and he's going to call me back.
Somehow we have to get permission from this so called "owner" to put Mimsy out of her mim-sery! And what if it turns out the person he THINKS is the owner ISN'T?
I've never been in a situation like this before. Guess it's sort of like trying to get custody of your kids,lol. Obviously this "owner" abandoned this cat but legally it's still his. My only other options are to take it to the pound or take her to another vet and say I just found this poor cat and it looks sick...can you please put her down?
Let's just say I won't take her to the pound. I want to be by her side when she crosses the rainbow bridge.
I suppose I can understand. I don't like it but I understand. Being on this side it's easier but if that were MY cat and someone had her put her to sleep without my knowing then of course you'd be mad.
But when you try and try to get ahold of someone and they don't answer? (And not just me...2 vets also!) Then I don't think I need your permission for anything,really. Especially if your animal is sick and in discomfort.
She doesn't seem like she's in pain but cats are tough. She has been curled up on my back door step since we returned from the vet 2 hours ago. God Bless little Mimsy. She is microchipped we found out but only registered to some cat rescue group. The person who adopted her never registered. WHAT DOES THAT TELL YA???
This whole thing is heartbreaking. I've never been in a cat fight but now I can honestly say I have! NOT FUN
July 19, 2014, 11:54 amIt Finally Happened!
As I came back from my walk yesterday morning I noticed a cat sitting on the porch of my neighbor's house across the street. They don't have a cat so I was kind of wondering where it came from. It looked over at me and I said,"Hi kitty". It ambled across the street slowly purring a sad croaky meow. It had a tag hanging from a collar. A rather large tag.
The cat followed me into the backyard still croaking away. It sounded like it was 100 years old. The fur was long and when I touched it,it was clumpy and full of matted hair. It seemed friendly enough so I grabbed onto the tag and saw a phone number.
Immediately I called. Perhaps this was someone's beloved cat but just by looking at it you could tell it was missing for a long long time. I petted "it" again and could feel nothing but bones. Luckily I always keep a fresh can of cat and dog food for occasions like this. It doesn't happen often in my neighborhood. It's rare to see a stray animal. But somehow if there is one,they always find their way to me,lol.
No one answered. The message said something like the number wasn't available and it's been transferred to another service. I left a message but so far nothing.
I looked at the tag again. Up above the phone number there was a man's name and "Mimsy". Ah ha! So we have lady kitty here.
I spent all day yesterday on the phone and internet trying to find the owner. Finally around 6 PM after exhausting all possibilities,I thought I'd give it one last shot and started calling vets to see if this cat had ever been to one.
Jackpot! Finally found out the cat had been seen at a PetSmart vet. No,they couldn't tell me any information at all. Not even when the cat had been seen last. The lady was hesitant to even tell me it's age but she gave in and said about 4 years. Even though the voice sounded old,I could see the teeth were very white and looked pretty clean.
She told me she'd leave a message for the owner and even though I repeated the phone number on the tag she STILL couldn't tell me if it was the same number she was going to call. It's a wonder ANY missing animal is reunited with their owner with this type of security,lol.
About 15 minutes later she called back to my surprise. She said she could tell he was ignoring her message. I don't know how she could tell,lol,but anyway,it doesn't seem like this person wants their cat back.
I've never seen a cat's face light up the way she did when I opened a can of food. Her eyes were round as saucers and she practically screamed. For joy,I hope. She devoured it pretty quick then laid down on my little carpet by the back door.
She's too weak to jump over fences but later on she somehow managed to squeeze under the fence through a chewed hole my very first dog made about 30 years ago,lol. She went wandering off across the street and stretched out on another neighbor's porch,the one on the corner. Later on she came back and I gave her a little more food.
In the evening I clicked my teeth and she came from somewhere out of the dark and had another whole can of food.
I washed out BusterBrat's old igloo house and put a nice new blanket inside. This morning I sort of guided her in to see if she liked it but you know cats. She turned around and came back out. Buster did the same thing when first shown the house. A few weeks later you couldn't get him out of it if you tried!
Today I can hopefully get her to a vet. And the groomer is next. Struggling whether to keep her or not. My "worry" genes have calmed down after BusterBrat was sent to heaven and I forgot about them. But they kicked right up this morning... was worried if she made it through the night...was worried she was hungry. I'm worried right now if she has any pain.
I'm worried about what's going to happen now that it's finally happened! Yes,another stray on my doorstep. Almost 19 years since my BusterBrat the cat arrived. Hard to believe he's been gone almost 2 years now. Seems only yesterday.
Taking her to the pound would be suicide. The way she looks? Yikes. No one would take this straggly lumpy bumpy bag of bones. Perhaps I'm already starting to love her. No,not perhaps.
It finally happened. Again. She had me from the first "worry".
Last Edited: July 19, 2014, 3:31 pm
June 12, 2014, 1:34 pmSan Francisco Summers
My aunt always wonders where my father got his talent for art.
This seems to puzzle her to no end.
"No one else in the family could draw."
She says the same thing when a family member becomes afflicted with a medical problem.
"Gee,no one else in the family had allergies."
Some things just aren't inherited.
So who really knows when or where my father got his passion for art?
I always call San Francisco "my second home". I was being dragged to museums there before I could talk. There are photos of me sleeping in my mother's arms as she is walking and perusing art on the walls in many of those "tombs" I used to call them. Dad was always the photographer capturing everything. If he didn't have a paintbrush in his hand he had the Rolleiflex camera around his neck.
My father went to college in San Francisco. To study art,natch.
One of his teachers was Wayne Thiebaud. You may not recognize his name but you may recognize some of his art. He had a very distinctive style as you can see below and is still living. Born in 1920,he's 93 now.
Dad mostly did still life and landscapes. But never with any people in them. My taste runs to portraits. I feel paintings or photos gotta have a heart in them somewhere. When I look at some of his paintings of apples and pears on a dish with a knife next to them...well,they make me feel...still,I guess. Perhaps that's why they're called that,lol. I don't feel a pulse,something living. Maybe I'm so used to seeing them that the "deeper meaning" is lost.
After my father died I went to pick up some of his work that he had showing in a small gallery downtown. The lady there told me that "your father painted like the old masters." This was suiting because I never felt there was anything "young" about him. He always seemed so old to me even though he wasn't. I even used to call him grandpa sometimes.
Every year after school was out we'd pack up the Rambler station wagon and go on our summer vacation for 2 weeks. The first stop was always San Francisco. There usually was some art retrospective showing that my father had to see. Edward Hopper was his favorite artist and I see his influence in my father's paintings.
My sister and I would groan all the way there because we wanted to get to Marriott's Great America! Who wanted to see some old paintings in a dark dismal museum? Oh,how we dreaded it!
It's too bad my sis and I didn't appreciate art because we saw a lot of famous work back in the day. Who? I haven't the slightest clue. Have to confer with my mom on that one but seeing as she was about as interested as we were,she might have forgotten too.
My father always liked to drive us by the place he lived in during his college days. We'd pull up in front of one of those tall skinny San Francisco houses that look like they are glued and leaning together side by side. He and a roomate lived on the third floor.
"There was a car mechanic who lived under us. When we'd go to use the shower there was always a ring of grease around the tub." he told us.
Then we'd have to go visit his cousin Russell who owned a shoe shop on Balboa street. The shop was old and looked like it was filled with shoes from the 1930's. Russell would be talk talk talking,typical Italian,lol. "I think he does more talking then selling shoes." my mother always used to say out of the side of her mouth. He also repaired them.
Quite a few years ago I took my cousin to San Francisco and we stopped by to say hi to Russell. The shoe shop is no longer in business and he is retired. He looks like he hasn't aged a day since those long ago summers. And he was still talking!
"Let-a-me change-a my shirt and we go into the city." he greeted us. He went into his bedroom and we could still hear him talking to us through the door. Twenty minutes later he finally emerged. We figured if it took him this long just to "change-a his shirt" this would turn into an all day affair and we didn't have the time since we had other plans like walking across the Golden Gate bridge.
He had a painting or two of my father's hanging on the wall. Just about every relative has one. We are my father's personal art gallery.
We finally decided Russell would take us over to some farmer's market instead. He volunteered to take us since he knew the way. My cousin sat in front. I got in the back of his gray 1980's looking sedan.
More talking ensued as we made our way down the streets. Suddenly we were on a busy boulevard surrounded by cars on either side of us. We were stopped in the middle lane.
Russell turns around in the driver's seat and starts leaning towards me with his arm up like he's waving to someone out my window.
"You see-a...we need-a to get in the right hand-a lane and the blink-a light is out-a. Have to get it fix-a. But if I wave-a sometimes the people-a they let me in." he said very seriously.
Then his face broke into a "bigg-a" smile as he started waving to the cars and soon one let him in,lol.
When we got back to his place later on we started saying our goodbyes. Oh,but we "couldn't-a leave-a yet-a"! He had boxes stacked up in his kitchen full of stuff. As he dug around he pulled out a bottle of wine and cookies. We didn't get out the door until he'd given us pretty much everything he owned,lol.
Going off the track a little there but you know how one memory can lead to another,lol.
Looking back,it was always exciting nearing San Francisco even though we knew we'd be stuck in a museum for half the day. First you felt the air turn cool. The sky was always enveloped in fog. Then you waited to see the "junk art" alongside the freeway next to the water. It no longer exists but it was fun looking at the different sculptures. I actually found an article about them today....so glad someone remembers!!
It even mentions the Nut Tree which was a favorite place of ours. Actually THAT was the first stop before San Fran. It was like a huge candy store and had a restuarant. It was the first time I ever tasted avocado in my sandwich. There was also a little train you could ride around the whole complex. We always loved that train ride! They had big wooden rocking horses and wooden cut outs that you stuck your head through so your parents could take a picture of you looking like a monkey or some other silly animal. And just before we left we always got to pick out some candy. Once I got this huge lollipop that lasted for the rest of the summer,lol.
You could always feel the underlying current of excitement like you were going some place important as you crossed over the Bay Bridge. The tires going ka-klunk! ka-klunk! as you rode over it for miles and miles it seemed. That sound used to scare me sometimes because I thought the tires were going to pop. Stopping at the toll booth to pay... I always wanted to pay the man but my dad didn't let me. But we knew there were lots of fun things ahead besides the museum like going to the aquarium and the beach to play in the sand while the wind whipped your hair.
I just remember that cool air and having to wear a sweater in the summer! And then after San Fran we were on our way to Monterey and Carmel. Staying at the motels (I don't think my father knew what the word hotel was...besides he was a little on the cheap side,lol) I remember losing my tooth once during a trip and worried that the tooth fairy wouldn't be able to find me. All was well the next morning when I found the quarter under my pillow. She didn't forget me after all :)
My father never drew anything on our summer trips. He turned into the photographer instead. I've got albums full of photos of old houses in neighborhoods I don't recognize. Some of them have shown up in his charcoal drawings. He loved old houses. And trees. And fruit on platters. And wine bottles alongside of fruit platters.
And doodling. I didn't realized how much he doodled until I started cleaning out the studio a few years after he died. Or how much work he had accomplished until I started digging through the stacks of paintings in the cubby holes. And one painting in particular I forgot about.
A portrait of me.
One day he asked me to pose for him. I remember sitting in a chair one afternoon while he worked away behind his easel wearing my favorite black shirt that had sparkly colored thread running through it.
Don't ever remember looking at it after he was done. I wouldn't have even recognized myself if I hadn't seen the black shirt the girl in the painting wore. It didn't really look like me but I knew it was. Maybe his interpretation. Portraits weren't his strong suit. I looked...still. Maybe that's how he saw things or wanted things to be. Inanimate. Quiet. Like he was.
Through the years I haven't been back to my "second home" as much as I'd like to. Last time was to a World Series playoff game back when Barry Bonds played on the Giants. Gee,has it been that long? What the heck year was that?
The best part of that game? When the planes went soaring overhead after the national anthem was sang by LeAnne Rimes,I think. Wow. That was so exciting! Can't remember if that was the Blue Angels or not. But that's the moment that stuck out to me.
Too bad it's so expensive to live there. I'd love waking up to that cool foggy air everyday. Might sound funny coming from a California chick but I'm not a big fan of the sun.
I might have "left my heart in San Francisco" but I can thank my father and the trusty Rolleiflex that provided me with tons of photos of those wonderful times.
Think I'll go crank the air-conditioner up and put on a sweater.
Now if only I could find some sand......
Last Edited: June 12, 2014, 1:56 pm