Hallucinations in Healdsburg

We flew the coop on May 29th and bucked headwinds from King City to Gilroy.  The trees were bent 45 degrees downward, as the wind whipped their branches discouraging any bird from landing.  Doubt those trees in the Salinas Valley have any nests.  The wind was relentless.  

Sad sights were the plastic bags/strips that had been caught in the clutches of barbed wire, behaving as though they were manically trying to get free.

 

Happy to announce we made it Gilroy at 3 p.m.  By 5:00 we were sitting outside on a very busy road, chomping on barbecued ribs and chicken, while Beau sat beneath the picnic table that held an umbrella that threw shade on exactly no one.  The meat was tough on the ends, the chicken was lacking that smoked flavor but we ate it and were happy to be off the road and sitting outside anyway.

As Rayman tucked me in that night, I asked how long the drive was to Healdsburg.  He reported 5 hours.  So, we devised a plan to get up and get going by 9 a.m.  And that is exactly what we did. 

While driving by the SFO airport, the phone rang and it was my dear friend, Pat, calling to wish me Happy Birthday.  What a thrill.  She lives in Walnut Creek.  Perhaps she felt my presence?  Being a world class reader, she recommended Michael Lewis’s new book, Premonition.  I promised her I would buy when we slid into Portland.   

The drive thru the City did not disappoint.  It was sunny and showing itself off to anyone that looked.  And the drive across the Golden Gate was divine.  Is there a more beautiful bridge?  We decided we would return and walk the bridge.  A bucket list dream of mine and Rayman agreed.  

We had better do it soon.  We are feeling the affects of age as witnessed by the fact that Rayman is out trying to procure a water bowl for Beau.  We left it at the lunch place.  More on that later.

As we blazed thru the Robin Williams tunnel on the other side of the Golden Gate, we saw a sign that indicated Healdsburg was not far away.  What?  How could that be?  Well, it was and we arrived here just after noon.  It was not a 5 hour drive.  How Rayman came to that conclusion was beyond me.  At this point I started worrying about our traveling skills.  

With time to enjoy (read kill), we took a drive around town, I googled a good lunch place while put us at Dry Creek General Store.  It was very busy so we knew it must be good.  And it was.  However, moi, got in trouble.  As I entered the establishment, I ran into a line and so I immediately ran to the back of the line.  And waited.  Behind a couple, man and woman.  We crawled so I had time to notice them.  All of a sudden there was a man in front me.  “Excuse me, but this is not the back of the line, it is back there.”  Well, the snit whipped around and said, “I know that.  I’ve been in line.”

Unable at this point to observe minimal cues in my environment, I said, “I’ve been in this line behind that couple.  I haven’t noticed you here.”  The snit growled, “Well, you must be hallucinating because I have been here. MAM.”  I replied, “I don’t think you were.”  He snarled, “Shall we ask them?”  Thinking I was surely calling his bluff, I said, “Sure.”  He did and they said he had been there.

At this point, “He walks back toward me and says,”You owe me an apology. MAM.”  I was drowning in his snotty demeanor. 

I apologized in disbelief.  How could that be a thing?  I did not crack a joke.  By this time the line was getting close to the bottleneck which was being caused at the cash register.  I looked left and saw another whole line at a deli counter which I had never seen.  So I asked if the people were waiting in this line to order.  “NO.  You order over there.  This line is for paying up.”

As I slithered over to the other line, I think I may have said, “Oh, shit.”  

Needless to say, I may have proved to be the laughing stock of the deli.  

And I still do not know how that even happened.  I knew who I was standing behind.  Am I prone to hallucinations?  OMG.  No.  I am not.  So how it happened I will never understand.  

After lunch we drove up to Sonoma Lake.  Or was it Lake Sonoma?  Rayman had been there with Indians Guides but it was my virgin voyage to this particular lake.  The views were outstanding…huge hills/mountains and deep valleys.  

We drove to the city park in Healdsburg.  It was bustling with folks of all kinds.  And lots of dogs.  It was hot especially because I had on long, warm pants.  People are definitely traveling again.  Our hotels have been quite full, the parks have the full.  The gas stations are full.  

At 3 p.m. we drove back to the Best Western and checked in. I did the honors.  When we arrived at our room, it was totally unacceptable.  The window looked out onto a wall with a walkway in between.  So, I marched back to the office and told them we could not abide that room.  They were kind enough to reassign us to the second floor and an end unit.  When I took the dog to go to the new room, he splayed his legs and would not budge.  He was quite a sight.  Cajoling did not work.  When I tried to drag him, the collar came off.  He stood up and walked.  He followed me all the way to the elevator, got off the elevator and walked to the room sans collar and leash.  An astonishing sight.  And astonishing display of doggie preferences.  

 Somehow, between the first and second room, I lost the keys.  Retracing my steps I found them on the ground.  Once in the room, we could not find his doggie dish.  Hence the new doggie dish.  We left it the Dry Creek General Store, apparently.  Oops.  No we didn’t.  We gave Beau water from the bowl the curried chicken salad was in after we ate it.  So, where did it go?  Another cause of concern.  

Tonight we eat at the Chalk Board.  Hope it’s good.  After all, it’s my birthday!!

Me at dinner.

 

p.s.  We had the doggie dish all along.  Now we have 2.  Above, please see my fabulous birthday dessert.  Whipped creme fraiche with stewed cherries, lime curd and crunches.  It hit just the right spot!!

 

How Did We Meet?


Several years ago, we took a trip to NZ.  The trip included the making of new friends.  Jim and Mari from Minnesota. 

Since that trip, Jim and Mari have made a point of visiting us here in Morro Bay.  Twice.  The second time occurred this week.  They were in Oceano with their daughter, Missy, and her family which included one great husband and two very “playing in the sand” children.  Being Easter vacation or spring break as some would call it, Mari and Jim’s daughter booked a house right on the ocean (and sand) for a week’s stay.  

Mari texted me and told me they might be the area…Pismo she said.  “Great”, we said.  As the date approached the Oceano address was shared with us and we accepted an invite for lunch (to be served outside).  

Missy excelled in conversation.  One of her questions of us all was, “How did you guys meet?”  

Jim suggested on the street corner.  Mari said, “No.  We met on the train.”  Rayman and I couldn’t remember exactly.  A discussion ensued.  We met on the train.  No, we met at the train station.  No, we met them on the train. No, didn’t we meet up in Queensland.  No it was Christchurch.  

Really, people, it is amazing we were sitting on the deck of this house in Oceano at all.  I guess it is proof that we weren’t always so daffy!!

After a considerable review of surviving memories, we came to an agreement that we met at the train station while sharing a bench while waiting to board the train that would carry us to Christchurch.  I think we met at Picton, on the South Island.  

Mari saved the day.  She remembered the most.  We boarded the train and sat together.  We talked and talked much of the time.  When we disembarked, we head our separate ways without plans to meet again.  A lovely encounter.  

While writing this, I wondered if I had written about our time together in NZ and this is an excerpt from my blog from 2011!!  Read it below.

AND our new Minnesota friends, Jim and Mari (mary). We met them on the train trip from Picton to Christchurch.

Rayman at the train.

Rayman at the train.

Their schedule was very much like ours. So, we invited them to ride with us and take the tour of the Sound, which they did. So, here’s a few interesting tidbits about our new friends. They have two daughters. One married a fellow from Alameda and they moved to Sydney for his work and they are visiting them. Jim has worked for the same firm for 42 years. That’s almost unheard of…and according to my calculations he entered the work force at about age 4. Isn’t that illegal? Mari is a scream. She managed to lock herself into the bathroom near the power generator and before Jim approached the restroom to save her, he said, “Is there anyone naked in here?” He swears that was a question, not wishful thinking. I have my doubts.

Jim loves old cars and heats his garage to 46 degrees so he can work on them. I’m not kidding. 46. I can’t even feel my fingers at 46.

When we were in Christchurch, we ran into them (a very small world) and went to Antarctica with them (the exhibit).

 

While we were there, Jim (works in IT) spent all of our tea time (we took a break) trying to get a reservation made for the Doubtful Sound cruise using his computer. Every time he hit the “purchase” button, something went wrong. I think it was because he was using a DOS based computer. He did not give up. In fact, he missed the all-important feeding of the penguins trying to spend money on a cruise. And he works with computers all day. Just saying.

Oh, I kid Jim. He was a hoot.

Penguins before the feeding.

But I digress.

On Doubtful Sound.

Your author having some fun.

As we were driving back from our cruise, we were all high from the scenery. Rayman was trying to perfect his driving skills…when a beep sounded. “What’s that”, Ray exclaimed. ( To save you from wondering yourself…it was the I’M OUT OF GAS warning from the Toyota we were riding in.) “Maybe we’re out of gas! The gas gauge shows empty.”

NZ is very sparsely populated. That is really the beauty of this country. You can drive for HOURS without seeing people. You see sheep, yes. People no. And gas stations are even more infrequent. “My RAV emits a sound and it means I have about 2 gallons remaining.” exclaimed Mari. “We are back at the lake, we’ll probably make it.” pronounced Jim. Rayman said, “Where’s a road sign showing how far we are from Queenstown? Why the heck don’t they provide more signs with distances?” Like that would help, I thought.

“Well, I’m confident we’ll make it”, Jim asserted while Mari added, “My RAV has two gallons remaining when it beeps at me.” To which I proclaimed, “Let me read the owner’s manual.” “Is there a car manual in the glove box?”, Jim wondered aloud.

After flipping through the index and locating the “LOW FUEL ALERT”, it was determined that 1.7 gallons remained and that the car would, in fact, alert us in the event of low fuel. Having delivered this news, “How far are we? Why don’t they post more signs?”, Rayman intoned. “Oh, I’m sure we’ll make it. I mean we’re here at the lake”, Jim suggested again.

Then we came upon a one-car bridge with a traffic light. We had to stop. “OH, GREAT. I DID NOT WANT TO STOP.”, Ray snarled. The light changed. We were on the bridge and I murmured, “If we’re going to run out of gas, let it be here because we will get all the help we will ever need.” Snorting and snarling ensued.

Drifting in on fumes, we arrived at a gas station and it took $97 of fuel to fill the car. Does “just by the hair of your chinny, chin, chin have meaning to you?

Isn’t the driver of the car responsible for the status of the fuel? Just saying…now. Didn’t dare say it then.

The end of the story is more heart rendering. As we drove back, Mari invited us to dinner as a thank you for us inviting them to Doubtful Sound. We thanked them but thought maybe they could just buy us some gas (and in our defense, this was before we knew it would cost $97). So Mari remarks, “Well, it is my birthday”…(yada yada yada). IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY? OF COURSE, WE’LL LET YOU TAKE US TO DINNER!!! She had us at birthday.

Mary’s birthday dinner!!

So, we had a delightful dinner with Jim and Mari followed by a complimentary dessert because the meat was too tough. Tasty but tough is how we all described it to the server. But it didn’t really matter. We have a perfectly lovely day and dinner and with our wonderful new Minnesota friends. And we sang happy birthday during the half time of the Rugby World cup semi-finals in which the All Blacks held off the Wallabies…and then we hugged goodbye.

I think they were going to the bungie jumping place today to watch. Personally, I was planning on a major collapse. This involved sleeping in, eating breakfast late, publishing my blog, writing my new blog entry, having a progressive dinner and then throwing myself into be at 7:45 to relax, regenerate and repack my suitcase for about the 25th time so that we can head out tomorrow back from the most southern place I’ve ever been to Auckland for 2 nights, then Sydney for 2 nights and the, OMG, back to LAX on Saturday (which will be Friday for you) which I have marveled before allows us to take a 15 hour flight and arriving before we take off. And the highlight of all this just might be that Air New Zealand safety film at the beginning of our flight back to Sydney.

Kitchen Complications

Now that we are vaccinated, we invited Jim and Mary over for dinner on Saturday.  A menu was planned.  I jumped head long into early today because the chicken needed to marinate.  The potato salad had more than 5 ingredients and as we all know, potato salad tastes much better the longer it can sit unless it is in the Sahara with a mayo dressing and a silver spoon stuck in the middle of the salad..  And the lemon dessert made from Jim and Mary’s lemon tree required an afternoon bake so it was super fresh.

Fine.  

My day was free so I took my time measuring everything ahead of time.  As the potatoes boiled, I prepared the marinate which required fresh squeezed orange juice (is there any other kind?).  Once completed I threw the chicken in and the marinating started.  Then the chopping of veggies for the salad.  Did I mention that the salad recipe included a fresh homemade dressing (is there any other kind?).  Enter the duplicity.  Lime juice was required in two dishes.  Lemon juice was required.  Buttermilk was required in two dishes.  

What could go wrong?  

When the potatoes were done, the recipe instructed me to let them cool.  Boomerang.  This got me out of my zone.  I was ready to complete the dish.  Oh, well, I’l finish the dressing.  Tasting it I thought it was very limey.  Then I went on with cooking.  

When I got around to the lemon cake pudding dessert, or was it lemon pudding cake, I had things pre-measured.  But where was my lemon juice?  OMG.  Where was my lemon juice?  Was I imagining?  So I dug thru the garbage and found the empty lemon skins.  OMG.  Did I throw it away?  Did I put it into another dish?  

As I was fretting aloud, Rayman said I should check the volume of the batter.  Bingo.  After checking and double checking I concluded the batter was missing the 1/2 cup of lemon juice.  So…I got my juicer out and when I juiced the second lemon, the inside of it had black on the peel.  What was that?  Had to throw the juice away.  More juicing commenced.  When done, I threw it in the batter.  

Whipping the whites came next.  No problem there.  That’s a good thing because I was getting ready to throw the whole darn thing out and go by some lemon gelato.  Or throw myself on the floor and kick and scream.  

Here’s the good news.  When it was all assembled there was just exactly the right amount for the 6 ramekins required.  Yippee.  Here is the recipe.

https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1022010-lemon-pudding-cakes-with-sugared-raspberries

But where was the missing lemon juice?  

I started throwing the potato salad together.  That’s when it appeared.  I had exactly 1/2 cup much dressing…I thought it looked like a lot.  

But it doesn’t end here.

Having been in the kitchen for 3 hours, I wanted to sit down and have a glass of water.  Which I did.  That’s when the phone rang.  It was Mary.  I was expecting the call because I had sent her an email checking to see if it was ok to eat indoors maskless and, oh, by the way, did she like margaritas?

Mary Informed me that I had invited them for dinner for TOMORROW night.  They had dinner plans with the Woods tonight.  

Perfect.  Just perfect.  What a screw up I am.  I fell on my sword and told her that was okay.  They should come tomorrow night.  I reminded her that I am a senile old woman and just glad that I had sent that email.  That she had seen the email.   That we would just order in pizza for tonight and let it be good.

Flavors will meld.  And being the busy socialites that we aren’t, we would be here…and anyway, the table was set.  I figured we could handle it.  And we will.  

And then I hung up and screamed!!

 

My fully juiced dessert!!

 

 

First Trip and We’re Trippin”

First Trip and We’re “Trippin” 

 

  

With two shots into our arms, we decided to get the wood ceilings in our house painted.  And we lucked out because our painter was available during the time we had booked our first vacation in a slightly safer world.  

Borrego Springs was on the docket and we took advantage of a stay and play plan for a room and two rounds of golf at Ram’s Hill, a fabulous course south of Borrego a few miles.  

But how to get there and back safely.  We decided to cut the trip up into pieces because my derriere doesn’t like to be sedentary for too long.  The Princess set down the law.  Truth be known, Rayman is an A-Z man, and ladies, you know what I mean.  

Our first stop was in Los Alamos for Wellbread.  Arriving at 11ish, there was a line as long as a Disney Matterhorn ride.  When the line didn’t budge, we scadaddled and settled for a plan of cupcakes for lunch from Crush Bakery in Santa Barbara.  A good second choice which took us on a sugar high from the moon and back.  Boy, were they good.  Bought two extras for my cousin, Chris and his wife, Nancy since I had arranged to stop in for a one hour visit in Camarillo…his is my rich cousin on the hill, with his own private tennis court in his backyard and an avocado orchard too.  I kid my cousin.  He blushes when I call him the rich relatives on the hill!!  So I say it as much as possible.  Because I am a brat!!

Nancy is Japanese and we were concerned about anti-Asian sentiment creeping into to their world.  They said all was well because their community was very integrated.  Then Nancy gave me some of her family history.  Her mother and father married in 1942 so they could be “imprisoned” with her grandfather whom was ill.  And so it was that their internment began.  It was very ugly on many levels.  Living in barracks with cracks in the wall, uninsulated from the cold and heat in many different “garden spots” of the state.  Man’s inhumanity toward men.  It was a lovely visit with lots of laughter along with the angst of the aforementioned history.  

Then we went shopping at the “short guy shop” in Sherman Oaks.  Jimmy Au’s has been a mainstay in L.A.  Lots of pictures of jockeys and stars adorn the walls of his big store with small sizes.  Check out the window art.

 

Rayman came away with pants and shirts that fit and I love what he got.  It was fun kidding around the guy that helped us.  He was a hoot.  60 something with a groovy haircut the sprouted this way and that.  He had more product in his hair than suspenders in his store!!  I urged Rayman to buy suspenders but he refused.  Heck the guy the came by last week to repair our gas fireplace insert was wearing a pair.  No plumber’s crack visible.  

 

But I digress.

Finally, we drove back the way we came as far as Woodland Hills and stayed the night in a Hilton.  Man, what a situation with covid.  Food could be had by ordering at the bar and retreating to your room or sit in a public space distanced, of course.  The bed was as hard as the floor.  The fan and temp could not be changed…I know, I tried.  You couldn’t open the window.  It reminded me of being on an airplane.  Uncomfortable with the steady noise of the engine (fan).  

The next day, my back was a mess from the hard bed.  Rayman told me to wait with the bags and he would fetch the car.  So, I did.  Where did he go?  I waited and waited and met a couple of long legged, good looking tennis team members from U of Washington…they were very nice but they had lost their match but vowed revenge.  Still, no Rayman.  Then my phone rang.  Rayman was hyperventilating and trying to explain his predicament in which he was presently engaged.  Seems he put the paid ticket for parking into the wrong slot and he couldn’t get out of the gate.  Panic was evident.  So, I ran inside the lobby and asked the guy behind the desk what to do.  He said, “Have him push the HELP button.”  So, I said, “Rayman, just push the HELP button.”   “Where?  Oh, yeah, I see it.”  Then the phone went silent, I went back out to the luggage and he finally arrived with his hair smoldering from the fire that had just been extinguished.  

 

And off we went.  I drove.

 

Toilet Trouble

We stopped in Temecula for gas.  It had a restroom so I went to the door but it was locked.  A man came up and knocked on the door.  “Marcy, hurry up in there.”  Then he turned to me and explained that she had issues with water.  UH???  A few minutes passed.  I heard the water running.  Then she came out with the key to the restroom dangling from her month from the end of a wood block to which  the key was attached.  Oh, and her pants were down around her knees.  OMG.  I was afraid to enter.  Of course, she let the door close necessitating me to touch the key and doorknob.  Good grief.  Her husband (?) approached and asked her what the hell she was doing.  I disappeared into the restroom hoping it wasn’t flooded.  It was dry and so I did my business and opened the door.  Rayman was waiting.  I explained not to touch the bottom of the wood block.  I let him in.  He later told me he never touched the key thingee other than handing it to the guy behind him before he entered.

We went across the parking lot and bought a couple of chicken tacos to go…there was a restroom in the place.  Mexican owned, I’m sure it was squeaky clean and the patrons didn’t seem half crazed.  But, there you go.

 

 

We spent the evening with our friends that live in Borrego, Al and Charlie, while it rained and stormed.  The next day we played golf.  I Facebooked  about it so I won’t bore you with too much of the story other than to say we got paired up with a couple from San Luis Obispo.  And we found out over lunch with them that they were leaving Friday and we were getting the room they were currently staying in.  Seems the guy that booked our reservations messed up and only booked us at Casa Del Zorro for 4 nights instead of 6 and the hotel was completely sold out for the weekend.  So, he called and offer to move us up to Ram’s Hill for the last two nights.  Up there they have a unit named the Nook.  So, the degree of separation between the four of us was tiny.  

Today, it is very windy.  We drove around the valley looking at monsters and animals and  stopped for an ice cream cone that was absolutely delicious…better than last nights meal at the hotel.  

 

The other thing about the virus is that breakfast is a brown paper bag that you pick up and take to your room.  It consists of a bagel, cream cheese, honey, peanut butter, one apple, one OJ (no pulp) and a fruited yogurt, complete with plastic utensils.  It is dreadful.  But it is safe.  Coffee is also available.  

 

Tonight we return to Al and Charlie’s for dinner and we are very much ready for a good meal again!! 

 

Wild borregos couldn’t keep him away!!

Wild animals in the desert and your author.

 

 

 

 

 

History Repeats Itself…

Picture of the house my Mom was born in. It is no longer there on Spring Street in Paso Robles.

I would be remiss if I did not mention that we are both shot up now with both vaccines and in two weeks we will be available for partying!!  With caution, of course.

And I am making new friends because of my book.  You know.  The booking I’m writing.  So, here’s the deal, now I know why authors thank everyone under the sun for help with their book.  My list is growing exponentially as I write on.  

This week my new friend is Jan at the Paso Robles Historical Society.  She has lived in Paso for about 8 years but she is the glue that helps keep the Society moving forward.  An appointment was made, and I met her at the old Public Library in the park downtown Paso 

Robles.  It is an amazing place, a Carnegie library.  So beautiful and now full of historical treasures.  Jan graduated from William and Clark as a history major and she is using her time to volunteer there.  I grew up in Paso but she knows so much more.  We had a grand time.

And get this…she is reading my blogs (completely unsolicited).  I was, of course, totally impressed.

But, I digress.

Confession time.  I never really liked history as a student.  I took U.S. History, an underclass requirement and got a D- for my efforts.  The only reason I didn’t flunk was because I always came to class and sat in the first two rows.  But I apparently forgot to read the material.  

So, here I am writing a family history… because in the 90’s I popped off in a discussion about Israel and the Palestinians and Rayman told me I didn’t know what I was talking about.  And he was right  I operated in much the same way as I did in college…impressions rather than facts.  

So, I started reading history and now I’m hooked.  I started with From Beirut to Jerusalem, to books about Korea, Russia, and the list goes on.  Lewis and Clark…Undaunted Courage was a great one.  The Caro books on LBJ and on and on.  Okay, so I have been catching up and I now have a deep appreciation of history.  As it does repeat itself, so do I.  I just finished the John Lewis book from Jon Meacham which is a great read about the fight for the vote.  And here we are…the same fight is going on in full swing as I type.  The Jan. 6th insurrection was about the right to vote, as an example.

Anyway, I’m still working on my book and I am on page 135, single spaced.  It’s actually taking shape.  The ladies at the Historical Society said they would put it on display and sell it.  OMG.  This is exciting.  

 

Picture painted of an old barn on the ranch.

However, it also gives me pause.  How much should I tell?  There is much angst as well as lots of laughs.  Oh, dear.  What to do?  Well, I will just keep writing until I’m done and then I will self publish because I am pretty sure I will be lucky to sell 20 books.  But that’s okay because this is more for the fun of it, for this labor of love.  With the history in my family, I really do have a lot of material.  

This week also found me out at Sculpterra Winery meeting with the daughter of Mr. Thimm, our ranch hand that lived in the house on the ranch and worked the ranch.  It was a hoot to visit with her and I came away with some great stories for the book.  I sent her my write up to see if it was okay and haven’t heard a word…but she did warn me that she didn’t spend much time on the computer…so there is that.  Hopefully she will approve of my rendition of her experiences living out there.  Sculpterra, incidentally, sits on part of the old ranch.    Below is a picture of Ryan and Tamara at Sculpterra.  Notice the CAT!!

 

 

Which brings me to the announcement that Rayman and I are in escrow to sell our parcel out at the ranch.  It is the next to the last parcel.  The very last parcel has several owners and it isn’t worth anything…it is weird and, I think, unbuildable.  So when we close on this parcel that is now in escrow, it will be a sad day.  How I will handle it is anyone’s guess.

The Paso family is all gone except for me.  My brother lives up north as does my nephew, and my long lost son.  My second cousin, Sharon, moved to Montana.  Not sure where her siblings are.  The family has come to an end, in a way.  So the ranch doesn’t carry the same emotional position it once did.  I guess that makes sense.  

In other news, we have been having fun watching programs on TV that are educational.  I’m back in the pool.  My golf still sucks but I must go on.  Same with Rayman.  

We leave for Borrego Springs on the 22nd for a few days of golf and visits with friends.  Our first fun trip since this time last year.  We did go to PDX but it was up in a hurry, a 3 month visit in lockdown and back in a hurry.  So our desert trip is something we are looking forward to with much excitement.

Hope you are all good and vaccinated and getting ready to rejoin life at a higher level!!

Hope to see you all soon!!

Birthday Boy and Card Tables

Yesterday was the Rayman’s birthday and we have a great way of celebrating birthdays.  When its Rayman’s birthday, he gets to be in charge of he day.   He choses what we’ll do, when we’ll do it, what we’ll eat and when we’ll eat it.  And, that is a vice versa arrangement.  We find it works very well for all parties involved.  Him and moi.

So it was yesterday.  Mr. J decided golf was in order.  And so we teed off at 8:47 at the Morro Bay golf course.   With us was Norm.  We know Norm.  Norm is a great golfer.  I refer to him often as Stormin Norman.   We had no idea we were going to play with him but it was a fun time and a great day of golf…except for the score for me.  Rayman had a good game, Norm had a fabulous day.  My game, not so much.  However, it was a great walk and lots of laughs interspersed with “Fiddlesticks.”  Or “Drats.”  Perhaps something a bit stronger was heard here and there.  But, it was great fun.

And the turkeys came by to wish him happy birthday.  Seems people must be feeding them because when I stopped the cart, these lovely ladies literally ran to the cart and begged for food by sniffing, bobbing, weaving.

 

After golf, we came home, showered, relaxed, and did a bit of this and that before we joined up on a Zoom call with our Sideways wine tasting group that is holding itself together thru the magic of the technology of the day.  This is a weekly event and much fun for all concerned as we share our comings and goings with each other.  And our time of staying home…a daily occurrence now for a year.  

We are getting antsy about liberation.  It’s so close and yet so far…no one yet has had a second shot.   We are also, most of us, thrilled that the Dems are in charge now.  Help is on its way but we are checking our email, our local paper coverage, our local TV news to check for more vaccines.  We want our shots and we want them NOW.   

But I digress.

The Zoom party starts at 4 p.m. and goes for an hour or so.  Given that, Rayman had asked for lamb chops, roasted red potatoes, asparagus for dinner so timing was important to the cook.  Potatoes take a long time so I decided to speed them up by steaming them a bit so cooking in the oven would be shorter.  However, I steamed them too long and they were fully cooked.  So I decided to peel some garlic and poach the garlic in cream so that I could make mashed potatoes. 

As Zoom was proceeding, I smelled garlic.  Long story short,  I burned up the garlic in the cream and may have ruined my pan.  My martini may have contributed to the situation.  

When the Zoom was done, it was time to fire up the grill.  And the dog needed a walk.  In being a good person for Rayman’s birthday, I volunteered to assist.  Great.  However, this new barbecue of ours is ultra-modern and is run by an app.  And somehow, I screwed up the app.  (Remedial training will ensue post haste.)  www.sparkgrills.com      So, I barbecued the meat without the app and it was a bit underdone but we ate it.  And the potatoes.  I threw them in the oven with garlic and re-heated them and roasted the asparagus as well.   We washed it all down with red wine and then we celebrated with chocolate chip cookies, homemade, with a nice glass of port.  

We were in bed by 8:45.  Lights may have been turned off at 9:00.  Birthday boy and his trusty wife hit the wall.

P.S.  It’s tomorrow and the day that the housekeeper comes so we run away from home so we’re not in the way.  This a.m. I was on a hunt for a card table.  “I know, I’ll go to the thrift store and find one.”  So, we went to the thrift store.  I went inside and a young woman asked if she could help.  I said, “Do you have any card tables?”.  She said, “What’s a card table?”.  Well, now, the funny part is that she was serious.  It was a hoot.  Never thought card tables would cease to exist.  So, we drove to Costco.  While waiting at the light, I noticed a nice Mercedes in front of me.  It has a special license plate holder denoting the car was owned by a police person.  OMG.  It was our friend, Tom.  We followed him to Home Depot.  Got a big laugh out of it because we ran into him at Costco two weeks ago.  Then we ran into him at TJs.    We are on the same schedules.  When I honked at him at the light, Rayman and I frantically waved our arms.  He said to himself, “What are those crazy people doing behind me?”. 

So, we had a good outing and found a table at Target.  I opted for a rectangle table.  Going to use it for my scanner and all my old family records which I am trying to scan in the great room but it is too bright there so the new table will go in the den.  Wish me luck.  Scanning can be hard.  And it is hard.  My new scanner is so sophisticated I think I need a PhD in order to use it.   It is taking way to long to do anything on it…but I will persist.  My book needs pictures.  And old letters.