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Showing posts from February, 2011

29 Years Ago

Twenty-nine years ago on this day, the Daddy died from a heart attack. He was 76 years old.

Maybe he didn't pick how or where he died, but I think he was happy it wasn't at home where the Mama would've come home to find him after a long, tiring day at work. He was always protective of her.

That day the Daddy decided to go to lunch at the senior center with his good friend Danny, one of the godfathers of mine. The Daddy hadn't been there for quite a long while. He hadn't been feeling well, but those last three days, I was told, he'd been going strong, visiting, babysitting, doing so many of the things he liked to do.

So, there he was sitting at the lunch table. He was bending down for a spoon on the floor, I was told. He was there longer than he should have been.  "Hey, 'Pare (short for compadre), what you doing down there?" called a friend. Then, a scramble to get help for the Daddy. That was it.

While the Daddy was dying, I was sitting in a restaur…

T is for the 23rd

As some of you dear readers know, on the 23rd of each month, the husband and I run away from home and office to become tourists, adventurers, and slackers for the moment. For February's special date, we headed over to Point Lobos State Natural Reserve on the Monterey Peninsula, just south of Carmel by the Sea. Neither of us had ever been there.

We saw quite a lot in the two short hikes that we did.  I took 90 photos, more or less. No, no. Don't groan or gasp. I'm not going to post them all. Only a few. Just to tease you. If you ever make it to Monterey, you'll have to go see Pt. Lobos for yourself. It's well worth it.
















For  info about Pt. Lobos, check out these two web sites:
Point Lobos Foundation
Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

The Irresistibly Sweet Award

Alice Audrey gave me that award up there. It was unexpected, and very sweet of her. Thank you, Alice!

So, now it's my turn to play it forward.
The Rules:
List 4 Guilty Pleasures
Reading the afternoon (or evening) away
Buying a mocha latte from Vertigo Cafe
Watching yet another movie made from a Jane Austen book
Taking a nap Reward other bloggers
Carmen's Chronicles
JDaniel4's Mom
Quicky Pickings
Widdershins World Irresistibly Sweethearts, check out sweet Alice's post, if you're not sure about how to handle these blog awards. It surely turned on a light for me.

S is for Sssssssssssssssssspam

Congratulations are in order.  Maybe. I am a new multi-millionaire.

Rather, I would be a multi-millionaire if I respond to these e-mails.
Morgan David & Associates from Bristol England stated I am the beneficiary of over 8 million pounds. The firm broke the delicate news about an unknown patron with  "Dear Sir/Madam."

Chan from China, a former investment banker, wrote that his former employers have asked him to contact me and let me know that if I do not accept $15.7 million dollars from an American account, they will keep the money forever.  All I need to do is give them my phone number and date of birth.

Mr. Oyi John, of the Federal High Court of Nigeria, wrote that I must prove I am not dead. Otherwise, someone named Mr. Jones McBolt will transfer $2.5 million from my account into his. There is a hitch. How shall I prove that I am the one and only living Charbel Aad?

Mrs. Anthonia Emma has been instructed to pay me $1.5 million. It will be paid in amounts…

Book Review: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

I picked up The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows,  at the bookstore early last year because the title caught my eye. Really delightful, don't you think? But, I put it down when I read "the German occupation" on the back cover. Let's face it, I don't like to read depressing tales anymore. A few months after that encounter, I read a review about it that made me think "maybe, I'll read it." Using correspondence to move the plot forward intrigued me. Now flash forward to my birthday last December. What do you know? A friend gifted me a copy of "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society." Thanks, again, evil2win.

The setting: London and the Island of Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands in the English Channel.

The time: Several months after the end of WWII.

The characters:  Juliet Ashton, an author, and the people of Guernsey.

The story: Juliet no longer wants to be thought of as a &qu…

Reality

I'm sure this happens to you.

You're walking along in the real outdoors. You know the type—where the landscaping was done by Mother Nature. Your being gets attuned with the reality of what's around you. The sky, the topography, the fauna, the flora. Beautiful, oh, so beautiful.

Then, maybe you move your head to the left or right. Or, perhaps a slight change in lighting occurs. Something shifts in some weird way that suddenly the natural scene takes on a different reality.




Ah, maybe the reality is: You need to get more sleep.

Or, maybe the mama's sense is right: "You have too much imagination."

Book Review: Homicide in Hardcover

Homicide in Hardcoverby Kate Carlisle was a very fun and quick read. It's been a long while since I've read a book in one day. No, not all at once. I would've if I wasn't so responsible. Ha!

Brooklyn Wainwright is a bookbinder who lives in San Francisco. She attends a book event where she reunites with her mentor Abraham who had gotten miffed when Brooklyn decided to start her own business. An hour later, he is dead and Brooklyn becomes a suspect. She also is hired to complete the bookbinding job on a very old copy of Faust that Abraham was about to start working on. The copy supposedly has a curse on it and by all the misfortunes that fall on Brooklyn, it may be true. Brooklyn is worried that her mom may be the murderer, so she starts sleuthing on her own.

Thrown into the troubled mix is Derek, a handsome British security consultant who has been hired to protect the book. Lots of sparked dialogue go on between Brooklyn and Derek. Also, interesting to the tale is Brookl…

The Mama's Banana Grove

A few weeks ago, the Mama and I cut back her banana trees and she stripped off the dried leaves. A banana blossom had actually made it through the frosty days. It was quite yummy.

The Mama decided to leave quite a lot of the trunks in tact. Usually, she likes to hack them almost to the ground. It shall be interesting to see how tall her tiny groves grows. Here's a close-up of how happy part of it looked last year.

Q is for Questioning

A couple of letters ago, O to be exact, I griped about the high medical bills we got for the 10 stitches in the husband's finger at our local emergency department. They amounted to over $3,000 for about 45 minutes of medical attention. And, we were there for five hours. The doctor's bill was over $1,600. Man! I thought it would be about $300.

After getting the doctor's bill, we questioned all the charges, including the hospital's, which we had already paid. I talked with the emergency department director, who after trying to feed me the corporate line finally listened and understood my complaint. She became outraged at how much the emergency medical service, with which the hospital contracts, was charging. She told me that if we write a letter, she'd be sure to investigate our case.

So, that's what we did. We did our homework and learned that the contractor pays temporary emergency doctors who work at our hospital about $130 per hour. Why then did the company …