Friday, August 28, 2020

Really Random Friday, 8/28/20

This is the second of my mystery dahlias. It's a beauty.
A couple of weeks ago, I received these pictures from a second cousin. I have never seen them before, both from when my father was a minister in a small church in City Terrace (in Los Angeles) and I was very small. This is me, along with my parents. The second picture is my dad leaning against the railing. I love these pictures and was so happy to receive them.

Also arriving via text were these two pictures from my brother-in-law, Pete. First, a huckleberry gin and tonic, and next a picture of what he was having for breakfast: fresh huckleberries, on fresh mangos, fresh pesto from their garden, fresh service berry jam with berries picked and made by my sister-in-law, Jane, eggs from their neighbors' chickens, and fresh potatoes. We need to be closer to them! (They live in south eastern Idaho.)
Mark's birthday was on Sunday. His car did not forget about him. :)

Also, our car's windshield is not merely dirty. That is ash from all the fires in California. Ugh.

A few weeks ago Mark rented a cabin in a small lake town about an hour from Fresno. We originally rented it to get away from the heat. However, turns out we also needed a break from the horrible air quality. So on Monday we made our getaway.

We had the cutest little cabin, the Cowboy Cabin. We had brought lots to do--DVDs (there was no cable, thanks to a fight they are having with their cable provider), games, knitting, hand sewing, and books. We ended up sitting on our deck and reading nearly the whole time. While the air was a little hazy on Monday afternoon, it cleared up and the next day so we had blue sky, and at night we could see the moon and stars. It was lovely.
There were four little cabins like this, along with some hotel rooms, and some glamping tents. The first night we were there, two of the glamping tents were occupied by young couples from southern California and they let us peek inside. There was a queen-sized bed, some chairs, electricity and a ceiling fan, along with a nice deck. I like the idea of them but not enough to walk down the hill a ways to use a shared bathroom, so I was quite happy in our little cabin.
On Tuesday, we walked into town and celebrated Mark's birthday at a very nice restaurant. There were several outdoor tables, set far apart, so this was the first time we have actually had a meal at a restaurant since early March.

We had lunch at the lake yesterday before we headed back home.

My friend, Janice, sent me these. :)

Here are a couple more I found here and there:
 Not COVID-related, but still funny.

Here's an idea:
Have a healthy weekend.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Really Random Thursday, 8/20/20

My beautiful peach (mystery) dahlia making friends with my favorite rose, Double Delight.
Another mystery dahlia.

I began a new project and I'm enjoying it so much--a welcome change from months of not having the creative energy to work on much of anything. You can never go wrong with Essex linen and Oakshott shot cottons.
Oh, Fresno. Your temperatures never make me happy in August. It  makes me irritable when my phone gives a forecast like this.

 Here's a question: You see those Sunday and Monday temperatures--110  and 109 degrees? Why didn't it say HOT, even though Tuesday 110, Wednesday 109 and Thursday at 108 were HOT. Hmmm.
 Oh wait. It WAS hot on Sunday, hotter than the paper predicted. Ugh.
All this excessive heat and lightning strikes have caused so many fires in northern California. Last night about 6:30 p.m., our air was brown and the sun was a bright red dot. I've never seen anything like it.
 Mark took this picture.

Obligatory weekly COVID memes:

If you read last week's post about Charlotte's presentation regarding a virtual reality machine, then this picture will make sense. #earlychristmaspresent
We have set up a little schoolwork area in the guest room.

Obligatory weekly non-COVID memes.

I'm not sure Mark always appreciates my sarcasm...

And that's all I've got this week...

Stay safe.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Really Random Thursday, August 13, 2020

 I'm just a little bit behind. And here it is, nearly the middle of August!

Aaron's birthday was on July 26; he is now 42. Wow, it's hard to believe I have a son that is 42. Time flies...

Anyway, he is a super Los Angeles Dodgers fan. When I found a picture of a blue velvet cake, I knew that's what I needed to make for his birthday.

Well, actually Charlotte did most of the work. It was seriously Dodger blue! Tasted just like the traditional red velvet cake. She made a delicious cream cheese frosting to go on top. This was the only picture I really got of the cake.
 I think he liked it. And while Levi does not like to pose for pictures, he loves photo bombing. Happy birthday, Aaron!
Gabe and I have the best conversations regarding words. We found out we are both "logophiles," people who love words. For an 8-year-old he has an amazingly large vocabulary. Here are some words for your consideration:
Something to think about:

We have been isolating at home, really only leaving to stock up on groceries. We decided we could isolate on the central coast of California just as well. So we made reservations at our favorite hotel, the Kon Tiki in Pismo Beach, California. While normally rooms would be impossible to get in August, we had no trouble booking a reservation. Not only that, but they are blocking at least one third of the rooms. I'm sure that is to quarantine rooms as guests check out and rotate new guests to a room that has been empty for a few days.
The ironic thing is that we left Fresno the three days that the temperature was only in the 90s. This weekend? It's supposed to be 111 degrees. Yikes.

Anyway, we brought nearly all our food, leaving our room/balcony mostly to pick up dinner. And these are things I have never before packed to stay at the Kon Tiki, or any other hotel for that matter. But just in case...
The view is unbeatable and the weather was lovely. The mornings were cool and overcast--perfect summer weather in my opinion.

The jacuzzis were both blocked. But here's the weird thing about the pool. We were told at check-in that they had divided it into quarters. You could reserve the pool, 1/4 quarter of it only, for an hour at a time.

We did walk on the beach. Along the way we saw this artwork. It was very large and very precise.

We felt very safe, and it was such a welcome respite from being in our house nonstop.
Where are all the people??

Another thought about all those coins...
Our good friend, Jessie, has been teaching science classes via Zoom to Levi and his friend, Jeremy. They have been studying space. She later told us that she was testing the classes that she will be teaching in fall and using them as guinea pigs so to speak. Anyway, she recommended that they watch a documentary called The Farthest--Voyager in Space, about the launch of the twin space probes in 1977. We thought an outdoor movie night would be a fun way for all of us to watch it. We set up the outdoor movie theater and Mark made popcorn. It was really interesting. It's amazing the advances that have been made in space exploration. An interesting tidbit was that our keyless car fobs have more technology than some of the old computers of the 1970s. Isn't that crazy?!

Speaking of technology. The grandkids have been trying to convince us to purchase of an Oculus Quest virtual reality headset. Apparently, there are a lot of educational programs available and it would be "SO helpful now that school is taking place at home." Charlotte decided to make a "presentation" and then sent Mark and me a Zoom link.

The thought of her presentation took us back to 1996 when Aaron made his first presentation. He was a freshman in college, living in the dorm, without a computer of his own. Each time he needed a computer he would have to walk to the computer lab. Sometimes it was locked. Sometimes the computers were all being used. Sometimes he forgot something and had to go back to his room to pick it up. All that to say, think of all the time wasted. So on a Sunday afternoon after church, he showed up, nicely dressed, with an easel, a laser pointer and lots of poster board illustrations, along with a carefully typed document, so we could each follow along. I'm sure I have saved a copy somewhere. The title was something like "The Positive Ramifications of a College Student Having a Personal Computer." After the presentation, we knew we had to give him many points for creativity--he covered every aspect, including how much time he would save in a year by not walking to the computer lab, and ultimately how he could "save the world." Ha! He got his own computer.

Anyway...back to Charlotte. She had carefully thought out her presentation (with no help from her father, so I'm thinking this must be a genetic thing...). She listed all the benefits, with a list of pros and cons. She was very professional in her presentation.
 (another photo bomb by Levi before she could chase him out of her room...)

I'll let you decide whether you think she was successful in this endeavor...

While we were at the coast, I didn't really have to give a thought to mosquitos. And I didn't go to Minnesota this summer, where that is an entirely different matter. This is my life in the Midwest...

As the COVID numbers sadly keep going up, I'll close with these:

Stay safe.