Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Weekend with Randy and Brooke's Kiddos

All the pictures are clickable to a larger size.  When the larger picture appears, click on it too, to make it bigger.

Rhyan, almost 4, has "cuteness" down to a T!  She's a puzzle wizard and puts Legos together in no time.

Chase and Rhyan found lots of ways to play in the sprinkler!  They'd already masterminded many vehicles and buildings with Legos, loaded a basket with lemons picked from our tree and made lemonade, and helped greatly with the task of planting lettuce.

We're off to the San Diego Zoo!

Strategizing with a map. Rhyan, Randy and Chase.
The kids' biggest laughs came while rippin' around the "ice" tunnels in the polar bear section.
Rarely do you see tortoises even moving, but today there was a spat.  Over and over again, the turtle on the right lobbed his head over to the dried grass that the middle turtle thinks belongs to him, and got this ominous response!  Please do click for a larger picture, and then click it for a good view of tortoise tongue!  :)

And in the polar bear pool, one bear was having a great old time tossing a big toy against the guard window, along with tsunami-sized splashes!  It was an event that drew crowds which blocked me from getting a good picture of the antics.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

San Clemente Ocean Festival

A stone's throw from home, and a 2- day event, got us down to the beach where we can get back in touch with our Hawaii roots!  There were stand-up paddle-surfing events, swim races, triathlons, runs, surfing, kayak races, paddleboarding races, and body surfing along with children's events and art displays.
Paddleboarder doing a good turn on top of the wave.
Men's paddleboard race heading to the finish where they'll take up a sprint.
Women's paddle-surfing contest
Lots of meticulously restored "woodies" on display on the pier.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


With Richard, my sister Priscilla and Priya, my sister's daughter-in-law, we trekked to the Ahmanson Theatre for a performance that delighted us in every way.  Our mom had taken Pris and me to see the Ezio Pinza-Mary Martin performance in the early 50s, so this was nostalgic on top of understanding the story line so much more today!  I found the words to the music were still etched in my brain, from Some Enchanted Evening, to Dites-Moi, There is Nothing Like a Dame, This Nearly Was Mine, I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair, and more.

We followed the performance with yet another performance at Twohey's for dinner and onion rings and bittersweet hot fudge sundaes adding Jack, Joel, and Jesse to the mix of family.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

To Malibu for Getty Villa and Gladstone's for Fish

Several hours on our feet at the museum earned us the opportunity to sit -- dinner at Gladstone's for Fish in Malibu.

The Getty Villa - Malibu
The Getty Villa is modeled after a first-century Roman country house, the Villa dei Papiri in Herculaneum, Italy.
The J. Paul Getty Villa was much more than we'd imagined, and we haven't yet visited the Getty Museum in Los Angeles!

Dedicated to the study of the arts and cultures of ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria.  Yes, that's Richard in the foreground.

The Villa dei Papiri was buried by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in A.D. 79, and much of it remains unexcavated. Therefore, Neuerburg based many of the Museum's architectural and landscaping details on elements from other ancient Roman houses in the towns of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabiae—from bronze lanterns like those carried along the streets of Pompeii to herbs and shrubs grown by the Romans for food and ceremony.
Statues, statues, statues!  This is the Roman Hercules (Herakles in Greece), sculpted in marble between 100 AD - 200 AD.  He is considered the father of the Olympics which he founded in honor of his father Zeus, King of the Gods.
There was pottery, glass and coinage (above) which dates back to 600 BC!  And we think we're so special?
The hot summer fragrances from the herb garden were wonderful.
There were several gardens, pools and fountains to enjoy.  I imagined Cicero (Roman) who lived BC 60-ish, enjoying the colonnades and pools at his villa.  I liked Cicero.
There was a real mummy, Herakleides, AD 150, who has been CT scanned at UCLA where it was learned that he died in his 20s, and was mummified with an ibis, a bird whose skeleton can be seen across the man's abdomen.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Heading Home from Tucson

Each time I drive this stretch between Tucson and Orange County, I notice this hill -- it looks very much like Chinaman's Hat, an island off Ku'aloa Ranch, O'ahu.  But the shape is the only resemblance!  Where's the aqua-colored seawater, palm trees, and gorgeous ridged Pali Mountains?

Richard always makes homecoming special!  He'd opened the garage door and was waiting for me there with the big bear hug I'd been looking forward to, plus my before-dinner glass of wine!  On the antique pine table were fresh (they're getting droopy in this picture taken a week later) pink roses, and the traditional Coke!  Thank you so much, Richard, for making me feel treasured.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

My Last Night in Tucson and Denise's Arrival

After a 900+ mile drive from Texas, Denise (Craig's daughter) and 2 of 3 children arrive, and what could be better than a nice warm dip in the pool?

Autumn's a good underwater "fish" at 4 years old, and wears goggles I recognize -- just like my grandchildren!

Denise brought a fantastic gift from her family -- a Wii.  Lewis, her 17-year old son,  is instructing!
We're all lovin' it!  Even Craig, who is in recovery from double bypass surgery!!

Bowling with the Wii.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

They say there's strength in numbers!

From the Moody side of the "tree" (Oli, Skene and Pris) some numbers have been added!
Here's the Skene and wife Pam Sutton contribution --

Pam and my brother, Skene, had a whole lot to do with this handsome family!  They made me an Aunt to Michael (left), Leslie (center) and Robb (right).  Then they increased our good fortune by finding amazing spouses, Mary (left), Chad (center) and Kristy (right)!  Both precious little girls belong to Chad and Leslie, with CJ waiting to howl his way onto the scene! Along the way,  Craig assumed the role of stepdad to love Pam and become a man the whole family loves.

We love you each one, and pray for you, too!

 I have been hanging out at Pam and Craig's house while they recover from exotic things like double bypass surgery (Craig), etc.  Hahahaha, that's how I got this great  picture.  I took a picture of a picture they have on their wall.

Monday, July 5, 2010


We park on the USA side and walk in on the left.  Those on the right are exiting Mexico and the line is v-e-r-y  long.  I had never been to a Mexican border town, not even Tijuana, so this was pretty exciting.  It took me a few minutes to warm up to the whole idea, but I must say, it was uneventful in a good sense, adventurous, and I was glad to be back in the USA!

Why Nogales?  Because Pam's orthodontist is here.  That's a shot of the reception area taken from the waiting room.

Brunch at Leo's.  It's been 10 hours since we ate, and we're fine!  Craig had eaten here once, so we weren't taking much of a chance, actually.
Huevos Rancheros.  Oh boy, were they good.  Those eggs were perfectly done and are perched on a crispy tortilla with some kind of tasty breakfast salsa, and a small bowl of beans in sauce.  We dipped soft tortillas in the sauce.  Their tortillas are as thin as our crepes.  We had Coke which they served in an opened bottle - we hoped it was the Real Thing!

A strong police presence.  Yes, the guys in the back have big guns, I guess shotguns.
Both photos of police were taken from our window at Leo's Restaurant.
Pammie found a little something here, and once you buy, the rest of the vendors on the way back to the border note your package under your arm, and pester (good naturedly, it seemed) you to buy from them because they're poor or hungry.  The lady from whom Pam made her purchase wanted another 50 cents for a soda!  She didn't get it.
This is the pharmacy street -- I guess you can get pretty much any meds you want here for cheap, but you wouldn't catch me buying any, ever!
I loved their old buses!
A blind keyboarder playing for the long line of people waiting to get back through customs into the US.  We gave him a little money - he brightened the wait, which turned out to be only 40 mins.  But for someone (Pammie), that's a long time to be standing while recovering from surgery!
More entertainment while we stood in line.  This is Diego, and was he cute!  He kept wandering off and his mom had to go after him and carry him back to her station in the line.  While carrying him, he pulled the "limp-shrimp" routine -- you moms know exactly what I mean.

After a little reprimand, here he is sulking!  No kidding.  He stood there just like that for  quite awhile.  :)

Still sulking.

This was precious -- little eyes peeking up to see if anyone important was paying attention!
After that, he went on playing, sticking his head through the bars, and finding out he could get his whole body through.  Cute little guy!

Here's me in the line to return to the US, with my purse wrapped around me in a way that no one can flip it off my shoulder, no sireee, they'll have to take the whole Oli to get HER purse!
Back home from Nogales and Pam's in her favorite swing chair with the mister spraying on her overhead.  She's squinting her eyes because the mist is nicely in her face!

Pam and her sister, Trish.  Sisters are really special.  And the "sign" behind them was procured in Nogales today, from the street vendor mentioned above.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Independence Day X 2 in Tucson

Craig came home today!  He had double by-pass surgery on Wednesday, June 30, and wrangled his way out of the hospital after being there only 3 days following the surgery!  We say: He got his independence from "that place"!
He JUST walked in the door and sat down!  That's not a remote in his paw -- it's the control for an excellent "motored" chair that reclines AND stands up to ease you right out on your feet.  He's quite a guy - when the hospital doc wanted him to prove he could come home earlier than the usual 4 to 5 days, he told Craig to walk down the hall.  So, he lifted up the walker, and carried it down the hall!

Pammie played a little, including a composition of her own!

After dinner, we sat in the backyard celebrating our country's independence, watched the Saddlebrook fireworks and listened to the music.  We were all so tired we hit the sack at 9:30 p.m.!

Saturday, July 3, 2010


What a busy bunch my sis-in-law and her husband are -- he had to get double bypass surgery, but not to be outdone, Pammie beat him to the hospital with a 2 week hospital stay ending with unplanned surgery.  Well, that was my opportunity!  I mean, you can't have Pammie fresh out of surgery trotting to the hospital to see her husband into and out of his surgery, right?  And who would take care of whom when they're both home?

I arrived on June 29th to enjoy being with my favorite sis-in-law.  She's doing a great job of recovering, and even with myriad trips to the hospital to see Craig, who is also doing very well, we managed to get in a little clothes shopping at a Coldwater Creek sale.
Here we are, Pam and me (behind the camera) at AJ's which is a remarkable food store which could entertain me for hours!  We snagged lunch here and ate outside in probably 100 degrees, but misters above us made it very comfortable.  You can see we did well at Coldwater Creek, right?
Up close - so you can see why I asked her if she takes that nice, crisp white blouse to the cleaners.  Her answer shoved me right into the parking lot of Coldwater Creek.  She said she's had this blouse FOREVER, and has never ironed it.  It even has a fantastic sharp crease down the arm, and a stand up collar that looks starched.  Man, I just had to have one!  :)

Tonight, a neighbor reported spotting Javelina (Peccary) nearby, so we drove over for a little look.  Pretty ugly. They're not part of the pig family, but rather,  are of the family Tayassuidae. Their habitat is the southwest, and they are omnivores with 3-chambered stomachs, but they don't ruminate.

Lots got done today -- two trips to the hospital, a visit there with Pammie's sister who looks wonderful, and I dumped and spread about 8 bags of rocks between flagstones, hosed down the dust, and while backing up to hose down the pool deck, I landed in the in-ground jacuzzi . . . with my iPhone in my shorts pocket!  Aaaarrrrrgggg!  No, it doesn't seem to work now.  Yes, God may want me to upgrade to iPhone 4.

I finished the day up with some ironing, which I've never minded.  It took me right back to the many years I did the long-sleeved, white, starched collar business shirts.