Wednesday, September 28, 2011
I do enjoy seeing nice things, especially since knowing Mike's dad, who was a collector and a good judge of quality. (And I really, really wish I had taken advantage of his expertise when he was still alive - such a wealth of information in many areas went with him.) However, collecting "stuff" is not, nor will it ever be, our main focus. I remember going into those people's rented garage in a northeast town, to look at yet more things and things, and I thought of the Bible verse about the man who kept building barns to store his grain. Those people have barns full of "grain."
Sunday, September 25, 2011
The pageantry beforehand was even better than the game! And the USC band looks really, really sharp in their black and red uniforms. I got a pic of that but it turned out a little blurry.
Really interesting to watch Spurrier throw his visor in disgust, in person!
In the stadium, with Columbia in the background.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Sunday, September 18, 2011
UP - Great views of the beautiful Pacific Ocean!
I also learned something new from a weatherman out there - There is a high pressure area in the middle of both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and water flows clockwise around that high pressure. Therefore - the Atlantic gets warm water that is coming up from the equator, whereas the Pacific gets cold water that is coming down from the Arctic. That's why people don't swim in the Pacific like they do the Atlantic.
UP - Very easy flights. Four of them - two coming and two going. Granted we didn't face bad weather like some trips, but you hear so much about the awful service of airlines these days. All four flights were on time and there were no delays or headaches.
UP - Bob Hope Airport, Burbank. When we checked the map, and discovered that A)Burbank was much closer to our destination than LA International Airport, and B)flights into Burbank were comparable in price to flying to LA, we took the Burbank route. It is a small airport - smaller than GSP - and has a homey feel to it, much different than a large airport. Getting the luggage and rental car there were both easy to do, and we were only 20 miles from our hotel, with easy on and off the freeway. If we were ever to go out there again, we'd try for that airport if at all possible.
DOWN - Freeways are not well marked. If you miss the sign that says your exit or freeway change is one mile away, you may or may not have a sign at the actual turnoff.
UP - The regular streets are much better marked than the freeways. What I do wonder, however, is why a number of streets in the town where we stayed (Santa Clarita) were named "Avenue Stanton" instead of "Stanton Avenue," for example. Never seen that before.
DOWN - We missed the earthquake! Santa Clarita was hit with a 4.2 quake while we were gone to the Reagan Library, and they said our hotel got a good jolt. If we were going to be in California, it would have been nice to have been in an earthquake. A minor earthquake.
UP - Omelets to order every morning. That was a specialty of our hotel. Your choice of ham, bacon, spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers, onions, and cheese in an omelet. They were delicious. That was on top of a full breakfast bar, including waffles, breakfast meats, breads, and oatmeal. Every morning.
NEUTRAL - We got a taste of California-style life. I went into a grocery store for a couple of things we needed, went through the self-serve check-out, and there were no bags. Found out you can either pay a dime for a paper bag, bring your own cloth bags, or carry your stuff out bagless. No plastic bags allowed. Welcome to California!!
DOWN - Trash all over the roads!
UP - On Saturday afternoon Mike was about to die to see/hear the USC game (and I'm not talking about the Southern California team). Of course, nobody on the west coast cared a whit about the South Carolina game, so it wasn't on TV out there. We pulled up the local (as in our hometown) radio station on the internet and got the streaming audio, so he got to hear the entire game in our hotel room. He was a happy man, and I thought it's really something that we can get our local radio station in California and hear a game that nobody in that area really cared about. Technology is something.
UP - Beautiful fruit stands all along the road to Ventura. So much good stuff. Strawberries, melons, oranges, avocados. I can't imagine having access to fresh fruit and vegetables (as in not supermarket delivered) year round.
UP - The beautiful views of the desert mountains. Somehow we just weren't expecting the area to be that mountainous. Wherever we went, the view was 360 degrees of mountains. (Well, Mike corrected that - the view was only 180 degrees at the ocean.) All the towns are nestled in valleys between the mountains.UP - Meeting people from all across the country. We talked Sunday morning with people who had been members at Grace Community Church for twenty years. We met people from Dallas (they had been on the plane with us as well), Tulsa OK, western Alabama, Michigan (same town as my sister, can see her condo complex from their home!), and even from our home area. (Their daughter had even played a volleyball game as part of the away team at our school the previous week.) Met a lovely young woman from Arizona named Lori. I told her on the way out the last night that if we lived in the same area I thought we would be good friends. She started to cry, because we really did have sweet fellowship even if it was brief.
And those are my mostly ups for our great trip!
I make it, just for me, loaded with mushrooms (a full eight ounces of canned ones), a roll of browned sausage, and a package of mozzarella cheese. Plus a can of pizza sauce on a refrigerated pizza dough. I pre-bake the crust for about seven minutes before putting on the sauce and toppings. It was good for lunch today (Mike is at work), and it will be good in lunches for school this week. And it's made the way I like it.
Friday, September 16, 2011
Interior of the lodge.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
And going off sweets, along with intensive exercise at the Y, led to a 20+ drop in poundage.
The downturn came about two years ago right now. It was my last year of directing the play, and the script called for a box of candy that was passed around the family from time to time. In the interest of maintaining cast unity, and making practices a little more fun, I kept the box full. I didn't eat any and truly didn't miss it. Until one day. I decided to take two pieces out of the box. One young man, Carl, actually fussed at me. (They knew I was off sweets.) "You can't eat that!" he said. Then he finally said, OK, I could eat them - but was limited to two pieces a day.
Believe it or not, that was the start of a downfall. Two pieces a day became a little more than that. Gradually. Then, it became easier to justify things. A long morning, with an hour to go before lunch? A Mr. Goodbar is OK for a little energy, because it has peanuts in it. And so forth and so on.
I have now been off of sweets, again, for three weeks. And it is much harder this time. I crave chocolate on a daily basis. I did eat a few plum-sweets yesterday, which really aren't bad for you (the name plum-sweets is a euphemism for "chocolate-covered prune pieces), but they also didn't really fill that craving.
So far I am hanging on. It is important that I do so.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Awhile later we had a lockdown at school. No one knew why, but the teachers in the front rooms could see police cars on the road in that direction.
Then I read it on the internet: The bank was robbed, around 9:00, by a lady who said she had a bomb.
I'm so glad I didn't go to get cash this morning.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Someone from the church has family that owns this orchard. Of course I didn't get the picture until all the fruit was gone, but these people donated boxes and boxes of peaches, nectarines, and plumcots (plum/apricot crosses, also known as pluots) for the attendees of the conference. I looked up their website and was surprised at all the varieties of plumcots that are available now. They are delicious.
These little fruit stands are everywhere and are loaded with fresh fruits that we either can't grow here or have limited growing seasons. Imagine getting fresh strawberries nine months of the year!