Sunday, January 10, 2021

January 10th: Heading into the New Year

 

I continued to enjoy the Christmas season while it lasted. I made some more cabbage rolls, which are a traditional part of our Christmas season. And of course we had our pork and sauerkraut New Year's Eve. 

Moonlight beach tree


I walked down to the beach one evening because I wanted to see the huge pine tree by Moonlight Beach that was decorated. That's a peace symbol on top. It's visible from miles around. They must bring in a very large crane to decorate it. The diamond at the bottom is about 4 feet tall. The window on the left is the second story of a house.



Swami's Self Realization
Fellowship Christmas decoration 


While I was on the way, I walked past Swami's Self Realization Fellowship Entrance. I hadn't seen it at night and was very impressed with the decoration. The hanging blue lettered sign reads "Joy to the World".





Hummingbird
Once the amount of daylight dropped, my humming bird attracting Inca Lolly plant on my balcony stopped blooming. I hadn't seen a hummingbird for a few weeks. One showed up Christmas morning and even sat on a branch long enough for me to go down and get a picture of it. 




It seems to be hanging around the neighbors Bougainvillea. The Bougainvillea  continue to bloom which is really nice because I see them out my large living room window. It's fun to watch the hummingbird hovering from flower to flower. Now that the daylight is getting extended I'll see if I can get my Inca Lolly to start blooming again. I really enjoy watching them come to my balcony.


Bougainvillea outside my window looking down



White Pelican
The weather has been great for walking and bike riding, Almost always sunny and temperatures around 65 degree. I've been going to the San Elijo Lagoon a lot. One morning I was walking along an inlet and saw a very large bird. It was swimming toward me and as it got closer I realized it was a white pelican. White Pelicans are larger (9-10 foot wingspan) than the brown pelicans. I've never seen one here before. Two rangers showed up and started closing the path where the pelican was. Turns out the pelican was injured and apparently couldn't fly. Someone was coming from Sea World to rescue it. White Pelican info



I was reminded of a picture we took while boating in Ontario, Canada when we were doing the Great Loop. We saw huge flocks of white pelicans getting ready to migrate. They are beautiful when flying. They fly in formation and when they turn you can see a black stripe on the bottom of their wings. White Pelicans in flight


Yucca Plant starting to open
In earlier blog posts I've had pictures of the very tall flowering spike of a yucca plant at the lagoon. After several months it finally started to open. 

I was able to get several pictures over about two weeks as it continued to open. 








Yucca Plant spreading
open further, January 3rd

This morning there was a colorful bird that seemed to like the high perch. I couldn't identify it.







I don't know how much more will open up but I'll report again.


Yucca plant January 8th



Front of iPad
I finally bought a case for my iPad. It is a dark blue and I found it hard to spot on my black countertops and dark wood tables. Wendy suggested the obvious solution. Stickers. The Cricut machine came through again. It turned out great! And it is much easier to spot.

Back of iPad

The December 13th blog included the picture of my new birthday present puzzle. Here it is again. 



I have found it to be a real challenge. I actually spend some time almost every day working on it. Many of the pieces are the same shape but different color patterns. It took a very long time just to get the frame together because I had several pieces in the wrong places. 




Next I tried adding to the inside of the frame. With 1,000 pieces I found it almost impossible. I needed a new strategy. I recalled Karen and Craig's 5 year old nephew said he doesn't start with the frame, he just starts putting the pictures together. Sounded like a great idea. I finally got 7 pieces of cardboard and separated the pieces by color. 



It's still a challenge, but now I am making progress. This one will keep me occupied for quite a while longer.





I went for a walk the other day on the trails northeast of  Matt and Wendy's house. The sky was crystal clear. Looking East I could see several mountain ranges, some snow covered. 


I even noticed an informational sign at a nice viewing spot. 


























One reason I chose this trail was to pick up some of the giant pine cones. They will make great starter kindling for Rebecca's fire pit. 


The mug is in the picture for a size perspective.



We decided it was best not to travel back and forth to Studio City given COVID19. As Rebecca pointed out, if we'd happen to get in a car wreck, we wouldn't even be able to get hospital care! The situation around LA is very bad. The vaccinations can't come soon enough. 



Trevi and London









I miss getting together with Rebecca, London and Trevi. We Facetime very often which helps. Here is a picture of the pups from last Christmas. In the mean while, all of our projects are on hold.






In these trying times I believe we need to find humor and enjoy it. Cheryl Webb, our Canadian boating friend sent this Minion cartoon. Linda loved the Minions. I'm sure she is enjoying it with us!




Thursday, December 31, 2020

December 31st: Revised Blog

 Somehow I lost two enjoyable pictures of Matt so I added them and posted this again for those of you that already read the first version.


It was Christmas and we were determined to have a great one. One could come up with a lot of reasons to skip the whole thing this year. But that would have been very sad. We truly needed Christmas and the hope it brings for the future.

Wendy had a great suggestion. She said, "Make a list 50 things you accomplished this year that you are proud of." I asked, "What if I can't come up with 50 things?" She said, "Then you should try harder!" It was a great suggestion. Over several days I made a list. It was easier than I thought. The list went well over 50. Then I decided to add, "Why am I proud of this?" Next I decided to attempt to rank them by order of importance. I have spent a great deal of time and emotion this year missing Linda and have come to recognize part of that is anxiety about what do I do now? As I look toward setting goals for the future, I believe this will help. I recommend the exercise, especially as you think about goals for 2021.

Typically I'd have pictures of our family enjoying Christmas dinner, opening presents, etc. This year we all decided to donate to food banks and skip the presents. I was very impressed to learn that the San Diego Food Bank can provide 5 meals for every One dollar donated. So picture opportunities were limited and I used last year's Christmas photo.


Linda, Steve, Wendy, Matt, Rebecca, Trevi and London


We did get a few pictures at Matt and Wendy's Christmas dinner. Here is a selfie of Matt, Wendy and me. The dinner was great. We Facetimed the new Superwoman movie together with Rebecca in Studio City and truly enjoyed the evening.

Christmas Dinner
Matt and Wendy's tree. The fish behind the tree is from 
Bobcaygeon, Ontario. Wendy claimed it when we moved to the trawler.













The Christmas Turkey



Great cookies










I also have some pictures friends shared, so we could at least enjoy Christmas decorations virtually.



Craig and Karen's nautical theme tree (of course), Boating friends we met in Canada and became great friends. Nice that they live in San  Juan Capistrano on the way to Studio City.


Craig, Karen and Linda on Rahn de Vous in Canada.









Randy and Cindy, Canadian boating friends. Cricket is on the chair and the polar bear has quite a story. I'll include it in another blog.



I'm still trying to get used to Christmas decorations without snow. It just doesn't seem right! 

Here's how it looks at the Drouhard farm at Christmas.


Drouhard family farm



However, walking around Encinitas in a sweatshirt, and enjoying the Christmas lights works for me. I included a few pictures just so you know that Californians decorate despite the lack of snow!


Matt waiting in line with the penguins

These fun pictures were from Matt. He waited patiently with the penguins for a taco.


And then there was the Yeti!
Matt and the Yeti



















I really liked this decorated Airstream trailer. Linda's parents had Airstreams for many years and we had fun travelling with them.


Note Santa on the roof in an airplane!



Matt and Wendy's House




I felt like I needed a fun Christmas picture from the past. Of course I spent a lot of time going through old pictures. It truly is addictive. I found the perfect picture. As a child, our family would go to New York city to visit my Mom's family every Christmas. In particular we enjoyed staying with Aunt Alice and Uncle Frank's family. We would always make a trip to Jahn's Ice cream parlor. I will always remember the nickelodian that still worked. In addition to being a player piano, it had drums, horns cymbals, etc. They also had an unimaginable number of Sundae options. But the crown jewel was the Kitchen Sink. It was huge, with many flavors of ice cream, syrups, nuts whipped cream, etc.  It was so large that Jahn's said if one person could finish it, he/she could take one home for free! My 6 year older brother John and his friend were determined to finish one themselves. Never happened but a fun memory.

 So of course, I wanted to share the Jahn's experience with Linda, Wendy and Rebecca. Here we were at Jahn's, so we just had to order one. But even though the picture shows only five people, there were many more of us. By the time we got to the bottom, all the syrups chocolate and ice cream melted and mixed together. We were smart enough to leave some in the bowl. Here's a little history.


From left: Rebecca, Wendy, Aunt Alice, 
cousin Marialice, Grandma Franko



Yesterday's Dream


I had to include a Christmas picture of Yesterday's Dream. Linda and I spent many wonderful Christmas seasons on Yesterday's Dream. People warned me that the holidays would be tough without Linda. I continue to miss her. They were correct, as I suspected. But the memories, family and friends helped make it a Merry Christmas.


Wishing all of you a very Happy New Year! It surely will be better than 2020!







December 30th: Christmas


It was Christmas and we were determined to have a great one. One could come up with a lot of reasons to skip the whole thing this year. But that would have been very sad. We truly needed Christmas and the hope it brings for the future.

Wendy had a great suggestion. She said, "Make a list 50 things you accomplished this year that you are proud of." I asked, "What if I can't come up with 50 things?" She said, "Then you should try harder!" It was a great suggestion. Over several days I made a list. It was easier than I thought. The list went well over 50. Then I decided to add, "Why am I proud of this?" Next I decided to attempt to rank them by order of importance. I have spent a great deal of time and emotion this year missing Linda and have come to recognize part of that is anxiety about what do I do now? As I look toward setting goals for the future, I believe this will help. I recommend the exercise, especially as you think about goals for 2021.

Typically I'd have pictures of our family enjoying Christmas dinner, opening presents, etc. This year we all decided to donate to food banks and skip the presents. I was very impressed to learn that the San Diego Food Bank can provide 5 meals for every One dollar donated. So picture opportunities were limited and I used last year's Christmas photo.


Linda, Steve, Wendy, Matt, Rebecca, Trevi and London


We did get a few pictures at Matt and Wendy's Christmas dinner. Here is a selfie of Matt, Wendy and me. The dinner was great. We Facetimed the new Superwoman movie together with Rebecca in Studio City and truly enjoyed the evening.

Christmas Dinner
Matt and Wendy's tree. The fish behind the tree is from
Bobcaygeon, Ontario. Wendy claimed it when we moved to the trawler.












The Christmas Turkey



Great cookies










I also have some pictures friends shared, so we could at least enjoy Christmas decorations virtually.



Craig and Karen's nautical theme tree (of course), Boating friends we met in Canada and became great friends. Nice that they live in San  Juan Capistrano on the way to Studio City.


Craig, Karen and Linda on Rahn de Vous in Canada.









Randy and Cindy, Canadian boating friends. Cricket is on the chair and the polar bear has quite a story. I'll include it in another blog.



I'm still trying to get used to Christmas decorations without snow. It just doesn't seem right! 

Here's how it looks at the Drouhard farm at Christmas.


Drouhard family farm


However, walking around Encinitas in a sweatshirt, and enjoying the Christmas lights works for me. I included a few pictures just so you know that Californians decorate despite the lack of snow!


Matt waiting in line with the penguins
These fun pictures were from Matt. He waited patiently with the penguins for a taco.

And then there was the Yeti!
Matt and the Yeti



















I really liked this decorated Airstream trailer. Linda's parents had Airstreams for many years and we had fun travelling with them.


Note Santa on the roof in an airplane!



Matt and Wendy's House




I felt like I needed a fun Christmas picture from the past. Of course I spent a lot of time going through old pictures. It truly is addictive. I found the perfect picture. As a child, our family would go to New York city to visit my Mom's family every Christmas. In particular we enjoyed staying with Aunt Alice and Uncle Frank' family. We would always make a trip to Jahn's Ice cream parlor. I will always remember the nickelodian that still worked. In addition to being a player piano, it had drums, horns cymbals, etc. They also had an unimaginable number of Sundae options. But the crown jewel was the Kitchen Sink. It was huge, with many flavors of ice cream, syrups, nuts whipped cream, etc.  It was so large that Jahn's said if one person could finish it, he/she could take one home for free! My 6 year older brother John and his friend were determined to finish one themselves. Never happened but a fun memory.

 So of course, I wanted to share the Jahn's experience with Linda, Wendy and Rebecca. Here we were at Jahn's, so we just had to order one. But even though the picture shows only five people, there were many more of us. By the time we got to the bottom, all the syrups chocolate and ice cream melted and mixed together. We were smart enough to leave some in the bowl. Here's a little history.


From left: Rebecca, Wendy, Aunt Alice,
cousin Marialice, Grandma Franko



Yesterday's Dream


I had to include a Christmas picture of Yesterday's Dream. Linda and I spent many wonderful Christmas seasons on Yesterday's Dream. People warned me that the holidays would be tough without Linda. I continue to miss her. They were correct, as I suspected. But the memories, family and friends helped make it a Merry Christmas.


Wishing all of you a very Happy New Year! It surely will be better than 2020!