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I wasn’t in Mexico

Look what I saw at Venice Beach yesterday! A car from Juarez, Mexico! I have never seen any Mexican license plate in all my years in California but this one is from Juarez. Isn’t that the most dangerous city in the hemisphere? The murder capital of the world? That’s where all the drug dealers are. But what would this vehicle be doing at Venice Beach? All I saw there were street performers, sunglass kiosks, T-shirt shops, and bunch of medical marijuana shops. Hmmm, it’s a conundrum.

My sister came to town for the weekend with her two daughters and one granddaughter for some fun. We went to Venice Beach, Santa Monica, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and shopped and ate ourselves into a near coma: a monster buffet, gourmet burgers, Benihana, Cheesecake Factory, Chicken Pot Pie at the Daily Grill, Pinkberry for dessert. Well… you can imagine. I was one slice of cheesecake away from needing my stretch pants! 🙂

Happy Birthday, MPLPF

It’s Denis’s birthday today!

Happy Birthday, MPLPF.

He’s just as cute today as in this photo so my pet name for him is  “My Precious Little Puppy Fluff.”

We’re going out to dinner tonight and then coming home for birthday cake. I made a two-layer strawberry cake from scratch and it’s chilling in the fridge.

He’s been my partner and best friend for over 25 years.

I love you, Mr. Fluff.




Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms and to my stepmom, Roula.

I didn’t send her flowers because the last time she was here, I had made some of my caramel corn.  She tried a bite and loved it but said she was too full and would have some later when we watched TV. But while we were watching TV, she fell asleep.  So Denis and I started snacking on it and before we knew it, it was all gone. (I’m telling you, you can’t stop eating it!). The next day, she was going back to Vegas and asked if she could take the caramel corn with her. I had to confess and she couldn’t believe we ate that much caramel corn, but we did. We laughed about it and I promised I would make it for her another time. So I made a batch of my delicious caramel corn with almonds and walnuts (her favorite) and fedexed it to her overnight so it was fresh for Mother’s Day. By the time I called yesterday morning to see if it arrived, she already ate about half! I’d say she liked her Mother’s Day present, but now I need to make more… for me.

Those zombie eyes

I haven’t seen the Baron since last Friday when that nasty squirrel claimed my yard, waiting for our plums to get ripe. I would have gladly shared those plums with the Baron, but then if he didn’t like my eggs, I’m not sure he’d appreciate the fruit either. I keep looking for him every morning but I will always have the memory of my transient beautiful pet. He’s not the first exotic pet in my life.  When I was ten, my mother let me get a monkey. Oh, yes she did! What was she thinking? I begged and begged, “If I can have a monkey, I’ll never ask for anything again for the rest of my life!” It was a complete disaster. It was a squirrel monkey and I refused to keep him in a cage – that would be no fun. The first time I let him out, this thing flew – and I mean FLEW like he had wings… across the kitchen, knocking over cups and glasses and food, and frankly, scaring the hell out of me. Luckily, the pet store had a return policy (probably standard for monkeys and pythons). I had a little more sense when I was younger. At nine, my dad let me get a little bunny rabbit. Every kid wants a bunny rabbit at Easter time. But things didn’t go well for “Sniffles.” I had fun with him for a while but once he got bigger and fatter, my dad cooked him. I didn’t strike me as odd but even this neighbor’s kid knew something was up. Those zombie eyes were trying to warn me…. “I see dead rabbits.”

Thank you to our Veterans

My father was a veteran and I remember when my sister and I were growing up, he used to tell us stories about the war and his time in a Russian prison camp, and I never really understood how much he gave up.  To be honest, I used to roll my eyes, thinking, “Here we go again.” But I was just a kid. Today, I’d give anything to hear those stories again – and to tell my dad how proud I am of his service to his country.  My stepmon’s husband was also a veteran, may he rest in peace. This is our day to honor and respect all of our veterans for the sacrifices they have made for their country.

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” – John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Goodbye, Victor.

We are back home after Victor’s memorial service and burial in Las Vegas.  The service was held in the Greek Orthodox church with their ancient traditions including song, prayer, candles, and incense.  The incense is carried by the priest in a beautiful metal censer, which also contains charcoal, and is suspended by chains and twelve bells symbolizing the twelve apostles. The censer is swung by the priest during prayer.  

There will now be 40 days of mourning during which time his widow will wear black and then at 40 days, there is another memorial, and again in 6 months and one year. Victor had a lot of old friends who came and I heard many of them say, “I’ve know Victor for 48 years…. 29 years….,” etc. And Victor’s entire family was there, flying in from all over.  His sister from Pennsylvania, a daughter and granddaughter from Ohio, a daughter, her husband, and three grandchildren from Switzerland, and my stepmom, Roula’s family came too: her two brothers and sister-in-law came from Canada.  It was a beautiful sendoff for a man who was loved by many. Later, we all had dinner together at the home of a family friend. 


We came back from Las Vegas last night after my stepmom’s husband was taken to a hospice. It’s a comfort to us all to have him there. My thanks to everyone for their kind words and prayers.

Headed to Las Vegas

My stepmom’s husband has taken a turn for the worse so I am headed to Las Vegas where they live to help get things in order. I was going to go by myself but Denis insisted on driving me. He’s doesn’t want me driving alone on a desert highway with trucks the size of buildings passing me doing 90. Plus he wants to be there for us. He’s my hero.