Monday, December 16, 2013

Beach Fire Fun! Or..... How We Celebrated The Writer's Birthday.

Our Early Christmas went off without a hitch Saturday morning with a flurry of food, wrapping paper, dogs and cats.

Then we geared up for a late afternoon beach fire to celebrate The Writer's Dec 20th birthday early.
We've been wanting to do this ever since we moved here and the weather couldn't be better.

I will let the pictures tell most of the story.

Loaded and ready to go in Mr. T's "new to him" pickup truck via insurance payout
for totaled SUV from accident last month. 

Firepits lined up along Huntington Beach State Park

Our lighter didn't work! Sammy makes the jog to another pit to borrow theirs.

The Pyro, The Writer, Sammy and Mr. T work on the logs.

And a freeloader...

Birthday boy brings some more wood.

New California resident, Rachel from Orlando, joins us with...

...her husband, Chris, The Writer's high school buddy
 and now back-door neighbor for awhile!

Two nice couples

Mr. T giving advice?

You can see the firepits lined up way in the distance.

Hot Dogs and S'mores on the menu

Mr. Tennis really likes his new hot dog cookers!

Maven alert!

The Maven joins the hot dog cooking

A good time was had by all.
Huntington Beach Firepits,
we will be back!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Thursday Thought: Fa la la la la, la la la la!

As you can see, Darcy has been practicing her Christmas Carols for our Early Christmas this weekend.
Such a talented feline...

Monday, December 9, 2013

Merry Early Christmas - EEEEK!

This is where our Christmas stuff is.  This garage has changed little since the day we moved in.
"Let's stack the Christmas decorations towards the back and along the side-that way we can get to them easily even with the car parked in here", I said to Mr. Tennis on moving day.

August something of this year.

First it was too hot to move the stuff and stack it properly so my car would fit in.
Then Mr. Tennis started cruising around his new territory day and night.
Then I started teaching Japanese students and walking dogs.

It was December!
Just like that!
I guess I have an automatic New Year's resolution for 2014....

I ventured in today to get some of the decorations out because...

We are having Christmas early.
This upcoming weekend.
And The Writer's birthday too.

The Writer and Sammy are headed to Florida for Christmas so they can visit Sammy's family and Orlando Grandma over the holidays.  So Sammy and I decided we would have Christmas early and celebrate The Writer's Dec. 20th birthday as well.

We will have Christmas Eve Friday night, stockings will be hung, presents will be stashed, there may be a cookie or two consumed.  We will wake up Saturday morning (Christmas morning) and have a nice big Christmas breakfast, exchange some gifts, take the dogs for a Christmas walk.... you get the idea.

This week I will do a bit of Christmas shopping - gotta figure out what to get Stanley the Greyhound this year! And a bit more decorating to make our new place festive.

This year I may be wishing you a Merry Christmas twice!

The Bostons already got an early Christmas present.
Grass in our side yard.  They missed their grass.

We have some Grinches here at the condo complex who say "No dogs and no kids playing on the green space" (That is right outside our front door and no one ever sets foot on-I'm tempted to set up our Christmas breakfast out there and invite the neighbors, kids and dogs only).

 So we put some in "our green space"!

(And sometimes during the day when the head Grinch's car is gone, The Boston Lady lets the black and whites run around out there anyway---shhhhhhhhhhhh)

Merry Early Christmas!!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Me and the Muppets

I actually wanted to title this post "Blurred Lines" because I knew it would get a ton of hits, but not necessarily the ones I wanted.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, Google it.

That cord you see in the blurry image above is my link to Japan for my classes.  This weekend I held my two Saturday morning classes away from home as I was dogsitting for four nights.  In order to get proper lighting for my glorious image I needed to move to the kitchen of the house I was staying in and the owner provided me with a super long cord for my necessary hard wire link. 

And I, of course, DID look glorious.

The muppets, oops, dogs I was watching were quiet as mice in the background.
You can see why I came up with the muppet reference.

Two sweet Wheaton Terriers, the second one quite old and needing daily meds, hence my overnight stays.

Hardly a hardship.

An appropriate staircase for my glorious self to ascend each night to a comfy bed.

A gorgeous backyard view

Beautiful sunsets each night

I was excited to see a friend from home. Staghorn fern. Several of them, just like my big old one, "Bananas".  If I had known they could survive in this climate I might have risked an encounter with the state border police.

The muppets did a lot of this.. it was not a hard gig at all.

There's my cord again!
Such sweet dogs.


Friday, November 22, 2013

From 1969 to 2013

Today is a date that people look back on with dismay, horror and sadness.  This year marks the 50th anniversary of the death of President John F Kennedy.

In our family, 
today's date marks an important day in the life of one our family's most important members, my father.  This year he would have been 95!  

A large coincidence has occured in my life lately.  I am living in an area that my father, my mother and I visited in 1969.  My father had his own small airplane and in the "Summer of 69" he decided he and I would make a cross-country trip from Toronto, Canada to Fullerton, California.  My mother, not a fan of the small plane, opted to go by train and met us there.

 The name of that town has always stuck in my head since that trip when I was 10 years old. It was to that town's airport that we landed after passing by the Grand Canyon, New Mexico, Las Vegas and Arizona after several days of flying.

Well, it happens to be quite close to the "Happiest Place on Earth", the place I had dancing around in my head the entire trip. 

The coincidence?  Well, our new home happens to be about 15 minutes away from Disneyland and Fullerton is just another 10 minutes up the road.  All these years I never really understood why we landed and stayed in Fullerton.  In fact it wasn't until yesterday that I realized that we landed at the Fullerton airport - or that they had one.

Mr. Tennis called me from the road and said, "when you and your dad flew here, did you land at Fullerton Airport?"  Well, it hadn't occurred to me, but of course we must have since we stayed in Fullerton during our California visit.

So, in between puppies today I drove to Fullerton to see for myself where we most likely landed 44 years ago.

My dad loved that plane and called it "Romeo"  after the first letter in it's call sign.
  RGE - Romeo Gulf Echo.

Seeing the small airport didn't stir any particular memories about that trip, but I admit to getting misty-eyed looking at the small planes on the tarmac.  Surely that's where we parked Romeo and tied him down.

Surely that windsock has been replaced overtime, but it's one of the things I always look for at a small airport as my dad was always consulting them for wind direction.

Surely my father was smiling today as he saw his daughter return to what must be where we left Romeo while we visited with Mickey and the gang, went swimming in the Pacific at Long Beach, drove up to Hollywood and toured Universal Studios.

I could only find these prices from 1967, but my haven't times changed?

I know I'm smiling as I remember being 10 years old and experiencing the magic of Disney for the first time with my late parents.

I need to return to Disneyland for the second time, now that we live here. When I go, I will try to hear my dad's laughter as he too enjoyed "The Happiest Place on Earth" for the first time with his daughter.
The daughter for whom he flew his little plane all the way across this massive country so she could see some magic.

 Now that's an E-ticket ride!

Happy Birthday to my father, Richard S. Hughes!