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Let the Sun Shine In

January 17, 2021

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius…. which begins officially on January 20 — 3 days from now. Coincidentally, Inauguration Day.

Coincidentally, the sun shone in like crazy today, and it was the second day in a row of temps in the 70s. These must all be signs of a new day, the dawning of a new age. Right?

Threw open the windows.. it was glorious.

Handiworks

January 16, 2021

Not really patting myself on the back for this, but worked in the garden today. Which is to say, I weeded for 30 minutes, and boy am I rusty. I usta have a whole routine with my tools, tasks and techniques. Oy…

Anyway, on this 75-degree mid-January day in Northern California, I donned my shorts and crocs, eager to pretend it was spring and I was a gardener.

Look at ALL THOSE WEEDS! (Not to mention those pale, winter legs.)

So, as I said, rusty. It took me thirty whole minutes to weed this small patch (about six feet by one foot) . I’d better up my game here.. it’s a big yard!

Some weeks ago, I planted about 30 bulbs… I see only one sprouting up:

(At least I hope that’s one of mine.) The narcissus are coming up in a few places. I did not plant these .. they are leftovers from the last version of our backyard and survived a year and a half of total neglect, no irrigation, abuse and rototilling!

Whatever bulbs Ruben and his crew found during the leveling of the back yard in prep for the new landscaping, they put in this bucket (no water). And they are growing like gangbusters!

Bulbs are crazy.

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And speaking of handiworks, no sooner did I finish that, than I took on Jim’s hair. In ten months, this might be the fourth or fifth haircut I’ve given him. The electric clippers gave up the ghost last time, so today was a full-on scissor cut, and I think it’s the best one yet… check it out:

I need to tidy up that bottom edge… otherwise, pretty good!

Spat

January 15, 2021

The biggest news of the day may have been the spit test Jim and I took. Results to follow. First spit test. Past covid tests have included 1 swab and 4-5 antibody tests (per blood donation protocols). We mix very little with other people, so more frequent tests is not really warranted. But it’s easy enough to do, esp as it’s across the street at the Senior Center and you can actually reserve a time.

Still. Don’t expect to do too many more of these between now and vaccination time. Hurry up, vaccinations!

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Anyway… no pictures today, so I’m going back to a January 15th long ago — 2006. Here are a couple of cute ones of Peter (of course) at 7 1/2:

I think the quarters had something to with this….

Thanks, Tooth Fairy!

Meatbulbs

January 14, 2021

I’m reminded that one of the cute things Matty used to say when he was a little kid — like mazagine instead of magazine — was to call meatballs meatbulbs. I’m sure his two older brothers and his big sister (me) showed no mercy.

I made tonight the most fabulous ever — my opinion — meatballs. Ooh, I love them. Jim only gave them a 3* review, but I made him increase that rating to a 4* so I can justify making them again. (My rule.)

Here’s how it goes:

First you combine olive oil, garlic, shallots (which I didn’t have so substituted green onions), cumin, cinnamon and oregano.. and then warm it in the microwave to get the flavors to meld. Set that aside.

Then you make a sauce that contains lime juice, yogurt, tahini and cayenne.

Then you goo together some pita bread and yogurt, chop some fresh mint, add the oil/herb mixture, and mix it all together with some ground beef.

You roll them into balls, chill them a little bit….

….then fry the heck out of them so they form a crispy exterior.

Serve inside warmed pita pockets with thinly sliced red onion, parsley (and if you have it–which we didn’t–tomato, cucumber)…

So, so good.. crispy, packed with flavor:

Impeached Again

January 13, 2021

As I write this, I’m listening to John Garamendi in an online town hall. Over 1000 people in attendance. He’s answering questions about today’s impeachment. Can’t say I’m learning anything new — having listened most of the day to the hearing and the endless analysis that followed — but I appreciate hearing from our congressman tonight..so fresh off this most historic vote by the House.

(I didn’t write about this last week, but it bears mentioning that on the very evening of the very day the Capitol was stormed by Trump-incited insurgents — exactly one week ago — Congressman G attended our monthly Sister District meeting as our special guest. He had to excuse himself from the Senate floor where the certification of the Electoral College results was taking place in a joint session of Congress (after, of course, being interrupted for hours while congress members and their staffs were spirited to safety in undisclosed locations). He was in the middle of a world-record-historic deliberation & vote and still made time to talk to us! Seventy three of us Davis activists were on that call and he spent about 15 minutes with us. Incredible. I’ll add a photo below of that, too.) (Speaks volumes of his regard and respect for us, which is impressive and flattering.)

This is what the House was considering today .. a vote on a simple 3-page resolution, summed up thusly:

And.. the outcome of today’s historic vote — the first time in history that a US president has been impeached twice during his tenure (a limited tenure at that, as he’s a one-term loser of a president). Also, the most bi-partisan vote to charge a president with a crime ever. Look at all those republicans. Of course, it should have been unanimous as his guilt is unquestioned.

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And.. here is a pic from one week ago… the day of the insurrection.. and Cong. Garamendi attending our little ol’ meeting! Garmendi’s the one with the mask on (because he’s sitting outside in a hallway where other folks are likely walking around).

A Senior, Officially

January 12, 2021

I applied for my medicare card a few months ago — like ya do three months before your 65th birthday — but today was the day I finally signed up for Kaiser’s medicare program. I hadn’t yet opened the packet of materials I’d gotten a couple months ago from the medicare folks, but I had to today because I needed to enter my medicare number on the Kaiser form. It was a bit startling to see the actual card.

A card carrying senior person, I am!

A Three Crew Day

January 11, 2021

Big doings on A Street! Patios were poured, flagstone was laid, and other good things happened inside, too, on a most productive January day.

A few pics of the productivity:

Ruben and crew stacked what used to be our front yard path stones around the sycamore tree and it looks great! Wasn’t in the plan, but we had all those stones, and it’s a good use for them. They also worked on that circular pad. They’d poured concrete last a couple weeks ago and today started with putting flagstone on top. The winding flagstone path was finished a couple weeks ago.

Lots of front yard work to do.

And, in the backyard, Stuart and his crew poured cappuccino colored concrete, then highlighted it with some sunbaked clay. That highlighting happens with a powder that they scatter over the wet concrete.

Then they stamp it. It’s done by laying those rubber squares down and stomping on them to leave an impression.. then moving it to another wet spot…

And then it ends up like this!

It’ll get washed off in a couple days and the forms removed.

Then on to the surrounding raised beds, arbors, screens, orchard.. and eventually some furniture. Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

Good Rabbit Hole

January 10, 2021

I’ve been in a rabbit hole all afternoon.. right up until this moment.. as I just finished the annual Peterson Family calendar for the coming year. Most everyone should have theirs by February. Yay me.

So, yeah, I was way tardy on getting it together this year. I’ll blame it on 2020. I don’t mind saying it’s one of the more tedious tasks of the holiday season — thanks in good part to Costco’s wonky custom photo calendar interface — but I’m always glad to have one of these calendars, and I know everyone else likes theirs, too. So … worth it.

But what’s even better is the trip down memory lane as I search my vast digital photo archive for photos of everyone and his brother (literally). Which inevitably takes me down the always wondrous, hilarious, shocking photo rabbit hole… which is a really fun place to go.

I don’t have much to report on this evening, and largely avoided news again today so don’t have anything to rant about… so how about some of my photo finds?

Me and mom at the beach… a block from our first house in Manhattan Beach.

Peter looking all cute in the park..

Our first trip to Yosemite.. the start of a tradition that is now 22 years and counting…

Me on the phone in Grandma’s kitchen… I’m 3 years old (and two months)…

Drink and a cig.. always…

His climbing career started early and never let up..

Awwww… I love this one so much.. (Matty, John, my guys, Chris)..

Me and Aunt Phyllis… she was a very dear woman (Uncle Bud’s sis)…

I have no recollection at all, but know it’s during my first year at UCSD.. better send this one to Peter…

See? Good rabbit hole.

Mental Health

January 9, 2021

Stayed away from news today (outside of bathroom radio NPR and a wee bit of headline reading as I scrolled through email and FB). I understand the world did not descend further into horrific drama, and this being the weekend, it seems that maybe Congress is doing most of its next-step-planning offline.

Random shots on the day:

Took myself for a walk this afternoon… my self-imposed mental health order.

It was very pretty out there and tons of other folks, too, shaking off the creepies from the last few days and especially enjoying a non-fog, non-overcast day.

I made myself not only sit down to my jigsaw puzzle, but made a new spotify channel that I then cranked up and sang loudly while fitting pieces of fern and granite into my Yosemite scene. I’d picked some Boz Scaggs songs and, wow, forgot how much I love so many of his song. Hadda get up and dance to Lido.. like nobody’s business. It was exhilarating.

I’d given blood yesterday so I was a pint down. I usually don’t notice it, but today felt sort of draggy. For fun… here are my post blood draw snacks. Wish it were donuts… which reminds me… I’d decided last time that from then on, I’d go to Fluffy Donuts following all my blood donations! I totally forgot. Maybe I’ll go tomorrow.

And… not that I can find any humor in anything about our current soul-crushing news, here are some memes to remind me later of the one good thing that has come out of this week (oh, besides WINNING TWO SENATE SEATS IN GEORGIA AND FLIPPING THE SENATE BLUE AND ENDING MITCH MCCONNELL’S REIGN OF TERROR) — Trump’s social media blackout. Took his fave toys away and now he’s all pissy.

Plus.. humor may boost our mental health just a wee..

The other good thing that happened today: de-Christmassed the house. Tree out, decorations and assorted holiday paraphernalia all back in their boxes. Later than usual, but so glad to have it done. Ready for summer now.

And finally, just because I am in love with this picture… this bird! This is perfect blue (seriously, I love this color) .. I could look at this all day… so peaceful and simple.

Photo credit: my kindergarten buddy Chuck.

Distress

January 8, 2021

I am too distressed to write, as it turns out. I can actually feel the anxiety. Planning a news break tomorrow — television news anyway.

Such uncharted territory. President subverting the results of election, fomenting an insurrection. Riots, insurgency. Bombs and weapons found in vans parked near the Capitol. Chants of hanging Pence or shooting Pelosi. Mobs so thick they moved in dangerous, pressed waves through the halls of the Capitol on their way to a joint session of Congress. Break in military chain of command on the deployment of National Guard. 25th Amendment. The need for safeguards on nuclear assets. A second impeachment. McConnell and Graham are now traitors. The conspiracy-driven nut cases are trying to make us think the rioters are Antifa. They also believe Trump’s softer-toned speech yesterday was a deep fake. Twitter suspends his account/s, as do Facebook and Instagram. Bannon’s YouTube channel shut down. Five people have died. And still, well over a hundred congress folks — even after the riots sent them into hiding for hours because people, falsely believing the election had been rigged by democrats, wanted to do them harm — voted not to accept the results from two states, believing somehow that Biden’s win is illegitimate.. again validating the anarchists’ actions. And still, a poll shows 73% of republicans support the “president” … today. After all this.

They say more violence is to come.

We have a president who is inviting the violence, who doesn’t care about the country. He’s not conceding.

I am so distressed.