Archive for December 2013

A New Year’s Prayer

December 31, 2013

So here we are at December 31. I am not particularly good at writing prayers and the like. But my good friend, Reb Katherine, is. I received the following from her this morning. I couldn’t agree more. Rev. Katherine is the pastor of the First Congregational Church of Billerica.

Dear friends, may all of God’s blessings be with you in this coming year. It’s kind of funny to think about how humans mark the cycle of time. We calculate age, count anniversaries, celebrate important days annually. I guess it has something to do with being human. I’ve always had animals (dogs, cats, birds, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, mice, and a rabbit) and they have never marked the passage of time, or celebrated holidays (except for the dogs who look expectantly at their Christmas stockings.) But we do, and with the dawning of a new year we hang onto hope that life will go well.
 Let’s join together and pray that things go well for us. And let us pray for those who things are not going very well.
 This is my prayer:
 Holy one, we enter into a new year with hearts turned towards you. We pray for health and healing, for comfort and peace for those who are dying, for your presence to be felt by those who are mourning. We pray that our needs be met, and that the needs of all people will be met. Give us generous hearts so that we might share out of your abundant gifts, and give us humble hearts so that we might receive the gifts you give. We pray for strength and courage in adversity, and we pray that you give power to those who are addicted so that they may overcome their addictions and live in freedom. We pray for peace, hope, love, joy, faith, wholeness and laughter, in Jesus’ holy name.
 A happy, joyous and safe new year to all!

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2013 in review

December 31, 2013

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,300 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 38 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

On the fifth day of Christmas

December 29, 2013

Today is Sunday, Dec 29, 2013. The fifth day of Christmas. Another warm beautiful day in So Cal. Forecast in the 70’s.
 Mary is doing better today. She is getting around better by herself. She seems to be using her cane almost all of the time and that’s a good thing. Perhaps we can move to a walker once she gets use of her left arm back.
 We asked her if she wanted to go to church this morning. She aid no. We were able to leave her alone for the hour and half. Instead of going out to lunch, we cooked scrambled eggs and bacon for brunch at home.
 In other news, it seems that our friends at First Congregational Church in Billerica are in need of a new furnace. Cost is expected to be in the range of $5,000. And of course it was not budgeted. You never budget for stuff like this.
 So if you’re looking a place for charitable donations at the end of the year, consider sending some money to First Congo. It’s not fun being without heat at this time of year. Go to the First Congo web site for details.
 – Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:San Pedro

On the third day of Christms…

December 27, 2013

… my true love gave to me.
 Paula and Mary are off to the beauty shop to get their hair done. Then they are headed to the Little Company of Mary hospital to get an MRI done on Mary’s shoulder.
 So for 2 hours, I am master of my domain. Seeing as this is the bicentenial of Giuseppe Verdi’s birth, so I got a new (to me) recording from 1961 of Verdi’s Otello. Loaded it up on iTunes on my PC and cranked up the volume. None of this ear bud stuff. I have a sound system connected to my laptop. Sub woofer and everything. Here’s the link to iTunes. I have a couple more operas on my short list to get when I get a chance.
 Then I did some post Christmas shopping. Paula said she would give me a new pair of LL Bean leather slippers. She said, “be a dear and order it yourself”. So I did. Same price as before Christmas and free shipping. Would have been nice if LL Bean had a sale on, oh well.
 I then downloaded a couple of sample Kindle books from Amazon. I’m not buying anymore books until I finish Doris Kearn Goodwins’ tome on FDR. I’m about half way through it.
 So Mary is looking a little bit better, but still very frail.
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Location:San Pedro

Christmas Dinner

December 25, 2013

Christmas dinner is done.

 Prime rib.

Green bean casserole, roasted potatoes.

Yorkshire pudding.
 Very good indeed.
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Location:Brett Pl,Los Angeles,United States

Merry Christmas

December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas to all of friends and family spread across the globe. Time for an update from San Pedro. Thank you for all the Christmas cards and letters that we have received. We are running out of space to hang them around our dining room wall. It seems that more and more people are sending Christmas letters. We love reading them all.
 This is the quiet time of Christmas. We had planned to go to Christmas Eve services at the Ocean View Baptist Church in San Pedro, but we had to cancel on account of Mary K’s situation. More on that later.
 Mike, Theresa and Jonathan will be over for Christmas dinner tomorrow. That will be fun. Having Jonathan over is always fun. He is such a joy. We got him a toy Xylophone. So now we can have a duet!
 I am trying not to gloat but the weather here is wonderful. Temp today is 70 right now. It was a bit higher earlier in the afternoon.
 Mary K has had a hard time of it for the last couple of weeks. First was the fall that knocked her three front teeth out. She has almost finished the dental work to fix that situation. Now, this past Sunday, she was walking with Paula late in the day when she got dizzy and fell again. Paula generally has tried to keep her arm on her. But for some reason she got distracted.
 So, more hurt. We eventually called the EMT’s. Had her transported to the ER. She didn’t think she could handle getting into the Jeep. So she had X-rays that showed fractured left humerus. They gave her a sling and pain meds and sent her home.
 Paula got her into the Jeep and brought her home. I met her down by the elevator with one of our kitchen chairs with wheels. We got her upstairs and into bed for the night.
 On Monday, Paula took her to orthopedic doc for followup. Wants to schedule MRI. Not sure what that’s going to show. Anyway, we got the Rx filled at CVS. Trying to keep her comfortable.
 She seems so much more frail than she was before this last incident. She seems visibly weaker. I suppose not eating very much doesn’t help things.
 So everyone, please pray for her. She can use all the help that God can provide. And try to keep this quiet. She doesn’t read anything on the internet. Not Facebook, not email, not blogs. We have been trying to discretely let people know her situation. She would be mad at me for dropping a dime on her. But I thought it was important for everyone to know.
 So looking forward, she won’t be driving for a while and that’s a good thing. Maybe, just maybe we can take the car keys away from her for good. Once again we will try to get her to use a walker, or at the very least a cane. That will be a hard sell. She wouldn’t be able to use it anyway with her arm in a sling.
 So Christmas Eve supper is in the crock pot. We’re having pea soup with leftover ham and carrots. It’s been cooking since 10am this morning.
 Maybe we’ll watch another Christmas movie on Netflix. Toss up between Chevy Chase’s “Christmas Vacation” or maybe “It’s a Wonderful Life”. I’m leaning towards Chevy Chase.
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Location:San Pedro

Hollywood Park

December 23, 2013

After we had lunch on Sunday, we decided to take a ride up to Inglewood to visit Hollywood Park on its last day of operation. Hollywood Park closed after about 75 years of operation, a victim of way too many opportunities to gamble.

So, I asked Paula, expert on all things California, she being a native Californian, “why is it called Hollywood Park, not Inglewood Park?” Her answer was that the park was built by Tom Warner of Warner Bros Studio along with investments by many Hollywood Movie stars of the late 1930’s. So it was named “Hollywood Park”
 So we headed up the 110 to Inglewood on a beautiful December day. We arrived late enough so that the ticket takers at the gate weren’t interested in my $20, Woo-Hoo! We arrived in time to watch the 4th race.

 We watched the 4th race from down by the winner’s circle where we could see the horses coming onto the track. Picture taking was a challenge. The finish area was in shadow, while most of the track was in bright sun. Then we went up into the grand stands for a better view of the goings on.
 It was interesting to watch the many people studying their racing forms trying to intuit who the next winner would be. One man we talked to asked if we were betting? I said, “No, I’d rather throw a $20 bill over the railing.”

So it was 30 minutes of boredom followed by 90 seconds of action. No wonder all the action has moved to the sports book operations at casinos. You don’t even have to go all the way to Las Vegas anymore. So we stayed for about three more races and then headed for the gates. We didn’t want to be stuck in the traffic getting out of there.

So for the price of gas, we had a fun afternoon. No parking fee, no admission fee, no gambling. Done!
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Location:Inglewood, CA