Archive for March 2016

Date Night

March 31, 2016

zootopiaFinally, we had the chance to have another date night last night. Paula and I went to see Zootopia at the Terraces. We went to the 4:30 pm show for  $4 each for seniors. Price for regular folks was $6. Sometimes it’s just fun to go to a kids movie without the kids. Zootopia was no exception. There were many jokes that were clearly aimed at the grown-ups in the audience.

Zootopia is the story of a young rabbit who goes into the big city of Zootopia to become a rookie cop. The rabbit named Judy Hopps doesn’t want to stay on the carrot farm with her parents anymore.

So rookie Officer Hopps joins forces with a cynical con artist fox named Nick Wilde to solve a sinister conspiracy in the great city of Zootopia.

They do a really great scene where the pair goes to the DMV (Department of Mammal Vehicles) to look up a license plate. Of course the clerks at the DMV are all sloths. They work so slowly. What a hoot. Wonder where they got that idea?

Good film, take the kids too. Runs about an hour and a half.

20160331_020800030_iOSSo we were done with the movie by 6:30 pm. Time for dinner. Date night dinners are a chance for us to unwind and talk about how things are going with Mary’s care without her listening.

We decided that it had been a long time since we’ve had Chinese food. So we decided to try the PV Palace on PCH in Lomita. Restaurant was pretty much empty when we arrived. Decent service. We had Mu Shu Pork, Shrimp Fried Rice, and Kung Pao Scallops. All very tasty. The waiter even filled the Mu Shu pancakes for us. We both had a glass of chardonnay. Plenty left over for lunch tomorrow.

Today we are off to the storage locker to clean out a few more boxes of junk (or treasures).

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Easter

March 27, 2016

He is risen. He is risen indeed! Of course, that was the common phrase going around this morning at Ocean View. So here’s our tale of what we did for Easter. Easter for us is about family.

We usually go to the 10:30 AM church service at Ocean View. The 0900 service is just too early and I’ll certainly not have any of this “Sunrise Service” stuff. The choir is at the top of their form. Pastor Jacques even finished pretty much on time.

The kids are scrubbed clean and dressed up in their Sunday finest. Jonathan had on a white shirt and a tie. Miss Sarah had a pretty nice dress that was bought for her by Aunt Mary in Hingham. Of course, when I took the picture of Jonathan he had a muffin in his mouth.

Normally after church on Sunday’s we go out for brunch at one of several excellent diners in San Pedro. I know that one of the diners was closed today so that the wait-staff could attend church (Pacific Diner). It is my opinion, worker friendly businesses like this should be rewarded with our business.

Our friend Vicky (who works at Pacific diner) asked us what we will be doing for dinner on Tuesday. Our answer was the we need to get done with today before we think about Tuesday.

On Easter and Mother’s Day we have taken to doing brunch at home rather than go out to a fancy restaurant. Those Sundays are just too crowded for our taste. When we do it at home and the kids finish eating, they can be excused from the table and go play. Can’t do that at a restaurant.

So what to have for brunch? We usually do some form of brunch eggs and pancakes or waffles. The waffle part was easy. Get out the waffle iron and pancake mix. The only problem we have is keeping them hot while I cook the rest of them. Each waffle takes about 5 minutes. Fresh strawberries and real maple syrup, too. Believe it or not, but you can buy real maple syrup on the west coast.

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The brunch eggs is a mashup of various recipes I have used in the past. This time we had a package of Pillsbury crescent rolls in the refrigerator, so we used those. Spread a single layer in the bottom of an 9×13″ baking dish. Sometimes we use Pillsbury refrigerator biscuits. Failing that, use Pepperidge Farm white bread toasted.

Then saute 1/2 an onion and 1/2 a green pepper in a frying pan. Add some meat. We had some diced ham on hand (8oz. package).  It got added to the frying pan.

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In a small bowl, scramble 10 eggs with 3/4 c of milk. Add the egg mixture, to the frying pan. Then transfer the egg, pepper & onions to the 9×13 pan. Then sprinkle with a layer of shredded cheddar cheese. Cook in a 350F oven for about 1/2 an hour. Check with tooth pick in the center for doneness.

We also had plenty of candy. We had some peeps, jelly beans, chocolate bunnies.

Here’s a picture someone posted of the Boston Peeps. (Arthur Fiedler is probably rolling over in his grave.)

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Mary

March 23, 2016

 Okay, it’s time for an update on Mary. Generally, things have been going good for the past few months. No falls, no trips to the ER, just one trip to see her PCP for annual checkup.

This picture was taken at The “Whale and Ale” in San Pedro. The handsome man sitting next to Mary is our #2 son who was down visiting us from Salt Lake City. Excellent fish and chips plus a pint of Guiness to wash it down.

She has been keeping up with her regular activities. One of us has to be at her side whenever she is walking. We have become much more in tune with handicap accessible buildings. In fact, we try not to take her any place where we have not personally been before. (Eg. Handicap parking, elevators, etc. ) Eliminates surprises. Today was her day at the SP Republican Women’s club. Paula got her to Rose’s to get her hair done. Then down to Ports-o-call for the lunch, then Beth takes her home. I don’t go because I’m not a woman, and Paula doesn’t go because she’s not a republican.

Mary’s memory is fading more and more every day. I have started writing a post-it note for her in the morning with the day and date, plus activities for the day. It helps, but sometimes I have to tell her to look at the note.

Mary reads the daily newspaper front to back about three times during the day. She would probably read yesterday’s newspaper if I didn’t put in the recycle bin. And she watches the local and national news in the evening. Yet, she can’t tell me who is running for president or what happened in Belgium. Even her long term memory is fading. Last night. She asked me if my parents are still alive. SMDH, my father died fifty years ago and my mother about 20. So at one time or another she should have/ would have known this about me. She looks at me like I had never told her this. Sigh.

One final thought. God grant us patience in getting Mary moving. On Wednesday, I was feeling good about getting to Bible study on time. Mary was up by 8 AM and had eaten her oatmeal. But between 8 and 10 am, it’s like she went into slow motion mode. She laid down while waiting for Paula to finish he shower. Then we discover that she put on thick socks, but the shoes she was trying to wear only fit nylons. Next thing we know, the clock is at 9:50 as we (try to) head out the door.

No matter how early we get up, there will always be something to upset the best of plans.

Later,

Joe

Downton Abbey

March 10, 2016

 Last night we wrapped up watching the last episode of season six of Downton Abbey. It was a two hour affair. We typically haven’t been able to watch episodes on Sundays when it is broadcast. We depend on our DVR to catch up on our schedule. So we watched the first hour on Tuesday night after the family went home from our Tuesday night dinner.

We turned on the TV after the family left around 8pm. Mary likes to watch the news, so we started with the local and national news. I switched to Downton as soon as the news was done. Mary was sitting on the couch in her usual spot. After about 15 minutes, Mary says “Hey, this isn’t the news?”. With Mary, we could watch the news over and over again and it  would still be new to her. So we gently explained, that this was Downton Abbey. She watched about another 5 minutes and then went to bed.

So last night was spent closing up loose ends. Mr. Carson is allowed to retire and live out his life in comfort of a cottage on the estate. Edith got married off. Mr Barrow takes over as butler. Everyone lives happily ever after. We had none of the season ending downers like the end of season three when heart-throb Matthew dies in a car crash. Or the season three downer when daughter Sybil dies. So as ending episodes go, it was pretty satisfying. There was none of the trying to understand the episode.

So the story starts in the early part of the 20th century with the news of the death of one of the male heirs had died on the Titanic. So what are the Crawleys to do? They are concerned about the lack of a male heir. In season one, we are introduced to the concept called “entail” that relates to how property is transferred after a person’s death.

The story continues through WWI and then on to the post war 1920’s. Times they are a changing.

One of the things that I found very enjoyable was watching Maggie Smith play Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham. Also, excellent performance by Hugh Bonneville (Lord Grantham)

Downton Abbey is often compared to the PBS series “Upstairs/Downstairs”. Although, when that series was airing I had other things to do. I only caught a couple of episodes and we certainly didn’t have the luxury of a DVR. So you haven’t watched Downton Abbey? Well it’s not too late. All 52 episodes are available to stream on Amazon Prime Instant Video or DVD from Amazon. Seems like it’s a good opportunity for some binge watching. You can also get the DVD’s from Netflix.

There is also a documentary film on Highclere Castle where Downton Abbey was filmed.