Sunday, May 30, 2010

What a coincident

Yesterday I went to our Farmer's Market to check out the hats that I spoke of when the bicycle ladies were here. There were no hats to my liking. (We just had a week-long meeting of ESPRIT, a convention for cross dressers, and no doubt they bought all the good ones) I had dreaded going there, for they are in a new place in town and I didn't know where to park and I didn't know how many stairs I would encounter. I drove around looking for a parking place and there were none on the street. So I went into a little alley below the building and found that there was an outdoor elevator taking you up to where the action is. And even better for my next visit, there is handicap parking even closer to the elevator.

So I looked around for the hat department. There sat a lady working on some llama yarn. She was not carding or spinning, she was melding two colors of the yarn and making it into a ball for future sale. So I asked her if she had been coming to the Port Angeles Farmer's Market for long. Did you come when it was held on eight street? She said yes. Did you ever have a basket with kittens? She said yes, many times. In 1998 I got one of your kittens. Oh, are you the lady who came after the funeral of your husband? I said yes. And my cat is still alive and healthy and I love him so much. We laughed and she said 'I have to get a hug.'
I did not remember what she looked like in 1998 but the whole setting was so similar.

To Em in DK. Are you in one of the Dakotas or are you in Denmark? Glad to know there are Salmon berries in your area. I think they got that name because the berries are salmon colored. Sorry to say I have no pictures of my water colors. I think 1% of my attempts have been successful. Most of my tries have been small scale, cards and such.

Friday, May 28, 2010


I am speaking now of my condition. I feel happy about several Salmon Berry bushes in full bloom that I have to pass every time I am on my way to my garage. And I am equally thrilled when I open my curtains in the morning. Every time I have to go to the grocery store I pick a small bloom with a couple of buds and they last on my kitchen counter two or two and a half days. I am promising myself that I will paint a watercolor of the bush or at least a card of the single one sitting on the counter. Watercolors are difficult to paint for it is such a fleeting time one has to accomplish anything. I promise myself TOMORROW. If I dawdle too long I will have to live until next year when they bloom again. I am such a coward.

My own condition has been a sorry story. I don't think I told you about having to go to the dentist a couple of weeks ago. I had a tooth way back in the rear of my mouth that had at one time suffered a root canal. About four or five years ago that tooth broke off about level with my gum. As time passed this loss caused pain in my jaw joint. So I had to use pain medicine. I took two extra strength Tylenal every morning and two every evening. It made my life tolerable but unbeknownst to me, it totally threw off my blood-thinning treatment and suddenly that had to be re-arranged. What a nuisance. I should not complain for I have been lucky as far as health is concerned.

My good friend Toni, came for a visit. I told you about her fabulous gifts while she was here. Yellow orchids, a bottle of rum from her home Island in the Virgin Islands, a wonderful dinner at our best Mexican restaurant and it goes on and on. And then I got a large envelop with probably 15 American stamps. In it a beautiful embroidery from the Panama area. I love the work they are famous for and I am going to try to copy that. It will not be a native American sort of pattern. Maybe I can try to make a Salmon berry pattern. I will let you know what develops. Thank you Toni.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Read Cassie's comments

I read Cassie's comments several times and I felt I received a history lesson. It is so well written and so sympathetic to the cause and yet so opposite from the way I think. If the Latinas who moved to Arizona were treated the same way I was treated when I first arrived, they would feel at home and would return to Mexico just to see old friends and relatives.

I told earlier about a trip Sam and I took to Mexico. On a train. The train left San Francisco and went to El Paso via Los Angeles. We had tiny bedrooms but ate food that was like food from the best San Francisco restaurants. Our American crew left the train when we crossed into Mexico at El Paso. The chef remained on board but he was a tourist like the rest of us. I wish I knew how to find were I discussed this trip. I think I will google Copper Canyon and see what happens. See you later.

Tried it , but found nothing about our trip. There were thirty to forty passengers on the train. Our cars were attached to the Mexican locomotives and sometimes we had to sit and wait for what seemed hours for a train to come to haul us to our next destination. When we came to big cities the train would wait for us at the station so we could check into a hotel to do our bathing and shampooing. And our sight-seeing. I think we stayed in Mexico City for five days. After that stop we headed for Mayan Country were we saw the pyramids. And we also got to see how the people lived there. Our guide took us to his home and showed how all members of his family slept in 'hangmattor' (sometimes I search in every nook and cranny in my brain for the right word in english and in this case it has taken over 24 hours and it refuses to turn up.) If I had a pencil I could have shown you what I mean.

When we waited for a long time to get going I would sit on the steps of our carriage and soon a child would arrive, curious about a rain stopping just there. I would do a quick drawing of the beautiful face, tear off the drawing to give the child, and as soon as he or she scampered off, there would be ten more waiting. If there was any pushing, or getting out of line, one of our porters would quietly restore order. By the time our train left that spot, there would be hundreds of faces waiting and two hundreds of big black eyes looking disappointed. What beautiful people they were.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Another fabulous weekend

Friday Anna had eight of her bicycle friends for a sleep-over at Gilbert's house. (G is back in Colorado) All, except one, were recipients of the socks that I told abut earlier. All of the ladies slept in sleeping bags in the master bedroom. with the door open, protected from a sea lion invasion* only by the screen door. They did not know about this danger until the following evening.

After breakfast the whole gang arrived at my place. It was so much fun seeing them again. All of them came to Anna's and my birthday party, and they had spent the night with me while the house was mine a couple of times earlier. So I feel very close to them. They spent a couple of hours here and then the gang broke up. Most of them went biking at Lake Crescent and the other group went shopping. A Holland American cruise ship was in town, which was an awesome sight. All the merchants were behaving as if it was a common occasion hoping all tourists would come back again. Two of our ladies bought hats at the Farmer's Market. Hats knitted in wool and then boiled. They were good looking hats and cost only forty dollars. (I am buying one next Saturday)

That evening I was invited by them to have dinner. Even had pick-up service so I could have a drink there. The drink was impressive. Even had a parasol in it. A Margarita. The food was impressive too. Leg of lamb, roasted potatoes and a huge salad. For dessert we had chocolate ice cream with a wonderful sauce. Some people put salt on it. We sat at the table talking for a long time after dinner.

In the afternoon I had a long conversation with Jane, my third daughter. I told her how tiresome older people are, so self-
involved and so insistent on talking about themselves. She jokingly said PUT A SOCK IN IT. We laughed, but I went looking for a sock to take with me in the evening. I used it a couple of times but everyone at the table said, no we want to hear about your life and your adventures. It turns out, that among the eight people there, Anna is the only one who still has a mother. So I will adopt the other seven.

*Maria, who lives down the street came over to see what was going on in Gilbert's house. There were four cars in his driveway. She also told of the sea lions who have invaded their house. Four baby lions and a non-lactating female live under their deck. And they smell so awful it is difficult to remain in the house. Gilbert was notified of this and he said he had it checked before he left and there is nothing under his house.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Night time radio

Last night I woke up at 2.30 and my radio was tuned in to KGO in San Francisco as usual. I always listen for a while to John Rothman when I first go to bed. Sometimes for hours, sometimes I can't remember a word he said for I was tired enough to go to sleep as soon as my head touched the pillow. That's what happened last night. And then I woke up too early and listened to Ray Thaliafero until five am when I got up to take a shower .

What I heard Ray say upset me SO much. He was correct but I never heard it before and it is true what he said. The discussion was about the governor of Arizona. Her latest edict is that there can be no studies in public schools about black or Mexican traditions. A man had called in saying: My parents came from Italy. They came legally, became citizens, and led fruitful lives. Why can't the Mexicans do the same? Ray said 'where your parents black?' No they were Italians. 'What color were they?' They were Italians. 'Were they brown? No they were Italians. Were they yellow? No they were white. Ah, they had no trouble getting to be citizens. Read up on our history and see what happened to the first chinese who came here. They were used to build our rail roads and then could not become citizens nor could they buy Real Estate. And how did the blacks get here. They were shipped in to become slaves. And how long before they could become citizens. And how long before they could ride the buses or eat in our restaurant? And what about the mexicans? When they come across the border because they want to earn money to send home, they work in the fields and live in sub standard housing, and get sub standard pay.

This is what I remember from this nocturnal conversation. I can not get this out of my mind. And what have I done during my ninety year long life to ease or help anyone so unfortunate. I remember paying a woman twice what she charged for doing my laundry in Georgia. She charged quarters and I paid her dollars. I did not have any money for we were paid $60 a month and our room and board, but her charge was ridiculous and she picked up and delivered. That is a tiny thing to put on my grave stone.

Maybe one other thing could be put there also. I never allowed anyone to use the N word in my presence. Even my step father-in-law. We were sitting at the dinner table in HIS house and he used it. I said I will eat in the kitchen if you must use that word. He never did it again and we had a fine relationship while Sam was overseas. But ninety years. I could have done more.

Maybe, one scary day when I had to drive around the Los Angeles area to find a town were we would like to move. The free ways were new to me. I was in Long Beach I think, when I saw a huge building in the distance and discovered that it was Sears.
I stopped and went in to ask were I could have a cup of coffee. They sent me to the seventh floor I think. I got a cup and looked around to see where I could sit. There were not many people there. I saw a table with a teenage boy and asked if i may sit. He nodded. Then I tried to start a conversation and realized he spoke no English. That was fun for me for I had had four lessons at the famous language school in New York. I tried and tried. Finally I made out that he was going to go to work someplace. I asked him about School and he hung his head and said no dinero. I said save money and later and he just got sadder and sadder. I had never seen anybody so without hope. I've never forgotten him. I hope now he is rich and honest .

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Weekend number 2 plus

I forgot to tell of all the wonderful things that came my way last weekend.

Anna brought a gift bag that had something strange in it. I had to guess and my first guess, because it had a long handle sticking up, was that it had to be a musical instrument. The weight of it made it impossible to think it was something intimate.I took too long to guess, so it was revealed. It was a ten foot coiled hose with a long handle to irrigate all the flowers and herbs on my little 'deck'. Anna went out to water at once and discovered that a ten foot hose with a long handle would not reach from the farthest corner where the source of the water came from to the side where most of my herbs are. And so Anna went back to the store and got the next length in hose. I can now get baskets for hanging. no way I could have reached to water before.

And I got a book and a card from Martha about food. Michael Pollan's FOOD RULES. Amusing short little thoughts about our new rules. Enjoyed the one that said 'thank you to mother who would not let us eat margarine'. Martha also sent a magazine called WRITER'S DIGEST and page 54 WRITING ADVICE and out of 16 advice blogs there is one called PLOT WHISPERERS FOR WRITERS AND READERS 'The always inspiring Martha Alderson helps you tackle your plot problems' What a great gift. I always feel she is inspiring.

And then Toni brought me a magazine Spring 2010 AMERICAN ARTIST. There are 8 pages about Toni and illustrations showing her paintings. Since I gave her her first water color set when she was a little girl, and painting lessons it made me feel warm and happy. Toni also gave me an orchid with yellow flowers and a bottle of rum that came from her island in the Carrebean.

There was more, but Edgar is sitting outside the front door asking to come in.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Weekend number 2

If you would like a Willie Mays quote, read the comment Kin Gordon left on the last blog titled Weekend. Kin is a friend from long ago and I am so happy to have heard from him again. Do any of you remember our trip to Mexico at Thanksgiving time the same year we moved to Laguna Beach. Trip was the four or five year old who bought a five dollar watch from a street vendor and was so proud of having a watch, that he asked constantly for someone to ask him 'What time is it'. And when we crossed the border on our way home, the watch stopped. Kin Gordon is his older brother, and a finer person you will never find.

Mother's Day weekend was eventful. It began on Thursday. A friend from early Laguna Beach who now lives in the United States Virgin Islands and Anna and I met for lunch at John Wayne Marina for lunch. We spent hours remembering our close friendship in Laguna. Toni was the young girl who lived next door to us. She spent a lot of time in our house learning about drawing and later about Water Colors. She is the one who came along to harvest green tomatoes when I needed a super-tireing job to get over our sad loss of Schotzie, our miniature Dachshund. We picked what seemed a ton of tomatoes and I had to pickle them the next day. It, or Toni saved my sanity that day.

Back to Thursday, I had shopped earlier that morning. I bought fish rolled up with crab and oysters and aspargus and on my way to the register I thought 'What if she does not eat fish'. So I went back and bought three steaks and sweet potatoes. And fruit for dessert. Luckily she loved fish, so I had enough for two dinners. Saturday Toni took us out for dinner at a Mexican restaurant. And we needed a huge dinner Saturday, for Anna and Toni drove West to a place where you can look for concretions. Absolutely round rocks, some as small as a thimble and others as big as a baseball. I sat in the car reading a book for there was a lot of climbing that my knee cannot tolerate. It was a successful hunt for they found many, many. I wonder how it went at the airport when they found all the rocks.

The art show on Friday evening was uneventful. I have a few people who would like to be told when I have another session of classes in FAKE IT IN FABRICS. And I met some fascinating people. And I had my first Chocolate Martini. Yum.

Sunday Toni and Anna left early so Toni could catch an early ferry so she would get to the airport on time. I had been overdoing it so I spent Mother's Day in my PJs and answered phone calls from family and friends and today Monday I feel full of energy again. So I went to Mc Donald's and had a hamburger and a hot coffee and chocolate drink that I had seen on an ad on television. It was forgetable but I am glad I did it.

Monday, May 3, 2010


I had an unusual weekend. I had nothing planned except Mariners baseball and reading my heavy Willie Mays book.

On saturday the phone rang and a woman said that she, her husband and a couple from Sweden had run into someone who said that he knew a ninety year old Swedish woman who would love to practice her Swedish with someone. It was confusing for me too. I said, yes I would love to speak my old language with someone. The person who called put her Swedish friend on the line and we chatted for a while. And it was good to hear and the person came from the province next to the one I was born in. I came from Skane and the person on the phone lives in Smaland. Where Orrefors glass comes from. It was a short, interesting little interlude and I went back to my book

Sunday I was in the bathroom cleaning Edgar's cat box. The phone rang and by the time I made it to the phone it had stopped ringing. And so eventually I went back to my book with the game in the background. (they lost the third game in a row) It was nice to read about a sixteen inning game pitched by Warren Spahn and Juan Marichal at Candlestick Park and Willie Mays finally hit a home run and won the game. I drew a happy sigh. There was a knock on the door and I called out COME IN. And there were the four people I mentioned earlier. They had tried to call and got no answer. They were on their way to Walmart to buy a bathing suit and decided to stop in.

My little living room filled up and it was a lovely time for me. Everything that had been confusing the day before on the phone turned into a lovely interlude. Four of the nicest people made my day. The Swedish gentleman is here to attend a convention of international importance. It begins today in Seattle and it deals with the future of the sources of power for the world. They all saw the photo of our four children meeting the King of Sweden and apparently the King's granddaughter is also attending the convention. If he had the chance he would tell her about the story of Anna sending her letter when she was a little girl inviting the King for 'tea or coca cola'.

And then when we were in my bedroom looking at a FAKE IT IN FABRICS his wife said, I love your art. And I have mine. It is my voice. And I mentioned a song my mother used to sing, about a bird that sat in the evening in the uppermost treetop saying
'Ive sung all day long but not sung enough. She then sang a song about a bird in the most powerful, beautiful voice that I will never forget. Even if I live to be a hundred, I will never forget her. We changed addresses and I know we will keep intouch by mail. What a great day!