Friday, April 28, 2017

The Principal's Office

Well, it wasn't really like going to the principal's office, especially since the two people I was meeting with were young enough to be my granddaughters.  But it was a serious meeting.  They have noticed, as have I, a decided step down in my mother's cognitive function.  They feel it is time for her to move to the memory care unit and I wholeheartedly agreed.

We talked about particulars and dates.  I asked about how this ordinarily works and they said they find it better if someone takes her out for the day while others move her stuff so that when she returns, she goes directly to the memory care unit and, God willing, her memory deficits will cause her to forget that she was ever anywhere else.

So I hope to do this while Jeri is here next month, because things are usually better when Jeri is along, though today she could not remember either Ned or Jeri, but that will pass when she sees them again

One of the HUGE advantages is that we can move her into an apartment that is as bare as possible and maybe she will stop worrying about "all this crap."  All the crap will be packed into boxes and stored until things settle down and I have chance to go through them.  I will also move most of her furniture into storage, since she's moving into a one-room studio that is small enough that I'm thinking of getting her a new, smaller bed (she now has a king size).

I took another tour of the memory unit, visiting the 3 apartments that are currently vacant.  I chose the largest (slightly larger) and brightest and will sign paperwork on Saturday.  I then told her what we were going to do, knowing that she would immediately forget.  I also knew that she would not (a) understand or (b) approve.  I was right, but I didn't dwell on it.  I just wanted it to be said once.

So all that done, I went to the apartment and found her sleeping in bed, as usual.  I had bought more "junk food" for her for when she doesn't want to go to the dining room (cookies, nuts, and chocolate). I convinced her that she would like to go out to a restaurant for lunch for a change.  And I actually got her up, dressed, and outside.  She was pleased to see the rose garden in front of the building.
Then we drove around looking at gardens in Davis.  It seems every other house in town is having gorgeous displays of my favorite wildflower - poppies!

We passed by my house (which she has never seen before--and why have I never invited her to come and visit?) so I could show her the irises growing in the front yard.  They came from bulbs I took out of her sister's garden after Marge's death oh so many years ago (at least 30, if not more).  She said that was "interesting."

Then we drove to Denny's in Woodland, 10 miles away for lunch (cheapest sit-down restaurant I can think of that is also nice).

She often does not go to lunch at Atria, frequently tells me she is sick to her stomach and can't think about food (as she did this morning), but at the restaurant she managed to finish a whole bowl of chicken noodle soup and both halves of a toasted cheese sandwich, which I consider somewhat of a ice cream for dessert!

It was a pleasant lunch, answering the same questions over and over again, but she seemed in good spirits and best of all she was out of Atria for a few hours.

Melissa and Brianna, the Atria staff concerned with her care, tell me that in memory care each resident is checked on every two hours.  Also, since her new mantra seems to be that she needs to be doing something to help someone (instead of "I know I should be doing something but i can't remember what"), they can probably find a job for her to do every so often so maybe she will feel like she has a bit more purpose than she has had in a very long time.  At least that's my pipe dream for the day and it makes me feel better.

On the way home, I stopped at the strawberry stand to buy some strawberries

She didn't recognize Atria when I drove up, mainly, I think, because I came in from a different direction than usual.  She seemed at a loss when I told her to get out of the car, handed her her keys and told her that if she couldn't remember where she lived to ask someone.  I felt like a neglectful daughter.

But it was a good day and the first step has been taken to move her to what I sincerely hope that after she settles in will be a better place for her now.  A long time friend of hers told me he called her last week and she had no idea who he was.  Very sad.

Friday, April 21, 2017

4/20 - 18

Got dressed in my "missing Paul" uniform this morning.

Lots of us have FTS shirts, which Paul's best friend Kag designed and gave to everyone on Christmas in 1999.  It stands for "f*ck this sh*t" which was what Paul once told his wife he'd like to be his epitaph.  We knew we couldn't print that anywhere, but my friend Olivia suggested "FTS" and it has been a useful abbreviation for 19 years now.  I hope somewhere Paul knows that.

You probably can't see the earring, so I took a close up.

Paul and I had a joke going about happy faces, giving each other gifts with smiley faces on them.  I think it started with a dumb necklace he gave me as a joke one gift-giving occasion and has included things like a HUGE candle (basketball size) and the famous "Happy," who went with us to meet Gasper last weekend.  I'm so happy I remembered to find the earrings this year!  I bought them several years ago and think of them usually a week or so after Paul's anniversary.

I went to Atria for lunch.  Nothings works better than a lunch at the funny farm to cheer one up.  She woke up a little more clear-headed than last time, but wandered around wearing only her pajama tops for about half an hour, trying to straighten out a necklace n her dresser for literally 30 minutes, butt flapping in the breeze.  I finally got her dressed and then to the dining room.  If dementia has ever been something she could hide, it no longer is.  I don't know if the woman who eventually joined us, Betty (someone I had not met before), has dementia or not, but I suspect she does.  My mother asked many times if this were lunch and just lots of stuff like that.  I did a lot of explaining what we were doing today (flowers to the cemetery), who Paul was, etc.  Nothing new.  Just the new normal, with a bit more nudity involved this time.

When I got home, I tried to set up Skype on my iPad, but Davis Community Network has two addresses, the original one and a shortened version adopted several years later  They are essentially the same address, but for some reason I am on iTunes with the short address and Apple with the long address and Apple won't recognize my password and there is no way I have figured out how to change it.  When I have time I'll try to get Apple customer service (bwahahahah...such an optimist) and see.

But because I could not get Skype installed, I was not able to have a Skype conversation with Caroline and Jane, though we were able to facetime, which is nearly as well.  Caroline entertained me with tales of her week castrating an obstreperous horse and trying to feed frozen rats to a snake, Jane talked about once babysitting for a snake, to the horror of her dinner guests, and I shared the story of our orphaned rats whom I had bottle-fed and eventually donated to the local pet store fooling myself that they would be sold as pets, while pretty certain they would end up a someone's lunch.  

In the afternoon we went to the cemetery and discovered that Jessica had gotten there first.  She always brings mayonnaise to the cemetery on 4/20 because Paul hated mayonnaise so much and she's still angry with him for dying.

We left flowers and then Walt went wandering around "the neighborhood" while I sat on a new bench engraved "the gang's all here" and looked for familiar names.  It seems that each time we come to lay flowers on the grave, we find new familiar names joining the neighborhood.

Walt and I have a plot somewhat close to this one for Paul and David, so one of these days we will be members of the neighborhood too.

At night more sushi and then home to catch up on the shows that were recorded while we were out at dinner.  Now a break for a month when it's time to commemorate Dave's 21st anniversary.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


It was my day to work at the hospital information desk and when I got there I was surprised to see that there had been changes.

In the past the desk stood alone, opposite the front door, where people walking in could see it immediately.  The security guards had their own desk across the room outside the door to the birthing center, so that if someone wanted to visit a patient and her baby, the guards would question them and then unlock the door and let them in.

Now someone had decided we should share a desk, so the information desk was expanded and a space for the guards was added.

Before I went to Sutter, I stopped off at Atria to visit my mother.  I was feeling guilty for not bringing her here for Easter, because of the rain.  It was 11 when I got there and she was in bed, which seems to be a daily thing.  She was very sleepy and disoriented (not surprising...I'd have been disoriented if my deep sleep had been interrupted).  I only had a brief time to stay with her, and it seemed there wasn't going to be time to get her up and get her "with it" again.  I figured I would just leave and let her go back to sleep.

That meant I had an hour to kill before my time slot at the information desk began, so I went to the hospital cafeteria and got myself a slice of pizza and a large glass of water.  I settled myself into a table and then realized I had not brought my water with me (it is too convoluted to try to carry a heavy purse, a plate of food that easily slides around and could fall on the floor, a glass of liquid, and my cane).  I got the water, returned to the table and immediately spilled the water all over the place.

Ice water and ice cubes went everywhere and my pizza was now ice cold.  The cafeteria "napkins" have the consistency of thick Kleenex and were essentially useless.  I reported the spill and someone came to sweep the ice cubes under the table, to let them melt into the rug and wiped up (most of) the water.

I finished my lunch and went to relieve the person at the information desk.  It didn't take long for me to realize that I hated the new set up.  I felt totally useless.  For one thing, there was a rotating number of security guards working at their computer, all of whom kept their back turned and didn't even acknowledge my existence.

There is a fair sized group of congenial guards who have all worked together for a long time.  I had been aware of the groups that had a good time visiting with each other at the old security desk by the birthing center.  Now they all gathered around the information desk and visited all afternoon.
When someone came in the front door wanting to know where to find such and such a thing, they asked the security guard, since I was pretty much hidden behind the group of people standing in a circle around the security computer.  So any information that was given out today was given out by the security people and I wondered what I was even doing there.

The day dragged on and on since there was nothing for me to do but sit there and stare at the back of the guy sharing a desk with me.  I left my shift wondering if I still wanted to continue volunteering there or not, since it seems to have become a superfluous job.

I came home exhausted from doing nothing all day and went to sleep much earlier than usual since I couldn't keep my eyes opened.

Monday, April 17, 2017

In My Easter Pajamas

It was 3 p.m. before I realized I was still in my pajamas.  I waited until the movie Easter Parade was over and then the plan was to get my mother and bring her here for a roast leg of lamb dinner.
I should add here that this was the line-up of movies on Turner Classic Movies today:

--Ben Hur
--Easter Parade (?!)
--The Robe
--King of Kings
--Ben Hur--Tale of the Christ
--Quo Vadis

I love Judy Garland, but how did she get into this list???  Still, I had not actually sat and watched the film in a long's one of those movies I know so well, I can put it on as background while I'm doing something else.  But today, I sat and actually watched it.  It was like seeing it again for the first time.  A nice way to spend a couple of hours on Easter.
I had been mentally going back and forth all afternoon about whether or not I would actually bring my mother over here for dinner.  In the early afternoon it rained, moderate strength.  I knew she would not want to come out in the rain, especially since holidays mean nothing to her any more and she had no reaction on Friday when I told her I would bring her here for dinner on Easter. 

The rain finally let up and there was just a drizzle, which looked beautiful adorning the tree outside my kitchen window, but it still was wet and I was getting more and more convinced that I shouldn't try to get my mother.  I knew she would not remember that I said I was going to bring her here, and was not aware that it was a family holiday day, so I finally decided not to get her.

Then I got dressed.

"You're not wearing your pajamas," Walt said, in surprise, around 5:30. 
"I decided to dress for dinner," I told him.

Mother or no mother, I went ahead with plans for dinner--a roast leg of lamb, Cousin Nora's recipe for peas (from Ireland), and mashed potatoes, with salad.  All was delicious.  I wish lamb weren't so darn expensive.  It is my favorite of the red meats.

It was just Walt and me for the holiday, and we spent it watching the Beverly Hills Dog Show on TV, which was won by Ripcord, a gorgeous Doberman.

I've never been a doberman fan, but this guy was so strong and regal looking, it's easy to see why he won.

Well, actually no.  It's not easy to see.  Every time I watch a Best in Show competition, marvel at the judges who aren't judging one dog against another, but judging the look of one dog against the standard of the breed.  There were some beautiful dogs, one in each category, competing for the top slot.  My money was on the English Springer Spaniel, but I was happy for Ripcord and his owners.
So our Easter came without any bunnies, but with lots of dogs and a bit of lamb, and that was OK.  

Today I'll stop and visit my mother.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Sunday Stealing

1. If "happiness" was the global currency, what kind of work would make you a gazillionaire
I was so very happy when we fostered orphan puppies, until the local animal shelter started giving them to breed specific rescue groups.  There is nothing that makes me feel happier than a newly fed 1-3 week old puppy giving happy puppy grunts as he/she snuggles onto my chest.  I felt I had the best of all possible worlds because I got them when they were tiny and when they started becoming obstreperous, at 2 or 3 mos. of age or so, they moved to a different home.  I could feed newborns every day and watch them start to "wake up" and explore the new world around them, and be a very happy person.  (Of course I did it as a volunteer, so it might not make me a gazillionaire!)

2. Would you break the law to save someone you loved?  And, if so, how far would you be willing to take it?
Yes I would.  I don't know how far I'd go until faced with a specific situation.  I'd like to think I'd fall short of killing someone, but if it was a question of my loved one or the other, I might find the courage to save the loved one.
3. Is it possible to really know the truth without questioning it first?
These days it behooves us to question everything since "truth" has become such an elusive thing.  It used to be we took things at face value, but our president and his minions have taught us that truth is unimportant.  That has been a very sad realization.
4. Do you remember that one time . . . oh, about 5 years ago or so . . . when you were really, really upset?  Does it really matter now? If not now, then when?
Five years ago?  Hmmm.  It helps to have a database.  April 2012 seems to have been a good time, as was March 2012, but I did write an entry about an article someone posted on Facebook about the movie The Hunger Games.  Apparently there was a lot of comment about casting of the movie and why Black actors were cast in specific roles.
"I was pumped about The Hunger Games until I learned that a black girl was playing Rue."
In the long list of comments the n-word was used more than once.  The entry I wrote was entitled "I Don't Recognize My Country" and it was about my history with African-Americans, being a child of the 50s where going to school with four black girls was a real first for me, since there had been no African-Americans in my grammar school.
"The idea of prejudice never even entered my head until my sister was going to go to the movies with a black friend.  My father paid the young man a visit at his place of employment and told him he was not allowed to take his daughter out and that he felt that people should date only within their own race."
It was the first time I ever realized that my father, who preached acceptance, was really filled with prejudice.  Anyway, yes, it mattered then and it still matters today.
5. Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what is good and what is evil?
It depends on the situation.  All you have to do is follow the nightly news to realize that nothing is what it seems and that evil seems to abound....but does it really?
6. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
Well, I can definitely think of a thing or two, but people would judge me, so I won't print them here.
7. Would you rather have less work to do, or more work you actually enjoy doing?
It would be almost impossible to have less work to do, since I am very good at avoiding work.

8. Would you rather be an anxious genius, or a tranquil fool?
This is a period where I am working on tranquility, so I'll go with the tranquil fool...besides, it's kind of fun to be considered a fool.

9. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?
How about neither?  I don't worry about things I do.  I do them, and if they are the "right thing," good, but if they are the wrong thing done right, that's good too.  Confusing question, confusing answer.
10. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
For so many years, when I asked myself this question, the answer I came up with was 35, which seems to be the age at which many of us are stuck mentally.  Lately, however, when I think about how old I feel it's closer to 50....still quite a bit younger than my actual age (74), but older than 35.  Must be because of all the losses in the last 20 years that weigh me down, as well as the responsibility of my mother which all make me feel older.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Kick It

Since McGee, Garcia and Chloe are still not available to me, I had to resort to more primitive methods to fix today's computer problem.  Essentially I kicked it (virtual kicking = turning completely off).

I don't really understand what happened.  I went to call up a file on WordPerfect and discovered that only a small number of my real files were there.  They all seemed to be from a couple of years ago.
Now I should explain that I have the C drive, which is, of course, the CPU.  Then I have two external drives.  The E drive has, in addition to the Word Perfect documents, all of the files for Funny the World.  The F drive has my database files, and other things.  Both E and F are back-ups of each other.

I checked my file for letters to Brianna, which are nicely organized into folders by year, and a file for things sent to her. But none of the folders were there, only the letters from 2016.  Nothing new.
When I checked the PC I discovered that what had been the E drive was now the F drive, and what was now the E drive listed files from a flash drive I had put in earlier that day with files from our trip to Santa Barbara.  There was no sign of the contents of what had been the F drive.  

What gives?

That's when I kicked it.  I turned off the computer and went and rented the movie Lion from X-finity to give the computer two hours to decide what it wanted to do.

When I turned it on again, everything was back, but the E drive was still F and the F drive was still E.  All of my WordPerfect documents were back.  

The first thing I did was to do back-ups of the major files I did not want to lose (like my list of all the entries of Funny the World and all of the books I've read over the last 7 years!).  In addition to being backed up on the two hard drives, they are also backed up on a flash drive.

So that crisis was averted.

But I keep getting messages from the cloud saying that my storage is filling up and asking if I want to buy additional storage.

Now, I need to say that there was a time when I read computer books for fun.  When I was learning my various programs, learning how to code in HTML (before there were programs like FrontPage) I would read manuals in the car for fun.  I took a real joy in the discovery of all the things I could do.
But these damn programmers keep inventing new things that require new programs and first of all new programs (and the upgraded computers to run them) cost money.  When I would read what the upgrades did, and I realized that I had no need for any of the fancy new bells and whistles they offered, I kind of lost interest in reading manuals.

I should add parenthetically, that I don't know how the people I was running around with at the time could afford a new computer every six months or so!  Or a new version of an expensive program like PhotoShop every time a new one came out.  No wonder people run up bills of thousands of dollars on credit cards!

So anyway, technology has left me in the dust, but I'm happy.  I have my PC, I have WordPerfect (very, very old version because I don't need the bells and whistles that came with the expensive "suite" that Word Perfect morphed into).  I have Front Page on which I have written this journal for most of its existence (in the beginning, I wrote my own HTML), and I have a copy of PhotoShop that I found at an incredible sale on Amazon many years ago.  It's CS3, which is so terribly outdated, but it does all I want it to do, so why do I need to upgrade to the latest version, which would cost >$1,000?

When I got this new computer, none of these programs were supposed to work on it, but my guru managed to get each working and now I live in fear of having to replace the computer, as I fear having to replace my laptop for the same reason.

So, I am aware that there is something called the cloud that apparently has been storing things for me, but I don't have a clue how to access the cloud or what is actually stored there.

I decided it was time to check the cloud and find out what it was storing.  Did it have all those files I thought I lost?  Only I had no idea how to find my cloud file.  I went to Facebook for help.
"You know people write jokes about people like you," my grammar school friend Lois wrote on Facebook after several posts of mine about trying to find my iCloud account.  "Sigh.  I know," I answered her.  Feel free to make up your own jokes...

I learned that I had to download iCloud to my PC, so apparently whatever is on my cloud is only from my iPhone, I think, but now that I was into learning about the cloud, it sounded like a good idea to have on the PC too.

So I signed up.  And I went through all the questions.  I knew my log in, I knew my password, and when I logged out and logged back in again, it didn't recognize either.  You know, there is nothing like a computer to make you feel really stupid!

Somehow -- I still don't know how -- I managed to get logged into the cloud but then I tried to find the files that are apparently filling it up.  Do you think I could find anything?  No.  I didn't find anywhere to view stored files.  I can only assume that I have a separate cloud file for the iPhone...and there is nothing on the phone that I care about losing if my cloud account fills up.

Then I found a very long document about how to link your PC documents up to the cloud, at which point I gave up.  I'll just do better about backing up.  The cloud is entirely too complicated for my brain to comprehend.

Thursday, April 13, 2017


A month or so ago, I ordered something called a "sherpa bed" for the dogs.  The price was right and it was supposedly bigger than the beds we have now (Lizzie's favorite position is in a small bed, with her head hanging out onto the cold floor)

It hasn't come and hasn't come and I was beginning to think that I had been ripped off.  But yesterday a basketball-shaped package, poorly wrapped, showed up at the front door and lo and behold, there was the new bed.

I unwrapped the bed and put it on the floor, ready to line it up with the other beds, but Lizzie took possession immediately.

She obviously loved the new bed and has settled in all day, ignoring the beds she has been sleeping in for the past several years.

I know the feeling.  Though I don't sleep in a bed, my couch and my recliner are so comfortable that I love to snuggle in the way Lizzie has done with the new bed.  Give me the recliner and a quilt that I sleep under and I can hibernate like a bear in the woods (without the fear that someone is going to shoot me, because that is now legal).

The bed has become, I think, my mother's refuge.  It used to be that when I went to see her, she was asleep on the couch.  Now more often than not she is sleeping n her bed, with lots of pillows and a comfortable duvet.  Sometimes she's dressed for the day, sometimes not and it's difficult to tell if she slept in her clothes (as I often do), or if she was helped to dress and then went back to her bed.

Yesterday I was going to have lunch with her, but no parking place, so I went shopping first and it was after 12 before I got to her apartment.  She was in her bed, dressed.  I could not tell if she'd been up or not, but since her shoes were next to the bed, I assume she had been up and had assistance getting dressed before going back to bed.

I just ache for her.  It must be terrible to wake up in a strange place, with strange people, and no clue where you are.  I woke her up and she squinted at me, and said, weakly, "I think I recognize you."
I sat on the bed, hoping she'd come to life, but she turned on her side, pulled the duvet up over her and said several things, all mumbled softly and I have no idea what she was saying.  After about 30 minutes, I told her I thought I should leave and let her get some more sleep.  That got her moving.  A little.

She eventually sat up, but just sat there, not really acknowledging that I was there, though ultimately she decided she would get up.  I told her I'd wait in the living room.  She finally came out and said "what am I supposed to do?"  I told her there was nothing she had to do but that I was just going to sit and wait for her so we could visit.

She disappeared again for a long time and when I went to check on her, she was sitting on the bed again.

She finally came in and sat in her chair, but didn't know where she was.  She seemed surprised to hear she'd been there nearly 4 years.  She asked how often I sat in the chair she was sitting in.  She commented on the blooming plants outside, and asked what the blanket on her couch was.  She had no concept that I had not been around, and had no interest in hearing about the trip to Santa Barbara (though she asked what I'd been doing ... she just didn't want to know about it).  She said she just sat there and waited for people to come and see her.

I finally decided that we had nothing to say to each other and I left (ironically, exactly an hour, which is how long most of my visits last).  I brought her laundry home to wash, which surprised her that I would do that.

I left with tears on the surface, then came home to an email from the woman who runs Atria saying they were having problems getting her  to shower and to wear Depends and that she has been having accidents. She was thinking I could come by while they bathe her and maybe that would calm her down.  She also suggested I remove all of her underwear and replace them with Depends.

This is killing me.  I hate the thought of causing her discomfort by making her accept strangers bathing her. On one of her more lucid days, we talked about it and she was adamant that nobody was gong to bathe HER.

I agree with the need to get her to accept Depends because incontinence is becoming a problem.
I suggested to Brianna that we just ignore the bathing assistance right now until it becomes a noticeable problem and decided I won't take her clean underwear back to her when I've finished washing it and put Depends on her underwear drawer and see what happens.

As I said, this is killing me.  I watched her sister go through this and that killed me, watching that intelligent, funny woman shrink into someone who had to be bathed and screamed bloody murder the whole time because she hated it so much.

It's so hard to know what to do and I wish I could talk to my mother about it because she'd know the right thing to do!

It makes me want to crawl into my comfortable recliner, pull the quilt up over me and veg-out with a movie or two.

(Worst of all, ofcourse, is knowing that unless high cholesterol does me in first, this will be me, eventually, and my kids will have to be making these same decisions.)

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


I've always said I was a wallflower and I think this proves it.

Here is my view from the table where I was sitting for the Sutter Davis thank you lunch for volunteers.  Note that all tables are filled except mine.  I rest my case.

Actually, eventually some people came to sit with me (the other tables were full) but four of them were friends who were immersed in their own conversation throughout lunch, but at the end, one woman did say my name was familiar and had I been a real estate agent?  When I told her I was the critic for the Enterprise, she was more friendly and told me she always reads my stuff.  That always makes me feel good.

But the lunch was nice and I was surprised to get a pin for having volunteered 100 hours since I started volunteering (along with a tiny box that held one See's truffle...worth the trip out to the Flyers Club in itself).

Our trip home from Santa Barbara on Monday had been a beautiful tour through a lot of yellow wildflowers.

Mile after mile of carpets of yellow flowers (mustard, I think).  This was an area where a few years ago, the carpets were purple and orange, for lupin and poppies, but I didn't see any of those today.  Still, the yellow kind of takes your breath away when you see it surrounds you as far as the eye can see.

We were listening to David Baldacci's "The Guilty," which is a complicated book in spots and the fact that I had terrible insomnia the night before and kept dozing off didn't help.  But at least the end of the book was so intense that one could not really fall asleep listening to it.
We stopped at one of our regular restaurants along I-5, Pea Soup Andersons.  I know they have a great menu....

but I can never get past their "travelers special," which is a bottomless bowl of their famous split pea soup along with a selection of toppings.

You can get refills on soup as often as you want, but I can never finish more than one bowl, though Walt had two.  The combo comes with the drink of your choice, which includes either a chocolate or vanilla milk shake (I got the vanilla shake).

When I woke up this morning, Amazon had delivered a package, which was my own copy of the Harry Potter cookbook that Brianna was reading when I was in Santa Barbara.  I thought an added dimension to our correspondence would be to compare recipes, since she likes to cook and was excited about several different dishes.  I love it that she likes to read cookbooks as much as I do!  My first experiment will be a Butter Beer Milk shake!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Sunday Stealing

1. If you could say anything you wanted to say to Donald Trump, what would you say?
You know, I am so upset, angry, and disgusted with our 45th president that if I were to meet him face to face, I would not be able to say anything.  But "You're fired," which several others have said, sounds pretty good to me!

2. If you had to be the mother of Britney Spears or Lindsay Lohan, who would you choose and why?
I don't know either of them well enough.  I'm too old for a young child again (I discovered when Caroline was here for 3 weeks), but I would like to tak to Lindsay Lohan about what went wrong.  She seemed to be the one young star who had it all together and wasn't going to go off the rails, when she was first coming into her star-hood.

3. You get to be Queen for a day. The kids are all taken care of, and you can spend as much money as you want. What do you do all day?
Sit in my recliner, binge watching series I haven't finished watcing yet, maybe spend some time orderin "stuff" on the internet (since I can spend as much as I want--the sky's the limit), and order something to be delivered for dinner.

4. Is there a song that brings tears to your eyes every time you hear it? If so, which one?
"In the Arms of the Angel" by Sarah McLachlan.  My son's widow and my daughter-in-law sang it at Paul's memorial service.

5. A fairy taps you on the shoulder and tells you that you can either have a perfect face or a perfect body for the rest of your life. Which do you choose?
Oh a perfect body, definitely.  I'm used to not having a perfect face and I've never known what it was like to have a perfect body.

6. If you could live any place in the world and money was no object, where would you live and why?
Well, this would assume that my mother was no longer living (since I won't leave here while she is), but there is a wonderful senior citizen living complex near here, very expensive, where you can have a real house, giving Walt and me our own special areas, and housekeeping is done for you, and the chef in the dining room cooks gourmet meals.  There are lots of beautiful places in the world, but I like California and moving one of the beautiful places means being far from my kids.

7. What is your biggest regret in life?
There are two, one emotional, one practical.  The practical is that I regret not finishing college (though if I had, my life would now be completely different)
The second is doing whatever I did that ended a wonderful friendship.  I'll never have the answer to that one and the questions linger forever.

8. If you could go back and visit one person in your life who is now dead, and ask one question, what would that question be and why would you ask it?
There are lots of questions surrounding our son Paul's death and I want to ask him what actually happened.

9. If you had the choice to age forward (like we are now) or aging backwards (think Benjamin Button) which would you choose and why?
Oh good ord, aging backwards would be terrible.  I'm happy to age forward.

10. What will the epitaph on your headstone say?
Hmmm.....probably what we have on the gravestone shared by our two sons -- "Funny the World."

Monday, April 10, 2017


We were so busy yesterday sitting around watching the grandkids, we needed today to rest and recover.

I had collapsed and gone to sleep around 10 and slept through until 5.  My plan was to change to the recliner and go back to sleep, but I kept thinking about what I was going to write for Funny the World and that woke me up, so I got up at 5 and wrote the entry.

Walt and the others went off to Mass at the Santa Barbara Mission, so I had an hour and a half here by myself, which I wasted by watching talking heads and playing games on my cell phone.
They came home and Joe fixed breakfast, then settled in to watch The Masters.  I was feeling sleepy, went to lie down on the couch and woke up at 3.  Joe and Alice had gone off to a memorial.  Walt was watching The Masters

Not being into golf, I finally did what I wanted to do since we got here, which was to take a picture of Benny riding on the neck of Alice Nan's big giraffe. 

I'm really happy with how the photo turned out and you can't tell that Walt is actually holding the bear in place.

Thank you, Photo Shop!

Anyway, I think Bri will like the photo when I send it and will recognize the giraffe instantly as belonging to "Auntie Nan."

I joined Walt in watching the end of the Masters.  I don't know any of the competitors and know nothing about golf, so the exciting 18th hole did nothing for me, but I did watch it, and later the awarding of the famous green jacket.

When Alice Nan and Joe returned from the memorial service they were attending, they immediately sat down to watch the recording of the Masters they had done while they were gone, so I got to watch it a second time.  (Bui I did not inadvertently say anything about the game or the winner.  Yay me!)
We got a not-surprising text from Tom saying they were late leaving Laurel's mother's birthday party and would not be able to have us come over for dinner tonight, but would see us the next time we came to town,.

In all honesty, I was relieved.  The girls had a very busy day with their other grandma and would be exhausted, and thus all wound up and I suspect things would not have gone as well as they did last night.  Last night was one of my favorite grandma nights ever, so I'd rather leave town with those memories.

I spent time getting caught up on current events, like Robert Reich's marvelous column about how Trump creates fog to try to deflect from the biggest potential scandal in American history, Russia's involvement with the election and with, it appears, to be just about everybody on the Trump team, at one time or another.  Fortunately there are legions of people not letting him get away with it, and insisting on holding his feet to the fire.

There was also the introduction to the excellent LA Times series of editorials slamming Trump.
Then there were statements made by Pope Francis about the hypocrisy of Trump supporters:
“The sickness or, you can say the sin, that Jesus condemns most is hypocrisy, which is precisely what is happening when someone claims to be a Christian but does not live according to the teaching of Christ. You cannot be a Christian without living like a Christian,”
“You cannot be a Christian without practicing the Beatitudes. You cannot be a Christian without doing what Jesus teaches us in Matthew 25.”
The article goes on to conclude
For decades now, Republicans have claimed to be the party of Christian values.
However – it’s increasingly obvious that the Republican idea of Christian values is terribly wrong. With the Trump policy agenda, Republicans are directly contradicting the message of the Bible and Jesus Christ.
So it appears that I am slowly easing back into real life, which will involve a ton things recorded on the DVR while we were gone.

I know how Alice Nan and Joe felt about rushing home to watch the Masters!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

My Buns are Burning

The title really has nothing to do with anything, but it was a line in the middle of a not very funny joke Bri told tonight and so much fuss was made over "my buns are burning" that I had to use it as the title of this entry.

What a fun day it was! Yesterday was football day.  Today was softball day. We went to the softball field around 1 and first watched Brianna's game.  She was starting pitcher and really throws a mean ball.  When it was her first "at bat," she hit a single and ran like the wind.  I couldn't believe how fast she ran in comparison to the other kids.  Laurel said they had her in a track program for awhile, but four sports activities (she is also in karate) was too much, so they had to drop it.

We have been coming to her games for 3 years now and I was very impressed at how the girls have improved.  This was a real game, with pitching and fielding and being able to catch the ball.  I don't have a clue what the score was, but the girls comported themselves very well.

Laurel is the scorekeeper and Lacie has her own book where she keeps score too. She's very diligent about it!

Tom agreed with my assessment about how the girls' abilities had improved and said that they were better players, but the girls on Lacie's team were cuter.  And they were.  Poor Tom had flown in from Boston the day before, but missed his connecting flight from SF to Santa Barbara by literally seconds, and United would not let him on the plane, so he had to rent a car and drive home, arriving at 4 a.m., so he could coach Lacie's team.  He is such a fantastic dad.

Sports are not Lacie's thing.  She plays softball like Ferdinand the Bull, standing there looking at butterflies (or whatever) while the plays go on around her.  However, she did get on base every time and ran home every time.  Here she is running for 3rd base.

In the evening we went to Tom and Laurel's for dinner and to visit with the kids.  It was also to be the Big Meeting between Benny and Gasper, who have been pen pals for weeks.  It went well.

They got along well and will be writing to each other again.

Brianna is an inveterate reader.  Laurel says she will come home from school and sit and read the Narnia books for 3 hours sometimes.  Tom points out that she is just like her mother...and her grandmother!  She got a Harry Potter cookbook for her birthday and she seems to like reading recipes as much as I do, so we spent a lot of time pouring over the recipes and what we would like to cook (I'm up for making butter beer milk shake!)

Bri's birthday was last week and Laurel made an incredible Hogwarts cake for the Harry Potter themed party.  She said that now that Bri has learned how to Google, she printed off page after page after page of hundreds of ideas for Hogworts cakes!

Later, when the girls were getting a little rambunctious with the stuffies, Laurel put on one of their favorite programs -- Master Chef Junior, which I also watch, and we watched the whole episode, talking about our favorite cooks.  They really are growing up and we can have more in-depth conversations now.

Dinner was delicious and Bri kept us entertained with jokes while Lacie insisted we tell scary stories.  How angry I was with myself for forgetting Bri's birthday present in Davis, which is a story-telling game that would have been just perfect!

We left early so Tom could get some sleep.  I had to come back after we got to the car because I had left my cane behind.  Tom answered the door and I told him I had left my cane., "You've never said that to me before, Mom" he said!

It was really a perfect grandparent day and though I hadn't really DONE anything but sit and watch and chat, I passed out shortly after we came home (and all I'd had to drink was water)
One of our best visits here since we've had grandchildren.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

I Needed McGee

My nightmare began very innocently.  This laptop wakes up like an old lady getting out of bed in the morning.  V-e-r-y slowly.  It has to test out all the programs and stretch its arms and legs and moan and groan about the aches and pains, but eventually come to life.  Even under the best of conditions, it operates very slowly, like it has arthritis.   And it is so old, it does not multi-task without a lot of complaining.  It was taking so long yesterday that I decided that re-booting it (my version of "kicking it") might help.  So I rebooted and up came the lock screen asking for my password.  I confidently put in what I knew was the password but it wouldn't open.  

I have about four different passwords, each with a combination of letters and numbers, which I use for everything.  They are all easy for me to remember, but sometimes I use capital letters or I add punctuation.  I tried every password I had in every iteration I could think of and the machine stayed stubbornly locked.

I went to Facebook to ask for help and got some great suggestions, none of which worked.  Then I went to the internet to ask how you unlock a laptop when you have forgotten the password.  I found lots of suggestions, all of which had been made by my Facebook friends except the final one -- completely reinstalling the operating system, which would erase everything on the computer. (now that I think of it, how do you do that if you can't open the machine in the first place?)

Anyway, all day long, I fretted about my situation and tried to figure a work-around for Funny the World, using Walt's computer to at least leave a message that I wouldn't have any entries until we got back home again.

It was when we were driving home at 10 last night when a lightbulb went off.  I remembered the password.  I got this machine in 2003, right after I returned from Australia and in choosing a password, I wanted to use one that would be impossible to guess.  I see McGee on NCIS or Garcia on Criminal Minds  or Chloe on 24 figure out passwords instantly--the guy's birthdate, or his cat's name, or his mother's phone number.  Something easy to guess eventually.  I was smarter.  I chose the address of the house Peggy was living in when I went to Australia.  I was so excited that the first thing I did when we got home was to try that and....voila!  Open Sesame.  I was in.  Now I have written the password in several different places, told Walt and Alice Nan and now you.  If I ever lose it again, you don't know what the address is (or was...she hasn't lived there in years), but you can tell me and I'll know.

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln....  it was a full, fun day,  It started at the crack of dawn, heading down to Brianna's school for a 9:30 a.m. concert by the first, second, and third graders.  Being a 3rd grader, Bri was toward the back, but was easily visible when we got there because the younger kids hadn't arrived yet.  

Eventually the stage filled up and the kids put on a half hour show.

Very cute.  Laurel wasn't able to come, so I took video and pictures so she could see at least part of it.
After it was over, back here to Alice Nan's house, where Walt and AN took naps, I took a shower, and continued to fret about my password.

At 3, we went to the football field for Brianna's flag football game.  If the concert was cute, the football game was cuter.  It was not difficult to pick Bri out of all of her teammates..,.she is at least a head shorter than all of them, but she's fierce and watching her run the ball down the field was really fun.  

It was a girls' team playing a boys' team and the boys were better (but they don't keep score yet).  Bri stole 3 flags (equivalent of making a tackle).  In the end, it had been a lot of fun and we came back to AN's house to rest up while Laurel and the girls went to the store.

Eventually we went to the house for Family Movie Night.  They were watching ?Fantastic Beasts? which seemed awfully dark for kids and I never did figure out the plot, but we we enjoyed visiting.  

Tom had been in Boston and was due home, but never did get there by the time we left.

And then the computer finally leaping to life ended the day on a high.  I woke up at 2:30 this morning to write this and if the arthritic old lady ever lets me into Facebook to retrieve photos to add to it, I can finally post it and go back to sleep.

[Addendum:  What would have taken me about an hour or less to do at home has taken me 2+ hours here.  Putting in the football picture alone took -- I timed it -- 17 minutes!!!!]

Friday, April 7, 2017

And so it ends

Caroline's last day started with a farewell love-in with the dogs who, I am certain, will miss her.

She went off for a walk in the university Arboretum, which I'm so glad she did.  It is just beautiful at this time of year and she had not had the opportunity to see it at all while she was here.

When she returned, we had our final Skype chat with her parents,

It was about noon when the car was packed and we were ready to hit the road.  It was only 10-15 minutes later, along the freeway, when Walt spied this in his rear view mirror.

He thought he was being pulled over for speeding, though he had only been keeping up with the speed of the cars around him, but no...

He had been going too slow.  Only 60 in the middle lane and you are supposed to go 65 in that lane or pull over to the right with all the "slow cars" so you don't impede traffic! He only got a warning, but he was very careful about his speed on the rest of the trip.

Too soon, we arrived at the SF International Airport and it was time for goodbyes,.

We told her, again, that she was welcome to return any time, and then she and that HUMONGOUS backpack were gone.

It was 2 when we left the airport and we stopped a couple of times (lunch at 5 Guys and a rest stop) and arrived at Alice Nan's at 9:59 (she was surprised we had made such good time and said she hadn't expected us until 10!)

We had some dinner and wine and then everyone went off to bed and I have been tearing my hair out trying to get this entry written.  I had forgotten that after not being used for a long time, this laptop needs about half an hour to wake up.

I also realized I am a very bad grandma.  I forgot to bring Bri's birthday gifts with us!!!!!  I will have to mail after all.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Changing of the Guard

Out with the old and in with the ... uhhh .... older?

It's Caroline's last night here and I've asked her to strip her bed in the morning so we can wash and dry the sheets and get them back on the bed in preparation for Ashley and family to move in while we are gone.  

Doesn't seem possible that Caroline's time here is already over.  She wrote us a beautiful goodbye letter that whe printed on  the back of a drawing she had done, which is just gorgeous (I'm going to frame it)

She says birds are the only things she draws, but she obviously has a talent for them!

I watched her sitting at the table holding Polly tonight and marveled at how far she has come.

Polly doesn't bark at her any more.  She's the very first person who has been able to tame her.  Oh, Polly barks but it's her welcoming bark and her "feed me" bark, not the "you're a scary stranger" bark.  Ashley said she'd be jealous if Polly jumped in her lap...and that's the one thing she doesn't do, but she will let Caroline pick her up and doesn't tremble any more when she is holding her.  Caroline has worked long and hard making friends and it has worked.  I don't know if Polly will miss her, but Caroline will probably miss Polly more.  And of course, Lizzie loves everybody and Caroline has had a special relationship with her ever since she bathed her.

Last night she made eccles cakes.  These are small round pouches of puff pastry filled with a mixture of currants and spices and then baked.  They are small, but surprisingly filling.

She left four for Walt and me (one each for last night and one each for this morning) and took the rest to share with her friends at the vet school. I found the recipe on line and am going to make a batch to take to the nice neighbor who loaned Caroline a bike for her time here.

We had a nice farewell dinner tonight and then she went out for a final night on the town with her friends.  It's difficult to say goodbye and she has already warned that there will be tears tomorrow.  She won't be the only one.

I've told her she is welcome to return whenever she wants.  It's been a good 3 weeks.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Democracy in Action

All of my life I have heard about the glories of democracy and how this country is so great because we are a democracy, as we go around the world trying to force the glories of democracy on other countries, whether they want it or not, because democracy is so wonderful.

But it is more and more clear that we do NOT live in a democracy...probably not for a long time, but definitely lately.  

Our voting system is totally wacky.  The people do not elect a president, but a select group of a small number of selected representatives elect the president and even if the other candidate has received a significant majority of the actual votes, she doesn't win the election  How is that democracy, defined as "government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system."

If an ethnic group is going to vote in large numbers for your opposing candidate, make it more difficult for them to get to the polls or qualify to vote.  How is that democracy...making it difficult for voters to vote?  How is that "a free electoral system"?

If the voting groups don't favor your candidate, there is always the Gerrymander, drawing the lines so that the majority of districts do favor your candidate.

And when your elected representatives get to Washington, they aren't there to do the will of the people, they are there to get re-elected.  If the majority of the voters express opposition to your opponent for the Supreme court, change the rules so that the negative votes don't count.  If the president you don't like nominates a worthy candidate for Supreme court. refuse to even talk with him on the flimsy excuse that he "only" has a year left in office, so should not get to name a new justice (historical precedent notwithstanding!)

I am so tired of the people making their feelings known and our "representatives" ignoring them and doing whatever they damn well please.

I am also tired of so many people with very shady pasts, people who have almost certainly committed crimes and get a free ride when Hillary Clinton went through a monumental witch hunt, which cost the American voters millions of dollars and turned up nothing, time and time again.

We call this a democracy.  I don't know what it is, but it is not a democracy!
You can't tell me that the majority of people want to return to this:

or to watch children getting sick from the use of DDT, which, has been used only in limited instances (killing fleas responsible for bubonic plague, for example) since the 1970s.  The ban on DDT has been credited with the return of the bald eagle, our national bird.  But now?  Go ahead.  Use all you want!

The Daily Mail in the UK reported that more than HALF of US rivers are too polluted to support life as a result of agricultural fertilizers.  I don't know the date of this article, but it mentions that the Obama administration finalized regulations to control mercury pollution in 2011.

Now?  Gone.  Dump all the junk you want to into the nation's waterways.  Remember Flint, Michigan?  Brown unusable water coming from  the taps?  Kids getting sick?  You can't tell me that this is what the majority of Americans want.

Anybody feel all cozy knowing that it is now legal to kill mama and baby bears as they hibernate in their dens?

These things (and too many more) are now legal in our "democracy" and you can't tell me this is the will of the people.

But where are the Republican with balls who will stand up to the tyrant who is systematically getting rid of every environmental regulation that Obama put into place, which has made our world so much cleaner and less dangerous.  Other than John McCain, is there not one senator who will say ENOUGH???

We are supposed to go into war only with approval of the congress, but Trump just sent troops into Syria without a public vote and without letting the public know he was doing it.

I just don't believe this is what the idea of a "democracy" is like.  Nothing is perfect, but this is so bad, bad, bad, and we, the common people trying to raise our families, feel so terribly powerless as we watch the country that we love slip away and as we become the laughing stock of the world.  (Just spend time with someone from another country to learn how people around the world feel about this country now.)

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Thunder Down Under

(I came across that phrase and it fit so perfectly.....)

I learned an important lesson today.  If you are seeing a physical therapist and he decides to assist you to a flat position on a table on your back, and if you haven't been in that position for literally years and because of your size, it's rather awkward getting into that position in the first place, for god's sake don't fart!!!

I didn't, but my 74 year old body, gaseous in the best of times, really really wanted to!  I consider it a major victory that I was able to hold it in.  He was a nice young man, freshly out of grammar school, I guess, judging by his Doogie Howser appearance, and I would have been mortified to fart in front of him, though I suspect I would not have been the first.

It was really a pretty good meeting.  We talked a lot.  He had read my file and my correspondence with my doctor and asked lots of questions about where exactly the pain is, what kind of pain it is, when it comes, what makes it better, etc.  I was impressed.  He asked more questions in 15 minutes than i think my doctor has asked in 15 years

He showed me my x-rays and the lovely curvature of my spine which explains the loss of nearly 2" in height over the last 20 years or so.

He showed me how the disks in my spine are flattening due to pressure on them and that he can't cure them, but with some simple exercises along with the cream my doctor gave me, the pain can probably be made better.

He also had a model of a spine that would look like a muppet if it had a face.  But it was a great graphic example of what is going on and made it very easy to see what and where and why the problem is.

We didn't make a return appointment because once he had shown me the exercises (3 simple ones), there didn't seem to be much point in a follow-up, when we have e-mail to communicate and I'm welcome to come back whenever I want.

After the appointment, I had lunch at Denny's and learned, finally, how to take a proper Selfie.  My arms are too short and my fingers too uncoordinated to do a good job the regular way.  But I discovered a timer on the phone, so by setting the timer for 3 seconds, I can take a selfie that looks fairly decent.

I was all excited to go to the store on the way home.  Last week when I was there they had a whole bin of fresh Dungeness crab and after our lunch in Berkeley the other day, when Caroline said she loved crab, I decided we would have crab for dinner tonight.  Crab, salad and French bread.  Nectar of the gods.

But when I got to the meat counter there wasn't a single crab to be had.  I asked when then expected to get them in again (thinking maybe I could get crab for our final dinner before she leaves) and he told me that crab season had ended and they would not have any again for months.  Poo.

So I bought something else to cook, and since it's quite late and she's on call tonight, it's probaby just as well.  But I had my mouth all set for fresh crab!  

My cousin Denise, the cosmetologist, had called to let me know that she was going to come and have lunch with my mother and do her nails, so I didn't feel I had to go to Atria today.  But when I was on the way back from Kaiser, she called to let me know that my mother was almost out of toilet paper, which mystifies me because I bought her 6 rolls last week and this means she is going through a roll a day!

I asked Niecie how the visit had gone and for the first time she said that it was just sad. She's usually so upbeat and eager to let me know how my mother is just FINE for her. She got her singing to familiar tunes, but she zoned out after awhile and it was the same stuff I have with her when I visit  Also, apparently she answered the door wearing only her pajama bottoms.  Usually she's wearing only her pajama tops, but this time it was just the bottoms, which must have been quite a surprise for Niecie!

When I got home, there was a message from a friend of my mother's, who had stopped by to see her before Niecie arrived.  She found her in bed, with no top on, but she was pleased that my mother seemed to recognize her and they had a fairly good visit.  I suspect, however, that she won't be back.
I cooked dinner around 9, figuring I could cook for Caroline when she got home, but she texted that she was going out for burgers with some of the other students. So really good that I didn't buy crab. 

She did miss the strawberry shortcake though.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Kosher Hiking

Our decision for today was between going to San Francisco again, or going to see the redwoods, which Caroline had also expressed inerest in.  However, over dinner last night, she admitted that what she would really do was to go on a hike up a hill to see a view.  Since Davis is in the flatlands, the only "hill" we have here is the overpass with the only "view" of the traffic on I-80.

So I turned to Facebook for suggestions.  What I thought I wrote, from my phone in the restaurant was:  "Davis folk--our guest would like to do an hour hike to maybe somewhere with a view. Any suggestions? All I can think of is the overpass."

However, damn that auto correct that I didn't check.  What actually posted was "Davis folk--our guest would like to do an hour hike to maybe somewhere with a. Jew. Any suggestions? All I can think of is the overpass."  

By the time I got home, my original message had so many smartass comments that I just left them:

Rob Byrnes Well... where do the Jews like to hike these days? (to which John Lindner repied Anywhere but the desert.
Renee Anderson My favorite movie is "A Room with A Jew"!
Ari Laura Kreith The walk from your house to my (Jewish) parents' house would probably be about right.
Sue Abdi Lincoln I spit my water. I know lots of Jews if that truly is the requirement.
Jen Kiernan Can't stop laughing.
Steve Isaacson Oy!
Tina Whittenburg Thurman Lmao, thank you Bev for this lil typo in your status because I needed this crazy laugh so badly, that no one would ever understand
Denise Hoffner Thought you were considering an outdoor Seder!
Kymm Zuckert I'm so so glad you didn't correct this post when you saw the error, because it's my new favourite. I want to hike for an hour to see a Jew!
Jan Scal Newman Still snorting over the hike with a Jew, I'm just now amused at the thought of a view in Davis
Lynne Conrad-Forrest well mt sinai is somewhere nearby every city it seems...maybe qe could burn some bushes...I would suggest point reyes or muir woods
Sarah Kutter Great way to start my day. When I saw your post I knew you would get some hilarious responses! Thank you, Thank yew-My contribution to spellchecker hell
Pauline Brock Jews really aren't the best hikers, but whatever!
Gayna Lamb-Bang That made me laugh out loud! Best typo ever!
John Dennis Kiernan  Overpass?  Did you mean Passover?
Susie Weintrub I have a lot of matzah you can take for the discerning hikers!!!
Steven Chaba  Whatever route you choose, make sure there's a place to stop for a little nosh, otherwise it'll nothing but kvetching the whole time.
While we were deciding what to do today, first there was Caroline's morning chat with Polly.

Caroline just keeps talking to her, and Polly's tail wags a mile a minute, but she still has that "I don't really trust you" look on her face.  I think Polly will miss her when she's gone.
Then we Skyped with Caroline's family.

The suggestion of Table Rock, outside Chico, was looking good, but Walt says it was a 2 hour drive to get there and he just didn't want to drive 4 hours so Caroline could hike for an hour.  We took Sue Abdi Lincoln's suggestion of Lake Berryessa, which is nearby and it was perfect.

It took us a while to find a trailhead, but the drive through all this green was marvelous!  It made me wish I could teleport my mother to the car while we were there already because she is so enamored by green things that she would love it--but not the long drive to get there.

I remember many years ago, when she still had all her marbles, when she pointed to a scene like this and remarked how amazing it was that there were so many different shades of green  We certainly saw that today!

We finally found the trailhead and parked the car.  Walt decided to hike with Caroline for a bit but when it got very steep, he (wisely, I think) decided to come back to the car.  I spent the time sitting in the car, finally finishing my book.  Caroline did the whole 5 miles and at the summit, she texted me, but since we had no service down in the valley, I didn't get her message until after we were driving home.

She was a happy camper.  She found her mountain, her hike and her beautiful view.  The weather was gorgeous and it was the perfect way to end her last day of touristing while in California.