Golden Gate Bridge

A visit to the San Francisco area is not complete without a look at the Golden Gate Bridge.

A giant ship heading into harbour.

A view from the Marin Headlands.

A hiking path down below.

Me and the five grandsons who live in Oakland. I have four more grandchildren who live in Texas.

Texas Tales

Just a few things that have happened here in Texas since we arrived.

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We’ve been hanging out with family, of course. My seven year old grandson made this-What I will do before I turn 100. Maybe they are trying to teach them about growing up. He wants to get a pet and get kids, along with getting married. He has beautiful hair with a lot of red in it. One day he looked at me and said, “I have hair like you, Mimi”. I started to tell him about our Irish heritage when the oldest grandson said, “Her hair is dyed!” So much for family secrets.
The other night they asked me what introvert and extrovert mesnt. I told them and then pulled up a short test to determine which you were. While the oldest took the test his brother sat next to him watching his answers and would say when he saw an answer, “That’s not true!” Which made me laugh. We all ended up taking the test and then taking the test for someone else. Maurice, for instance, didn’t think he was near the introvert that I did. It just goes to show that we see each other differently than others see us. Plus, I think we are all parts of all sorts of characteristics, not wholly one thing or another. It was just fun to see what my grandsons thought.

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This says, Eat something you never tried before. It was in the fortune cookie at a chinese place we tried. Maurice is not a fan of oriental food. He doesn’t like the sauces in chinese food calling it “soupy” but will eat fried rice and egg roles. Anyway, we were looking for one of those chinese buffet places that he used to know but couldn’t find it. He liked it because you could see what everything was right before you and not have to chose it blind. There were Chinese people entering a place we found which I thought was a good sign so we went in, Maurice reluntantly. They had twice cooked pork which is usually a safe choice but our waitress who must have arrived in the States about a week ago kept saying what sounded like bacon. She opened the menu and pointed to a dish with bacon so Maurice ordered it while I picked shrimp in garlic sauce. Maurice’s dish arrived full of slices of bacon that looked like they had been boiled, very unappetizing looking. I called the manager over (I often handle things here in the States like this as Maurice’s French accent can make it difficult according to him. I, of course, totally understand, having the same experiences in France with my bad accent) and told her he couldn’t eat it. She sais it was a very common meal in China but let him order something else and he chose my shrimp dish which turned out to be full of vegetables in a too hot sauce and, of course, “soupy”. He didn’t like the hot and sour soup before it and only ate the egg roll, the rice and the shrimp. In all, not a good meal. It was too hot for me too. He got the fortune in the fortune cookie as shown which made me laugh. I so wish he liked oriental or thai food as much as I do but you can’t have everything.

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Maurice and I continue to walk around Town Lake although not really well. Maurice has arthritis in his knees but keeps plugging along and I hurt a knee doing the warrior pose in an easy yoga class at the senior center. I haven’t been to a doctor but have been going to a pilates guy who thinks he can help but I’m wondering if I should go see a doctor. I just hate to pay for it and the probable MRI that will be ordered when I know it will be mostly paid for in France. My mother had a knee injury years ago and can now hardly walk as she had nothing done. We will see.

I didn’t get a photo and I wish I had, but a baby possum (oppossum) got into our bedroom and we had to figure out what to do. Luckily, it didn’t move real quickly like a mouse. Finally, Maurice got a broom to force it towards me and then I covered it with a plastic bowl, pushed the bowl across the floor-glad there was no carpet- and then out the front door where the possum took off across the lawn. Maurice woke up in the middle of the night, turned a lamp on and looked around the room for another one. I think it was just a one time thing. Let’s hope so.

Energy

Don’t you wish you had the energy of a two year old? As Bill Cosby once said, If you had 200 two year olds, you could rule the world. My four grandsons are still here and enjoying life with a focus that I love to watch.

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Aren’t these cute t-shirts? The baby has one too with the number 4 on it but he wasn’t available when I took this photo. He had a previous engagement with his mother and eating.

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Here are the backs of the t-shirts. They say “big brother” in Italian. These three are looking into the window of a kitchen watching a chef cook in a kitchen in Aix.

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The back of the baby’s shirt. He has hair but it is so light that you can only see it in the sunshine-another blondie.

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Here are the three oldest pushing a round hay bale. They managed to move it a few feet. The second grandson said, “I thought the bales would be soft like they look from a distance, but they are hard and prickly”. We had to explain that once hay was piled in piles. I need to go find a copy of a painting in my memory of two field workers asleep on one.

Let The Games Begin

And I’m not talking about the Olympics, although we have been watching them. No, I’m talking about the arrival of my son and his wife and four children. They are having so much fun, swimming in the pool and exploring. I was hoping to pick up some inexpensive toys at a vide grenier before they arrived but never managed that. Still, we are managing. This afternoon they rounded up as many grasshoppers as they could find, put an inner-tube on the ground, filled it with leaves and grass and made a grasshopper condominium. The two year old has been fascinated with my truly neurotic cat, Elliot. The cat was all right for a while keeping a wary eye on all of the activity until the two year old got too energetic with two badmitton raquets near him and since then I have only seen him at night when the kids have gone to bed. I have no idea where he has gone. The two year old keeps asking where he is and yelling, “Cat!” at the top of his lungs. I’m not posting photos of them although I have lots-just too many wierdos out there. Instead here is a photo of an interesting yard I saw the other day:

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Isn’t this colorful? My laundry never looks like this. I don’t even have a clothes line, just one of those little racks.

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My vegetable garden doesn’t look like this either. My garden is a disappointment this year. By the time I got back from Switzerland for the arrival of the new grandson, there wasn’t anything left to buy in the plant nurseries. A man finally dug around in the back of his place and found some strange varieties of left over tomato plants that no one wanted to buy, two round squash plants that never grew one squash. My melon plants are sort of thriving-I have six small ones forming-my basil just a few inches high. I don’t think I planted it soon enough.

Still Waiting

The baby still hasn’t arrived but his mother is now in the hospital in labor so it shouldn’t be too much longer now. She was told that the nurses can be cranky at the hospital but as she doesn’t speak Italian yet, she won’t understand what they are saying anyway but expressions say a lot. So I should have a new grandson sometime today, I hope. I am here now, in charge of three grandsons which can be a lot of work. I feel like I can’t relax a minute with them in my care. The two year old does really well until his four year old brother “helps”. I just wish I had their energy.

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A short way from their house is Lake Lugano. We walked down to a nearby village and saw this lovely building. I think it is a private home.

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A closeup. Looks like frosting decorating a cake.

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A look at the lake and a village nearby. You’d never guess that this little place was here. There has been a lot of rain in the last couple days and the lake is full of water and debry.

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Little boys love finding earthwarms. They want to take them to try and catch some fish.

Sideroads of Europe