Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Good Grief. Is it Really November Already?

October was a great month. Well, except for the fact that I’m kind of sick again. But I got to go to California and see both of my daughters and one of my grandsons and a whole bunch of my friends. I’m a Californian to my toes, but I can’t afford to live there anymore. Sniffle.

Anyway, we had a good time. Robin (younger daughter), Riki (younger grandson) and I went to Anni (older daughter) and Razmik’s (Anni’s husband) place in Kernville, which is a charming town, right smack next to the Kern River. Anni and Raz sell good sandwiches from their food truck and love living where they live. Anni is also a brilliant artist (so is Robin) and knits pretty much everything there is to knit. Heck, she even managed to get her hands on some alpaca wool once and washed it, carded it, spun it into yarn and made me some slippers with the result! She also quilts and does needlework. Robin works with polymer clay and just about everything else and makes lovely things with it. Here's the food truch, Anni in her knitted skirt, and a whole bunch of polymer-clay gift tags Robin made for someone who paid her to make them:

Riki (and Anni, for that matter) is a marvelous classical guitarist. I asked him to play and sing Leonard Cohen’s song “Hallelujah” for me, and by gum, he did! Here he is, playing and singing next to the Kern River, with the water rushing past and birdies chirping in the trees (fortunately, the ravens didn’t begin cawking until after he’d finished). Riki is also an origami master. He’s been origami-ing since he was about five years old. By the way, Riki wasn't wearing this Nissei outfit when he played in Kernville, but I couldn't find a still of him playing his guitar:

Amazing young man, Riki. So’s my older grandson, Dai, but he lives in North Carolina with his wife Emily and their two kids, so I never get to see them. Sniffle. However, Dai and Em and the kiddles just moved into their new-old house in time to be smacked by Hurricane Matthew. This isn’t a very clear shot, but you can see my great-granddaughter, Kasumi, having fun in the back yard with all that extra water.

I also was privileged to see a whole bunch (well a few) of my old dancing buddies. We got together at a place called the Flintridge Proper and had a lovely lunch. It was fun seeing them again. Had a good time and a good meal. Karen Boggs took this picture, so she's not in it, but she was there:

While in Pasadena, I also took pictures of Mrs. Bissel’s house (which used to belong to my aunt). I basically grew up in this house, and it haunts my dreams. It’s difficult to get a good picture of it, because you pretty much need to be in a cherry picker to shoot it head-on (so to speak). I had to stand in the yard (hope the owners didn’t mind) at the foot of the slope and shoot upwards. I also took a picture of Daisy’s house, which is actually a house I used to own. Oddly enough, the photo refuses to open on my computer here at home. I think it’s all for the best, because the place looks like heck. If my second ex-husband, Old Weird Robert, still lives there, he’s definitely not taking good care of the yard. Harrumph.

Got to have lunch with Lauri, my oldest friend (she’s about two weeks older than I am, actually) and Riki at a place called Yes Sushi in Pasadena, and that was mega fun! We ate all the sushi in Pasadena (again) and babbled for hours. I can’t get [decent] Japanese food in Roswell, so I always try to eat as much of it as I can when I visit my old home town.

It was also great seeing another of my very good friends, Barbara, while visiting. Barbara has cancer, which I think is totally unfair of the universe, but the universe didn’t consult me before attacking Barbara. We had a good time anyway, and I hope we’ll be able to see each other many more times.

And one more wondiferous, fantabularious thing happened in October. I CLEANED MY OFFICE. Anni and Raz visited earlier in the year and fixed up my house with new floors, new paint, new shelving and stuff like that. I had all sorts of things piled in my office, but I’ve been fairly well crippled for the last two or three years and never tackled the piles. Well, my back still hurts, but my hip replacement worked beautifully, and I CLEANED MY OFFICE! No photos yet, because I’m having pictures I aim to hang in it framed, but if I can manage to keep it organized for a month, I’ll post pics in December. Whew!

In case I never mentioned him, Bam-Bam is my special winner-picking wiener dog. Bam-Bam had a rough beginning at a puppy mill in Big Spring, Texas. He never experienced any human contact except the negative kind before a nice lady named Delynda Reed picked up him and his companion, Bella, in Texas and drove them both to Tatum, New Mexico, where I met her and got Bella and Bam-Bam. Tragically, Bella died last autumn, murdered by two of my other dogs, Jazzy and Cookie. I feared Bam-Bam might go into an emotional decline, but he was fine. I, on the other hand, needed heavy therapy. Every time I think about Bella, I wanna weep. Oddly enough, someone finally landed a very good picture of Bam-Bam. This is the best photograph anyone’s ever taken of Bam-Bam, because he’s so excruciatingly shy. This is extraordinary because the person who took this picture is a man, and Bam-Bam is terrified of men. I’ve had him for five years, and he’s still scared to death of men. But Barry (the Horrid Man) Lasky, husband of Ann Wilmer-Lasky, my neighbor and partner in wiener-dog rescue, took this picture of him while I was in California! Amazing:
By the way, Ann and I rescued a couple of semi-wieners from a couple of shelters in Roswell during the month of October, too. They’re cutie-pies, even if they aren’t purebreds. Here’s a picture of them with Ann. Ann’s the one with red hair.

I’ll be in touch with everyone who won an audio copy of ANCIENT SPIRITS (Daisy Gumm Majesty’s sixth adventure) and will offer a couple of my other books (don’t know which ones yet) at the end of November. If you’d like to enter my contest, just send me an email with your name and home address to alice@aliceduncan.net . Thanks!

If you’re interested in visiting my sorta-kinda out-of-date web site, please do so at: http://aliceduncan.net/ . And if you’d like to be Facebook buds, just go to my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/alice.duncan.925

Thank you!

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