Griffith Park & Things

We finally managed to make it to another of the places on our “Must Do While in L.A.” list this weekend.

Griffith Park . . .

We biked along the Los Angeles River . . . .

Water by G-d. Cement by man. Growing things by miracle. Chris’ comment was, “I don’t know if I should be appreciative or appalled. It is a place to bike . . . ”

Freeway on one side, cement river filled with litter on the other . . .

I have to say it never occurred to me that the giant culvert with water trickling through it that we had driven by a half dozen times was a “river.”

We (we being the three of us who don’t puke at the very sight of a merry go-round going around) rode the famous Griffith Park Merry Go-Round.

The Merry Go-Round was built in 1926 and has been in Griffith Park since 1937. The horses are beautiful . . . each one is hand carved.

They are also quite old . . . some of them more than 100 years old actually. Which means every horse has lost it’s tail. It is a little disturbing.

It is amazing to think of all the people through the years who have brought their children and grand-children here . . . all of the people from all over the world who have ridden this merry go-round.

The weather was incredible and the skies exceptionally clear so we also went up to the Griffith Observatory.

Which gave us a nice view of the Hollywood sign.

And downtown L.A.

We learned a few things and saw cool stuff from space.

And for good measure we drove down Sunset Boulevard on the way home.

Oh, and it wouldn’t have been a day in L.A. without driving past at least one movie shoot . . . which you can only see evidence of via the white trailers way in the back in the parking lot because I’m a little slow with the camera on a drive by.


Lights Out

Last Wednesday a local internet site was warning us about high winds in the area . . . high wind advisory, 40 mile an hour winds expected, etc., etc.

“Whatever,” I thought, “Anchorage gets much stronger winds than that a dozen times a year. No big deal.”


I spent half of Wednesday night listening to the trees pound the house and windows and the other half of the night sleeping on G’s bottom bunk because I was quite certain our bedroom windows were going to come sailing into our bedroom in a thousand pieces.

At about 2:30 a.m. I discovered the power was out.

Somewhere in all of this I figured out that 40 miles per hour was a serious underestimation . . . or positive thinking.

The next morning I woke up and went downstairs to let the dogs out and found this . . .

The doors open out. The dogs had to hang out with their legs crossed while I figured out how to let them out of the house. The other door had a Ficus tree in front of it, too.

When I looked out the front window I saw this . . .

Half of the neighbors were milling around in their pajamas inspecting the damage.

And there was a bit . . . this tree had a power line in the midst of it.

We lost this big in ground Ficus tree . . . and our backyard privacy right along with it.

One of the pots containing a smaller Ficus tree didn’t make it.

But being good Alaskans we whipped out the duct tape and fixed it right up . . . looks so purty now . . .

The night we had wasn’t nearly as exciting as our neighbor down the block. See that wound in the tree – the one on the underside of the branch right there at the corner of her house? That is where a branch broke off of her Sycamore tree. That window, by the way, is right above her bed, which is where she was sitting watching TV when the branch broke.

This is the branch. It is difficult to appreciate the size and scope of the branch that broke. Just know that you can’t see the top half of it because it is in the neighbor’s yard. Part of it to the left and part of it to the right.

Here is the view of the top break site from her back porch. The bottom break site is on the backside of the branch to the left by the leaves.

This is the view of the neighbor’s yard across the street from our house.

Of course this whole event gave Chris an excuse to buy a new tool.

I find it rather ironic that we spent 11 years in Alaska without a good chainsaw and then within six months of moving to California we are now the proud owners of one.

Anyway, we spent a few days camping in the house . . . grateful for our heavy duty sleeping bags because it was in the 30’s at night and when half the house you live in was built a zillion years ago the lack of insulation is evident . . . grateful that the neighbors do not have a tankless water heater and let us shower at their place when we couldn’t take it anymore . . . grateful we had a really nice camping lantern and kid beads and card games . . . grateful for a sixty year old gas stove that has not one single electric part . . . and grateful we were here without power for three days instead of in Alaska.

And then . . . late Saturday night and into Sunday morning we gratefully watched a whole bunch of linemen and three bucket trucks in our front yard and on our street . . . making repairs to the five damaged lines and poles on our tiny little block.


Really, really appreciating hot water,

Two Pictures

I was going to post these about the time G-d decided a whole bunch of us in LA County needed an urban camping trip. They aren’t related to any event in particular, I just love them both and thought I would share . . . .

This one, because it makes my heart all mushy . . .

And this one because it makes me laugh hysterically . . .


Lily the Dream Dog and Sam

Today we have a guest author . . . this is one of dozens of stories she has written over the years . . . thought it was time to share . . .






And the sequel . . .






Can’t help but smile.

Her First Recital

R had her first piano recital this evening. It was held at an old Baptist church with beautiful stained glass windows . . . about thirty kids played various instruments or sang. R played “Money Can’t Buy Everything” (Alfred).

She played in front of about 175 people.

She played flawlessly.

She even earned herself a trophy.

We are so proud of her!

And she is proud of herself . . . rightfully so.

And while we are on the topic of our girl child . . . this picture was taken on Halloween.

She is beautiful. I know, I know . . . I’m slightly biased . . . but wow.

Proud Mama,

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