Posts Tagged With: choices


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Despite a bad news day, we woke up this morning to a beautiful sunrise and it behooves us to remind ourselves that the sun is always shining somewhere.

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I told Jim I was hungry to see some green but we left early for Los Algodones for Jim’s eye appointment and I caught a group harvesting kale as we drove by. That isn’t enough green for me. I’m remembering when we stayed here for two months in 2008. I need to make up for our brown winter in Murphys.

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We ran the gauntlet of hawkers trying to get you to use their eye doctors or their dentist. Every few minutes someone sticks a card in your face. Algodones was practically empty from what we saw two years ago. The town has five hundred dental offices with two to three dentists in each one. The biggest concentration, so we are told, in the world.

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The streets and alleys are like one big bazaar, with goods hanging everywhere for sale, to bargain.

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Much of it stuff you don’t need but talk about colorful and fun.  I did buy a scarf.

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The economy in Algodones is affected by the drug cartel mess and less people making the trip. We were amazed at the five-minute wait to get back across the border instead of the 40 minutes it normally takes.  So people here are suffering for business as well. This courtyard at one time held a fountain and a lot of sales goods. Now it holds tables for strolling musicians and multiple restaurants in a circle to choose from.

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We walked around town for a an hour or so waiting for Jim’s glasses to be finished and we visited my dentist to have a new mouth guard made. His prices went up from thirty dollars last time to eighty dollars this time. I probably won’t go back to him. San Luis is cheaper, about 25 miles down the road. There is the back part of town not so pretty. A lot of places closed and for sale.

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This cute little dog was irresistible and not for sale, of course.

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We always eat at the same place, Birrias, where they sell you a whole chicken or fish and shrimp tacos for lunch with a beer for seven dollars. I usually order the chicken but talked to an American woman who said the tacos were as good as the chicken. And, they were.

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They give you gobs of condiments as well. Yum.

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Birriras doesn’t have musicians but we listened to musicians at another restaurant. We had my Little Siamese clock fixed and and picked it up before we got back to the motor home. Jim found out he has cataracts, which is also fixable, but not in Algodones. Mexican border towns are not dangerous during the day time. It is at night you don’t want to cross over. We did border crossings in January of last year when a local cop told us, don’t worry about drug activity during the day. Go, enjoy your dinner, and we did. Algodones has not had any drug violence like other places, anyway. So if you are worried, don’t be.


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Normally, if I’m a member of an organization, I like to contribute  by attending meetings, taking on a job and helping out. Because of my traveling lifestyle, I make it to two or three meetings a year. I enjoy that Len, a club stalwart, is always there to play music while others chat and visit. He learned to play accordion as a child and transferred that to piano and organ. He played When The Saints Come Marching In for me.

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Club members are a fun bunch and my dinner partner, Earl Randall, worked in Judge Connit’s court, Alameda County,  and knew practically everyone in the Sheriff’s Department that I knew, including having met my husband and his best friend Jack Baugh. It is such a small world. The Elks Club Dinner was Wednesday night.

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Last night, Suzy and Ron Hayes, invited Karen and I to have dinner with them before I leave today. I could not ask for better neighbors and I treasure them.

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Ron and I share similar philosophies of life and we like to rail against our ineffective politicians as in fire them all and start over. I always tease Suzy that I’m going to marry him when she’s done with him.

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Karen and I usually have one dinner together. I try to see all of my friends when I get home. I managed pretty well this time despite unexpected issues to take care of.  Karen often cooks dinner and brings me a plate to share. She took me out for tacos at Sidewinder, but as close as we are, living in the same house, we didn’t manage a sit down dinner together until we got to Suzys.

Today, I leave for Incline Village to have a belated Christmas with my family since not everyone could make it to Calaveras County in December. We’ve rented a condo and almost everyone skis. Ahh! The card games and cooking together, the loud banter, just seeing everyone under one roof is very precious to me.  Then, transitioning to my rambling life with Jim and leaving the busy chaos of home behind for a while. I’m grateful to have such plenteous choices and two distinct lifestyles.


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In Ivoryton, Connecticut, the Ivoryton Playhouse was the first summer theatre in Connecticut and is a distinguished and significant contribution to the arts in the area, attracting theatre buffs from New York and Massachusetts, and elsewhere.

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They’ve also attracted top name talent, like Katharine Hepburn, Mae West, Mercedes McCambridge, Marlon Brando, Betty Grable, Art Carney, Groucho Marx,  to mention a few of the notables.

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The playhouse itself is charming and intimate with only about 120 seats and then there are elephants. This is a sculpture in the front yard of the playhouse. An elephant with toes resembling piano keys. You have to know a bit about Ivoryton to understand the significance.

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Ivoryton was the home of two piano companies. Those were the days when the keys were made of ivory. Thus, you see elephant motifs at the playhouse and all about town. Once radio, television and mass entertainment took over the standard parlor piano for entertainment, the piano business began to wane and the old buildings that once housed piano making are now closed. It is said 90% of the ivory imported to the United States passed through Ivoryton. Smaller companies also made ivory combs, dice, jewelry, sculptures and other sundries.

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No theatre allows pictures of a play in progress, but we were free to photograph the inside of the building. On the side walls are many pictures of the stars that played here, and they were many.

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The pictures behind glass are hard to photograph with any success. The glare is impossible. DSC08105

I enjoyed viewing them, even if they don’t photograph well. So many old familiar faces.

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The Dream Girls, the play we saw was a preview where the playhouse invites criticism. Technically, we could detect no glitch. It was done perfectly. The voices of the men and women who eventually made it big at Motown were big, wonderful voices. The whole play was done musically and music was the theme. But, for us, the playwright chose to tell the entire story in song instead of having the plot spoken in interludes, the struggles, the girls and guys taken advantage of by unscrupulous agents, etc. they sang their lines and it was difficult to follow the plot.  Sometimes the music was so loud you couldn’t hear the lines well enough. But, the theme is certainly worthy and Motown music would have made it sooo much better.

Others loved it, so who are we to criticize?

After the theatre, we poked around a little antique store across from the theatre and I always find stuff I like, but luckily I can’t buy much when we live in a motor home.

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Who says California has no fall season?  It isn’t like the Eastern fall. I’m very thankful for the beauty in my own yard, my gazebo, the color around me.

Looking out the driveway.

Near the Guest House.

On the railing.

My biggest Japanese Maple.

A bush in my yard color enhanced a bit with Picassa.

When I was picking them, I didn’t think this bucket of weeds was pretty. But, through the lens it reminds us that all of nature has a beauty of its own if you look for it.

“True” holly. I like to pick them at Christmas but the berries wilt right away. Still, the yard has a flash of fall brightness  for its presence.

Today is shopping day for special things I like at Thanksgiving. I read where American’s are downsizing the traditional dinner this year. We are too, but I’m thankful for the many choices we have and rethinking the way I shop for food. More on that another day.

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