Posts Tagged With: pool

WHAT’S SPECIAL ABOUT A BIRTHDAY PARTY?

dsc08584-copyMy friend? No, a friend to everybody, Carol Flemming, held a bash at her house for her 75th birthday party. “My kids insisted on this party,” she told me. I totally understand that. The “kids” think you are on your last legs and counting when you reach 75.

dsc08596-copyI met Carol when I wrote features for the Calaveras Enterprise. It was 1982 and I featured her costume business, a unique and wonderfully creative business that is still going. Marti Oaks, right, with her son, worked for Carol and at one time lived in my Murphys house.

dsc08604-copyPat Patterson, right, also worked costume design. It was fun catching up with old friends.

dsc08629-copyI also got to meet Carol’s daughter, Liz, whom I’d never met before, along with her daughter, whose name I didn’t get.

dsc08599-copyCarol’s son Beau barbecued chicken and tri-tip. He, like his mom is a good cook. I’d met him when Carol had a restaurant in Arnold, the Froggy Diner. There is always cooking or a side business in Carol’s life.dsc08583-copyThere were her friends and neighbors of all ages. Names seem to float out of my brain. This woman, like me, is finding acreage hard to keep up and looking to downsize. I hear that more and more from people I know.

dsc08595-copyDale said she didn’t take good pictures, but I do. I thought her laugh made her beautiful. It turned out, she knows my brother Clark.

dsc08594-copyI finally got this little girl to smile for my picture. But she kept a protective closeness to her parents.

dsc08592-copyMy brother Clark was once a neighbor of Carol’s in Burson. This man remembered he and Clark fixing a bridge that went out, before CalTrans was even called.

dsc08606-copyThis woman too, talked to me at length of all the favors that Clark does for the neighbors. He helped with projects after her husband died, making her ever grateful.

dsc08614-copyThis couple also know Clark and talked about him and the neighborhood, and things they’ve done together.

dsc08609-copyAnother daughter, Mona and another grand daughter, I’d never met.

dsc08620-copyAnd, Carol’s daughter China Rose with her two girls. She also has two sons. I hadn’t seen China in over 17 years.

dsc08621-copyThe baby was determined to sleep, but China wanted her to stay awake for the long ride back to Santa Cruz. I remember those days.

dsc08615-copyCarol joined the kids in the pool for a cooling dunk. I love it when you get to enjoy your own party.

dsc08613-copyThis smart woman is a former daughter-in-law-still friends of the family. She gave me good advice about AirBnB…ideas have been floating through my brain all day.

dsc08602-copyThe woman in red, Cindy, I think, is an artist. I always complain I never have time to paint or create.  Her very good advice, “Make it your priority, first thing in the morning. Everything else can wait.”

dsc08612-copyA birthday surprise for Carol, her brother Willie flew in from Hawaii.

dsc08626-copyI tried to get a picture of everyone. And, I missed Phil, her husband, who was busy, busy, busy, tending the bar and keeping people happy. There is a pattern, here.

dsc08593-copyKids, babies, teens, middle agers, old folks…

You know what was different about this party?  I saw no one with their head down, texting and playing with their phone or messages or…whatever they do. That, my friends, is what was special about this birthday party. A rarity. And great fun.

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TAHOE SOUTH SHORE

dsc08453-copyThe last two years, we’ve rented a place at Incline Village for Christmas, skiing and playing in the snow. This year we decided a summer family reunion would be a fun change. We arrived Friday night. Doug, who is an expert at barbecuing anything to perfection, fixed hamburgers after our long drive. My camera was packed and I didn’t get a picture. Everyone resorted to a game of pool. It was Doug and Ken, against Laurie and Kristanne.

dsc08452-copyKristanne had never played pool before, and Laurie, who grew up with a pool table, is a shark.

dsc08455-copyShe knows how to bounce those balls.

dsc08456-copyEveryone had a turn at the table, and after the games, everyone decided to be silly. A bit of wine and tequila probably helped.

dsc08459-copyNo one really cared who won or lost. Laughter is what counts.

dsc08460-copyThe next morning, most of us went for hike to the National Park.

dsc08463-copyI was ahead and turned to catch this sisterly hug. Don’t have a clue what inspired it.

dsc08464-copyWe had seen signs about a rope walk in the canopy and thought everyone would like that activity.  But, it was closed. Left to right is Cedric, Ken, Virginia, Austin, who seems fixated on a two finger salute. Then Laurie, Theo and Kristanne. Doug and Owen stayed back at the cabin.

dsc08467-copyWe stopped for a couple pictures, but the sun was at the high, bright time of day and we got a lot of squints and shut eye.

dsc08472-copyWe snacked and reminisced for lunch.

dsc08498-copyAt four o’clock Saturday afternoon, we skyped with my grandson Stewart in Japan where he teaches English as a second language.

dsc08500-copyWe asked him dozens of questions. Here he is explaining that his deodorant melted and he had to shave his armpits. The Japanese people seem fascinated by his facial hair. Komatsu, is a coastal town of about 100,000 people. It isn’t a tourist destination and they don’t see many foreigners. Students are very disciplined and continually kind of bow and say “hye” as a way to indicate they understand. He is learning to use that expression as well and practiced it for us. Technology is awesome and we loved the ability to spend a half hour with Stew.

dsc08511-copyIt was Ken and Laurie’s night to fix dinner, and they prepared a marvelous shrimp dish, with butter and lemon juice and pepper. The kitchen is small here. Everyone went to bed early

dsc08515-copyVirginia made scratch muffins for breakfast Sunday morning. She picked the wild berries on their property on the Eel River.

dsc08481-copyShe also got “into” olives this year and brought 3 different kinds of olives she made from trees growing around Santa Clara. Theo declared they were inedible and about the worst thing you could eat. I loved them and got to bring some home.

dsc08517-copyAt 9:00 a.m. Virginia treated  Kris and I to kayaking.  Ken took pictures of us before he and Laurie went for a ride to see the scenery around Silver Lake.

dsc08522-copyI’ve enjoyed kayaking before, but Virginia wisely chose a double for us since my shoulder is not completely healed. I had to rest from paddling periodically and she had to pull for both of us.

dsc08525-copyKristanne, always adventurous, had never kayaked. She took to it like a duck to water and said, “Hey, I get to mark it off my bucket list.” We rested on a distant beach, then sunned and dried out on a rock when we returned.

dsc08503-copyKristanne and Laurie enjoyed a game of Rumikub in the afternoon.

dsc08489-copyThe boys played pool or read a book.

dsc08529-copyEveryone played 13, the national game of Vietnam. It is limited to four so each of us dipped in and out of the game. It is one of those games where kids have just as much chance of winning as an adult and Theo proved it. Not visible, on the right is Doug, playing DJ and selecting our favorite tunes on the computer.

dsc08487-copyCedric took to the kitchen to bake pies for dinner.

dsc08504-copyThis cabin was as close to wreckage as you can find in a domicile, and the oven temperature was difficult to gauge.  He struggled to get them cooked well. But, as usual, they turned out delish.

dsc08534-copySo, most of Sunday was spent playing games, eating, gabbing…

dsc08480-copy…snoozing.

dsc08539-copyVirginia showed off her skill with Theo’s juggling balls.

dsc08542-copyDuring the evening, Hearts was the game of choice.

dsc08508-copyThere was some high finance going on downstairs with a monopoly game with Austin, Theo, Doug and Owen.

dsc08543-copyKen opted to wade through the New York Times and a San Francisco Chronicle.

dsc08547-copySome of us walked to the beach and watched the fireworks.

dsc08548-copyIt was a lovely, busy, relaxing. three-day getaway with stuff to do for everyone’s taste. Can’t wait until next year.

 

 

 

 

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ANTALYA, CITY BY THE SEA

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We unloaded from our bus in Antalya and had to walk to our hotel because the Old Town streets are not big enough for a bus. The Main St. can accommodate  a taxi or van, which is how they got our luggage in.

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The streets in Old Town are cobblestone and vendors take up part of the thoroughfare. A taxi can slip by.DSC05925 (Copy)

Up the narrow side streets, it is a different story. Usla is wise to know we appreciate the quaintness of Old Town.

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Our hotel is the Dogon.

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Our room is a corner room and out one window we can see the beautiful courtyard where we will have our breakfasts and hotel dinners.

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Out the other window is a dilapidated building for sale. We saw squatters with a child living there, or perhaps staying there temporarily.

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Also making a home in the building, a pair of doves.

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In Old Town, gypsy vendors sold merchandise from colorful carts.

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Notice the huge God’s eye. I so regret not getting pictures of shops with huge collections of God’s eyes, of every conceivable decoration and size.

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This vendor has a stand with his scarves and trinkets.

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I didn’t mark the name of this main thoroughfare, but it is lined with old roman sculptures in modern poses. This one is holding his garment up to an ATM machine to catch the money when it falls out.

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The street sweeper.DSC05954 (Copy)

This fellow is using his cell phone. Usla calls them “the government’s sense of humor.”

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A sign with the price of drinks in a bar. At one of our pit stops, I bought a whole bottle of Raki for two Turkish lira.

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You see very little restrictive clothing in a modern city like Antalya. Usla identified this gown and turban wearing gent as a Syrian refuge. It is against the law to wear the Burka in Turkey. The government outlawed this form of restrictive religious dress in 1934 as Turkey became aware of its changing roll on the world stage. In fact, they gave women the right to vote in 1920.

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This is a statue of a water tender who would fill his container with water and sell it on the street, providing a service so people didn’t have to go to the town well for a drink. The water tender is hooked up to a faucett, now.

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We passed this street that reminded several of us of Fremont Street in Las Vegas.

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Usla bought a bagel from a vendor for us to taste, but we had already had them at mini-marts and from street vendors. Unlike anything we know as a bagel, it is tender, delicious, covered in sesame seeds and addictive. Hmmm! Loved them.

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We circled around and ended our walk and chat at the harbor. I swam in the pool in the afternoon while Owen and Usla, along with others took clothing to a laundry. The water was cold, but poolside was slippery marble and I decided it was a dangerous place to be wet. (Gina fell.)

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We had happy hour both nights in a small courtyard near the rooms of Joyce, Judy, Gina, and Maria.

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Since this was a dinner on your own, we found a nice nearby restaurant next to the water. We sat in an open air space looking down on a sandy beach. Usla said they charge 15 tl to use the beach. And, miracle of miracles, Owen ordered  calamari and a second entree of a fish casserole. Both were delicious.

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The atmosphere at this hotel was so pleasant. We early birds are early to breakfast.

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And packed for leaving the next day. I spotted this sign.

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And this one just around the corner from the hotel that I somehow missed after passing it several times.

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We had free time and crossed the main ave into town on what Usla described as “…where the locals shop, better prices.”  Joyce held up this button covered purse for me. (I have a button collection.)

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Such pleasant weather; flowers everywhere.

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gyros is what we eat in the U.S. when we eat Greek. Well, that is, one of the things, depending on where you live.

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I was delighted to run into this yarn covered tree, for two reasons. Jim’s mother was the type of person who knitted and crocheted steadily. Her niece told me if anything was left uncovered, she’d soon crochet or knit it a cove. And, I have pictures of a yarn covered elephant, a bus, a taxi and a picture of this tree. I had no idea the tree was growing on the streets of Antalya, Turkey. And, now I know what a God’s eye is.DSC05981 (Copy)

Tourists line up to ride these horse pulled, decorated buckboard.

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I’m sure there is more to see in this town of interest to tourists. But our time was enjoyable and tomorrow, we will leave the hotel, bags packed, and bus to one of the best museums in Turkey, according to Usla. The museum is about 2 miles from our hotel.

 

 

 

 

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NEIGHBORS GATHER.

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Neighbors always gather at the party animal’s house. That’s Jan, (a non drinker) whipping up a batch of margaritas. Her own recipe is tequila, vodka, rum and sugar on the glass with limeade for the mix. Basically a let’s clean out the liquor closet margarita.

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She was shocked when the worm actually “jumped” out of the bottle and into a glass. I guess she thought the worm was somehow guaranteed to stay in the bottle. You have to know Jan. It didn’t taste like a margarita, but it was pleasant to drink.

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We snacked on the deck before the main event. Neighbor Brian, a gourmet cook, brought a parmesan tart with tomato and a leaf of fresh basil. Excellent. He is currently playing with mole sauces with chocolate. I’ll miss it since I fly tomorrow.

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Jan’s pond is much bigger than mine and she attracts more large animals looking for water, often cougars and even a bear. I told her about wildlife certification and she agreed to apply.

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Neighbor Atilla and his daughter Kera played pool. I hadn’t seen Kera since she graduated High School. Now, age 30, she was visiting her parents and joined the party.

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Kera’s mother, Patty. Great cooks, all. Maybe that is why we like to party.

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I made a salad niciose, without the green beans. There were none in the market. Like the margarita, it is a clean out the fridge kind of salad with olives, baby spinach, arugula, papaya, red pepper, eggs and marinated red potato slices. Hardly true to the original, but no one cared.

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Jan’s grandson preserved her a turkey wing from his hunt in Montana. Jan spent a year with her daughter from March 2012 to March 2013.

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Before the berry pie, everyone had a turn at pool. Jan and I avoid playing pool together because we can’t take the game seriously enough not to cheat. I never cheat at cards or other games, but I LOVE cheating at pool. Of course, we warn everyone in advance. She reminded me about an obnoxious boyfriend she lived with for a year who was a poker fiend. Her friend Sally brought a second deck, cheated, and took all of his money. At the end of the game, Jan asked, “aren’t you going to tell him?” She smiled and said, “Nope, he deserved to lose.”  Ya’ gotta watch these women.

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THE NU-SHZAY LOUNGE

I haven’t been to the Nugget Bar in my home town of Murphys  in many years. It’s a  typical cowboy bar with a local following.  Some years back, a bunch of us began calling it the Nu-Shzay Lounge in fun.  The French affectation didn’t change a thing. When we moved here in 1978, our closest neighbor would take his horse to town many mornings, and tie up at the Nugget to eat breakfast. But, if he went in the afternoon to get the mail, and stopped for a cold one, his wife would know about it before he got home. Hoagie was a Merchant Marine and lived home for three months and sailed for three months. His wife worked a typical 9 to 5.

I don’t remember when the owners had the horseshoes cemented at the entrance.  Horses were not welcome inside the bar, but old traditions die hard and at one time, after a parade or event, the local cowboys would ride their horses into the bar here and at the Murphys Hotel. Fed up with the tradition, the hotel owner had the cops waiting after a parade and arrested my neighbor, Joe Cardoza.  That brought the practice to a sudden end.

The old pool table is still active. That’s Kelly Wright trying his hand. The Nugget holds a pool tournament each year sometime in the summer. I’ve seen the place wax and wane, the clientele changes, but the spirit remains the same. A bit wild. And, I know a few stories and witnessed a few events I shouldn’t have, I expect. When Ballard was Sheriff, his nephew (out of season)  killed a buck and had it slung in the back of his pick-up. He went to the Nugget to quench his thirst and brag a little. When the guys went out to look?  The deer struggled to its feet,  jumped out of the pick-up, and ran away.

If you click on this photo you will see the bumper sticker on the right. A women And Her Truck, Is A Beautiful Thing. Though the owner of this truck isn’t the type to fisticuff in the bar, there was one woman who would go to fist city with the guys. She was Buggy Bill’s woman, Marian Sly, and I knew her well. She carried two knives, one in her boot and a big Bowie holstered around her waist. She had two rifles and  hand-gun in her pick-up along with her dogs and often her son who spent many nights in that old pick-up. She didn’t take guff from anyone. I’ve seen her haul back and cold-cock a guy over some loud mouthed comment he made.  Which reminds me why I went to the Nugget yesterday. It was Buggy Bill’s watering hole and people came to pay their respects at an informal celebration, as I did.

Tammy Huber knew him for fifteen years. She liked the fact that he never changed. He was always a bit stoic. He did what he liked. He was kind to children and particularly took a young boy in a wheel chair under his wing. He was crusty, but honest and good. I knew him for about thirty years and I don’t ever remember him smiling.

Everyone was having a good time and I was surprised to notice how many long-hairs there were along with cowboy types in the bar. Long-hairs were not welcome at the Nugget in the 1980’s.  My  (long-haired) brother, Norman, left Nevada, drove down Highway 4 and stopped at the Nugget just to use the bathroom. It was eleven p.m. and the bar was filled with the usual  tobacco chewing cowboys,  short haired and oiled. By the time Norman got out of the bathroom, they were laying for him. He escaped out a side door and got away losing only a small handful of hair.

Paul came over the hill from Mountain Ranch with a pot of beans, Bill’s favorite, mine too. All of his friends brought something to eat. Paul has a wonderful apple tree on his land and his niece used to make pies for the local restaurants from her home during apple season. The law doesn’t allow that to happen anymore.

And you can’t smoke in a bar anymore. I’m grateful for that law. On the right, you can see where people park their cigs on a  2 x 4 next to the door.

The Nugget has many windows. The doors were wide open. It was difficult to get good pictures. I arrived late, many people had come and gone. I didn’t know very many people.

I’ve seen this lady around town for many years, and couldn’t remember her name.

This cowboy was playfully policing the doors and not letting anyone outside with a glass, or bottle. A gentle giant who reminded me of another Nugget customer from the infamous fighting Bardsley family. The father, and his sons were ever whooping it up at various bars around the county.  Renowned for their strength and viciousness, no one messed with them deliberately.

My husband once convinced the Nugget owner to open up his then closed kitchen to our square dance group to sit around long tables and enjoy a few drinks on Saturday nights after the dances. George Bardsley  tried to pick a fight with my husband because he called the female bartender, “Honey!”  We didn’t know George’s girlfriend was the bartender, nor did we know about the family reputation, then. My husband ignored him and went back to the restaurant part and sat down with our group of about ten couples.  George went on to  be arrested for murder in another state not long after that. We had a close call and didn’t know it.

I knew Bill well enough that he wouldn’t be insulted by my intrigue with the bar,  his friends, and old memories. I signed his card and bid him adieu.

If the walls of the place could talk…I’d be there every Saturday night.

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