numbers

A celebrity couple just had a new baby and apparently
thought the word “seven” would be the ideal middle name.
The next time son number one and son number two ask and
whine a bit as to why they have two middle names, I will
gently and oh so sarcastically tell them “at least either
name is not a number”.

Some people live by the numbers game. I never really thought of
myself as a numbers person, I guess I too count and calculate
throughout the day.

This morning, I went on a “slug hunt”. So in and around
all my flowers and plants and vegetables on the deck, I
counted (and sent to heaven) 17 slugs.

I did 2 loads of laundry and shook out 3 area rugs. One hummingbird
came a calling and there was one bunny in our backyard.

I used the telephone and punched in the numbers to call
and order son number two a GREAT birthday gift. I just
get all giggly (yes, that is a word) when we figure out
the perfect gift for the kiddos.

I had two iced coffee’s today. I did 25 repetitions of
each stretch band exercises with my arms.

So far today, cut out and assembled 12 new quilt blocks.
The colors are cheerful and happy and a delight to work
with.

I am enjoying one bowl of soup for lunch.

Unfortunately, I am well aware of the countdown in the
number of days until my surgery. It makes my stomach
do flip flops and my hands get all clammy.

Friends we know had one baby girl named Olivia this week.
Back in the olden days, before son number one was born,
I thought “it” was a girl and called her Olivia. Heaven
only knows how many numbers of dollars that therapy will
cost in later life?

Nine people were on our prayer list this morning all
having concerns and issues. One prayer candle is going.

Yep, I guess I am a numbers gal.

“It is perhaps a more fortunate destiny to have a taste for
collecting shells than to be born a millionaire.” rl stevenson

SF

It was 3:30 am and I was suppose to be jumping out of bed to take Mr. Right to the airport. Didn’t happen. He went, I didn’t. My leg was not cooperating and I am unable to drive today. As I type this morning at 9:00 am he is walking into a meeting in San Francisco.

I asked the usual, how was your flight? He flew Virgin. He said instead of working the entire flight, he played video games. With the use of head phones and the screens in the back of each seat and the lure of the almighty video game called to him………..he said time literally flew by! Sort of nice to hear. He said when you walk on those planes all the windows are closed. There is purple neon lighting up everything. He said it was pretty neat.

The last time we were in San Francisco was March of 2002. It was our 20th wedding anniversary trip. Unforgettable is the perfect way to describe it. First thing as we stepped into the hotel room, Mr. Right accidentally broke his toe on one of the suitcases! Then we noticed that both suitcases were locked and we might have left the keys at home. We made a phone call to the front desk. They sent someone to cut off the locks (not the toe). Knock at the door, I jumped up to get it. I kid you not, I opened the door and almost fainted. It was a women maintenance worker. Love that women work all sorts of jobs, amen. Anyhow, she was well over 6’5″ tall, was a very buxom (love that adjective), large and in charge “Rosie the Riveter” type of gal. Some people just fill up all the space around them. She wore a work jumpsuit and carried these HUMONGOUS bolt cutters (I think she could have just used her bare hands) two quick snips, done. She said, have a good day and quietly and surpisingly graceful gait, left. We were silent. We looked at each other and fell on the bed in hysterical laughter. We belly laughed and laughed until we had tears. You can well imagine the next five days of vacation, sometimes, out of the blue, we erupted all over again. We broke down in tears of laughter in the parking lot of the California Palace of the Legion of Honor (Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco), Alcatraz, Bay Cruise, Cable car, Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown….. & these are not super funny places. Heck, I am smiling now thinking about it.

We chose the restaurant to celebrate our 20th anniversary. We read about it on line. We called a taxi. We were dressed and happy and anxious. Never mind that it was the taxi drivers first day on the job & he spoke Russian, only Russian. He dropped us off on the corner because of construction. We walked about a half a block. There in front of us was the boarded up and abandoned was “our” restaurant. As you might have guessed, fits of laughter. Standing on the sidewalk in Chinatown. While standing in our good clothes in the middle of a construction zone, trying to come up with a Plan B.

We were hungry and asked a teenager shop keeper a good place to eat. She told us to where to go. It was one dirty looking door, no name just the address number 854 (burned into my memory bank), dumpy, sad, not inviting in any sense of the word place. Hey, we were hungry, we opened the door. There were seven tables, the only sign written in English said share tables if seats are open. They only spoke Chinese. It was a family running the place. It was called “Lucky Creation Vegetarian Restaurant”. They called one of their teenagers, who spoke English to come talk to us. Of course we were extremely, extremely over dressed and he asked us why? We told him it was our 20th anniversary. From that moment on, we were treated like royalty. We were treated with kindness and fussing like you have never experienced. As we could not read the menu, they chose what we would eat. Oh my, one of the best vegetarian meals of our lifetime. It was indeed lucky that we ended up there. Unlike anything we have ever experinced, we felt a true sense of celebration and kindness towards us. It was almost insulting the small amount that they charged for such a wonderful meal and experience. We left a generous tip, bowed to each person and thanked them.

Our holiday unfolded with the honor of dining at “Millennium” quite possibly the best restaurant, ever. We were honored the next night to dine at “Greens”. Our reservation was chosen, window table, for the sunset, over the Golden Gate Bridge (yes, you can request that exact time and they have several tables reserved for that). We experienced Ghirardelli Square, and Pier 39. Mr. Right gave me the most elegant string of pink fresh water pearls with matching earrings to celebrate. That vacation, I was offered marijuana on a city bus (I was polite and said no, but thank you for offering). This time Mr. Right dissolved into laughter. We also experienced a man with a gun one evening as we made our way to dinner. The cable car conductor was full of personality and made it the perfect time to roll with laughter.

Technology is a fickle but lovable lady. The review we read on line about the restaurant forgot to tell us they were no longer in business. I have already received a couple e-mails and a phone call from Mr. Right today while on business in beautiful San Francisco. The same amazing technology of our time, will bring Mr. Right home tonight for a late supper at our dining room table. I will use technology to share this blog with a niece planning a trip to vacation in SF.

However, something tells me that our “Rosie” is still out there with her simple, sturdy, bolt cutters helping another couple make great memories full of laughter.

Grace Happens. Sometimes disguised as laughter, but oh it happens.

Fireworks, shave ice and quilts

One of the best parts of Fourth of July is the firework display. Oh sure, when we had youngins’ living here, the evening was always, always eventful. Always, something to laugh about or fear. Pretty good memories. Let’s just say, that yes indeed Virginia, polyester pants on old ladies visiting, do indeed melt when sparks land on them. Lots and lots of melted holes. So funny, I can still work up a good belly laugh, even today.

For the last few years Mr. Right and I journey on post to meander through the festival, buy a Hawaiian Shave ice (this years’ combination, orange and blue raspberry). That ought to be just the right amount of colorings, chemicals and red dye to last us both pretty much all year long. ha.

This year it seemed there were a few more soldiers on base. A couple fewer “single” moms taking their family to the festival alone.

We bring a picnic and games. This year was Cribbage. I hate to actually admit it, but we each won one game. dang. I wanted to type that I creamed him.

Quilts, that is what I really want to talk about. Once our bellies were full and we had played our games, our chairs were set up in the “perfect” spot, our glow bracelets and necklaces were snapped and glowing, 3-D glasses ready, we sat down. To wait, and to wait a bit more for the show to start. I started looking at everyone and all the quilts I was seeing.

Quilts that grown men wore around their necks looked like super power capes. Quilts tossed on the ground for moms and babies to sit. Quilts to warm legs, eat picnics on and used to wrap around two 8 year old best friends forever. I saw energized (by cotton candy and Shave Ice and Kettle Korn) boys doing somersaults on quilts.

The Military police close some of the roads on post. Everyone is looking for the ideal viewing area & setting up their chairs, everyone is staking their claim.

On a military post is the best place to watch fireworks with your military man. As you might guess, once a military man always a military man. They don’t like to sit in the open. They don’t like to sit in the middle of a closed street, and relax while “bombs” are exploding all around them. They like their back to a tree trunk, they like to observe what is going on. They don’t like loud noises. They can’t relax. When you see every available working Military Police and off base police walking, looking, standing behind and surrounding the roped off areas, police on bikes, on horses, on Segeways , you totally “get it”. Shshshshshsh, don’t tell the “commies”, but the military men let down their guard just a bit and sort of relax for about 30 minutes. Oh don’t get me wrong, they are wound tighter than a spring in an old broken grandfather clock. Their legs may be crossed, but those legs are bouncing up and down. They may have on shorts and t-shirts and ball caps and give you the impression they are relaxed. This is one wife that will tell you it just isn’t so.

Just before the show starts, a young couple with what looks to be a brand new baby, carriage, supplies, camera, sodas slow for a moment, while he tosses down a hand made quilt onto the pavement. They make camp. They sit and hold each other and whisper to each other and try and sooth the little baby. They do a good job.

Any true and honest quilter will tell you that is what a quilt is for. At first your breath is sort of sucked in, then you relax. Quilts were not made so they could hang in museums for people to hold with white gloves and marvel at the tiny hand stitches. Quilts were made to bring comfort and love. Honestly, they were made to be tossed on the pavement. They were meant to be used and provide a little cushion and a whole lot of safe feelings.

Happy Fourth of July to all and especially to you quilters. You done good. There were a lot of very happy people watching fireworks being comforted in many ways by your quilts.

That my friend is America. A young married couple, sitting on a quilt, stealing a few moments of peace and grace.

Thank you firemen and women.

It was 1988. We lived at For Sill, Oklahoma. Our boys were little and loved the “pop” of fireworks and the sizzle of sparklers. They were in awe of the loud bangs and the “bombs” exploding. They were typical little boys. They had spent days prior to July 4th talking about what they were going to get. What they would get their Dad to buy. They even decided it was so important that they would spend their own money on some fireworks.

Of course during the day, we had a picnic and they were dressed in jean shorts and white t-shirts with Old Glory splashed across the front. We went swimming. We ate red, white and blue everything.

The time was coming near. It was after dinner, they knew it wouldn’t be long now.

Here’s the thing, we lived in the middle of a fireman’s nightmare. We were used to days topping 100 degrees. As you know, the “winds come sweeping down the plains” swiftly and constant in Oklahoma. We were tinder dry and a stray spark could and would cause major damage.

It was time. We all piled into the van. The boys were most helpful with carrying bags of fireworks and the grown up’s lawn chairs and the cooler with some cold drinks. Off we went. We drove and drove and finally found the exact spot.

It was a kid’s paradise. One huge area (a couple of acres), roped off with neon ribbons, firetrucks and firemen in uniforms. I mean the real deal. Boots and hats and gear and more gear. Every single fireman inside the roped off area, carried a fire extinguisher. The boys carried their supplies and found a spot. They set up. YIPPY, they got to light off fireworks and watch everyone around them and be happy and cheer and squeal as only little boys can. They loved watching the firemen put out the sparks when they started on the ground. Firemen walked the perimeter to make sure a stray spark would be put out immediately.

Thank you to all those firemen and women who volunteered kiddo duty. Thanks for your part in allowing our little boys to experience a safe and happy 4th of July.

Here’s hoping that every single firemen/fire women is bored silly this 4th.

God Bless America.