Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Ukulele Fun

Back Row, L-R: Fred, Deb, Casey, Debbie, Carol, Marisa, Ron
Front Row, L-R: Jim, Joe, Deb, Ellen, Michael

I've been attending Cali Rose's Ukulele Workshop at Boulevard Music in Culver City for a few years. We really do have fun figuring out songs, writing intros and endings to songs we all love. We play songs from yesteryear and today. Cali even wrote a nice arrangement for  a current song, the Academy Award winning song, "Remember Me," from the popular film, "Coco."
We sign up for 4 classes at a time, meeting on Saturdays from 10:30 am to noon. Most of the players in class are at the intermediate level. We have some beginners who graduated from Cali's beginning class, also at Boulevard Music. During our final class of each session, Cali asks one of the U-Bass players from the C.C. Strummers to join our class. The bass really makes our songs pop! Last Saturday Michael Kohan accompanied us!
U-Bass Player, Michael Kohan

We'll be taking off this Saturday to attend the Los Angeles International Ukulele Festival in Torrance. I'm really looking forward to the Festival. There are many workshops with different teachers from all over the country, concerts, a marketplace and more. It's always fun running into musicians I know from other ukulele classes around town.
Last Year's Ukulele Festival with Cher, Natalie and Cali. Torrance, 2017
I also LOVE seeing everyone's Hawaiian shirts, muu-muus, hats, flower leis and cool ukuleles. For me, THIS is the happiest place on earth!
Here's a really short video of Cali's Ukulele Workshop playing a bit of "Jump, Jive and Wail" last Saturday.

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Thursday, September 13, 2018

Disney's California Adventure

Larry and I have been working so much to get Mom situated in her new apartment, that we decided to take last Sunday off for a field trip day. We hadn't visited Disney's California Adventure in at least 10 or 12 years, so that's where we headed.
Tram into the Parks

Being architecture buffs, we hadn't seen all of the reproductions of famous Los Angeles buildings at the Cal-Adventure. I must say, walking through the "gates" of the old Pan Pacific Auditorium was quite thrilling!
Replica of the entrance of the Pan Pacific Auditorium
We spent a lot of time on Buena Vista Street, checking out the replicas of the Carthay Circle Theater, the Fairfax Market and more. We live quite close to where the Carthay used to be. I was sad that everything at Disneyland was decorated for Halloween already. It was a bit difficult to get the real look of all the buildings. Hollywood Boulevard was pretty good too, except that Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards do not intersect (creative license)! A lot of the street was dedicated to Los Feliz, where Walt Disney settled when he first landed in Los Angeles. Also, where the original Disney Studios were located.
Details of the Carthay Circle Theater replica, already decorated for Halloween
The best ride on Buena Vista Street is a replica of the old Red Car Trolley. We rode it a few times. I never did get to ride on the real Red Car when it was operating in L.A. I vaguely remember seeing the last of the Red Cars lumbering down Venice Boulevard in the early 1960s. Dad pointed it out to me and told me stories about traveling all over L.A. on the trolley.
Red Car Trolley and Larry with the Conductor
Frank Lloyd Wright design, Disney Style

We strolled through the Park, coming to the realization that there were more places to eat than actual rides on this side of Disneyland. California Adventure is the food court for Disneyland! We picked up our fast pass for the Radiator Springs Racers (about 4 hours later in the day). In the meantime, we rode a few of the kiddie rides.
Luigi's Rollicking Roadsters. "Mambo Italiano" was our song
Mater's Junkyard Jamboree
Everything is beautifully articulated and art directed at California Adventure. The attention to design detail is amazing.

Pixar Pier
We ended up having a quick lunch at Flo's V-8 Cafe near Carsland. BLT. Went on a few more rides and walked through that forest-like park area. 
Grizzly River Run
Refreshing LIVE entertainment at Pixar Pier. Dig those wild outfits!

One of the more impressive displays of a current movie was for "Coco."  I just love all that Dia de Los Muertos design!
"Coco" Pavilion 

By 4pm, it was definitely time for a cocktail. We were quite close to the Grand Californian Hotel, so we walked into this craftsman wonder directly to the bar.
Cocktails at the Grand Californian Hotel
We ended our "adventure" with a swift ride on the Radiator Spring Racers. Dinnertime! Drove toward L.A. and stopped in La Mirada at Clearman's Northwoods Inn, which is a Disney-type environment.
Clearman's Northwoods Inn, La Mirada
It was a great day and a nice respite from work.

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Sunday, September 09, 2018

L' Shana Tovah

Happy New Year to my family and friends. May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year! May it be sweet and happy!
Click on cartoon to see larger image

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Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Everything is Blue and White!

Notice the lovely, hand-crocheted afghan over the back of the couch

We're finally done moving Mom to her new apartment at Palm Court. Next stop, back to the apartment in Westwood to clear it out. Yeah, this is one great vacation. NOT.
Mom's all about everything LOOKING good. Her family motto is: "It's better to look good than feel good." I've known this all my life. It's not MY motto, but I respect her beliefs. For this reason, I made sure that we took everything from her apartment in Westwood that was blue and white. I knew this combination would look great in her new, bright Culver City place.
Larry is extremely resourceful and the BEST moving facilitator EVER! Between the two of us, we managed to organize, weed out the extra stuff and decorate the place with Mom's belongings. We still have a few items to bring over, but basically, we're done!
My favorite husband and Mom


The view from Roz's balcony of the historic tower at Vet's Auditorium and the Culver City Senior Center
It will take Mom a few weeks to get used to the routine at Palm Court and to find out where things are located, like the dining room, but once she figures it out, I hope she's happy there.
I'm EXHAUSTED!

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Sunday, September 02, 2018

Labor Day



I'm thankful to all the workers who came before me, standing up for equal rights on the job.  Happy Labor Day!

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Friday, August 31, 2018

Packing, Cleaning, Clearing Out

Mom is moving on Tuesday. Larry and I have been working feverishly to pack up all of her things, including paintings, furniture, books, some dishes and more. Luckily, Roz has downsized over the years, so it hasn't been too difficult of a job. The hardest part is having Mom underfoot, asking countless questions. OK, I get it. She's moving to a new part of the City, Culver City, away from her westside home. This is a new chapter in her life.
Mom is moving to a lovely retirement apartment called Palm Court. We know other people that live there and they love it. She will have a one bedroom apartment that is light and airy. We will be able to use most of her furniture, which will make her feel comfortable. 
Palm Court, Culver City

She lives in Westwood Village now and it's hell to visit her. There is so much traffic coming and going from The Village! Palm Court's location in Culver City is much easier for us to reach. It's on Overland Avenue, between Washington and Culver, right across from the west gate at Sony Studios.  It is 4.3 miles from our house to Palm Court in Culver City and 5.9 miles from our house to Westwood Village. The mileage is not that different, but the time sitting in traffic is definitely less.
Mom is moving from Westwood to Culver City
Palm Court is really lovely. Everyone there is very nice. Mom will have 3 meals a day, entertainment, exercise classes, movies and more. Also, Palm Court is right next door to the Culver City Senior Center which offers all kinds of activities, including UKULELE lessons! Roz will probably partake of the bridge games and leave the uke playing to me!
So, if any of my senior friends are interested in moving to a swell retirement apartment, tell them Roz sent you so she can receive a referral credit!
Roz and her favorite son-in-law!

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Monday, August 27, 2018

Talkin' 'Bout Barbie

On Saturday at my Santa Monica knit group, The Ocean Park Fiber Artists, we were talking about knitting and crocheting for Barbie doll. One of our members, Barbara F. brought a recently purchased Barbie doll to our meeting. She knit a couple of outfits for this Barbie. Of course, this particular Barbie doll was for a little girl that Barbara babysits, but after knitting and crocheting some outfits, Barbara likes the doll so much, she is going to keep her!
Barbara's hand knit and crochet skirt and poncho set for Barbie. 
SO CUTE!

I remembered that I'd just seen a photo on Instagram from a crocheter in Mexico who made this incredible outfit in two different colorways.
LOVE these crocheted Barbie ensembles via Instagram
I let Barbara know that Nicky Epstein had written two pattern books for Barbie fashions, knit and crochet. I have both books and promised to bring them so Barbara could borrow some of the patterns.
Excellent pattern books!
I've knit, crocheted and sewn a few things for my Barbie dolls in the past. My first attempt was at the age of 8. My knitting was rather irregular, but colorful. After seeing my crazy skirt, Mom offered to knit Barbie a top. Thanks, Mom.
Skirt knitted by an 8-year old. Top by Mom
In the early 2000's, I dug out my Barbie case and decided to crochet a few items for the dolls. I used thin sock yarn and came up with a few colorful outfits!
Crocheted skirt set by Ellen. Pucci handbag by Darcy
Crocheted shawlette by Ellen. Skirt made from Chinese pajama bottoms by Mom.
It really is fun making teensy clothes. You can whip up an entire wardrobe in a few hours! During this turbulent time in our history, it's comforting to focus on the small stuff.

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Thursday, August 23, 2018

Franciscan Desert Rose

Over 30 years ago I purchased an entire set of Franciscan Desert Rose dishes and serving platters from my friend Nancy. In addition to place settings including dinner, salad and butter plates, there were tea cups with saucers, coffee mugs, serving platters and more. Nancy was ready to move on to new designs and new dishes, so I was in luck and got a great price for my treasures! Thanks, Nancy! I'm still using my beautiful dishes.
Over the years I added more pieces to my Desert Rose Franciscan ware. This particular design offered so many extra pieces. I have a butter dish, gravy boat, salt & pepper shakers, tea pot, even a wall clock!


Desert Rose is the MOST popular pattern ever created in Franciscan Ware. It was designed around 1939. The name, "Desert Rose" was given to this design to evoke a western, but refined image. I've picked up a few pieces here and there at estate sales and at thrift shops. I can definitely see a difference in the earlier dishes versus the newer manufactured dishes. The California-made Desert Rose is very textured/embossed and the edges of the dishes are prominently scalloped. After the Franciscan designs were sold to Wedgewood, the dishes were manufactured in Britain. They are still beautiful, but the roses and leaves are less pronounced and the scalloped edges are rounder. When Larry and I were married in 1992, I registered to receive more dinner plates. These are slightly different than my earlier pieces. I have never seen the Desert Rose dishes manufactured in China. I've only seen photos and all of the texture, scallops and charm seems to be gone. Also, the colors aren't as soft and pleasing.


I don't own the Xmas tree ornament, but it's available!

There were a number of other designs besides Desert Rose. My OTHER favorite is the Apple design. They also offered the popular "Starburst" and "Del Mar" patterns which are VERY popular with the mid-century modern set.
"Apple" Franciscan Ware
"Starburst" Franciscan Ware
I have a couple of pieces of the Starburst pattern that I use for appetizers.
The Franciscan Pottery Factory, originally part of Gladding McBean Company, was on Los Feliz Boulevard in Atwater, where the Costco shopping center is now located, across the street from the Tam O' Shanter Restaurant. I remember the factory quite well. They had a "seconds" shop where I used to hunt for extra pieces. The property was sold in 1984.
Franciscan Factory, 2901 Los Feliz Blvd., Atwater, Los Angeles, photo from the Franciscan Ceramics Archives
I don't use my Franciscan dishes that often. Larry complains that they're too difficult to wash well and since I do most of the cooking, Larry is our resident dishwasher in our circa 1928 kitchen. He likes using his bachelor-days set of Corelle dishes! They are "Winter Frost White" and very practical #boring. I'm thinking about a kitchen remodel that would include a modern dishwasher! Time to come into the 20th century, Ellen.
Read more about it HERE

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Hiren's BootCD
hard drive recovery