Saturday, April 25, 2009

19-25 April 09 California

On Sunday, 19 April, Dinesh and Ratna Dhungel took me for lunch at a wonderful Chinese buffet out by Hilltop Mall। The food was very good, and the company was so welcome। We hadn't seen each other for such a long time। So nice। (Forgot again to take pictures।) Later, I went to John Cornell's house for our non-profit board meeting, connecting Gopal by Skype. The meeting went well; everyone attended. (Again, no pictures.)

On Monday, our friend Mike Huhman came over to visit. Mike was a good friend of my son. This picture isn't good of Mike, but I wanted to feature him here. As he was approaching Suzie's house, his truck died. So, after a nice day of visiting and some dinner, the tow truck came to take Mike and his car home. (Did get a picture of that!)

On Wednesday, my cousin Margeurite from Rochester, New York, came to my brother Todd's where we all met. Margeurite brought her niece Dawn, and they came to see Margeurite's daughter Michelle who lives in Felton near San Jose. I had only seen Margeurite once years ago since we were kids. We were born within 3 months of each other during World World II while my father was in the Navy. My mother came to stay with her sister, Margeurite's mother. I had not met Michelle or Dawn, whom I enjoyed very much.

Michelle, Carolyn, Todd, Margeurite

Sharon, Michelle, Todd, Margeurite, Carolyn, Dawn

We had lunch at The Ramp on the water and within walking distance of Todd's loft.

On Wednesday evening, we realized that Suzie and Ramon would be leaving a day earlier for their little vacation without Dexter than we had realized. They would leave on Sunday morning, and I was scheduled to be with my sister in Sacramento. So, Joan took Friday off, and I went up on Thursday evening to stay until Saturday afternoon. We really wanted more time together, because when I was there last I was so exhausted, and my infected toe was really a problem. We were hoping to do more walking, etc.

Thursday evening, Joan, Scott and I went to dinner at Joan's favorite restaurant, Tower Cafe. What a gorgeous place! And the food was great, (Forgot to take pictures. What a disaster!)

Here's Joan waiting for me, with two desk chairs set up in front of her computer, where she played a new video by Playing for Fantastic!

That evening, it occurred to me that Joan and Scott could provide a good home for Vlad, Suzie and Ramon's cat. Dexter is highly allergic to cats, and they need to find a home for him. Suzie has had Vlad since he was a kitten, eleven years. Very difficult. We had asked Todd if he could take Vlad, but they have no yard, and Vlad is used to being outside. Joan and Scott have another cat and a nice yard. They were actually really receptive about having Vlad, so I called and left a voicemail for Suzie, and Scott on his own e-mailed Suzie Friday, making the proposal. She liked the idea and was thinking about it.

On Friday, Joan and I decided to go see Disney's 'Earth' at the 10:55am matinee. It was lovely, made from Planet Earth film, some of which hadn't been used in Planet Earth. But, I have to admit, these films now leave me depressed. Sort of like watching your lover die. I wept.
Here's Joan's wonderful little Prius.

Joan holding a place for me in the food line at the movie theater. (Talked myself out of getting popcorn.)

THEN, we went back to the Tower Cafe for lunch! This time I got pictures. This one is of the tower that the Tower Cafe, Tower Records, and tower everything were named after. The famous Tower Records that I knew from Berkeley apparently came from this Tower Records.

Tower Cafe


After lunch we walked to Old Sacramento. This is the Sacramento River, where river boats used to run.

Old train and train house on the river.

This one's for Dexter.

Later, when Joan, Scott and I were en route to dinner, Suzie called to say that Dexter was having such a bad asthma attack, nothing was working at home so they were on their way to the Emergency Room at Children's Hospital.

By the time we went to bed, we decided we would contact Suzie first thing in the morning, make sure it's OK to take Vlad to Sacramento, then take a drive out to Consumnes River Preserve for a nature walk, then all drive down to Oakland to get Vlad. (I would stay in Oakland, of course.)

Joan and I at Consumnes River Preserve Saturday morning (after Suzie had called to say "Come get Vlad.")

Carolyn and Joan

Joan and Scott (and waaaay down the walk, there's a blue heron)

Scott, Joan, Carolyn

Learning to take videos

After our walk at the preserve, we packed up and drove down to Suzie and Ramon's, where Ramon was letting the puppy out before returning to the hospital. We packed up Vlad, and Joan and Scott drove off with him in Joan's red Prius. Vlad was making a lot of noise.
Ramon had left too. The house was very quiet. I started downloading the photos for this post. They didn't get home until dinner time. They had not slept all night and were all exhausted. I couldn't help much. Here's a picture of Dexter getting his last breathing treatment of the day.

Sound asleep

And here's Vlad and Joan

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

14-18 April 09 California

So homesick for Gopal, but going back to some of my favorite activities.
World Literature class
This class is free for seniors at the Albany Senior Center. It is a group of very well-read people, with a wonderful teacher, Bill. It is so stimulating, and the humor level is great. It is a rare pearl.
Morris Benegra in the World Lit class is always drawing, mostly portraits, honing his already prodigius skill. I'm going to try to get a picture of one of his drawings for you.
Suzie and her friend Libby

Libby's son Jasper and Dexter trying to blow bubbles

Dexter and Jasper were making chocolate cupcakes that day
(I tried to get a picture of them making the cupcakes, but they never were together long enough before one of them wandered off, ya know?)

On Wednesday, 15 April (Dexter's 3rd birthday), Joann and I had lunch together. On Thursday, I had lunch with my friend Erica and didn't think to take her picture.
Dexter's 3rd Birthday Party

Suzie (with the help of Bukaroo) enhancing the kolam for Dexter's birthday party, Saturday,
18 April
The party begins

The front yard

Some people hung out in the back yard

Ramon's brother, C.J., playing with the children

There was so much great food (Ramon's mother, Victoria, in background)

The children all tried hitting the pinata
(The children were so little, they didn't make much of a dent in the pinata. Ramon had to hit it very hard to break it open so the candy fell out for them.)

The children picking the candy and toys from the pinata out of the grass.

The birthday cake

One of the mom's getting ready to leave, with her second child on her arm

Ramon's family came for the party. This is his aunt, 'Tita' Nini, his mother Victoria, and Suzie.
The quiet after the party (Dexter and C.J.)

C.J., Ramon, Dexter, Suzie, Victoria, Nini