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October 30, 2014

Does It Work?

I’ve had to make multiple blogs so I could stay in touch with my now scattered Open Diary friends.  I didn’t want to lose them.  Only on my Blogger page did I make a list of all the pages I read out there in the real world.  Slowly this last week, I’ve been going through the links.  I asked myself, does it still work?  Is someone still using it?  Is it current? 

The links were all still open.  Most of them are still current…that was good.  Unfortunately, many of the foodie blogs were not up to date.  That was sad as I had great trouble finding San Diego food blogs, or even accessible food blogs, to read when I built the list.  Not so this time.  Now there are lots of exciting pages with info on the newest and latest additions to the food scene. 

Wearing my new glasses, I wallowed happily in cyber calories all afternoon.  With the humor and color of Mid_Century Menu right at the top, I came back several times to read about the no Fry donuts topping of their Halloween list.  A little farther down, San Diego Foodstuffs shares one of the newest hot deserts from Extraordiinary Deserts.  We love that place too. 

If you want to see what I’ve been doing one handedly, The foodie link list is on the left at the bottom.

  • Himself:  Announced that he was feeling better at last.  Nap mid day.  Worked hard on wrecks for a new client.  He rescued a neighbor lady whose 2 year old locked her out on the deck while the one year old cried inside and dinner boiled on the stove.  Dinner out and grocery shopping after work.  Simple meals.  Game playing.  TV.  He’s a good guy.

  • Herself:  Drove downtown and picked up my new glasses with my old prescription.  They work wonderfully well.  Hurrah, hurrah…but the hair wash had to be redone at home by G to get rid of the perfume. Today tidy house and lunch with Schmidley in Old Town.  Yes, I will take pictures.

  • Reading:  A mystery and suspense anthology  Really scaring me.

  • Balance:  I took a nap too.

  • October 28, 2014

    Fixing Charlie Dinner

    A portion of Charles Kassler’s mural, “Pastoral California,” 1939.  Painted over as politically incorrect in 1939; restored in 1997.

    In the mid 1960’s, I found myself out of work.  One day at the exact moment the phone man was disconnecting the phone line, I was answering an ad for a cook.  Part time, temporary hourly.  I put on my coat – which happened to be a muskrat, and jumped in my car – a little red sports car, and I drove all the way across the city from Imperial Beach to Ocean Beach to apply.

    They hired me, and for years I drove every day from one side of the city to the other to shop and layout meals for Joan and Phil.  Sometimes, I would only work three days a week cooking two meals a day for two or three days at a time.  Marking the containers, labeling them: Wednesday lunch, salad Joan. Friday dinner, Phil, microwave 4 minutes.  That sort of thing.

    I was always grateful that they lived in an unusual cottage high above the ocean on Sunset Cliffs.  Imagine snapping beans or taking peas from a pod while sitting on a rough wooden step in the sun.  Gulls wheeled by.  Pelicans swooped below in line with the surf.  The sound of the sea surrounding you and the warmth of the sun on your shoulders was a true gift.

    Perhaps it was in the early 70’s when Joan asked if I would mind cooking for a neighbor on a very part time basis.   I went down the alley to met Barbara and Charlie.  She went to England several times a year, she told me, and could I cook Charlie’s dinners while she was gone.  Simple stuff.  Sweetbreads in a crème sauce.  That sort of thing.  So I’d go from the light airy rooms facing the sea to a magical, tiny art filled home that had the first plant filled atrium with a waterfall I’d ever seen. 

    Charlie was a painter.  His was a really impressive portfolio with a degree from Princeton, his Masters from the Chicago Art Institute, and years of travel with brushes in his hand.  I didn’t notice much as I stired something in the tiny kitchen.  I’d view his paintings from Paris…painted with the expatriates of the 20’s, his work from North Africa, the beauty and power of New Mexico color, Mexico color and light, and magic from Italy. 

    I didn’t think much of it.  Too tight, I couldn’t see beyond the surface.  I thought that perhaps they needed me because Charlie had only one hand.  Perhaps they needed me to fix dinners because Charlie drank.  I’d fix the one meal, talk a bit, and head south on the freeway to my kids and maybe my husband if he wasn’t at work.

    Today I would have hired someone else to fix Charlie’s dinners, and I would have sat down to listen to his stories.  Not only did he paint with the expatriates in Paris, he was a WPA mural artist, and he taught at the Chouinard Art Institute at its peak.  Later worked as a designer in the aerospace industry.  Today I am in awe.  I’m ashamed of the youthful me.  This was a brilliant and creative man, and I hurried away home every night.

  • Himself:  His bug is still with him, but he is better and back at the gym as of today.  He only gave up part of one day to this virus. 

  • Herself:  Today is the day I try driving one handed for the first time.  I need to be pretty good at it by Thursday noon when I take Schmidley to lunch in old town. 

  • Reading:  Finished a McCaffrey, a Lockridge, and have started another Lockridge.

  • Balance:  is keeping my hand in the air.

  • October 25, 2014

    An Old Lockridge

    Only now do my old aches
    and pains wake
    creaking their way past
    the fresh pains
    of dismemberment
    of disarticulation
    and disintegration
    used to create
    the new me.

    The train out of Skagway.

  • Himself:  He says he is feeling better.  Now at the museum, later Costco.

  • Herself:  Making a poem and a list.  Dinner will be Costco of some sort.

  • Reading:  An early Lockridge.

  • Balance:  A feeling of waiting.