Early Warning System

So every day Elizabeth opens her diary to a date two weeks ahead and writes herself a question. And every day she answers a question she set herself two weeks ago.

The Thursday Murder Club, p. 87

Dearest Mum had her own strategy: she had a huge calendar, and different colored marking pens. Gradually, self noticed that she began spending more and more time poring over it. Could have been as far back as 15 years ago. That must have been when she was just in her late 60s.

Dearest Mum came to visit self in California and started talking about this wonderful restaurant in Half Moon Bay called Gibraltar, a place she said she had just discovered. Self was quiet. Dearest Mum looked over. “What? I’ve told you this story before,” she said, looking for the first time in her life very unnerved.

“No. I was the one who took you to that restaurant. A friend in Half Moon Bay told me about it.”

So, the dementia started a long time ago. Could even have been as far back as 20 years ago. But Dearest Mum had this habit of being very gay and charming. If anyone noticed, they didn’t say a word.

Self is hugely enjoying The Thursday Murder Club.

Most of the mysteries she has read this year have been ace:

  • Find You First, by Linwood Barclay
  • One Fatal Flaw, by Anne Perry
  • All the Devils are Here, by Louise Penny
  • Eddie’s Boy, by Thomas Perry

Stay cool, dear blog readers. Stay cool.

While at Philz, Looking Through Old Photos: Self with Masako Sato, Dearest Mum

Local 3: Favorites, San Francisco Bay Area

” . . . who is local — the people and places we know by heart.”

— Jen H., The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 13 October 2016

The people and places we return to, again and again, cannot be dislodged from the heart!

Below, three of self’s favorite local places:

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Señor Sisig: A Filipino Fusion Food Truck. Today’s sighting was in the Financial District.

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Patrons at the Legion of Honor, Looking at a Vintage Poster of Sutro Baths

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Half Moon Bay, CA

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Gathering: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

What is the holiday season if not a chance to get together with family and friends to over-indulge in great conversation, food, and maybe even a libation or two?

  • Prompt for GATHERING, The Daily Post Photo Challenge for the week before Christmas

Self’s first post on this theme shows:

(1) a crowd waiting to get in to the Santa Maria del Fiori in Florence:

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WAAAAH! These are the crowds in NOVEMBER? Don’t even want to imagine what they’re like in the spring and summer!

2) an outdoor yoga class in St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin:

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St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin, July 2015

3) pelicans and seagulls, Pillar Point Harbor, Half Moon Bay, CA

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Fall, Half Moon Bay, CA

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Monochromatic 4: Moody Landscapes

Half Moon Bay, June 2015

Half Moon Bay, June 2015

On the way to Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada: May 2015

On the way to Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada: May 2015

The Trans-Canada Highway, April 2015 (Can you imagine weather like this in April, self can't even)

The Trans-Canada Highway, April 2015 (Can you imagine weather like this in April, self can’t even)

ONE # 3: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

“This week,” the WordPress Daily Post says, “we want to see photos that focus on one thing. Maybe you’ve got a stark photo of a single tree silhouetted against the setting sun, or a lone sandpiper wandering the beach as the waves crash.”

Here are my three encounters with the concept of ONE.

The first is a large tree in a plaza off Main Street, in downtown Half Moon Bay.

Main Street, Downtown Half Moon Bay:  The plaza had a large Christmas tree.

Main Street, Downtown Half Moon Bay: The plaza had a large Christmas tree.

The second is of a lighted Santa in someone’s front yard.

Jolly Old St. Nick in Someone's Front Yard in Half Moon Bay

Jolly Old St. Nick in Someone’s Front Yard in Half Moon Bay

The third “ONE” is a gigantic snow man, in a large room next to the Rain Forest exhibit.

This gigantic snow man was in the auditorium of the California Academy of Sciences, in Golden Gate Park

This gigantic snow man was in the auditorium of the California Academy of Sciences, in Golden Gate Park

Well, it was fun. The Man treated to breakfast at our usual coffee shop, so self treated to the scallops, and bought a 20-lb. bag of sunflower seeds for the birds.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Half Moon Bay: This Is Love

Art By Diane Varner (who self has known since 1986)

Art By Diane Varner (who self has known since 1986)

Self this morning is in Half Moon Bay.  She had dinner with Bob and Diane, and Diane showed self the house re-model she and Bob are embarking on.  Their beautiful home is cozy, but orderly.  Their food is organic and fresh, the dinnerware is green ceramic, and the artwork on the walls is Diane’s.

Last year Diane was flown to London (to Oxford, specifically), to speak about her art.

Above is the book with one of her pieces on the cover (Isn’t it AMAZING?).

And self is sorry that the only picture she took of Diane and her husband Bob is blurred.  But the attitude — the respect and affection and trust — make self want to cry!  Here they are:

Diane and Bob Varner, the most happily married couple self knows.

Diane and Bob Varner, the most happily married couple self knows.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Half Moon Bay, Happiness

Son and Jennie arrived in the wee hours.  Took them six hours from Claremont, straight down 5.  Ah, sweet energy of youth.

Store Sign, Main Street, Only in Half Moon Bay

Store Sign, Main Street, Only in Half Moon Bay

Decided to have lunch in Half Moon Bay.  Sun was out; it was still chilly.

Sign # 2, Still on Main Street, Half Moon Bay

Sign # 2, Still on Main Street, Half Moon Bay

There was an interesting store selling glass pumpkins (Alas, no pictures)

We found a great place to stop for lunch:  Chez Shea, on Main Street.

Jennie's Lunch:  Beet Salad.  Beets are supposedly very good for you.

Jennie’s Lunch: Beet Salad. Beets are supposedly very good for you.

They had the most humongous servings!  Highly recommended.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Another Beautiful Afternoon (May 2012)

Visited a dear friend in El Granada today.

We had green tea in her “shed.” Her husband, who as far as self knows was a UC Davis grad (though not, self is sure, in architecture), built “the shed” himself.

This is another of her husband’s many projects. He constructed the redwood box himself.

Inside the “shed” is another marvel of space-age engineering. Self is very envious of the mini’s high-gloss shine!

Yet another of Bob’s horticultural projects

Diane’s studio. She is an amazing artist. We’ve known each other since before Andrew was born.

Saturday Night: Half Moon Bay

Ahhh, it’s been a very good evening. Had dinner in Half Moon Bay. For sheer atmosphere, drive to the coast at night can’t be beat. Never mind that, on the way back — hubby wasn’t feeling well, so self went solo — self was tailed for over a mile by a cop. On the CD player: James Blunt. Self blithely sang along to “You’re Beautiful” (Son says his Mom is so “emo”). Ate: crostini; scallops sauteed in butter; salad with avocado, fresh fennel and grapefruit; wild rice with quinoa; fresh asparagus. Self’s contribution was clam chowder (her first attempt!) Dessert was lemon cookies (baked by Diane as the rest of us were finishing up dinner), topped with fresh strawberries. Self had two glasses of champagne with hibiscus. Occasion: none. Simply an excuse to eat. Heaven!

Champagne With Hibiscus (Self had two of these)

Champagne With Hibiscus (Self had two of these -- !)

Decision was made to have the next dinner (in mid-July) be Filipino-themed. Self will send around links to Filipino food blogs, so people can choose which dishes they can try to make. No one in the group’s ever been to the Philippines, so self thinks it will be fun to bring along some Filipino books and magazines. Fun!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

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