So much happening, so many decisions to make

When last I sat down my grandson Baby Colton arrived, and a week later my puppy-to-be made an appearance.

Three weeks later and much has happened. My 22-year-old grandson visited us for one week in February.

Sacramento Metropolitan Airport public sculpture. I see my red Samsonite!

I haven’t seen him in two years, and the visit ended with him saying, “Best vacation ever!” Not that he has taken many vacations in his short working life. It seems like for being on his own he is doing well. But there were a few details that needed to be addressed. Haircut, eyeglasses, cell phone upgrade, and work clothes set the stage for a busy week.

One thing I have to say about this guy is that he is a foodie. Straight away he planned to eat his way through Sacramento. Straight from the airport, we head to his favorite Fish and Chips place. Interestingly enough, the owners remember him. I guess he frequented this establishment when he lived close by. For dessert, I visited Icicles. Curled up icecream created right before your eyes.

Delicious. Never knew this existed. I plan to visit again.

After taking care of all those details, we planned a day out of town. At first we wanted to go to San Francisco to meet up wtih my son and family. With everyone having a different schedule this was difficult to arrange, and so we went with plan B. Headed east with Reno being our destination. This is the first February where we didn’t have a drop of rain. Weather is just lovely, but I am starting to hear talk of drought again.

First stop, Donner Summit. Checked out Donner Lake. I tried to imagine the Donner Party stuck here.

It was the end of February and there was no snow around.

My two guys!
Some fishermen getting ready to cast their lines.
Another tourist from the Sacramento area. Love the colorful sari.

Searched for a open restroom. Didn’t know this was a seasonal condition. LOL!

We visited the Donner Memorial State Park Visitor Center with a very nice restroom.

We continue on to Reno and arrived about lunchtime. Headed for miles of food buffet.

Buffet at the El Dorado Casino

My grandson first took a look at the miles of desserts.

Miles of tempting desserts

He then placed his drink order. He has a unique way of ordering his meal items. But he does it with a pleasant demeanor and the servers try to oblige him.

We walked around Circus Circus, but no performances to view. We checked out the arcade. We needed to walk off that meal!

Tried our hand at 25 cent poker machine, and quick when we were ahead. Winner of $0.55. It was nice sitting and talking while we tried to beat the machine.

Argggh!

Thanksgiving in February with all the trimmings, except pumpkin pie. My grandson requested this holiday meal back in November so I kept a turkey in the freezer for this occasion. He remembered that I usually put walnuts in my stuffing. Not this time. Oh well. I liked the fact that I didn’t have to cook for a couple of days afterward.

Been paying close attention to the upcoming presidential race in November. California moved up the primary vote, and Super Tuesday came and went. No further comment here. I just hope, upon hope that our next president will be someone other that our current ____. You fill in the blank. Decisions, decisions, but not the greatest of choices.

My grandson headed back to Knoxville, and we focused on our upcoming trip to New York City. Then the news of coronavirus ramped up. Decisions, pro/con. After much discussion, we decided that New York City will be there, and we would postpone our trip. Booking.com made it easy to cancel the hotel reservation. I had a harder time with AAA air travel. I purchased travel insurance for my Jet Blue tickets. But I would need to file a claim, and there would be a big hassle. I called Jet Blue and they agreed to give me a 1-year credit for the tickets.

So next up, was opening day of baseball. But it was rained out. Luckily, game was called early. Go figure!

Each day from 1 pm until 7 pm I get to watch puppy television, starring Ginger and her litter of 10. And after 4 weeks they are playing and eating gruel. Next weekend the plan is to drive up north and meet the pups in person. Ginger has 10 puppies. Three girls, and seven boys. I am pretty sure that we will be bringing home a little girl pup, but we will see after we meet all of them next week. We wanted a solid colored pup (only a couple of boys fit that description), but all are so cute and personalities are starting to form. That is more important in the decision process. So excited.

So that is it for the moment. Trying to stay healthy. Relaxing and getting ready for my new adventure.

Pacific Grove here we come!

A couple of weeks ago we took the opportunity to head to Pacific Grove. Just a quick getaway for our 49th anniversary.

These two were engrossed in conversation. The light was right, and I took the shot.

Breakfast stop at Starbucks

Usually we stop near Gilroy to get some Bing Cherries. With the long rainy season the crop of Bings were delayed. All the end of season rain did not help with this crop.

Got some cherries, just not Bings.
Split cherries

Arrived in Monterey, and decided to explore Fisherman’s Wharf.

Boats awaiting destinations.
Tourists passing street musician.
Interesting way to repurpose a parking meter.
Getting hungry. Tempted with clam chowder.
Cute face!
Life altering copping! We needed to see what this was all about.
Great lunch/dinner. Not sure how my life has been altered? But my tummy was satisfied!
Got so busy eating that I didn’t catch a photo of the cioppino.
Had to grab this sign at another eating establishment. A whole lot of NO!
More street photography from Fisherman’s Wharf.

Our lodging this time was near Asilomar Beach.

The next day we decided to spend in Pacific Grove. Our grab and go breakfast did not make the cut. We went looking for something to eat.

Kind of a running joke. Often we enter somewhere new and follow signs that promise “Information”. But we usually find this not a very helpful way to go.
Interesting sign tells everyone not to play with wind chimes. But where are they? A little late, or did they remove them for safe keeping.
Peeking through the lattice.
Haircut Time!

Many buildings have found new purpose in Pacific Grove. The landmark store now is home to many businesses. This gas station has found a different kind of customer.

After walking along main street in Pacific Grove we head out to Lover’s Point. Sea Gulls and squirrels are unafraid of people.

I’ll pose for you!

Walking along I found some objects to capture my attention.

Got so close to these squirrels with my Fuji xt2 18-55mm lens.

No extra cropping necessary. We just watched each other.
Pretty soon another squirrel joined the party.
Lover’s Point overlooks Monterey Bay.

Watching season 2 of Big Little Lies. Looking for location shots.

Oh, to live near the water!

Ready for an afternoon snack. Belgium Waffle ordered and eaten.

Two forks. We shared this tiny waffle.

Caught a couple more images, and we head back to cottage to relax before dinner at The Fishwife.

Goodbye Pacific Grove. Time to drive home.

Driving next to us while we wait in traffic. Don’t want to end up like these cars.

Fun getaway. Guess I need to plan some more. Where do you like to go when you have a couple of days?

Scavenging Old Sacramento.

My right hand is on the mend, and I can once again hold my trusty D7100.  With Old Sacramento as the destination I joined my CTT friends in a Scavenger Hunt. 50 items and about 2 hours I didn’t give in to any pressure. I wanted to pay attention to how I captured the image.

This scavenger hunt added a photographic design element to many items. The usual suspects included rule of thirds, leading lines, and repeating patterns. The last item repeating patterns was actually repeated. More unusual ones: do what a sign says, you can smell it through the photo and topsy turvy pushed my creativity. And getting a very low perspective may have pushed my physical endurance on this warm September day. Probably would not have been able to get up!

Funny group pic!

See the list?  Funny Group Pic, one and done.

Careful, broken glass and tears ahead.

Careful, broken glass and tears ahead.

Scary.

Something Scary. Getting in the spirit of Halloween!

1709_26_ScavengerHunt_7981

Think we can catch up to the trains? Gotta hurry. Railroad tracks and leading lines.

Bicyclist following leading lines

Bicyclist approaching not ready to stop.

Reflection of me and my CTT friends.

My reflection with my CTT friends. (CTT = Camera Totin’ Tuesday) We are retired, so we photograph during the week when it is quiet.

Larger than life, but I still prefer the real thing!

Larger than life, but I still prefer the real thing!

Something cold the enjoy on a hot afternoon.

Enjoying something cold on a warm afternoon.

Love my creamy Bokeh!

Love my creamy Bokeh!

Can you smell the popcorn?

Can you smell the popcorn? Getting hungry! I also like the side lighting.

Bottoms Up!

Bottoms up! Here is my bottle.

He just wanted to park for a while.

He just wanted to park for a while. Here he does what the sign says.

Unusual number of Odd items

Unusual number of odd items.Pattern repeats.

Just tickled my fancy.

Just tickled my fancy.

This scavenger hunt produced some interesting results. It is a great way to get out, have fun, enjoy good company, and practice some good photographic techniques. I will keep this list for another time because it challenges me to look around and improve my images. Not much photo processing this time. Because I am getting used to holding my dslr I only used my 18-200mm lens this time.

Happy Snapping!

Looking Back, Looking Ahead!

Days of Atonement, clarity, introspection, meditation, taking in the moment are ways I see the High Holidays. The time between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur serves as a time to take stock of the past year, and think about the future.

Usually I start with creating the ritual meal. Shopping items include chicken, matza meal, noodles, apples, gefilte fish, Manischwitz Concord Grape Wine, and a round challah (getting harder, and harder to find).  The meal takes a lot of preparation and while I chop and peel I remember the past year. The lose of my parents is with me daily. I do take some comfort in knowing they are together. But this time the holiday felt different.

In the process of moving I get to look at a lot of accumulated stuff. 47 years of marriage, 31years in the same house, and only in the past month have we become “empty nesters”.  I inherited much from my parents. I found some home movies from early 1960s that I transferred onto a DVD. Technology has come a long way from a Super 8mm film camera. Back to the time of silent movies with exaggerated movements.

October begins a new chapter for the Frankel’s with the move to Fair Oaks (6 miles away).  Not so much distance, but a reset nevertheless. Still don’t know exactly how we plan to arrange our “stuff”. Luckily we have a 3 car garage, and that is where our boxes will go. Then we have another chance to decide about stuff before it finds a place in our new home. I feel excited, and I hope that enthusiasm continues.

Selling a house is not fun.  My house has never been so clean. My Libby is into the routine, and as long as I have her food ready, she jumps into the car in a moments notice.  Trying not to take feedback personally. I just hope that process does not drag on. Listed for not quite a month, and it is starting to feel old. Yesterday was the first day I didn’t go overboard and pick up every little thing.  Thinking maybe that a watched pot does not boil, a spotless house does not sell? My mother would say, “You just need one buyer, and for every house there is one buyer.” Patience. My friend Anne came over and blessed my house to release any negative spirits that may be preventing its sale.  An open house is scheduled for Sunday.  We are doing all we can!

In the coming year I plan to research my family roots. I started my family genealogy while studying for my Libraian credential in 1983. That was before Internet, computer software, and the end of the Cold War. Now there are so many ways wto proceed. New documents are coming on line all the time. I joined the Jewish Genealogy Society of Sacramento and participated in 2 classes. I am not sure where this will lead. Perhaps a book documenting my family history. Maybe just continued research into the Shoah and its  meaning in my life. Maybe a way to establish connections with other researchers and librarians. I hesitate to involve myself in another group, but maybe I do this for just that reason – to overcome.

I’m not usually comfortable joining a group, but being part of my 2nd Gen group encourages me to try and feel a part of something bigger than myself. I learn, find support and appreciate my CVHEN (Central Valley Holocaust Educators Network) 2nd Gen friends. After so many years, I finally have people I can count on. Photography helped to crack through my isolation. Despite the difficulties I encountered I could use my camera to refocus my thoughts. Getting out with friends, doing something, and creating is the key. I hope I don’t let my friends down. I plan to be mindful and appreciate my friends.

Thinking back over the past year I tried, but may not have succeeded in taking a step back around my family. The role of care taker may have placed me a position of power, and I may have sent the message that I know what is best. There is a delicate balance between taking care, and allowing space. I plan to be more mindful of this. The balance between decision making, and indecision. Some decisions I made were hard, yet I made up my mind for what I hope will be best for my family.

As is said at this time, “May you be inscribed in the Book of Life.”