Category Archives: SoCS

SoCS – If I Had a Bigger Garden

The Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “if.” Linda invited us to start our post with the word “If.”

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If I had a bigger garden, I would plant more fruit trees and vegetables.

I have a good size garden and am grateful for all the flowers in my garden. My picture folder showed my garden was barren in 2003. I planted the flowers and trees a few at a time for the last eighteen years. I set a mental budget for gardening and didn’t spend too much money each year. Probably I spent the most this summer when I replaced many annual to perennial flowers.

Flowers in My Garden

I also tried to see what grows well in my garden. Some part of my garden gets full sun all day, while other part gets either the morning sun or evening sun. After we planted the Cypress trees in the backyard, they block the sun in the winter as the earth tilted.

Another factor about gardening is the soil and watering system. Hubby is in charge of the sprinkler system. He also takes care of the lawn while I take care of the flowers. He installed the sprinklers according to the needs of the lawn. As a result, some flowers get too much water, and some don’t get enough water. Well, I have to improvise and make change now and then. I don’t mind doing that. What I did was to plant the flowers that need more water in the areas that have more sprinkler heads and planted the flowers that don’t need so much water in the areas further from the sprinkler heads. Of course, I could ask him to add sprinkler heads in some areas.

I started with one patch of Lily of the Nile (African Lily). African lily can withstand drought because of its large, fleshy roots. Roots spread and fresh shoots grow. I transplant them on several spots and the sixty feet wide slopes in the back yard behind the retaining wall, spaced them every eight feet in eight patches. The photo below is in the front yard.

Lily of the Nile (African Lily)

When we renovated the front yard, I bought ten rose bushes, and they turned out to be in different shades of pink. Then I felt in love with the white iceberg roses and bought ten bushes.

Throughout the years, I planted different flowers. As mentioned above, I experimented with the kinds that do well in my garden. The flowers above and below included in this post are what I currently have.

Year-round: Geranium, Hibiscus, Pentas, Periwinkle (Vinca) Lantana, and Snapdragon

Spring: Freesia (yellow and purple) and Clover

Summer: Daylily and Sunflower

Winter: Cyclamen and Camelia

I have planted the bulbs for Daffodil and Iris, hope to see the flowers next year.

Fruit Trees

So far, I have two plum trees, one apple tree, and one orange tree. We hope to plant a dwarf lemon tree, blackberries and raspberries. Berries are invasive, so I need more planning before planting them.

Vegetables

I planted kale, orange and green bell pepper, and squash. They are not ready to harvest yet. I love to grow more vegetables if I had a bigger garden.

2019-2020 SoCS Badge by Shelley! https://www.quaintrevival.com/

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SoCS – If I had a Bigger Garden

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SoCS – Puzzling about the Tidepools

 The Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “puzzle.” We use it any way we’d like!

I’m thankful to live close to the water all my life, places such as Hong Kong, Portland in Oregon, Seattle in Washington, and Orange County in California. Water is gentle, soft, soothing and yet it can be powerful and forceful.

I love walking around Laguna Lake, which is one mile from home. It takes 3 minutes to drive or 20 minutes to walk there. I also love to take day trips to the beaches. The most visited beaches are Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, and Laguna Beach. They are about 30 to 33 miles from home and take about 35 to 45 minutes to get there.

Hubby and I went to Laguna Beach on Wednesday, September 15. It had been almost two years since our last visit. It is a small city with less than 10 square miles, but there are a lot of things to do for the locals and visitors. The weather treated us well with mild sun, clear sky and a gentle breeze.

When we visited Laguna Beach years and years ago, we took many quarters to feed the parking meters. Eventually the parking meters are converted to taking credit card payment even though the coin slots are still there. When we came on the weekends, we usually circled around many times to find a parking, but on this day, we spotted many available spaces closed to the beach.

It was lunchtime when we arrived, so we went to our regular seafood restaurant right by the beach to have lunch. Hubby had a fish and chips, and I had a Fettucine Alfredo with shrimp. Hubby had three bottles of Bud Light. I ordered a Genius Taut for its bitter taste but drank only half of it because I’m allergic to alcohol. Hubby helped to share half of mine.

We visited several art galleries. I enjoyed many of the contemporary, abstract art as well as the landscape, and portrait. We saw some contemporary and inventive sculptures and also realistic sculptures.

A similar piece of this painting costs $10,000
This sculpture is about 24″ high, costs $8,000

There are three beach valley ball nets on the beach. On our previous trips, we saw people playing valley balls, but it was quiet on Wednesday. I wasn’t sure if it was a pandemic restriction or because it was a weekday.

My favorite thing is walking from the beach valley ball area to the tidepools to look at the little sea creatures in the rocky area where the ocean meets the land. This area has many pockets of sea water usually filled with snails, sea slugs, sea cucumber, mussels, sea stars, hermit crabs, and small fish. Families came with their children, who went from one pocket of water to another to look at these sea creatures.

As we walked closer to the tidepool area, to my surprise, the area was diminished significantly. Only a couple of pieces of rock were above the sand, and the lower rocks were not there. Hubby saw my puzzling look, saw the rows and rows of tire tracks on the sand, and said, “It seems like they brought in truckloads of sand.”

“Why did they cover the tidepools with sand?”

The remaining couple pieces of rocks above the sand didn’t collect too much water with sea creatures in them. I was somewhat disappointed. The sand level looked like higher than what I remembered. It could have been between the timing of the tide and the timing of adding sand to the beach. The tide was coming in and the waves were high by the time we were there. The tidepools could be under the water. The more I think about that, the clearer I see those tidepools under the water.

I had fun taking tons of photos and videos of the waves pounding the beach and the rocks. There were two surfers, one on the left and one on the right of the video.

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2019-2020 SoCS Badge by Shelley! https://www.quaintrevival.com/

Thank you for reading.

Have a wonderful weekend!

SoCS – Puzzling about the Tidepools

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SoCS – My Books Are Yours

Linda G. Hill at Life in progress posted the SoCS prompt on Friday, “Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is ‘my.’ Start your post with the word ‘My.’ Bonus points if you end your post with ‘yours.’ Enjoy!

Here are two of the seven rules:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing (typos can be fixed), and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

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My granddaughter Autumn will turn four on September 28, 2021. It’s amazing to watch how she learned during this young age.

As a teacher, I paid more attention to her reading development. My daughter Mercy and her husband, Will, started reading bedtime stories to her as soon as baby Autumn came home from the hospital. They wanted to establish the habit of reading to her. Books made with cloth or plastic are part of her toys. It turned out that Autumn developed the love of reading at a very young age. Before she turned two, she seemed to prefer books rather than the manipulative toys. Mercy had age-appropriate toys around for her, but she picked up books to flip the pages more often than to press the buttons for the musical toys. Her favorite books when she was around one year old were a set of ten nursery rhyme 2”x2” books. They were the right size for her small hands. She picked out the books one at a time, brought it to us, turned around and set on our laps. We sang the nursery rhymes to her as we flipped the pages. When we read her the picture books, she had her favorite pictures such as ball, apple, ducks, or dog. After we turned the pages further into the book, she flipped the pages back and pointed to the pictures to say the names. She seemed to focus on the details of the pictures and looked at them with intensity.

Autumn has kept up her interest in books. By three years old, she had a long attention span to listen to books with over 1,000 words. Even though she didn’t understand the concept or meaning of all the sentences, she picked up some simple meaning and words she could relate to. When we repeated reading the same book, she would interact by saying the names of the characters or actions corresponding to the illustrations. As we repeated reading the same book, she remembered more details.

The thematic books she enjoyed and found them funny were the Magic School Bus books. During one visit several months ago (when she was three and a half), she flipped through the Magic School Bus book on dinosaurs. She could name all the dinosaurs. The book made learning fun by inventing funny names with illustrations. One picture has a sock as the head and a body of a dinosaur and named it Sockasaurus. Another picture has a banana head and names Bananasaurus. We made it fun by inventing our own, such as named the fingers, Fingerasaurus.

My daughter takes her to the library to check out books. They checked out as many books as the library tote bag could hold. It’s about twenty-five books. We read at least half of them as soon as we came home. When we go somewhere in the car, she wants to have an entire bag of books available to read. I remember when she was around three years old, before we used book bags, she insisted to bring many books to the car. We tried to tell her to bring just a few, but she picked out a stack of about ten large size books and carried them, walking from the house to the car on her little feet. Well, how can we discourage her from the love of books?

The books are her lullaby. She would read until she falls asleep.

For a short while, I worried that she would only read books but not keeping a balance between books and other activities and social skills. But my worries puffed away when I watched her playing well with friends, enjoys hiking, rock climbing, biking, camping, swimming and other adventurous activities.

I saved boxes of books from my teaching days. I go through the books and bring the interest and vocabulary appropriate books to her on my visits to her. She knows I have something for her every time. She would ask, “What is in your bag, Grandma?” I would take out the books and say, “These books are yours.”

2019-2020 SoCS Badge by Shelley! https://www.quaintrevival.com/

Thank you for reading. Click this link if you would like to participate.

Have a wonderful week!

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SoCS 2020.07.18: You Raise Me Up

Linda G. Hill’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS for July 18, 2020 is “link.” I love to play this week. 

I’ve heard the song You Raise Me Up and loved it, but it brought more attention to me when my sister sent me a YouTube link with Chinese subtitle. I felt in love with song all over again and looked into the background of the song as well as the performer who sang this in the center of Maastricht, Netherlands. Here are the info and the links.

You Raise Me Up

You Raise Me Up” was originally composed by Rolf Undsæt Løvland as an instrumental piece and titled “Silent Story” in 2001.  Løvland is a Norwegian composer, lyricist, arranger, and pianist. Together with Fionnuala Sherry, he formed the Celtic-Nordic group Secret Garden. Løvland later approached Irish novelist and songwriter Brendan Graham to write the lyrics to his melody. The song was made by and for Løvland himself and performed for the very first time at the funeral of Løvland’s mother

The song was performed early in 2002 by the Secret Garden and became a minor UK hit. By 2005, the song reached a massive world-wide success.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/You_Raise_Me_Up

Martin Hurkens

In his biography, the unemployed baker Martin Hurkens credited her youngest daughter for signing him up for the RTL program “Holland Got Talent” behind his back. He hesitated a little, then decided to participate in this great program. To his surprise, he reached the finale. Singing was always his hobby and he turned his hobby into a profession.  He “seized the opportunity with both hands.”

After winning the finale, he received more and more requests for performances. In addition to these performances he also recorded a video clip in the center of Maastricht of the song: “You Raise Me Up.” This video became popular on YouTube and Social Media and has been watched all over the world. He received many requests for performances in China, Taiwan, and Japan.

http://www.martinhurkens.nl/biografie

I chose the YouTube link with English subtitle.

 

Lyrics

When I am down, and, oh, my soul, so weary
When troubles come, and my heart burdened be
Then, I am still and wait here in the silence
Until you come and sit awhile with me

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas
I am strong when I am on your shoulders
You raise me up to more than I can be

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas
I am strong when I am on your shoulders
You raise me up to more than I can be

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas
I am strong when I am on your shoulders
You raise me up to more than I can be

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas
I am strong when I am on your shoulders
You raise me up to more than I can be

You raise me up to more than I can be

 

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Brendan Graham / Rolf Løvland

You Raise Me Up lyrics © Peermusic Publishing, Universal Music Publishing Group

 

 

SoCS 2020.07.18: You Raise Me Up

SoCS 2019.10.12 – Ground, Sand and Tide

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “ground.” Use it as a noun or a verb in any tense (i.e. grind). Have fun! Linda G. Hill

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My sock escaped the patio of our condo on the fifth floor during our slumber on the third day in Maui. I scanned the bushes around the pool area at the ground level and glanced the walkway leading to the beach. Nothing resembled my sock.

Hubby and I walked on the beach two mornings ago. I gazed the trees at the far end curve of the beach and measured the rhythm of my steps. We could walk all the way there before turning around. Talking to myself.

 

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Ouch! I bounced, retrieving my right foot from the sand. Something shocked the nerve of my bared foot. It was the spikes of the fallen twigs. Hubby suggested walking in the salty water hoping it would sooth the shooting sensation. It was not bleeding, saved by the reflex.

The next morning, I worried other unknown objects might surprise my feet. Some people walk on the beach with shoes but most of them do it with flip flops. I didn’t bring flip flops and preferred not to wet my shoes with saltwater. Wearing socks seemed to be a sound idea. After the walk, I washed off the sand and dirt of the socks inside and out and left them on the patio chair in our condo. It was not windy when we went to bed. Well, I forgot about fetching the socks and lost one overnight. It was the least of things I’ve lost during our travel.

 

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Makena Beach

On a pleasant note, we went to Makena Beach that day to rekindle our memory of the beach wedding twenty-three years ago. It is a small beach at the end of the State Park. The size of the beach looks like a private beach in someone’s backyard. There was no disturbance from other visitors during our wedding and photograph. It was still a quiet beach when we visited it on multiple occasions during the previous trips.

 

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We didn’t expect this trip to be different or a busy tour season in October. To our surprise, the beach was busy with at least a dozen people playing in a pool of water, sunbathing or reading in beach chairs.

 

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The water was turquoise blue contrasted with the black lava rocks. The tide rolled in, hitting and splashing on the rocks to several feet high. Hubby spotted several turtles swam against the waves trying to get back to the ocean. Without Polaroid sunglasses, I missed the privilege of the sights.

 

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The blue sky, the fluffy clouds, the turquoise water and the smooth sandy beach made a pleasant memory on this sunny day.

 

SoCS 2019.10.12 – Ground, Sand and Tide

 

 

 

 

SoCS 2019.10.05 – Healthy Taste

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “-tast-.” Find a word that contains “tast” and use it in your post. Enjoy!Linda G. Hill

For health reason, Hubby and I are on a low carbohydrate but tasty, healthy and balanced diet. When he retired in 2016, he said, “You have been cooking for me for twenty years. From now on, I’ll do all the cooking.” He has kept his words literally. We eat two meals a day. He makes a tasty and colorful brunch with eggs, fruit and vegetable. For dinner, he makes tasty salmon and different vegetables. Once in a while, he makes thin crust pizza and continues to improve on his secret recipe. Two or three times a year, we have barbecues with lean meat.

For dining out, I usually have seafood and he has steak. Basically, we stay away from fat and starchy food.

 

 

brunch 2017.08.28

Brunch – Hubby’s portion, half size for Miriam

2018 pizza 1

Thin Crust Pizza – Pepperoni for Hubby, Veggies for Miriam

2017 BBQ

Barbecue dinner with homemade potato chips

Crusted New York Strip

Dining out – Hubby’s dinner

Cedar Planked Salmon

Dining out – Miriam’s dinner

 

 

SoCS 2019.10.05 – Healthy Taste

 

 

 

 

 

SoCS 2019.09.28 – Shades of White

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “ent” “ten” “net.” Use one, use two or use all three (bonus points for using two, double-bonus points for using all three). As Linda would say, use ’em any way you’d like. Enjoy! – Dan Antion

 

door

 

Shades of White

Several years ago, we saw an advertisement for purchasing ten doors and get one free. It was attractive to me because some doors in our house were painted once in twenty-some years. The walls were painted twice. I wanted to have coordinated colors throughout the house. We took on this offer to replace eleven doors, purchase ten with one bonus. But then when I counted the doors, I realized we had sixteen doors. What? Sixteen doors? I couldn’t believe it.

Well, we picked eleven visible doors in the major flow of traffic in the house to have them replaced. We had to choose the style and color of the doorknobs, the pattern of the door trims and the style of corner pieces of the door trim. We also had to choose the color of the doors and trims. They would paint the doors and trims before installing them.

I wanted the white color. When the salesperson brought in the color chart for white, I didn’t realize there were so many shades of white. We picked one shade of white and kept the can with a little left-over paint. We marked it on the label. Two years ago, when we had another area in the house needed painting, we bought the same shade of white to match with the doors.

Now the house looks better with the same shade of white on all the doors.

 

Image result for images of shades of white

 

 

SoCS 2019.09.28 – Shades of White

 

 

 

SoCS 2019.09.20 – Two Unwrapped Gifts

The Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday from Linda is “wrap/rap.” I used unwrapped.

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I gave two unwrapped gifts to myself when I graduated with the Doctor of Education in year 2000.

The first gift was two season tickets to six operas in 2001 as my husband would accompany to see the opera. When I was a kid, we didn’t have a radio but my neighbors did. I went to my neighbors to listen to the news, ghost stories and other broadcast. There was a theme music playing leading to the news. After thirty seconds, the music faded as a female announcer came in to report the news of the day. That was the beginning of my classical music appreciation and I later identified the theme music as the Overture of Bizet’s Carmen. I enjoyed singing and started taking voice lessons at nineteen years old and sang pieces of operatic music.

Image result for bizet's carmen

I hoped to see operas such as Carmen, La Bohème and La Traviata, and learn about other less popular ones. Hubby likes mostly country western music, but he would go with me to see the operas. Part of the attraction to me was to dress up and be with other people who had the same interest. At the opera house, people could rent small binoculars at $7 each. We brought two binoculars with greater strength. I not only wanted to see the details of costumes but also the singers’ expressions.

Classical music was not Hubby’s taste, let alone opera. Many people enjoy classical music but have no interest in opera. The first opera we went, Hubby slept through the first half. I didn’t wake him even though his chin dropped to the chest. The only time I would interrupt was when he started snoring which didn’t happen. Snoring in a classical performance is rude to the performers and disrespect to the audience. People don’t cough or sneeze during the performance. They hold their breath and focused. When one movement is over, you’d hear people clearing their throats. The conductor waits until everybody quiets before he raises the baton. For the subsequent performances, I oriented him with the plots, so he watched the acts as if they were Broadway shows.

I stopped subscribing the tickets after three years when the popular operas repeated.

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The second gift was a new car. I had a Honda Civic for about eight years. It had enough scratches and mechanical problems. It was about time to get a new car. I had ideas of the features in a new car that I liked, so I made a spreadsheet, listing on each row the specifications such as 4-doors, sunroof, automatic, CD player, and other items. On the columns, I listed four makes of cars – Infinity, Audi, Lexus, and Acura. At the bottom of the spreadsheet listed the price of each car. After the comparison and considered the pros and cons, I decided on the Acura. There were two determining factors, one of them was the price. I had to be practical after paying for three years of a doctoral program. Another factor was Honda had a higher rate of returning customers. Acura is the luxury car of Honda. I like Honda, so I would be happy with Acura. I bought an Acura.

Image result for images of 2000 white acura

Hubby kept up with the oil change and maintenance year after year. We didn’t have any major problem with the car. Four years ago, fifteen years after I had the car, I started thinking about what I wanted to do. I would need to buy another car for my remaining life. When to buy it? The car needed new tires, and we bought four new tires. The tires were good for five years or 50,000 miles. I wanted to wait until close to the end of warranty to get a new car. A school principal told me he kept his Honda to 300,000 miles. My car should make it for several more years with the leisure driving after retirement.

In September 2018, we went to Las Vegas for a week. Upon our return, the car started to get overheated. Hubby tried to drive slower, but it made no difference. I didn’t want to leave Nevada and have the car die in the desert. Calling AAA was in order. The driver came in a tow truck. After his assessment, he confirmed that the radiator broke. The car needed to be towed. We were not near any exit to turn around. The tow truck went forward fourteen miles to an intersection, then turned around toward Las Vegas. The closest Acura dealer was seven miles passed Las Vegas. Well, my insurance covers certain miles of towing and I paid for the rest. The dealer couldn’t work on the car until the next day. We spent a night in that city where the dealer was and picked up the car the next day.

After replacing the radiator, I started to think of shopping for a car but didn’t feel the urgency. I was thinking about doing that within a year. I should have gotten a new car before September this year but I didn’t. Last Thursday, September 12, 2019 was the first week of classes at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), a program for the retirees. On my way to California State University, Fullerton, the car was not running smoothly. I found a place to park and called Hubby. He said the car had some traction issue but not a big problem. I went on to my classes. On my way home, the car had bigger traction problem. I pulled over by the curb, stopped and restarted the car, made it go for half a mile and restarted again. When I made a left turn at an intersection, it stopped in the middle of the road. I rolled down the window, signaled the car to bypass me. After great struggle to restart many times, I was like dragging a pouting dog to go for a couple more miles. Two miles before getting home, the car said, “That’s it, I refuse to go any further.”

Hubby came right away. We called AAA and the tow truck came, towed the car to the dealership which was five miles away. This time it was the transmission problem. The manufacture doesn’t make the transmission for that model anymore. Getting a refurbished or used transmission cost $4,500. It’s not worth spending that kind of money when I’m overdue for a new car.

I got 217,000 miles and 19 years out of my Acura anyway. I’ll be car hunting and get another unwrapped gift for myself.

(Note: I got another Acura in November 2019 – Acura RDX)

SoSC 2019.09.20 – Two Unwrapped Gifts

 

SoCS 2019.09.07 – Cruise Experience

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “weigh/way/whey.” Use one, use ’em all, bonus points if you do that last thing. Enjoy!Linda G Hill

 

IMG_5289

We travel regularly, planned the itineraries on most of the trips and joined tours on four trips. Several months ago, my husband and I wanted to explore a different way of travel. We checked out some cruises and booked a short cruise for the Labor Day weekend which was last week. This is the shortest available, from Long Beach, California to Ensenada, Mexico.

Friends told us this is a party cruise. My interpretation of a party cruise is seeing some young people singing, talking, dancing and laughing. School started in August and college students and school-age kids are in school. They wouldn’t be partying last weekend on a cruise.

We boarded the ship last Sunday night. The ship stopped at Catalina on Monday. It anchored offshore and people took the boat to go ashore. We had been to Catalina several times, so we strolled along the waterfront, visited the gift shops.

 

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Catalina, California

The ship was in Ensenada on Tuesday and Wednesday. We bought tickets for a city tour on Tuesday. The tour bus took us to La Bufadora which is a blowhole on the Punta Banda Peninsula. We watched the water exploded upwards from a sea cave. The height of the explosion depends on the tide. We had one hour there. After staying for ten minutes we didn’t see a dramatic performance, so we went to the restaurant to wait for the group to return. The bus dropped us off at downtown, the tourist area, for another hour. There was not a lot of shopping I wanted to do. The tour guide told us to be careful about food and drink, so we didn’t get any of those.

The dock is right by downtown area, so it took us a few minutes to get back on the ship. That night after dinner, my husband had a stomach problem all night.

On Wednesday, the ship was at sea all day. People stayed on the ship going nowhere. There was a small scale of entertainment such as vocal solo with guitar or keyboard, standup comedy, and movies. People gathered in the pool area and cafeteria, eating and drinking. Oh, now I see the party, a big party. I know there are about 60% population in the US is over weighed. Yet I had not seen the concentration of these folks until this day on the ship. Several ladies seemed to have more weight than their legs could carry, so they were on wheelchairs (they might have other problems).

My husband continued to have a stomach problem and stayed in the cabin all day. I didn’t pay extra to subscribe the internet or phone services. I stayed in the cabin and read the only paperback with me. Every hour or so, I walked around the ship, grabbed some fruit or a piece of bread from the cafeteria. It seemed forever to wait for the nighttime. We packed our bags and went to sleep early.

 

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On Thursday, the phone rang for the wake-up call at 6:45 a.m. It took us twenty minutes to dash to the line. We were the first one hundred people to get off the ship.

It was not a pleasant experience for our first cruise. It will take us a long time to get over with it before we consider another cruise.

 

SoCS 2019.09.07 – Cruise Experience

 

 

 

 

SoCS May 4, 2019

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “fall from the sky.” Write about anything that falls from the sky–real, imagined, or idiomatic. Have fun! – Linda G Hill

 

When was the last time something was falling from the sky in southern California, something I experienced firsthand?

On October 1, 1987, when my daughter Mercy was two years old. I took her to the babysitter before going to work. Two blocks before arriving at Michelle’s house, my car was rocking side to side.

“I must have a flat tire. Let me pull over to the curb.”

I looked outside of the window. A girl looked like eleven years old was standing outside of her home on the other side of the street. She might be on her way to school. She was crying. I rolled down the window and asked if she was okay. My car rocked side to side again. I then realized it must be an earthquake. So, I told her to go back home. I carefully drove to Michele’s house and dropped off Mercy and told her I would call her once I arrived at school. Before driving away, I noticed that the chimneys of all the houses on both sides of the street on that block were broken and the bricks were falling from the sky.

 

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I got to Hillcrest School and pulled into the parking lot. Parents drove in, then took off after dropping off their kids. I was at awe that parents still brought their kids to school. Perhaps the school was safer than home. Or they had to go to work as much as I did.

Later, I found out that the earthquake happened in the Whittier Narrows at 7:42 a.m. PDT. The moderate 5.9 magnitude earthquake centered in the town of Rosemead where I worked. It was the strongest in the Los Angeles area since the 1971 San Fernando earthquake and was felt as far as San Diego and San Luis Obispo, California and Las Vegas, Nevada. Communication systems and local media were disconnected temporarily. The power outage left some early morning workers stranded in disabled elevators.

 

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I signed-in at the front desk and realized that there were about fifty students got dropped off by the parents. We centralized the students on the playground in the open area away from trees and telephone poles. Some teachers and instructional aides supervised the students, had them sit and did quiet activities. Some teachers were at the gates with the student emergency cards, wait for parents to come picked up their kids. Teachers only released the students to the adults listed on the emergency cards. When the parents or adults came to the gates, the teachers checked their IDs, then a staff would go to the playground to bring the students to the gates, releasing them to the parents. We released the last student around 11:00 a.m.

After the parents came to pick up all the students, teachers and staff with children at other schools or childcare facilities could leave first. I called Michelle and let her know I could pick up Mercy. The remaining staff took care of the paperwork and wrapped up things before everyone went home.

The schools and district evaluated the situation in the following meetings and set up guidelines and policy for the future earthquake preparedness.

 

 

Streams of Consciousness Saturday, May 4, 2019

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