Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What's on Mare's Cell Phone?


I had a lovely day to wander my favorite mall and generally goof around last Saturday. When I first moved to California, my mother and I lived within walking distance of South Coast Plaza, a very upscale mall. At that time, the Sunflower Ave. area was made up of a few apartment complexes, flat fields and the one mall, plus The Village, which was filled with cool shops and boutiques, many with one of a kind items and crafts. Now, it's all condos and strip malls and The Village has lost it's sweet allure. What used to be the Crystal Court, a smaller mall across from the main South Coast Plaza, is now connected to the Mother Mall with an umbilical bridge across Bear Street and carries the same name, SCP.

But still, I always like to go there around the holidays to see the decorations and people watch. This year, I had to go early and luckily, the giant Santa Claus tree was already erected in all it's splendor. Unfortunately, I didn't realize how low my camera charge was but I did get this one great picture.

This tree is smack in the middle of the mall and goes up three stories! A little train big enough for small passengers runs around the trunk on the ground floor and the little kids and their parents and grandparents seem to love it. It's a shame you can't see more of this tree--it's full of huge ornaments and there's a Santa on each side. Having this on my phone will give me a lift all season long!

The Husband has a friend who calls him Grumpy. Don't ask me why, he's very seldom in a bad mood. Perhaps it's his reaction to her??? Anyway, it's given him a thing for Grumpy now. He saw this t-shirt at Wal-Mart and had to take a picture to send me. Not only is it Grumpy, it's also filled with "Bah, Humbug"s. He's played Scrooge at Knott's since the 80's, so if this hadn't been a women's shirt (why a woman would wear this, I have no idea...) he would have snapped it up in a flash.

So, me and my cell are all set for the Holidays!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

What I Learned from the Fire

I don’t know that these pix are the most focused but you can see my rose bushes with spider webs filled with huge black and gray ash over a week later.

One thing I learned: My department at the Day Job needs an emergency contact list, which I’m in the middle of creating. We didn’t have a lot of people’s cell phones and would like to have gotten hold of folks to make sure they were ok.

Another Thing: We should have made a list of things we’d grab in an emergency BEFORE the emergency. Several days later, to my horror, I realized I would have left behind the thing I’d always said I would grab first after The Husband and The Cats--the Grandma Remembers book that my grandmother created for me over 20 years ago. It has family pictures I could never duplicate and it’s done completely in my grandmother’s handwriting.

The Last Thing: There were so few things I felt were important enough to save. Why do we have all this crap cluttering our house?? So much stuff… Changes are gonna come. Goodwill may run out of room!

C’est la vie!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

In the Thick of It


Here’s what my neighborhood looked like this afternoon:

We’re in the middle of the Brea and Yorba Linda/Anaheim Hills fires, literally. It’s kinda scary but I don’t think we’re in any danger. We’re miles away from the closest fire, which is Brea. The Husband came home early when I texted him one of these pictures. We’ve made a list of what we want to take (really, evacuation is such a long shot) if the worst happens. Of course, the cats top the list! Plus all the usual stuff, prescription drugs, etc. The Husband has identified two guitars he wants to take and me, I’ll grab all the finished jewelry and artwork, plus some of my own personal jewelry, the pieces with meaning.

When The Husband came home, he backed into the driveway, which is one of the major things you learn in the fire zone. We’re not really in a fire zone (we don’t live near a canyon or brushy area) but I know a lot of people in South OC who are and I have one friend in particular who’s a pro at prepping for evacuation, so we know the basics. But I never thought we’d have to seriously enact them. Which I really don’t think we’ll need to do now but we just want to be prepared. I was a Girl Scout, after all.

We know folks in Yorba Linda and Anaheim Hills, though, and I’m praying that they and their houses and families are ok.

C’est la vie!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ben Stein is My Hero!


Who would have thought I'd devote a blog entry to Ben Stein?? The guy with "red eye"...

My mother sent me this in an email and I had to share it with more than just my email list.

The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.

My confession: I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees.. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are: Christmas trees.

It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, 'Merry Christmas' to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu If people want a crèche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too... But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.

Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her 'How could God let something like this happen?' (regarding Katrina) & without hesitation; Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, 'I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?'

In light of recent events... terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK.

Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr Spock's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said OK.

Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with 'WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.'

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says.

Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing.

Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace. Are you laughing yet?

Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.

Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

Pass it on if you think it has merit. If not then just discard it... no one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don't sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.

My Best Regards, Honestly and respectfully,

Ben Stein
'Nuff said. Go Ben!!
C'est la vie!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sunset with Moon


Oh I wish I'd had a better camera but all I had was my cell phone. When I came out of work tonight, the sky was a beautiful dusty blue streaked with pink ribbons. And the moon was shining in the middle of it all! Very cool!

C'est la vie!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What's on Mare's Phone?


Monday, The Husband and I went to Sea World for the last time on our current annual pass. It'll be a while till we get another... The weather was absolutely gorgeous and the park wasn't crowded at all, which made it easy to gaze at our faves, the polar bears and manatees.

So, here's what's on my phone. One is wallpaper, the other screensaver.

The Husband loved this cow, for some reason. It talks, saying things like, I'm a Jersey Cow. It's right across from the flamingoes.

You don't need kids to walk around the newish Sesame Street kids area. The stuff I'm standing on is squishy and soft. Wish they made that for flooring. I'd love it in my living room!

The rest of our vacation has been about cleaning and recycling. We're off to recycle a bunch of dead electronics that have been cluttering the house and storage for waaaayyyy toooo long. One is the VCR we bought with some wedding money in 1980! It's a beasty - top loading and weighs about a 1000 pounds. No, really...

C'est la vie!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008



Yes we can!!! I can't tell you how elated I am to see Barack Obama win! I remember Kennedy but only just. I see that Obama has that charisma and I hope that the House and Senate will help him to become the president he has the potential to be. I hope that he can rouse this nation from its coma and get us all out into our neighborhoods, doing what we can to foster our own potential. I hope we'll be gradually welcoming home our soldiers from foreign soil. I hope we'll all have jobs and health insurance in the near future.

But right now we have something precious--HOPE!

God Bless Barack Obama!

C'est la vie!