Sunday, November 29, 2020


Thanksgiving has passed -- another day home alone for many of us, but I have much for which I give thanks.    I enjoyed a delicious traditional turkey dinner delivered a couple days earlier that required my only re-heating the food in my microwave oven.  I ordered small quantities of turkey, dressing, gravy, yams with pineapple, various vegetables, cranberries and two pieces of my favorite pumpkin pie.  

I intentionally wanted to have leftovers from this nearby family-owned deli.   I was glad they had  decided to keep  their deli open after having to close their long-time independent grocery a few years ago.  They always featured quality meat and fresh seasonal locally produced fruits and vegetables but couldn't survive the competition from newly opened Sprouts and Trader Joe's just a few blocks down Route 66 from their city location.  Farmer's markets are the sole source of such produce now.  Wolfe's deli has thrived and I've occasionally purchased select items there before but only a full dinner once before.    I think I will order meals for Christmas, later New Year's Day, some different food items from their varied menu offerings since everything was so tasty.  

FaceTime calls with my children and grandchildren interspersed with videos of them preparing  food highlighted my day.  Other times internet videos of their playing games and crazy antics came across the miles as they enjoyed time together in pleasantly warm outdoor weather.  They took care to maintain distance from each other, wore masks.  I felt almost as if I was there in person for a long overdue family gathering -- maybe another time after this coronavirus is relegated to history.  

Then, to bring me even more pleasure one of my PBS stations aired the most entertaining, exciting, colorful, energy-filled showing of the 1981 Tony award-winning Broadway musical "42nd Street" filmed at London's Drury Theatre.  The next day this spectacular tap dancing production aired an encore for me to view once more to my great delight.  The show apparently is only available in SoCal streaming on PBS Passport as part of their membership benefits but was aired specially for all this holiday.  There are numerous YouTube video excerpts and here are a few for any tap aficionados like me.

Here's another excerpt.....

A final excerpt.....

Our city's restaurants are expected to contest, possibly even violate, despite $$$ fines, the recent admonition they've been given to reduce even further to 20% occupancy outdoor customer seating capacity continuing with daily closing hours recently set at 10 p.m.  Owners believe these new requirements shouldn't apply to our town since Covid19 infection percentages are below the overall level of our County, Los Angeles, that dictated the criteria specified to have necessitated this change.

However, the total numbers of people with the coronavirus in our county have increased in alarming numbers.  We haven't even seen what may occur in a couple weeks following this holiday, since many people travelled rather than staying at home as recommended.  Small businesses income in our town has been severely impacted.  Local Claremont Colleges (5 undergraduate, 2 graduate) have been offering virtual classes only, so most students are not presently living on campus or in our city to patronize them either.

Pity the children told Santa's coming but are having to wait for what must seem like an eternity, since advertisers started talking about Christmas in October this year, the earliest ever, I think. When I was a child Christmas wasn't promoted until after Thanksgiving.  Those weeks until Christmas seemed to me to last forever, but the time has been much longer now for little ones to have to wait since advertising and promotion started even before Halloween this year.

Ordinarily I would rail about this commercialization starting so early, but it may make sense this year given the pandemic.  Predictions have been there would be so much shipping of items as to overload our system so we should start early.  So kiddies ..... delayed satisfaction has likely stressed the patience of all adults in our culture even more, since so many expect instant gratification under the most ordinary circumstances.  

Our little ones may not understand at all and will just have to accept this seemingly never-ending wait for Santa in their world.   I appreciate the adults have wanted something to feel happy about so decided to rush Christmas.  Maybe it's just a matter of how all is presented to the wee ones.  My children adjusted to what they thought were lucky neighbor friends celebrating both Christmas and Hanukkah.   Now, more outdoor lights and decorations are going up in my neighborhood which all ages can enjoy, though some elsewhere started decorating before Thanksgiving -- but maybe avoiding mentioning Santa until after Thanksgiving is a good idea any year.  

I hope all are having a pleasant long Thanksgiving weekend.  No doubt, you too, are making whatever preparations may be needed for our next upcoming holidays.  I don't think I'll write a holiday letter again this year to mail.  I have only a few greeting cards to address as the number of family and friends still living has continued to dwindle, so will likely restrict myself to just the personal messages I ordinarily write.   I don't expect to mail packages and will instead have items shipped directly to recipients from wherever I purchase them, or maybe I'll just send a check for them to select what they want.

How was your Thanksgiving?   

Are you making plans now for Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year's, other holidays?  

What do you remember about the wait for Christmas or other seasonal holidays when you were young?

Sunday, November 22, 2020


Day after day our local TV news features photos of traffic lines that appear to have no end as people line up in their autos, waiting for hours well into the night at the Dodgers baseball team stadium for drive through free Coronavirus testing.

Most of California is now under a voluntary 10 p.m. - 5 a.m. curfew due to escalating coronavirus infection numbers that if they continue increasing may lead to institution of a lockdown.

Viewing the vehicle lineup reminds me of hydrogen-powered cars which have long appealed to me as a possible preference over electric and gas autos.  Now it seems Lancaster, California has become the first U.S. hydrogen city and is reaching out to Japan for this purpose.   Here's how you drive a hydrogen powered car HERE.

Also, here's what some auto manufacturers are doing to explore hydrogen-powered cars:

Driving, whether a gasoline combustion engine, electric or hydrogen vehicle, they especially matter now as a means for shopping for picking up our purchases from stores and using drive thru services.  

When I lived in the Great Lakes midwest a popular fast food drive thru restaurant there was White Castle -- for what are now referred to as "sliders" -- tiny little hamburger/cheeseburger sandwiches.  My husband said as a boy he used to be invited with other classmates to the owner's home to celebrate their son's birthday who was their friend.  Each attendee received a gift far more expensive than they could afford to give the birthday boy he still recalled from so many years ago.

Many years later as adults when we moved to California a very popular drive thru here was a family-owned fast food restaurant famed for the high grade meat quality as were other ingredients, plus their excellent service, called In 'N Out Burger.  They continue to gradually expand into other states.

Through the years tragic family owner deaths gave rise to customers wary speculation the business would be sold with the expectation any new owners would sacrifice quality.  The business did finally stay in the family under the guidance of a granddaughter reassuring customers product quality would be retained.

Whenever I frequently drive by the nearby business on ol' Route 66, sometimes stopping in myself,  there are always waiting lines at each of the two drive thru windows, but outdoor seating only -- perfect for coronavirus business today.  Even after my children became adults, moved out of state, when they return home for a visit, sooner or later they want to make a run to In 'N Out for burgers, shakes and fries.  We were not frequent customers so our children considered going there a treat. 


Efforts to undermine citizen trust in our democratic system of government continues to be the focus of our U.S. lame duck President.  So far, his efforts to invalidate the popular vote or to hijack the  Electoral College votes have not succeeded.  State and national election officials declare this has been the most secure election in American history but the current President continues making claims otherwise with no supporting evidence.  

Transition efforts normally in progress by now continue to be blocked forcing the newly elected President to prepare to take office without such cooperation potentially jeopardizing the safety of the American people and our nation.  A reminder of important timelines to track:

December 8, 2020:         Safe Harbor Deadline -- States must choose electors that will be accepted  by Congress; voting disputes must be resolved.   

December 14, 2020:        Electors Convene and Vote in D.C.

January 6, 2020 at 1 pm:  The vote will be finalized and certified in a joint session of Congress.

January 20, 2021 at noon: The President is inaugurated.

So what vehicle powering system do you prefer, or is there some other type about which you might fantasize, i.e., solar, to take you to what favored drive thru in your area?

Wishing all a Happy Thanksgiving this coming Thursday!

Sunday, November 15, 2020


Another exciting week in this strange viral infused earthly dimension in which we live.  My gradual but limited re-entry into the outside world where that infamous Covid-19 virus awaits to sneakily invade our bodies continues, though caution remains wise.  The latest word is the treacherous germs are proliferating, infecting increasing numbers of us, so increased care may be the order of the day.

--My long postponed dental checkup and cleaning that I finally rescheduled went well.  Then,  a few days later a long-ago broken tooth suddenly became released from its adhesive as it has a couple times in the past.  Fortunately, I did not swallow the tooth section.  There was no pain.  Later my dentist stated consideration of a possible root canal with an Endodontist was in order. Multiple x-rays revealed said canal could not be seen.  Seems as we age those canals can narrow and might not easily be found -- who knew, I didn't.    

Pondering the issues I imagined what complications an Endodontist might encounter trying to find the canal as the victim patient reclines with their oral cavity exposed -- mouth open -- for the unknown period of search time.  Fortunately for me, with my questioning and hesitation, my dentist concluded another, hopefully, long term adhesive applied to the broken tooth was a viable option in preference to a root canal. 

I hope this tooth portion will continue to adhere for a lengthy time, allowing me to avoid any other intrusive dental procedures.  The last time of gluing lasting only a little over a year, so I would like to set an endurance record this time as it has lasted much longer in the past.  How about a super glue that lasts forever?  Or, one of those adhesives resisting thousands of pounds of pressure and stress?  

Digressing in a different direction.....

--Health care workers who observe and treat the whole person within appropriate professional limitations as opposed to more narrow interventions are the kind I like and was the type service I provided.  So, I was delighted to be the recipient of such service at my dentist's office when a piece of equipment I was using, unrelated to dentition, received much needed adjustment I had thought wasn't possible.  Considering during previous weeks/months several other medical offices directly associated with that item had been completely oblivious to the issue, much less adjusting it, I was impressed with such observing caring sensitivity.

Moving on to a variety of other topics.....

--I received in the postal service mail a sample newspaper specifically addressed to me that I'd never heard of previously.  Very impressive in size, sections, topics covered.  The editor's letter explained how objective the content was and yet even a superficial skimming through quickly revealed the newspaper was very biased.  

I think this is an example of the forces that will be at work in the coming years to weaken and undermine our democratic government, to continue promoting views the majority of our voters just rejected.  The paper will remain unnamed since I have no desire to provide publicity or promotion of any kind including that which is negative.

--Don't you love it when you receive conflicting recommendations from two different medical doctors for just relatively common ordinary matters where you wouldn't usually seek a third opinion?  Take that med -- don't take that med -- huh?

--Our lame duck President still has not admitted defeat -- still keeps spreading his fantasy falsehoods that massive election fraud has occurred accounting for his lower popular vote in his effort to buy time.  The U.S. Government Election Officials report "The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history."

The current President's actions continue to be a threat to national security, damaging to democracy, weakening our system of government, betraying his oath of office to safeguard American citizens.  Incredibly his political party leaders say and do little to rein in this dangerous loose cannon.  

He fails to provide transitional cooperation with our newly elected President which is damaging to our nation's security.  One might wonder how any patriotic citizen who supports our constitution, believes in our democratic form of government and freedoms could continue to support our prevaricating current President over our newly elected one.  

--My furnace stopped working -- the penalty of having a long-lasting piece of equipment is manufacturers stop making parts so that if you need one, it's not readily available, but if you do get one it's very expensive.  Is that what is meant when they say, you can't win for losing?  Fortunately, that part of my furnace, though determined to be at risk for malfunction, is still operating but who knows what the future may bring.

--Our local commercial television stations interrupt all sorts of programming to cover vehicle chases as news -- local community police departments, county sheriff departments, California highway patrol following behind cars, vans, even trucks with police helicopters overhead and TV news stations 'copters flying along, too.  They televise this action because it attracts increased viewership.  I wonder if such news coverage is popular in other metropolitan areas?  

--The joys of living have been interspersed with various interruptions such as I experienced this past week as noted above.  They do serve to be an interesting contrast with the routine ordinariness of life as we live in this current pandemic environment.  Each of you have your own unique experiences infusing your lives.  

--Our existence does go on with both the serious and mundane challenges of daily living -- the same, but ever-changing from day to day, week to week, month to month.  What is keeping your life in motion? 

Sunday, November 08, 2020


I am thrilled beyond words with tears welling-up in my eyes as I write this,  that the majority of United States voters are preserving our democratic republic, the constitutional form of government our nation's founders gave us "if you can keep it", as Benjamin Franklin cautioned.  Our democracy and our freedoms prevail as I could only hope all citizens in other nations might benefit from also.

Projected winners for the offices of President and Vice President in the U.S. have finally been made:  the Joseph Biden-Kamala Harris ticket are expected to win; defeating the incumbent President Donald Trump and V.P. Michael Pence after their serving only one four-year term, but a very long, harrowing, grim, demoralizing, chaotic one.

U.S. voters have tried to patiently await the ballot counting in our fifty states which continues as I write this.  Meanwhile, the incumbent is filing multiple lawsuits contesting various state vote tallies citing undocumented, so far, voting violations.  

To date our citizens have been highly engaged in this election with a historic number of people voting.  If the totals prevail, as is expected, Biden-Harris have received a record-setting number of winning votes, 74 million.  The incumbents have also received record numbers of votes but sufficiently less than our projected winners, Biden-Harris.

Biden-Harris are expected also to receive the most Electoral College votes in addition to having won the popular vote.  The incumbents did not win the popular vote four years ago but did acquire the most Electoral College votes which is what enabled them to assume office.

How symbolic that the state of Pennsylvania popular vote totals will give the Biden-Harris Presidential/Vice Presidential candidates the necessary Electoral College votes to officially become elected.  Philadelphia, PA is where our founding fathers wrote and signed our constitution.  

Here is a timeline that could still be problematic if states delay in reporting results:

December 8, 2020:          Safe Harbor Deadline -- States must choose electors that will be accepted by                                                                                        Congress; voting disputes must be resolved.                                                                                                      (Described in this ABA Journal article)

Here are the final timelines once our individual states popular votes are finalized:

December 14, 2020:          Electors Convene and Vote in D.C.

January 6, 2020 at 1 p.m.: The vote will be finalized and certified in a joint session of Congress.

January 20, 2021 at noon:  The President is inaugurated.

Our citizens have rejected efforts to alter our form of government which would have turned it into an autocracy led by a vindictive man who has created primarily chaos in our country for four years, nurtured hate-filled divisiveness and violence, tragically has failed to fulfill his basic oath to protect each of us as the pandemic continues to take lives.  

I am fully aware there will be no quick fix for all the challenges facing our nation.   I hope our citizens will continue to provide the meaningful support and patience to aid our new leaders unifying efforts by thinking primarily of what is best for our country, ultimately each of us.

I celebrate our nation once again will have leaders I can respect, of whom I feel proud, who present the true soul of the majority of American people who care about each other in all our diversity and about all people around the world. 

Thursday, November 05, 2020


As we await the results of the U.S. Presidential election, if you missed WiseWebWoman's message from Newfoundland click on The Other Side of Sixty which included this:

Monday, November 02, 2020

 TIME GOES BY .... What it's really like to get old

               Ronni Bennett, 1941-2020

Veronica "Ronni" Bennett passed away Friday 10/30/2020 at 6:28 PM PT.

           Comments will not be published. 

Sunday, November 01, 2020


HALLOWEEN NIGHT is when I am writing this for scheduling to publish early Sunday morning.   Coincidentally, Daylight Savings Time also takes effect Sun. Nov. 1st at 2 a,m, when we must turn our clocks back one hour -- except in 2 states, Hawaii, Arizona and the Navajo Nation in northeastern Arizona.

Halloween we ceased to have trick or treaters come to our door and our street years ago, so I stopped leaving my inviting outside light on.  Young people also stopped being dropped off here from other nearby communities to seek treats from our residents.  I'm fairly confident there was no one this year either, given the safety restrictions due to our pandemic Covid-19.

We haven't had any small children living in our neighborhood for years but a few babies now.  Long ago families started having private parties in their homes rather than allowing their children to go door-to-door when news around the country reported problems with some hazardous items being found in candies.

After the first couple years of stocking up on Halloween treats once our children were grown and gone from home, then having all the candies left over, we finally stopped buying any.  We could at last avoid the temptation of consuming those left-over goodies ourselves, though at least I bought only candy we liked.  We didn't need the sweets, but couldn't let them go to waste, could we!

I recall when we first moved here and our children were small, there were lots of other young children.  Trick or treating was a fun experience.  First, we went with them, then as they became older, they went only with their friends.  

For a few years, a father in our community had rented  a gorilla suit.  After the really little ones had made their rounds, typically early in the evening, they were taken home by their parents.  The night was quite dark by then as the "gorilla" began to make random unexpected appearances coming out of the shadows on some streets to the mostly older children.  

Especially the first year he confronted the children, they hadn't known about him so he gave them quite a scary thrill.  Subsequent years they harbored anxious anticipation wondering if, when or where the gorilla might appear.  They speculated about what else might be out there.  

A few years I had an audio tape of Halloween sounds -- wolves howling, chains rattling, voices moaning, cats screeching with other eerie noises and music -- that played from out of our pitch-black darkened garage.  This gave pause to some coming hesitantly up our drive.  Only one time was I disappointed with the behavior of some older unknown when I discovered one of our carved pumpkins sitting by our front door had been smashed by an obvious kick.  

Generations Halloween experiences change over decades.  My mother who would have been young in the early nineteen-hundreds when our nation was primarily a farming society, during horse and buggy days, had more restricted outings.  Some families might get together, church groups which were often social centers, or small farm area civic centers that had a store or two might have special Halloween events.  Older kids had limited travel capabilities from farm to farm (no cars) but could manage to get about.

Mom recalled a story where she lived in those days before indoor plumbing when one neighbor had their outhouse turned over.  Unfortunately, unknown to the tricksters, someone was sitting on the throne at the time.   Imaging in my mind what this might have been like in that odiferous environment is almost beyond comprehension if you've never had the treat of using one of those facilities.

The years when I was little we lived in a small town.  My decade older brother was cautioned by my mother when he went out, to use care about anything he might do, especially on Halloween.  Soaping people's windows was common then, so she put soap on a window, had him clean it to show him how difficult it could be to remove the soap.

She intended to discourage him from any such activity -- that soaping was not acceptable harmless fun.  She also stressed that he use good judgement to avoid participating in any actions others in his group might do if he knew they were wrong.  She reminded him also that with his red hair he would stand out, likely be remembered when others might not, even if he was innocent, if observed by victims of any nefarious activity from his group's members.

Years before kids went out only one night for treats, Mother said they used to go out two nights.  The first night was to ask for treats, then the next night to trick those who hadn't given them a treat.  The custom had long before become one Halloween night when I went out, but it was called Beggars Night.  I had shelled corn from a cob to throw on someone's porch that same night if I warranted they deserved a trick which seemed harmless enough.  

I'm still regretful in my now aged state about throwing corn on the porch at one home.  An older lady had come to the door angrily shooing us off with no treat.  Maybe she couldn't afford to buy candy to give out,  it was hard to keep going to the door, she was ill or had dementia.  What if her vision was poor, she had difficulty standing or walking I've sometimes since thought?

I realize now how inconvenient and even hazardous that could have been for her, stepping on those kernels and needing to clear them from her porch.  I've thought since of my own grandmother who I loved dearly, but we just ran away and down the street to the next house.  I wish now I could take that corn back, or would have at least swept it off her porch.  

This is finally the week our 2020 Presidential election occurs.  News reports indicate we're likely to have a record-setting turnout of voters all over the country.  All accounts are that a high percentage of voters submitted their ballot early as I did, too, depositing mine in an official drop box where I usually voted in person.  Checking on the internet revealed within only a few days that my ballot had been received, accepted, so would be processed for counting.  My family members in other states across the country voted early, too, as did at least one California friend that I know about. 

Voter suppression in some states being instituted primarily by the Republican Party hardly can be considered patriotic or in keeping with the tenets of our Constitution, nation's founders, or our democratic republic's ideals.

I'm also appalled and alarmed at any actions threatening the security of candidates campaigning in an effort to suppress the expression of views.  Such behavior is totally unacceptable and un-American.

Whether or not the outcome of the election will be determined by the end of election night, or even in the wee hours of the next morning, remains to be seen with so many mail-in and drop-box ballots to be counted.

-- I hope we'll be spared premature announcements of a winner by news media or candidates, other pundits until all the ballots have been counted.

-- I hope the popular vote winner also wins the majority electoral college votes unlike the travesty that has occurred in our nation's recent past twice to our nation's detriment.

-- I hope the U.S. Supreme Court is not drawn into deciding who our next President will be given the seriously questionable legal interpretations as they previously have made.

-- I hope we will know the results of this election by the time I write here next week.

I WONDER what are the Halloween recollections of others?   I expect most want election  results resolution much as I do.