Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween's Gone to the Dogs!

My friend Josie is loving her pussycat costume!
Josie is wishing you a Happy Halloween!

Isn't that a great face?

My friends Josie and Holly Berry live in a large house in North Hills.  This is the house where my Jack came after he was rescued from the mean streets, so it is regarded as a special place in our family.

Josie loves her kitty-cat friends and was happy to smile for the camera in her kitty costume.

Holly Berry...
Holly Berry isn't all that thrilled with her Halloween Bat ensemble.
... not so much.

Holly is shy and retiring and didn't think the bat costume was her best look.

She is adorable anyway.

I love the fun, cute part of Halloween - dressing up and being silly and eating way too much candy!

I also love my doggie friends.

Happy Hoooowwwllllllll-o-ween everyone!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

My Haunted Birthday Party

This scary fellow wowed the crowd
Saturday night, I had the best birthday party, ever!  Maybe I'd better explain that, like the Queen, I have my real, actual birthday, and then I have my "official" birthday celebration.  They rarely coincide.  In fact, sometimes they aren't even in the same month!

We even had a member of the SG-1 Team show up!
But Saturday night was a very fun evening, spent with good friends.
This lady claimed she was a pirate wench

The name tag reads, "Elder Abdul"
Make of it what you may....

Our charming hostess kept losing her "Kitty" nose -
because her real kitties kept trying to "groom " it off every chance they got!

Consulting with the "Cat Doctor"
I had such a great time.  It was really a lot of fun.
I love the bat wings - and the fact that Sister Mary Margarita showed up!

Thanks, everybody!  I have the best friends ever.  

Monday, October 29, 2012

Our Ward Halloween Party

To err is human... to ARRRRR is pirate
Our Ward threw a terrific Halloween party on Friday night!  It was very well attended and there were many fun games for the kids to participate in.  

The Hulk was a little shy
There were hot dogs, fruit cups and nachos served - you could make that a chili cheese dog if you really wanted to - and all kinds of cupcakes too.                        

Even the teens got into the spirit of the holiday

Batman tries his luck playing golf
The Pumpkin Put Put was a fun thing for the kids.  There were so many different games for the kids to try, and a treasure chest where they could claim prizes.  They all seemed to be having lots of fun.

We even had our very own Genie show up!  (Or is that Jeannie, as in "I dream of..."?)
 There were some really imaginative costumes on both the children and the adults.
I'm not sure if this little boy thought the Spiderman costume was cool -
or if he thought it was weird that a girl was wearing it!

Brother Ibey supervised the fishing...

...while his beautiful wife ran the Duck Pond next door

The kids seemed to really enjoy the games

At 7:30 the kids got to "trunk or treat" around the parking lot.

It was good just to sit and talk to friends. This was a really fun evening, full of laughter and lots of little kids.  I'm glad that this event every year gives the kids in the neighborhood a safe place to have fun for the Halloween holiday.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Cat-urday Night Fever

Ya got me DANCIN' (insert Bee Gees music here!)
Can't resist this alternate LDS caption:  "The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!"
Or, how about the Highlander version, "There can be only ONE!"
Or, the Braveheart version, "Freeeeeedom!"
Any other ideas?
 Everyone needs some good dance moves.  Jack has really got them!
Wow.  Look at that Disco ball!
We've been dancing a lot this week.  Jack has got me jumping to his beat.

Okay, maybe it's not dancing so much as playing with a feathered wand.

He loves it.  And he's a lot better at this 'dancing' thing than I am.  

He's also better at running..

... and jumping..

... and attacking...

... and doing flips in mid-air.

Yes.  I Disco Dance.  Ya got a problem with that?
Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Burning Bushes

Here is Autumn in all its glory.

The "burning bushes", otherwise known as pyrocantha, are brilliant red with berries and the maple trees are turning to gold up in Oregon, which is in the Pacific Northwest of the United States.

My friend Desiree sent this beautiful photo last week and writes: "I wish I could send you the sweet smell of smoke from the wood stoves that heat so many homes here."

I wish you could, too!

I love this season.  Even here in California, summer is slowly losing its hold over us.  The other morning, as I drove to work, there was thick pea-soup fog in some areas.

You can't see the hills and homes just on the other side of the bridge!
 We're having chilly nights and some morning marine layer and fog these days, followed by sunny afternoons.
Normally, you can see the mountains from here.
I could barely see the intersection as I approached.
This weekend, however, is supposed to be hot and sunny!

It's crazy weather time for a while as the seasons change.  I wish we got more of the colors of autumn here in California.  But I don't mind not having the snowy winters!

Wherever you are, and whatever the weather - enjoy your day!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Korean Sushi and Burgers

The Yanji Mall
As Yanji, China, is close to North Korea, there are a lot of Korean speaking people there, and a lot of Korean cuisine readily available.  I understand that.

It makes for some terrific Korean food:

A Christian Bible Verse graces the wall of a Korean restaurant

Korean sushi roll

It looks like a pasta dish?  What do I know?

A lovely Korean meal - haven't a clue what it all is
What I did not understand, however, was that you could also find Western-style treats there.

Popular Hamburger Chain
It's not McDonald's, but this northwestern China town has its own hamburger chain.
Chinese Fast Food
Gee, it almost looks like Mickey D's!
Milk Shake from Gina's Hamburger Place
I love the purple straw in the milk shake.  I forgot to ask Daniel if the shake tasted like the real deal.
American Style Hamburger and Fries at Gina's
Since I have found a few items of Chinese cuisine that I can't stomach (even if you paid me to eat it, I'm sad to say), I once asked my friend Mike, a mainland Chinese-born and raised co-worker, if there were any American foods he had trouble with when he first came to America.

I'd expected him to have to think about it... seriously!  I think our food is great, and NORMAL - but he immediately replied, "Hamburger".

"Hamburgers?" I questioned, thoroughly mystified.

He grinned, then went on to explain that he still didn't care for hamburgers of any kind, although his thoroughly Americanized teenage children loved them.  When I asked what it was about a hamburger that he found disgusting, he answered, "I don't know.  It just not good."  He wrinkled his nose for effect.

It appears that not all Chinese folks feel that way.  Or maybe they just make them for the tourists, what do I know?

But I was also rather comforted to know I wasn't being mean or impolite for not enjoying all that Chinese cuisine had to offer.  Just like Mike, there are a few things I simply can't stomach.  Nothing personal!
Daniel literally hanging out beneath Gina's Cafe
Even if all the food doesn't look like it does at home, I'm surprised by how much this grocery store resembles stores at home.
Grocery store in the mall basement
American sodas at the grocery store
The colorful  underground Yanji grocery

According to Daniel, you can find a wide variety of foods at the Yanji grocery store.  He got a real kick out of visiting there.  It sure looks busy.

I'm so happy to be able to learn more about this corner of the world.  Thanks again, Daniel!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Seoul, Korea

I think I will forever identify Seoul, Korea with the TV show M*A*S*H.  However, I can see from Daniel's vacation pictures from his visit there with his family at the end of September, that it really looks a lot different from a Hollywood backlot in California!  Funny how that works.

Daniel and his family had a great vacation in Korea, from what I understand.  As the children are still pretty small and rather squirmy on long trips, they've been trying to find family vacation in spots that are closer to where they are living in China - so Korea fit the bill nicely.

Daniel holds Livia, while Holly attempts to held a squirming worm called Fred
Daniel has friends who are now living in Korea.  He also speaks Korean now.

He just didn't have anything better to do than learn another Asian language.                       

On the streets the kids are posing
 I love Livia's pose.  She looks so bored. It's hard being a high fashion model on vacation!

Daniel posing for a street artist
 The family took some time to have their portraits done.
Showing off their portraits. 
 I think Holly's portrait is the best of the bunch.  What do you think?

Korean hot dog?
Below:  The ultimate tourist, or the ugly American?  Or... maybe there's another category... like, I'm not really related to him...

Or something.
Just kidding.

Love you, Daniel!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Land of 100 Milkshakes

If you are ever in Flagstaff, Arizona, stop by the old Galaxy Diner.  It's an authentic blast from the past.


The Diner is located off what used to be the famous Route 66.

In addition to some regular diner fare, they also have a menu featuring over 100 different flavors of milkshakes.

What a friend who recently visited there termed, "NIRVANA!" for ice-cream lovers.

-Photos: G.D.Leigh

Oh Yes...

And while you're up that-a-way, take some time to drive over to the Grand Canyon.

It's pretty spectacular.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Rockefeller Center!

Angel keeping watch over the fairy garden
Cats are funny.  When there are several cats in a house, they seem to each have their assigned places.  When Angel isn't being a guard cat by my friend Desiree's window, she sleeps on one side the big bed.

All the kitties love the quilt but have their favorite, special places.
Silhouette hanging out on the edge
Silhouette prefers the end of the bed.  She can make a quick escape that way, and still have fun tickling human toes.

But Rockefeller, aka Rocky...
Rocky enjoying life
...well, HE takes up his space in the center!

Which is very fitting for the man of the house.  At least, according to Rocky.

Looks like a pretty cushy gig!

This concludes your tour of Rockefeller Center!