Sunday, June 29, 2008


I have been very happy with California up until now. I was fine when the driving requirements changed right before I got my license. Yeah, it was lame that a bunch of stupid kids ruined it for everyone else, but I was really okay with it. (BTW, those rules look a bit more strict than when I was going through the process...does anyone remember what they had to do?)

Anyway, what I am currently upset with is that California is making us go "hands free" starting on July 1st. Right, to those that don't know that bit of ambiguous jargon, what they mean is that you aren't allowed to hold your phone to your ear while operating a motor vehicle. This means we will all have to use headsets, and I hate headsets. They are such a hassle, they are uncomfortable, and I don't feel the sound quality is all it should be. Anyway, I'm angry about it.

The thing is, I am really good at driving while talking on my cell phone, you know, the old fashioned way where you hold your phone to your ear. I was hoping the state might come up with some sort of proficiency exam, and if you pass, you won't have to be hands free. Or, you could get cute little vouchers (I'm thinking about the size of half an index card, and green) for your good driving record, and when you are pulled over for talking on your cell, you just hand them a voucher and you won't get a ticket. Then you can go on your merry way, and continue to earn vouchers when you make responsible driving decisions.

Sigh. So I might call you today, while I'm driving, just because I can. But come Tuesday, my communication will greatly decrease, I think. And if you call me, and I don't answer, it's probably because I was fumbling around with that stupid hands free headset (because why drive with that annoying thing in your ear 'just in case'?) and I accidentally hung up on you, or couldn't get it going in time. So, sorry about that. But it's really not my fault.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Grandma Days

I will very patiently ignore the mess on my desk to bring you this super great post about the past two Grandma days.

Wait....let me get some ice cream...

Alright, I'm ready now.

Grandma's second cousin, Betsy, came into town. So naturally, Grandma wanted to show her the sights. I was in charge of driving, and we also brought my cousin Laura along.

Sight number 1:
Sight number 2, Grandma taking a break:
The whole reason for sights number 1 and 2 were to get to this:
The elephant seals. I like the elephant seals. So silly to look at and blubbery and such. And the beach is always very pretty, so it's usually worth the trip. I also am always impressed at how fine they are that everyone is all up on 'em. I would be like, "get your own space of beach, man. This is mine. Back up off." But not those elephant seals. They are all on top of each other rollie pollie style. Even when they fight, they fight on top of each other. It's an excellent example of community, I think.

While watching the elephant seals, I overheard a young boy, 3.5-3.75 years of age, I would guess, telling his dad, "Dad, those seals are WAY bigger than you!" His brother, of an unidentified age says, "Yeah, Dad, you are so small! Those seals are HUGE!!!!!" and they went on and on about how blown away they were that something was bigger than their Dad, and I don't think their Dad liked that much. He kept saying stuff like, "Yeah, I get it... they are big animals... jeez..."

Sight number 3: Betsy was a trooper, and was in charge of walking with Grandma from the car to the elephant seals.
Laura and I scampered ahead, I got all the pictures I wanted, turned to see where Grandma was, and discovered that she and Betsy were still walking. They hadn't even caught a glimpse of those elephant seals yet. Please note Grandma's bright pink windbreaker. I bet she is kicking herself for giving away those checked pink pants to my mother...what a fabulous combo it would have made....

Sight number 4: I wasn't sure if I should include pictures of me as a sight, but I decided that I was part of this Central Coast experience, so why not? Please note that Laura and I are standing in front of the handicapped parking area. That's just how we roll.
Sight number 5: Wineries. No, this isn't a good example of a winery. But after San Simeon, we took a drive out Vineyard Drive, so Betsy could do some wine tasting. It was the end of the day when I finally remembered to document this part of our journey with a snapshot, so... that's what you get.

I turned around and took a picture of this:

I'm not really sure if those buildings have a function.

The next glorious day we headed out to Port San Luis, to lunch at the Olde Port Inn. There will be no more "sights" from here on, just regular pictures. They would have been "sights" but Grandma didn't mention anything about showing Betsy the sights on this day, so we have to return to normal.

This is one of Grandma and Grandpa's favorite spots, so I have been here many many times.

And yet, I failed to notice that the guy who started the Olde Port Inn has the same last name as us:
We should have gotten a discount.

For those of you who don't know, the Olde Port Inn is a restaurant, not an Inn, at the end of this pier:
There are a few awesome things about the Olde Port Inn. First, you get to drive out onto the pier and catch a view of this:
Well, Laura and I aren't always there, but this view usually is:

Second, at some of the tables at the Olde Port Inn, you can look directly down into the ocean.
We always hope to see a starfish or seal, but today we got a duck. I've never seen a duck down there before. I tried to get a good picture of it, but I don't know if I succeeded.

Third, the view from the table is phenomenal. I turned off my flash and scored this nice picture:

And then again I got this picture:
They keep their windows really clean here. I wanted everyone to know that I was actually inside a building while taking those scenery shots, so I thought it might be a good idea to get a picture of myself with that same background. I tried a few "nice" smile poses, but hated them all, so I ended up with this:
Laura at lunch:

Laura and I are clearly cousins as we have the same head-tilt inclination.

And really, who could pass up a great photo op with Grandma's glasses?

Not us.
I think it is important to note at this point in the story that it was ridiculously hot on the coast:

It was mentioned that Betsy would like to put her feet in the Pacific Ocean, a brilliant idea if you ask me. So Grandma said that would be a good idea. We could all go, but Grandma would just sit on a bench somewhere. This meant we had to go over to Avila where is was wicked crowded. There are no benches at Port San Luis of course, but plenty of parking. As we are driving by Port San Luis Grandma asks why we don't stop there, and I say because she needs a bench. She agreed with me.

So over to Avila we go, and there isn't a handicapped parking spot to be found. We "discussed" our options. We could let Grandma out, take her to a bench, and then go find parking a million miles away. Grandma wanted to pay for parking, I told her no way would we pay for ten minutes of beach time, so Betsy just said to let her out and she'll run and put her feet in the ocean and then come right back. Grandma commanded that we go back to Port San Luis where there was plenty of parking. So I went.

We get there and park and Grandma says, "where's the bench?"

"There's no bench Grandma."

"What?! No bench?"


"Well, I will just wait in the car."

"It's over one hundred degrees."

"Roll down the windows, and leave the keys in."

"Okay, but you can't let anyone steal the car."

"No, no no, you just go."

"Are you sure you are alright?"

"I'll be fine here with my book."

"Okay, we'll be back in ten minutes."

"Ten minutes, is that all?! Stay longer!"

"Okay, bye Grandma."

So we left her.
The beach was gorgeous that day. Simply gorgeous, and the water felt so good. I wanted to run right in fully clothed but decided against it.

I'm not sure what is happening in this picture, maybe the wave was going to get her? I don't know.
After about twenty minutes we returned to the car. As we reach the road, a woman says to us, "Does she belong to you?" and pointed at Grandma whilst giving us disappointing looks.

"Umm.. yeah."

And we walk to Grandma.

Apparently, the heat was too much to bear for such an old woman, and just as we were walking up, Grandma had engaged the help of that woman, for Grandma needed help exiting the car and crossing the street and motioning to us to come back. We got all settled into the car again and got reprimanded for taking too long on the beach.


Sunday, June 8, 2008

Pink Sunday

Today was a pretty great day.

It was a wonky Sunday, and usually I HATE wonky Sundays, but I didn't have a problem with it this time.

I went to Stake Conference, where the stake president got 5 (five) minutes to talk...(really speakers??? You left him five minutes? You left the presiding authority 5 minutes?)
But it was a good conference, despite that fact that it could have been GREAT.

I have a few other stories about conference, that I really want to tell, but I am not going to right now.

Instead I will inform you that Mother and I played bocce ball this afternoon, we picked up Grandma and went to my cousin Laura's piano recital, and then Grandma took us out to dinner.

Grandma informed Dad yesterday that because of the recital, we should forgo the usual Sunday dinner at our house, and she would take us out to eat. Grandma loves to eat out, and she is no respecter of Days. As most of you know, Mother and I are respecters of Sundays. Unfortunately, there is no explaining this to Grandma. We have tried, many times. But it is no use. She just doesn't get it...or remember if she ever did we go to dinner when she asks.

Dad, Mom, Gma and I were all in the car driving to the recital:

Gma: Melanie, what size slacks do you take?

Mom, knowing somehow what that meant, replied.

Gma: Good. I've got some pants that will fit you.

Dad: Oh great! (he loves his wife in his mother's clothes)

Gma: They are pink.

Mom: Pink?

Gma: Pink check. Pink check slacks.

Me: You've been looking for some pink check pants, haven't you, Mom?

Mom: Yes. I have!

Anyway, Grandma thinks she has gained weight. I have no idea if this is true. She looks the same way she has looked all my life, as far as I can remember. So, she sometimes gives her clothes away. It is almost always a good time.

Friday, June 6, 2008

It was horrible

Last night I had a nightmare that Grandma requested that I go to the store for her and purchase 2 pounds of lunch meat.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

If any of you want to ride along with Grandma and I, our next outing is Friday at 11. We might go to Trader Joe's after, and I most certainly will have to go completely out of my way to drop off a prescription.

So.. let me know.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

You can just hop in the car.

gma: What kind of lunch meat does your mother buy?

me: (No idea what Grandma wants to know... The brand? Turkey? Ham? Grandma is always complaining how her lunch meat goes rancid... does it have to do with that? I don't know....and why does she assume mother does the grocery shopping?)
Umm.. we usually get whatever is on sale at the deli counter.

gma: My lunch meat always goes rancid.

me: Stop buying an entire pound.

gma: And you know if you freeze part of it, it just never is the same when you thaw it out.

me: Stop buying a pound.

gma: Your mother buys a pound.

me: (sigh) But we have 4 people eating it.

gma: well I'm only one person.

me: Yeah, so stop buying a whole pound. (Throwing caution to the wind) You know Grandma, when I lived by myself, I would just buy a quarter pound, and I didn't have any problems.

gma: (her voice raising) YES, but you could just hop in the car and go get groceries whenever you wanted.

me: (getting annoyed) Yes, but I only went to the grocery store once a week. I didn't go more than that.

gma: (totally miffed) That is what I am saying. You can go anytime you want!!!!

me: (super frustrated by now) GRANDMA! YOU GO TO THE STORE ONCE A WEEK. You can easily buy only a little bit of lunch meat and be fine for the week, until the next time you go to the store, in a week. (And if Grandma can't go to the store, I have to do it for her. It's not like her store-going is a secret. I know all about it.)

gma: Well I hardly go to the deli any more now that they don't have my sailsah turkey.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

News flash:

Grandma brought a cake over today and it was actually good.

It didn't have any nuts, it wasn't low fat, and it seems she remembered to put in all the ingredients.

Things are looking pretty good here.