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Monthly Archives: May 2015

MEMORIAL DAY

This holiday has many mixed emotions for me, and others.  We are honoring those who gave their life for their country, and those who protected their country.  Just about all of us knew of someone who served and lived, or who weren’t so lucky.  Personally, my cousin Ben was killed in WW2.  He was a good-looking kid with bright red hair and an infectious smile.  Ben was only 20 when he was drafted, I was 15 and worshiped him.  He was eager to serve and protect and ended up in Iwogema, where he died in battle 1 year later.  Today I honor his memory.  Some of our family joined us in celebration.  We had flags on each table and besides the food–and we placed our large flag outside the front door to show our support.  There was a barbeque with all the traditional foods–hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, corn, potato salad and lots of other sides, chips and onion dip, pickles and my favorite, the watermelon.  It was sweet and delicious.  For dessert, Chef made apple and cherry pies for us.  Fantastic.  We even had grilled veggie patties for our vegetarian friends–such as my daughter Renee, lest they feel excluded.  For entertainment, we set up a makeshift shuffleboard court and everyone had fun participating or watching.  The young kids were especially interesting to watch as it was the first time for many.  Sundown came, and most went home, leaving us to settle into a quiet evening of cocoa and coffee with sugar cookies.  Personally, I thought of Ben over the course of the night, wondering what he would be like now had he lived.  And, how he would have loved today’s celebration!

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BEN & JERRY’S OUTING

Ice Cream… who doesn’t like Ice Cream?!  No one here at least.  We had a blast going out to the local Ice Cream parlor, Ben & Jerry’s.  It’s our favorite spot for some cool treats. It’s located just a couple of miles from Holiday Villa East in downtown Santa Monica.  It’s a nice spot for soaking in the weather and for people watching… not to mention, I got to use my gift certificate from the Mother’s Day board tournament.  I treated a couple of folks and thoroughly enjoyed my big ole’ bowl of three different flavors with all the toppings.  Talk about stuffed.  We walked around a bit taking in the sights and checking out the young kids. Seems like they are chained to their phones, constantly talking or fiddling with them.  Amazing how this world has evolved.  Texting… who would have imagined!  All in all, it was a very fun day.

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ARMED FORCES DAY

Today is a day of remembrance and reflection.  Many of us lost family and friends in the many wars.  Those who served have mixed feelings.  They survived while their buddies didn’t.  Some of us lost relatives and close friends who served.  Basically, the overall sentiment was that they felt it important to protect their country, yet at what cost.  We honored the memory of all by placing flags on all the dining room tables and red, white and blue streamers across the lounge and common areas.  Chef Andre made an all American lunch of hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, macaroni salad, chips and watermelon.  There was also red velvet cupcakes decorated with red and white sprinkles and a blueberry on top.  They were so cute and delicious.  Afterwards, we retired to the lounge for coffee and cocoa… with some going outside to the garden to soak up the ocean breeze.

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MOTHER’S DAY

Today is Mother’s Day and we had a grand time.  The day started out with staff passing out Corsages to all the mothers in the community.  All were tickled pink with excitement.  Then, in the afternoon, family and friends came by for a visit.  The place was filled with children of all ages, with wrapping paper and ribbon all over–and ladies showing off their presents.  For lunch, Chef prepared a delicious meal of cheese and spinach lasagna, carrots and green beans, Caesar salad, fresh rolls and a large cake nicely decorated for dessert.  And, boy was it good.  Chocolate with white frosting,  one of my favorites.  After lunch, many of us headed to the entertainment room for some board games.  There were game tables set up for Scrabble, Backgammon, Chess, Monopoly and Checkers for the youngest.  I chose Monopoly, Ben, Backgammon, and Sophie …  well, she’s the resident Chess wizard.  And, I was one of the winners!  On top of that, my little grand-daughter, Taylor, won her round of checkers… must run in the family!  All winners received a $10 gift certificate to Ben & Jerry’s. Later after all family and friends left, we enjoyed a quiet dinner and retreated to the lounge for coffee, cocoa, tea and cookies.  It was a splendid day filled with love and fond memories.

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CINCO DE MAYO

Viva la Mexico!  Today was a blast.  We had quite a celebration for Cinco de Mayo.  Music was blarring, and we had visitors… dancers from Mexico in their traditional costumes.  Even Alan joined in dancing with Maria, our Spanish teacher.  Then, our Chef extraordinaire made quite a feast for us–buffet style… Margaritas–regular and virgin, beer, nachos, fresh salsa, cilantro & avocado salad, enchiladas (cheese and chicken), taquitos, rice and beans and little petit Flan!!  What a treat!  We loved every bite.  And for snaking, Churros, a traditional Mexican pastry.  It’s dough fried so it’s nice and crispy, then dipped in cinnamon and sugar.  Yumm.  I have to admit that my favorite was the margaritas–straight, not the virgin.  Little Mexican flags adorned the tables with large sobreros on the piano.  Sam, our Executive Director, even brought in a pinata.  It was so colorful.  Notice, I said “was.”  We hung it from the ceiling, really low so us old fogies could reach and then, we took turns wacking away.  Talk about recapturing our youth.  Today was a wonderful treat for all.

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