My Mom and Dad are from England. They came over just before I was born in the "Brain Drain" of Europe post WWII. We were the first of our family to emigrate as a result we had no known family (for a long while) on this Continent. Many young men of knowledge were imported from England. Mr. and Mrs. England were one of those families as well. When we met them in about 1968, they adopted us as extended family. We actually found out that we did have "real" family in about 1972 living in Canada but that's another story....
Growing up having an "Aunt, Uncle and Cousins" that had the "whole picture" was great for me, Ruth was about the same age as I. Jane their middle child the same age as my brother John and Stephen the same age as my youngest brother Pete. Our family has remained "family" a constant in each other's lives.
In May of this year Mr. and Mrs. England celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary, however this past weekend had a big party for all the friend and relatives, of which my brother Pete and his wife Val, Mike and I were a part of in San Diego Ca. this past weekend, at one point it was a secret but the word was out but I didn't get the memo....Mom and Dad were too ill to attend which was really sad, and they were sorely missed. Mom is to have surgery later on this month so I'll be making another trip down to sit bedside
Lots of documentation on this trip!
We arrived early (see Mike is a great influence!) so did Pete and Val, seen here helping Conner (Ruth's oldest boy) do AV work
Mr. Jim England with a (real) niece
Now this is where it got good. Ruth with her bestest and oldest friend Lisa, which after this weekend is my newest best friend. We are like two pea's in a pod!! We have so much in common it's really scary
Ruth reading telegrams and letters
Jane and Ruth with a cousin
Mr. England wanted "a wild dance" with Mrs. England so off they went and here they are
Too soon the fun was over and it was bed time for us all. Not wanting to end the fun The England's suggested that we get together for dinner the next day. Mike and I were thrilled as were Pete and Val, but how to fill the time in between? No problem! We're in San Diego! The next morning we had a lovely (and early you know Mike) breakfast together. Pete and Val decided to go Kayaking and to the Midway Aircraft Carrier. Mike and I decided to go to Balboa Park to the museums there, since we've "done" the Zoo many times and didn't want to handle the crowds at the Zoo.
This creature is for children to climb on. The "concrete" around this lovely sculpture is rubber! We wished we had little one's to enjoy this. I of course was thrilled with the color and the bling, oh I mean "Ice".
We decided to view the Mummy movie at the Imax theater, yes I had seen it with Becky, Erica and Skylar the week before in Portland but so glad to see it again. We also went on a simulation ride called "Rescue on Dino Island" where we rescued a T-Rex named Tony off an island that had a Volcano erupting endangering all the Dino's. Very entertaining. After all this fun we strolled around to the Arboretum which had a wonderful display of Orchids, in the front of this beautiful place was a pond with Lotus, after having seen the Mummy movie (twice) and loving all things Egyptian, I had to take this picture. Mike wants to make a pond in his retirement and I've requested some Lotus flowers
Mike enjoying the orchids
These are insect eating plants
More and More
These are figs growing on the trunk of a tree! I loved the shapes of these figs
I love this one!
This Orchid was just inside the door, and it smelled like Cotton Candy...ummmm
We then wandered around and came upon the Speckles Organ the largest outdoor organ in the world, which was beginning a concert. I love organ music. The weather had turned from being slightly over cast to bright sun. Mike was a good sport but I was unwilling to brave a sunburn so we toured the Japanese gardens just next door while listening to great organ music. Here is Mike viewing the world through one of the lovely gates. Imagine the booming sounds of Organ music.
There were huge Koi in the pond so while sitting in the shade we watched these magnificent fish swim around this one was at least 3 feet long, and that's not a fish story either!
I loved this lemon yellow one
Here are the pipes of this majestic organ built in 1912~
The keyboard, which looked quite modern to me, but what do I know about organs.
Again we were wandering around slowly heading back to the car when we came upon the International Houses. A group of hacienda's that each contain a country within. All were decorated with furniture and items from the country of the house. This is bobbin lace from the Iran house.
In and out of houses we went, each offering goodies for free, but requested a donation. I was tempted but was really good until the Scotland house. Where a cuppa and shortbread was forced into my hands, Mike asked for some good single malt but was given a nice cuppa instead. Here is Mike at the Denmark house the country of his father's family.
After a long amble we made it back to the car to find that another Honda Civic had parked right next to ours facing the same way, someone had humor, although ours is an "SI" and it was an "EX"
After our long walk our feet were a little wherry so we went for a drive around San Diego. I showed him where the next TNNA is going to be held in January and we drove by the Aircraft Carrier that Pete and Val were viewing (probably while we drove by) and then we drove by a strange Cactus nursery.
I stopped as Mike began the "you have enough Epiphylums don't you think" talk. we wandered around unmolested by anyone and found the strangest and most lovely cactus and yes epip's (as those whom collect them call them) Mike mentioned that the strange plant that has been in the backyard for years finally bloomed and this is what it looked like
This is the plant that we have, however not truly mine.... A long time ago Becky moved to Corvallis, Oregon to attend Oregon State U. Emma gave this plant to Becky for her dorm room. Giving this plant to Becky was really a nice idea, but she was too busy to take care of it. Time passed and I would take pity on it and give it water, many times I didn't think it would make it. One day I just took it home, then one day Mike brought it to live outside in Lakewood CA. where it has done OK for many years (Emma gave Becky this plant in 1999) A few months ago I cleaned up and re-arranged plants and stuck this one here. It has gone bonkers, enjoying so well that it produced two huge blooms (according to Mike as I wasn't in time to see them) of many red flowers. He said that the bloom above is a pale comparison to what we had growing.
This is the result of going to the Cactus man's nursery. We did meet this fellow, eccentric to say the least, however he knew his plants and I loved his passion.
My new Epip's. The one on the left is a white blooming one, I really bought it for the neat foliage and the one on the right is purple, red and orange with some yellow, according to the Cactus man, this I can hardly wait to see bloom
So Mike and I went a little crazy. He bought the two big ones and the pot. I bought all the succulents for a big pot I bought at an auction
A closer view of the new additions
It was then time to go to dinner with the England's. We had the best time talking over old times. Lisa and I talked and talked and talked, she can fire words as fast as I can and is a great story teller-!! She is the one on the right, Jane in the middle and Ruth on the left, tearful good byes with promises to see each other soon.
Here is a recycling dilemma. Pepper plants have grown in the pot where the mother plant once was, which I recycled for this Epip that wasn't doing well. Now what to do? I haven't figured that out yet....
Back home and looking for something to eat this morning. Look what I found in the freezer, Apriums. Any ideas?
On this journey Shelli called to say that our TFC yarn with her Neck Candy pattern WILL be in the "One Skein Wonder, Luxury Yarn Edition" that is due out soon. This is makes two patterns (Elizabeth with her scarf pattern is the other one) out of our yarn that will be featured in this book. WOW, we have to make more yarn......Erica is having a relaxing time with Shelli and Jeff. Talking about which I have to say I'm remiss and have two edits for the blog. Diane Brodrick is the lovely woman with the Wild Woman socks at Conference. Jeff, Shelli's husband is definitely one of my favorite men in Petaluma. Sorry sorry sorry for these admissions, these people are important and beloved to me. Thanks for all the help!
Today is a packing up and finishing up day. I have to find O rings for our plyers as one of them is down. Becky is picking up a lot of Fireworks roving and so another batch of this yarn will be available. We are going to try and do some grey as well. Erica's red color-way is a hit with Shelli and I'm going to spin up some in Cash/Silk to send her as a test fiber. Erica announced she had another new color-way in mind and would I mind if she did another? So look out Erica's getting bad in the dye studio.....
Courtney is at work today along with Kevin. She says it looks great up there, I believe her. I can hardly wait to see it. Mike and I have talked and if by chance two Maine Coon Kittens fall into my lap I'm to snatch them up and bring them home. We'll sort out the details later. So if you know of a Maine Coon Cat with kittens???? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.