Headin' south ... Tuesday, Dec 27th, 2016

Jimmy and I returned home from our Down Under trip on Dec. 17th.  I still have quite a few Australian posts lined up, but since it's the holiday season, I figured nobody would mind if I interrupted to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah.  The jet lag coming home was a killer this time and it took us an entire week to feel sort of human again, and then Christmas got thrown into the pot!  With the exception of a Christmas wreath and one of those small ceramic light-up trees from my Mom, we didn't decorate (no time or energy), but it didn't matter. Besides, we wouldn't be home long enough for it to count.  We are, right now parked overnight in Tergel, at the Wasco Elks Lodge in central California, on our way to Pasadena/Pomona for a week's rally ... and special seating for the Rose Parade on Jan 2nd this year!  My sister says, "Do you people ever stay home?"  Maybe we'll stay home more this coming year.

Our holiday was made special by family.  Matt and Jen (with Sophie and Maggie, natch) came up to our place on Christmas Eve.  I made spinach-lasagna roll-ups for dinner and it was just such a nice evening, albeit colder'n a well-digger's ankles.  You can probably see Jen's baby bump is getting bigger!  A new baby granddaughter would be a good reason to stick around the homestead more.

On Christmas Day, Jimmy and I drove to Jen's parents' in Roseville (down the hill) to share more holiday spirit.  Matt was going to fry a turkey, which he did.  Cooked shrimps and cold crab legs made some great appetizers before the main event.

Alice's brother (not shown) and nephew, Tom, were also on hand for the day; more family is always welcome.  Above (L-R) are Jen's parents, Tom, Alice, and nephew Tom, with Jen in front.  Doncha love that T-shirt she's wearing!  Quite the Christmas ornament (and it was also Jen's birthday!)

Fried turkey on the platter and being carved, while the vultures (below) circle, hoping against hope that Dad will, uh, accidentally drop a morsel?  Most of those morsels fell into Matt's mouth!

Not much left, because it tasted wonderful.

We made it back home 10 o'clock/ish Sunday night. and spent yesterday packing up Tergel, alternately taking loads out into the cold and then running back inside the house to get warm.  Nevada City was in the 20's Monday morning!  Since I'm not sure how long we'll be gone, I didn't know how much to take, but I'd guess we took the minimum.   It's not like we'll be out in the tullie-boonies, we'll be in SoCal, where there are plenty of stores for whatever we may have forgotten.

As many years as I lived in Orange County, I never made it to see the Rose Parade in person. I did, however, work on the City of Santa Ana float two years in a row, and both years the float won a big prize.  My long-time Santa Ana friend, Lyn, and I went together the evening before the parade; I can't remember exactly which years, but maybe she can.  Probably in the 80's when our two boys were little.  It was a fun thing to do, but those floats under construction are kept in giant refrigerated warehouses, which is where we worked.  My job was to stick carnation petals on one-at-a-time:  petal, glue, stick; petal, glue, stick, over and over till my fingers froze!  But we went home before the big event.  Now, many years later, Imma gonna go see the parade!

Lots of traffic on I-5 today, mostly cars, which is unusual.  People going home from their holiday celebrations, I suppose.  We had to detour around an accident at one point south of Santa Nella, which means we took the "scenic route" through the almond groves and bare ground rowed up for planting.  I don't know how many signs we saw that read:  "Does growing food waste water?"  Water is still a big issue here in the the Central Valley, but, honestly, we spotted miles and miles and MILES of newly-planted trees, lined up in perfect GPS rows, all very thirsty devils.  Is it responsible to plant so much in an area where little rain naturally falls?  One stretch of I-5 is really pretty where the freeway eases into contoured, sculpted hills, covered in winter-green grass and nothing else.  Eventually, the road flattens into the valley and everything turns brown.

Tomorrow we'll hit the road again, and hook up with the rally people at a c/g in Pomona, where we'll meet Sue and Mo for the week.  Hopefully, Jimmy and I will be able to meet up with other friends while we're in the area, too.  And then maybe we'll go home and REST.


  1. So glad you are safely landed. Maybe in a down time moment you can read Chris Clarke's article I posted in tonight's blog. About that water and those almonds and what the Great Valley once was. I'm still haunted by it.

  2. Happy holiday pictures ... nice to have family time this time of the year. If you're on your way to Pasadena, the slide must have unstuck itself. Excellent. Having worked on the floats, you will appreciate what went into putting the parade together. We're not rally people, but I think I would seriously consider doing one in conjunction with a special event like this one. Have a terrific time.

  3. Ooops ... just saw from the comment on Sue's blog that the slide is still not working ... hope it's resolved when you get to Pomona.

  4. Family time is The Best!

  5. Looks like you made it home in time for all the fun!


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