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While I am waiting for the updates to load on my tablet, one last but on my outing to California.

My stepmother, Ella, was gracious to whisk me away for about a day to San Diego. I had never been and always wanted to see it. I heard the beaches were fantastic, and there was a haunted house I wanted to see (primary knowledge of this place came from The History Channel, please do not judge).

The beach, yes they do get sharks down there was the warning I did get, but my were they outstanding! Great sand, surf, cold, but simply lovely. We went to Pacific Beach and I was in love with it.

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View pulling in, did not want to get my phone covered in sand.

It reminded me of Surfer’s Paradise in Australia a bit, though not quite as large. Blue water, fine taupe sand…beautiful.

Then we toured around to the old cemetery. It was a mission cemetery and the local historical society did what it could to preserve the old graves. I had never seen such a place before. People would leave coins on some of the graves, or candy. There was a superstition there but we did not know what it was exactly, but I found it fascinating.

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This was a snippet of the cemetery. They tried to mark the graves as best they could, and often there were informational stands nearby as to who they were.

Ella explained to me that in California the history behind the missions and the mission trails were an integral part of California history taught in many elementary classes.

Then we came to one my favorite pit stops–a well preserved Victorian home, known as the Whaley House. The pieces inside each room were well kept. There was also a haunted history tour, but only for the evenings. Alas, we would settle for history more so than ghosts. It was still cool.

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One of the children's rooms...and yes, the dolls were a tad creepy, but period.

For me though the theatre upstairs is what caught my attention. It had an old true to form theatre complete with a sloped stage. Yes!! This, this right here is where theatre people get the upstage, downstage…all of that because it literally is up or down. I cannot tell you how often I have had to explain that to an incredulous crew. Here it was!! I felt so vindicated.

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It really did have a sloping stage. Ah...proof and history well preserved.

When theatre began again in the medieval era, the stages often were set up and torn down hurriedly. They were likewise sloped so the people on the ground could see all of the action going on all over the stage. In time the theatre seats would allow for a non-sloped stage, but not in such a space as this. Hence the slope.

The Victorians of California clearly valued theatre to have such here at all, but sadly the troupe founder passed shortly after they opened the theatre.

It was a pity the founder of the acting troupe did not get to enjoy it’s use more. That was a risk of the era, and the wildness of the West. I do tip my hat off to the ladies who were determined to bring and keep culture in early California even in the heady days of gold rushes and revolutions.

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The breeze came in just so to catch my dress, and my stepmother noted that there was just something about me and this theatre. I suppose the theatre agreed.

I promised an explanation for lack of writing, and simply it was that I was out of town. I try to refrain from posting about my whereabouts for obvious reasons, house sitter or no, not a risk I like taking. So now, yes I am back and have no travel plans for some time. Whew. Like a whirlwind that can be. It really does take more time than you allow. The day to get there, the settling in, the return, pretty much the same, and before you know it summer is almost over.

I was in LA visiting my sister, brother-in-law, and the new addition, a nephew. As my sister is even more protective, and rightly so, I will say only that he was 3 months old when I saw him, a big baby, happy, healthy, and cute one. Sorry, no public photos at this time.

While out there I got to assist with diapers, feeding, playing–well helping him learn grabbing and sitting and trying to roll over, etc. I also got some adult fun, learning to cook kale, and above all historical reenactment!

My brother-in-law, Ryan, and my sister, are a part of a loose group of Ancient Celt reenactors called, I think, Gaesatae? Pronounced GI-SO-TI to that effect, for the javelin – like weapons GI-SOS that they used in battle. Ancient Celt, 1st Century BC. They even had a smith there. I wish I had better pictures, the Roman Legion they faced were outstanding too! To the letter the food, the impromptu smithy, the weaving, they had it all.

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Gaesatae Banner, with their gaesa / spear / javelin they were known for

And as to myself, yes I was there at MacArthur Days…more on the in a bit…

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I was there truly, in period garb, and yes, eventually the Celts dealt with Romans.

Better look at the Celts / Gaesatae.

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From the Gaesatae Facebook...they had differing levels of armor.

As to the Romans…well, they take their reenactment seriously too. I regret I did not get photos as I was involved in the battle reenactment. Still, it was fun, even though I did not last as long as I would have liked, but the cat calls they do made me Celtic proud. The wit and sarcasm, love it. :)

Though I confess, I was a tad sad as we did not use woad, I gather this time period/region etc. In battle it is white clay they used not woad so much (blue paint from the Picts and Celts meant that there was no return from the battle, very Spartan like “with it or on it” victorious or dead). The idea is that by this point in history the Gaesatae were more battle tried and used, and appropriated, armor designs that the Romans in turn appropriated as well. Bummer but true to history which is more important.

I did fairly well until a crafty Roman sliced my ankle from behind his shield. He had better reach and my shield…well, I was new and to be honest, yeah, the Romans know their stuff. An ankle, get that tendon, then blam, you are out. Ancient warfare…I love it…maybe a bit morbid of me but there it is.

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They were very regimented. True Romans.

And they even had priestesses, scribes, senators, the works.

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Romans from MacArthur days.

This was all at MacArthur Days out in LA. Same time almost every year, like every period of historical war reenactment. They started with the Ancient Celts and Romans, and went all the way to WWII. So imagine, the Irish Rebellion, IRA, WWI, Revolutionary War, Civil War, WWII fighter planes mock battle…every Era done to meticulous detail of the encampment, costumes, food. It was wonderful for any history nerd! So, yes, I was in heaven of sorts. :)

Toward the end of my visit I did get to see the beach by San Diego, and yes, it is lovely down there. I met up with my stepmother and saw the Whaley House Museum and Mission Cemetery before she was off on a Viking cruise to celebrate my father’s 60th. Whirlwind.

More on that later…it is rather long and I am trying to keep it short. Perhaps a fail, but for history’s sake, fair.

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I will explain everything later… in the meantime, I was catching up on science news and the Internet is buzzing with the New Horizon photos of Pluto.

As amazing as it all is, I cannot help but find the humor in two things: the memes and the fact that Pluto is no longer an “official” planet when all of this comes out.

As to memes, here are a few I thought might amuse:

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Found on FB. If we are lucky there is not a Sith Lord on that thing.

And of course there is this:

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I mean it is Pluto after all...

Then you have the whole technically now it is a dwarf planet and not a planet of our solar system. Sometimes, much like Pluto/Hades in mythology, the planet is never really given a break either.

In mythology the Lord of the Underworld may not have been the nicest of gods, maybe even a bit of a trickster (and pulled a wickedly jerk move kidnapping Persephone and tricking her into eating the pomegranate seeds, all of this which began when Eros shot him with one of his arrows…in a way it is on Eros, and some myths claim Persephone did fall in love with him ala to Beauty and the Beast–Stockholm Syndrome maybe, or she was trying to break away from her mom and grow up so she could be her own person–so complicated when you really think on it…not to mention the symbolism of what they all represent). Anyway, there is one common thread I have found in the lore of old and that is Pluto/Hades may have been many things, and strict is definitely one of them–Death brooks no refusal–he was also just. The punishments fit the crime, as did the rewards, in the Underworld. Granted it was without mercy or compassion, but it still was justice.

Which is why perhaps I find the last two memes apropos, given that Pluto does have feelings and scientists are almost doing too little too late to make it up to this planet. It would be nice if scientists can give this planet another chance.

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Aw, Pluto...:hugs: in time your heart will mend--they have found that in fact the heart is changing, literally.

Then there is this tongue in cheek, Pluto having a bit more backbone/ attitude actually much more like the God the planet is named after. Wondering why we are bothering it now:

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I loved this, a plutonic relationship :)

You may not be able to read the caption, but Tinder quipped, “Nah, just looking for a plutonic relationship.” Well played, Tinder, well played.

Whatever happens next though, I hope that scientists and Pluto can still be friends. :)

My fourth was decent, just as an aside. I just wish that my neighborhood would not celebrate with loud, fairly illegal fireworks until the wee hours. But whatever, it is freedom.

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I do not know why but I love this meme. America rocks! Sorry, Engand, I do feel ya, but this is for the best. :)

Was out with my family and we had a great lunch. A bit odd in that we were discussing the candidates for president: Bush, Clinton, and Sanders…naturally, politics is a touchy topic, but my family and I are Independents so that kind of makes it a bit more open of a conversation…well, sort of. To be honest, we think we most politicians are bought and paid for and generally just want the status quo and their own job security. Really wish for some kind of election reform or third party, anything that would be less corrupt. Meh. I feel like John Lennon sometimes, “You say that I am a dreamer, but I am not the only one…” Unfortunately, I am also getting jaded and cynical as I get older. Electorial lottery, it should be a thing. Seriously.

Meantime, there was a great dress and viola. I am good for the rest of summer and will to try not think about politics for at least a little while longer. Twill only upset me for now.

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It is a great dress for summer, builtin bra, and in the summer you ladies know that can be awesome. :)

A Grand Day Out

Well, a lot has been happening. My friend Kami also noted, hey, write more, blog more…remember your goals…so I am going to try to step it up, but first processing a bit of life (another recommendation).

Anyway, Grand Junction was fantastic! Long overdue shout out to my friend Martine for a fabulous weekend and birthday surprise.

The National Monument was just beyond words for natural beauty. We are thinking of heading back as we did not get to hit the Grand Mesa and a few hikes around the monument.

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One of many outstanding views...we determined along with these formations there was a rather phallic one hidden the Park's Service refused to name...ahem.

Vineyards were excellent and very laid back which was nice. The orchards were not yet full of peaches yet, August, and we were a smidgen too early for touring the lavendar fields. Extreme lavendar, they have a festival in June. Wonder what it is like and hope it is not an insane Bath and Body Works soiree with too obnoxiously scented lotion (one whiff and you can’t smell anything else for a day, like your burned your nose hairs with scents)? Tastefully scented would be nice…I know I digress from wine.

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When there the first vineyard we had the assistant vintner who taught us so much more about wine that I did not know.. and it was good. He had a right to brag. There is a difference in how one should drink red vs white wine. Did not know that. Also, the pairings of cinnamon almonds with Chardonnay was perfect (at some point I will recall the vineyard’ s name). I generally prefer reds and do not like Chardonnay at all but this was like having a smooth marshmallow wine. Tasty.

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Many Bachelorette parties opted to bike from vineyard to vineyard with maps. I admired their ability to not fall and keep biking.

Sad side note, they had a smooth hard cider they sold out of…what a tease. Let you same, none to purchase. Back ordered. A lot of Bachelorette parties out there too, which made for an interesting time. Drinking, engaged women, drinking…lavendar. Extreme lavendar.

It was lovely. Oh, foodie side note. Bin 707 was superb! Local on the wine tour recommended, and it was great. Bin is a local restaurant that specializes in farm to table (limited menu and changes with what is in season). Hipster but well worth it.

Glenwood was lovely along with a spa day (in short I was spoiled). Highlight was the spa day (hot stone awesome pampering of epic proportion and the springs) and hearing a story at Doc Holliday ‘ s about the bus life…maybe later on that. I guess when one travels long distance by bus, there is much to observe on human behavior. The storyteller was entertaining, but regrettably the music was not so we did not stay to hear more. There is just something sad when hearing Sir Mix-aLot’s classic “Big Butts” terribly sampled in what should be an old time saloon. Just wrong.

As to the Hotel Colorado? I hope they can keep it preserved. Love it, and the hidtory, but with no air conditioning, we went at a good time before the heat. Just such a beautiful hotel.

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True to form we forgot to take pictures, but here is a snippet of what it looks like. Molly Brown, Teddy Roosevelt, and other notables stayed here. Just a neat place.

Okay, one update. More to come while musing on why it is that I fight with my GPS when she is often right.

A Few Words

Training is done…and while at training a historic ruling was announced. I was over the top happy, teared a but, got distracted by the Internet and the news while at training (bad me), and felt the love overall.

I wanted to share the following a friend posted on Facebook. A warning to the literally minded, this is sarcasm….well, I actually agree with quite a bit…so maybe??? Hope it gives you a chuckle, a grin, and somewhere to begin.

From my friend nicknamed “Trickie” (wickedly witty) on Facebook:

Dear Straight People:

As your new Gay overlords, we herby order you to

-never again wear Crocs
-brush up on your Divas
-keep nose hairs out of view
-stop discussing sports as if that were ever a thing
-admit that disco was awesome
-just call it “marriage” from now on

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He included this adorable unicorn. A unicorn appropriately named "Skittles". :)

A long time coming. Many blessings to all. :)

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Why Not?

I once knew a girl in the office who celebrated not only her birthday but she had an eight day long tradition (that grew to ten day long tradition) celebrating her birthday she called Hali – kana, or Halichana, or something like that.

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Sure, why not?

I asked her the reasoning and in part her response was something along the lines of: who would not want to have a week long celebration? and it was what inevitably happened with her friends and family regardless as they would pop in and celebrate with her when they could. They may not have been with her on her actual birthday, but often within 8-10 days. She liked having it within the week as it still made it special and she then made everyday a birthday. Her gifts were even spread out (often from said friends who would see her later on the week). Still, it was a thing and this year I am reminded of that given the events so far.

It makes sense in some ways, and now I can see that as we all get busier, you may not always have a one grand day with everyone gatheres, but it may be spread out over several different days with different groups of friends. Still it is nice to have some nod or recognition on the day of (I do my best) too…though a month long celebration may be nice as well. May be a bit much though, but meh. We are worth it and life is short anyway.

For this year, it has been interesting. Last week, Martine and I were in Grand Junction and Glenwood Springs, more on that later. The short short version lovely hiking, springs, and vineyards.

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Grand Monument...one of many lovely views. :)

Today is the grand museum outing with Jessica. Later on, is the Angus Mohr music and dancing awesomeness weekend with Shelly and Christine. And the list goes on.

It has been an interesting year and reflection more so than usual. Maybe that just happens more as we age I do not know. For whatever the reason, this year, today, I was again reminded of Hermes, and then I find myself thinking fondly of philosophy talks and conveyor belts.

Meantime, I had best dash. Mythical exhibit, possible art, and a grand lunch all goes well. Who knows what this year will bring? Either way, I am looking forward to this month of celebration and friends. :)

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