Thursday, December 25, 2008

Can you guess?

Last night, I took pictures of the doors on my wing. Some of them are really festive. Can you guess which one is mine?

If you guessed this one, then you win!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Friends and parties

I am grateful for all my friends this year.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Secret Santa

I am so lucky that I picked Tamara for our Secret Santa gift exchange. Why am I so lucky? Because she (smartly) loves HK!!

Here she is in her main gift from me...

And thanks to Denise, I am looking forward to sitting in a movie theater with smooth feet!

Christmas Lights on a Small Tree

Who knew that a one foot tree could be so much trouble?? For starters, all the mini ornaments have been picked off by Stormy. So now it only has lights and garland. However, the two strands of lights are very old. Remember the kind where if one light didn't work then the whole strand would not work? Well, that's what I am dealing with. Which means that EVERY time Stormy knocks the tree over, I have to figure out which bulb has to be tightened in each strand so it will be lit again. I have now moved the tree to the spare room with the door shut. So I am not getting much enjoyment out of it. I put the tree on a timer so that at least passerbys on Bellflower would see my holiday cheer for five hours a night.

I went outside to take pictures. I could tell people passing by thought I was nuts. Turns out the tree was too low to see because of the "fencing" around my "deck." So I went inside and moved the tree up. I took another picture so you can see how feeble it looks from the street.

The other pictures are of my neighbors. They must have electricity on their decks which I do not. Maybe next year I'll call an electrician...


Christmas Cards

I love this time of year when I get to reconnect with people whom I haven't called back in ages!! This year I feel so lucky to have received a LOT of Christmas cards. It makes getting the mail every day so much fun. I am running out of room to display them all; if I come up with something creative, I'll be sure to share...

I got two cards from my dear friend Susan in Las Vegas (whom I miss so much). Not only a really cute Christmas Santa card, but this one from her 3-Day Cancer Walk that I had to share with you all..

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Making cookies in Long Beach

Christmas cookies LBC style...
UPDATE: Cookie slide show here!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Good morning!

My favorite pom pom tree!!

It's getting a little chilly here this morning. Even though I am still wearing flip flops, I needed a LONG sleeved shirt this morning! Hopefully when the sun comes out it will get better. I was planning to hang out by the pool today. I will keep you posted...

Update: It did warm enough for me to go to the pool!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

New Neighbors?

A few nights ago, I saw not one but two full-size raccoons emerge from the bush in front of my deck and cross Bellflower. (I know you may be thinking "Celine, are there miniature raccoons?" I don't know, but these seemed big and fluffy.)
This morning, I saw this on my storage unit in front of my car...

(You know that this is my storage
unit if you look closely at the lock!)

This is my neighbor's...
also visited by the R's.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Good morning ducks!

These ducks are amazingly tame. They walk right up to you and take food from your hand!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Okay, really it is not. I am still wearing shorts and flip-flops everyday (the plus side of being out of work!) but someone forgot to tell my "Christmas Cactus" that Christmas is still almost 2 months away.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Halloween Party Pics

Sorry, but as usual, I barely took any pictures at the parties that we went to on Halloween. After the party we hit 2nd Street, had some treats at Yogurtland and some tricks at Blondies. There were so many great hippie costumes at the party and the house was all tricked out in the era. For example, there was a mirror on the table with lines of coke - really powdered sugar - how cute is that? There was a guy who had a wig that made him totally look like Sonny of Sonny and Cher (yes, there was a Cher there too) and a Vietnam Vet and of course an afro.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Hippie teaser

These were taken on my blackberry while Carolyn was getting ready. Obviously, I took the headshot myself. These don't do justice to all the accessories on my outfit, for example, the "CAL Labor for Carter/Mondale 76" campaign button. More later...peace out...

Happy Halloween

I am getting ready to re-enter the early 70's this evening...I'll take some pictures of the hippie Halloween party that I am going to tonight and post them via my phone. In the meantime, please enjoy this relic from a few years ago...groovy man...far out...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

October's Girlfriends Dinner

Last Saturday, we had another fun Girl Friends Dinner. This time I was the host. I served mixed green salad with walnuts, cheese, and strawberries with a very calorific poppyseed dressing and cheese toast. For the main course there was campanelle pasta with choice of regular pesto or dried tomato pesto and shaved parmesan, homemade pumpkin "lasagna" (oops, I forgot the nutmeg but it was still okay) and mixed vegetables (green & yellow beans, carrots & cranberries) in a herbed butter sauce. For dessert, there was a 2 layer carrot cake with maple nut frosting (all homemade - the cake had a secret ingredient - butternut squash!) and homemade zucchini cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. Oh, there was also my standard appetizer of spinach dip in a rosemary olive oil bread "bowl" with raw veggies. And of course, lots of wine.

We celebrated Carolyn's upcoming birthday (and Kate brought lots of presents for my birthday since we didn't have a September dinner - thanks so much K!) Later we all headed to Blondies and took some cake to Phillip and celebrated his birthday. There we saw a human piƱata. I wish I had taken more pictures but I always seem to forget. If any of the other girls took some, I will post them later.

So for all of those concerned about my dinner, it was a success. (Oh, and a shout out to Simon and Marlisa who let me borrow their pan for my cake!)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sunken Treasure?

Can you see it??

On the way to shopping, I stopped on PCH to look into the bay (I think it may be the Los Cerritos Channel?) and I found a sunken treasure...

Someone went through a lot of trouble to get this shopping cart down there. The whole area is gated off.

I wonder how many people have noticed it?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Just vote no...and congrats!

This afternoon, there appeared to be a wedding rehearsal going on in front of the Greek church by my condo. So cute. As I rounded the corner, I couldn't believe my eyes. On the church lawn is a sign to vote NO on Prop 8!! If they know the sign is there (or better yet, put it up themselves) then a big YEAH to the church. Even though the rehearsal appeared to be a different-sex couple, it is nice to see a church stand up for equal rights.

If you are interested in Prop 8, you can read about it here. Okay, if you clicked the link then you caught me; this is how I feel about Prop 8. A nonpartisan version is here. Basically, Proposition 8 is a CALIFORNIA initiative to change the CALIFORNIA constitution so that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in CALIFORNIA and therefore eliminates the rights of same-sex couples in CALIFORNIA.

Why do I keep typing "CALIFORNIA" in all caps, you may ask? Because the only two people I know who are for Prop 8 (eliminating rights) do not live in California. The whole country seems to be concerned about this issue for us. In fact, the biggest monetary contributor to the campaign for Prop 8 is from CT. Out of the top 10 largest contributors, only 2 are from CA.

There are lots of ads here on TV, most which are misleading and have false claims. An example is if you vote "no" on prop 8 then "gay marriage" will be taught in public schools to your 7 year old. Now, I normally do not talk about politics in this blog because I have many conservative friends whose views differ wildly from mine. I respect the right of each person to have individual views and I would not want conflicting views to impede on my friendships. However I feel VERY strongly about this.

It would be one thing if marriage was only a religious freedom. From what I understand, there is still freedom of religion in the USA. (I know, I know, a little too heavy on the sarcasm Celine.) If so, each couple could have whatever type of "marriage" ceremony that they feel is right for them without involvement or concern of anyone else. However, marriage is a legal bond with legal rights that go along with it. Just ask my business law professor at LBCC; he would love to tell you all about it! Never having opted to get married myself, I don't proclaim to know a lot about the legal ramifications of marriage. But I think that it matters when you are visiting a spouse in the hospital - I think a spouse gets more privilege than a boy or girl "friend" does as they are not considered "kin". (Any doctors out there know?) Taxes, citizenship, division of property go along with marital rights. (Yes, if you can get married then you can get divorced. You would think all attorneys would be against Prop 8!)

I've heard people saying that they are not against homosexual relationships or civil unions. That they are not prejudiced. That they have "gay friends." But they are against same-sex marriage and are voting for Prop 8. So without coming out (no pun intended) and saying it, they are in fact saying that they do feel the legal rights of homosexuals should be different and less than the legal rights of heterosexuals.

Now back to the 7 year old learning about same sex marriage in school...

First of all, this is false. "Not one word in Prop 8 mentions education, and no child can be forced, against the will of their parents, to be taught anything about health and family issues at school. California law prohibits it, and the Yes on 8 campaign knows they are lying. Sacramento Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley has already ruled that this claim by Prop 8 proponents is “false and misleading.” The Orange County Register, traditionally one of the most conservative newspapers in the state, says this claim is false. So do lawyers for the California Department of Education." All the facts vs fiction can be found here.

Secondly, so what? Are children to be shielded from the knowledge that people of the same sex can not only love each other but be in love with each other? Is it so horrible that people love each other and want to be together? Children don't need to know any more than that. Just as children don't need to know why Mommy has a French maid outfit in her closet or a lot of other sexual things that I will leave to your imagination. With all the horrible things going on in the world today, this is what we are worried about our children learning? Really?

So again, normally I do not blog about my views on this site (and whoa, I have many!) but this is one that I feel so, so, so strongly about. A very recent poll shows that Prop 8 will probably pass. So all those marriages will be invalidated. Sorry Ellen. Sorry to some of my recently married friends.

In 2008, how can there be so much hatred and intolerance still in America?? Think about it. What if one of your rights was taken away? What if it was decided that anyone with a cleft chin, like me, could no longer get a driver's license? (Maybe not the best example for any of you that have seen my car recently!) Just as random and discriminatory.

Lastly, since I've gone all out on this post, let me leave you with this last political clip...

Thanks to all those who read this far! Please feel free to post or email me any comments.

Have you voted yet?

I am waiting until election day so I can vote in our club house. Fortunately for me, if it is too stressful I am just steps away from our hot tubs and saunas.

A few weeks ago, I called to see if I could be a pollster (okay, the official title is "pollworker" but I don't like the sound of that!) but ALL the slots in Long Beach (the 5th largest city in CA, 34th largest in the nation - in case you were wondering) were already taken. As a side note, I wasn't "volunteering" because of good will but because it pays well and I thought it might be interesting.

Since I have had some extra time this year, I have really delved into our issues, I mean, propositions. We get an official 143 page voters' guide to read. Crazy, isn't it? I don't remember getting that from the state of GA. Later, I got a supplemental guide (15 pages) and then of course, the sample ballot (65 pages) for my district which includes the LA and Long Beach props. And this is only the official, government, nonpartisan stuff. Phew!

I do know that one relative from a battle ground state
has aready put in her vote...shout out to RF!!

Monday, October 06, 2008

What do you like with your yogurt?

Strawberries, blueberries...sushi?

This restaurant just opened on 2nd Street in Naples.
I haven't had the courage to try it yet!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Susan trains and meets the mayor

A quick shout out to Susan who is training for her upcoming breast cancer walk (there's still time to contribute to her!!!)

The mayor of Las Vegas came up to her and asked if he could have a pic... How cool is that?

Saturday, October 04, 2008

It's a beautiful day to be Living in LBC!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Water is still expensive in Long Beach

As a follow up to my original post, last night around 2:30 am I was awakened to the sound of a tidal wave. Okay, not really. It was just a sprinkler next to my unit where the cap had come off. Water was shooting up like a fountain in Las Vegas. If I had had any, I would have played a Celine Dion song from my deck to make the experience complete for the occasional late night passersby! The good news is that I called security and they were checking it out before I could put on shorts and grab my camera. The bad news is that I didn't do a good job taking a picture, security didn't seem to be concerned "as it is only water" and lastly, my HOA dues are still over $350 a month...

Monday, September 29, 2008

Blast from the past

This pic goes out to my homey in Cerritos, JW...

Fun times in Modesto!! Tru dat.

Ah, thanks!

A cute email "postcard" from my mom...

Savannah 1975

In a birthday card to me, Ruth included a post card that I sent to Grandma from Savannah in 1975. It appears that Ruth wrote the address for me. Ah, a trip to Savannah with no seating charts to write out! Pure bliss. Even though I was only 5 (almost 6 - as back then it was great to be OLDER!!), I can still remember it as one of my favorite vacations ever. It took me a while to decipher my handwriting on the back of the post card. It says:

Dear Grandma I caught many sand dollars Jim got a sunburn on his legs Celine

The drawing appears to be me looking through a window in a brick house. It is a little disturbing as it appears that I am trapped in the house with a steel door (no knob or handle to get in) and only one window. But I appear happy. Maybe it is an artistic interpretation of the house/museum on the front of the post card.
Thanks Ruth for sending this to me!

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Little Mermaid Says:

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Dildo Newfoundland

Here is the last postcard from my parents' trip from Dildo Newfoundland. My Mother writes that the name of the town may have come from the Basques from Bilbao Spain & was somehow changed by the native Indians. I tired to do some online research and found that the name may have come from: Spain or Portugal, or an algonquin tree, or the shape of the headland that forms the harbour. So, there you go. I have no idea. Nice postcard though and supposedly, Dildo is a great place for whale watching.

Here's some more info on Wikipedia:

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Saint-Pierre & Miquelon

Okay. I'll admit that before my parents told me about their trip I had no idea where this was. Of course, I do now!

View Larger Map

Here is the postcard that they sent me from there. It says "ARCHIPEL DE SAINT PIERRE ET MIQUELON - Plongeon sur la rue Abbe Pierre Gervain"

My parents wrote on the postcard that it is the Long Beach of the far North! That it is the same in many way except for the people, language, architecture, money & weather. Guess I'll have to check it out soon!

Lastly, even though I stopped stamp collecting when I was around nine years old, I couldn't help but notice the great stamp on the postcard so I scanned it too...

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Please get the FACTS

As usual I am behind in posts and have a few that I will work on over the next few days. Why am I behind? I have been immersed in all the media coverage of this presidential campaign.
Between being unemployed and worrying about my condo going into foreclosure, I am pretty much a national statistic.

I have friends who feel strongly on all sides of the issues so I will not use this blog to try and sway anyone to my thoughts about the candidates. (However, I will be happy to let you know my thoughts if you email me!!)

What I do want to stress is that no matter which way you end up voting, please take the time to get the true FACTS of the candidates' past records and current platforms. There is a lot of misinformation swirling around out there and some of it is even being propagated by the parties and mainstream media.

One site that I recommend is They are
nonpartisan and nonprofit. They list inaccuracies with both campaigns so no matter which side you are on, here you know you are getting the FACTS. (If you go to the home page today, you will see that the most recent posts are fact checking Republican convention and ads. This is only because it is most recent. Keep scrolling and you will see fact checking for Democrat ads too.)

Again, I have spent a lot of time reading about both sides and am happy to share my thoughts if asked...

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


I just got this postcard today from my parents. Looks like they sent it on the 26 of August. They said they didn't see any icebergs this trip but may go back next year in April when there may be some.
Although icebergs appear gigantic from shore, 7/8 of them remain below the water. Formed of pure ice, their white appearance is due to many tiny air bubbles reflecting white light.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Greek Festival

I just got back from the 59th Greek Festival at the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church behind my condo. Some of my friends came over and we all walked there together. It was fun and cheap so I'll definitely go again next year. Heck, I may go for a few hours tomorrow!

Click here for a slide show that I put together if you are interested. If you hit the little arrows in the bottom right hand corner of the slide, this will open full screen and you can read my witty comments (info on). Hit the arrows again and it returns to this view. Very easy, eh?

Sorry about some of the comments about the dancers while video taping...


A friend of mine has had a tough week or two (I luv ya T!!) and I wanted to do something that would show her that I was thinking about her. So I decided to make cookies for her and her family.

From. Scratch.

I think the last time I turned on my stove was Christmas 2006.

I snapped a few pictures of the process and outcome. No animals were harmed or baked. And if anyone is reading this who ate the cookies, I did thoroughly clean out the stove after my cat sniffed around in it.

Seriously, these were the best cookies I've ever made AND the best oatmeal cookies I've ever tasted. I found the recipe online here if anyone else wants to try them. If you make them, let me know if your prep time is really 10 minutes!!