Friday, December 29, 2006

DOWNEY ROSE FLOAT 2007 ...update

January 1, 2007. I did not make it back to take more pictures but seeing the float on TV, it was more beautiful than I imagined it would be. AND, it won a trophy, I think Founders. Congratulations Downey Rose Float Association!

Today I went to Downey and worked on their Rose Parade Float for 2007. The theme of their float this year is Springtime Treasures and above is the concept painting.

This is a view of the front of the float (I think it's the front). It is in an old warehouse to protect it from the elements. Some of the birds, flowers and butterflies are off the float to be decorated.

Next to the warehouse in a large tent the flowers are kept. A few people were working on cutting up certain flowers to be used as cover material.

Here are some flowers being kept in water that will be placed on the float tomorrow. That will be the big flower placing day.

Still more flowers. The colors were so vibrant.

The roses were still wrapped up. There were a couple of hundred bouquets in many colors in one section of the tent.

Outside were some large pretend flowers that had been covered with rice, cut up yellow straw flowers and some seed that was orange. They were outside to dry and to be out of the way. It can be very crowded in the warehouse.

These girls were from a Girl Scout Troop from Whittier/La Habra. I was helping them for awhile placing the black seed on the wings of the butterfly.

This butterfly had the black seed on. I later helped with white ground up rice for the white part, yellow cut up straw flower for the yellow part and some orange seeds for the orange part. I left before the blue cut up flower was applied so I am not sure what kind of flower they were using there.

This bird was being painted so people would know where to place the flowers and seeds later. He was in half so parts of him could be reached better. I am not sure what they use to keep him together.

This was interesting. I had seen people outside cutting up pineapple and letting the outside skin dry in the sun. Later I saw they were using it for the bottom of this flower (I think they are supposed to look like something called Thistle). There will be three of these on one end and two or three on the other. The men putting these on said the spikey part of the pineapple didn't bother them but the glue they were using was very messy and hard to work with. Think of drippy Caro syrup and you would have an idea of what it looked like.

Sometimes parts of the float are hard to reach. These young people had put seeds on the top of this flower and now they have to get underneath and put seed there too.

I will not be able to go back tomorrow but I may go back Sunday afternoon. Most of the work will be done then and I can get pictures of the finished float. It is scheduled to leave the warehouse in Downey and be moved to Pasadena sometime between 5 and 7 PM that day. If it leaves at 7 PM it will be too dark to take pictures, I think.

I do not have photos from Christmas Joy to post yet, but when I get them I will.

Friday, December 01, 2006


My church, Bethany Church, in Long Beach is putting on a big Christmas production called Christmas Joy - The Gift. This is the 32nd year it has been presented. Every year it is called Christmas Joy but the story line is different. Also every year the play takes place in the late 1800' in a village.

Because I play in the hand bell choir there, I am automatically in Christmas Joy. We play for the prelude and also we play one piece for the last scene. We walk in from the back aisle playing and continue up on stage. The number is Ding Dong Merrily on High. Let
me tell you, it has not been easy getting this in my head but I have done it!

I also decided to be an extra. I have no speaking part, nor do I sing. I appear in the general store shopping. I walk across the stage into the dress shop. I stand out front of the dress shop and listen to "carolers", I walk across the stage again, I sit on a bench like I am in church, etc.

The set was begun in November and the two side buildings rotate. It is all very well done.

The drama cast and singers have been practicing since August. Us extra's were brought in to practice the middle of November. Last night was the final, big rehearsal where we all were in full costume, hair and makeup. Paul came to take pictures but the batteries on the camera were low so he didn't get many. I am very made up, makeup wise, in
these pictures because stage lights will wipe you out and the makeup needs to be heavy. So I look somewhat overdone in these pictures with a regular flash on me.

Our first performance is tomorrow and it's free. We have two performances tomorrow and Sunday and then the same the following weekend. Doors open at 3 PM and 6:30 PM for the prelude.

In a couple of weeks I hope to update this blog on how it went.

My cape is reversable. When I am playing hand bells for the prelude and then the final act I will wear the plaid side out as in the above photo. For the play, as an extra, I will wear the solid color out.
I am wearing a hoop skirt under all that fabric. My purse is the plaid fabric. A wonderful woman at the church made my costume and a costume for a new choir member. I made my hat and purchased the curls hanging down.

This is a scene during the "church service" part of the play. We extras are sitting on benches and standing. That's me in the front turning and looking at another extra like we are commenting on what is happening in the play. We are supposed to be animated. This picture was very dark and red in color. I took it into Microsoft Office Picture Manager and was able to lighten it up and also get the colors to come out. I'm very proud of myself :)

Added 12/3: Our first two performances on Saturday the 2nd went very well. A few miscues here and there but nothing the audience would notice. The handbells were a little shaky for the afternoon performance but we were much better in the evening. I think as we continue we will get stronger. I am having loads of fun. I love to play dress up!

Sunday, November 12, 2006


I can not believe that I have not updated since August. Where has the time gone?!

What have I been up to since then? Well, mostly work. School began in September and this year there are 22 students in our class. Quite a leap from the 14 we had last year. I am working for a "new to our school" teacher. She has been teaching for over 30 years but mostly up in Northern California. We are also using a new curriculum for our reading, phonics, spelling, etc. It has been quite the adjustment for us. My teacher was using this curriculum at her former school which has been a good thing. But the parents are not used to it, yet, and it is very paper intensive. Lot and lots of papers to grade and send home.

We now have DSL!!! Just got it hooked up so maybe I'll be posting more. It won't take so long to download photos.

Jennifer has a job. It is part time and she works for a place called Creative Cakery in Long Beach. Her first use of her first paycheck was getting a Disneyland Annual Pass. Now that she can afford her own, I will also be getting one. And today she is purchasing a used car. It belonged to a woman from her church and is two years old and in excellent condition, a Toyota Matrix which is just what she wanted.

Speaking of church, Paul and I are now going to a church closer to our home. Jennifer has decided to stay with the "old" church as she is very involved there and all her friends are there. Paul and I are now going to Bethany Church in Long Beach. I have begun playing in their hand bell choir which is much more intensive than my other church. Playing in this group means I am automatically in the big Christmas production called Christmas Joy. Besides playing for the prelude and the closing song I have also signed on to be an "extra". The dress for this is costumes from the late 1800's and so a woman from the church has made my costume for me with fabric which I purchased. I have also purchased a hoop skirt and a hair piece of curls. When I get it all together and put it in for our first rehearsal in costume, I will take a picture and post it. Setting the stage and decorating the church has already begun. Paul, because he is not afraid of heights, has been asked to put up the lights on the stage buildings (when said buildings are completed). This will be the biggest play I have ever been in. I have done much smaller things for smaller churches and I love to act.

So, that brings us up to date ... but I guess the most important news is that at my six month check up on Friday, I was again cancer free. So it has now been over 5 years! I am a survivor! I now only have to see the doctor once a year and I will stop taking Arimidex in January.

Monday, August 14, 2006


So I have been trying to cram some last minute summer vacation outings in these last few weeks. I am on Jury Duty call in this week and so can't plan any trips now. Last week I visited Universal Studios, the Los Angeles Library for a tour and The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. Photographs were not allow at the Fashion Institute due to copy rights. They have a display right now of costumes from TV shows. It was a really good display. Here is a link to their site

This display runs until September 9th.

After seeing this display I took the DASH bus up to the library. They have daily docent tours and even though I was born and raised in Los Angeles and have been to this library many times I thought I could learn some things from a tour.

This library was built in 1927. Over the years some of the old art deco designs were lost behind paneling and fluorescent lights. In 1987 someone deliberately set two fires. The library was closed for several years while it underwent serious repairs and an addition was put on the East side of the library. During this time it was decided to bring the library back to its former 1927 glory and many ceilings and paintings were restored. Also original lights such as the globe below were put back. Many lighting fixtures were reproduced. I have used the descriptions from the library web site on some of the photos I took.

The chandelier was designed by Goodhue Associates, modeled by Lee Lawrie and manufactured by the Thomas Day Company of Los Angeles. In the 1980s, Historical Arts and Casting of Salt Lake City restored the Globe Chandelier. Composed of cast bronze, it weights one ton and is 9 feet in diameter. Its' original cost was $40,000.

The Chandelier is part of a model of the solar system. A translucent blue-glass globe with hand-painted continents hangs in the middle. Planets and a crescent moon can be found in the chains that suspend the globe and the sunburst on the ceiling directly above the globe mirrors the sunburst on the pyramid top of the Library outside. Signs of the zodiac ring the globe along with 48 lights around the rim, which represent the 48 United States in 1926 when the building opened.

This is one of the rooms in the "old" part of the library. The lighting and the paintings on the wall are very beautiful.

The new part of the library is on four levels. Two above ground and two below. This shot was taken from the bottom level looking up. This new wing is called The Bradley Wing named after a former major of Los Angeles.

In 1987, when workmen began restoration of the tiled pyramid atop the Library, they discovered the original finial - a golden hand, entwined by the Serpent of Knowledge, holding the Torch of Learning - was weakened with age. So a exact copy is now on top of the building. Sculpted by Lee Lawrie of terra cotta. It is an illustration of Bertram Goodhue's theme of Central Library - “The Light of Learning.”

This was taken outside looking up at the top of the library and the stone figures on the side of the building.

A close up of the top shows the copy of the hand of knowledge as noted above.

Now, on to Universal Studios. This trip happened earlier in the week. I went on several rides and also the Studio Tour. There were a number of TV shows in production.

This is a shot of the famous Psycho House from Alfred Hitchcock's movie of the same name.

They have the set of War Of The Worlds up and it is very elaborate. A plane has crashed in the middle of a neighborhood and broken in half.

Normally the tram would turn left here and travel up and around to view a cabin and a wide area that can be flooded to form a lake. A television show was filming at the cabin and so we could not go this way.

This is a view of one of the streets with some kleig lights off to the side.

And finally a view of the courthouse used in a current TV show (sorry, can't remember the name, think it is Crossing Jordan). But what this area is really famous for Is Back To The Future. Just think of a clock tower and the broken clock.

So now I sit and wait to see if I report for Jury Duty and also start to get ready for school to being in September.

Saturday, August 05, 2006


The Black Pearl from the Pirates of the Carribean movies is docked in San Pedro. It has been there since the middle of July and I understand it will be leaving the end of next week (though that is not a firm fact). The area where it is docked is under very high security. You can not get anywhere near it. You can see the masts from the boat area nearby. But one can go to Cabrillo Beach and see it across the bay. That is what my brother and I did today. We drove to San Pedro and parked in the Ports 'O Call parking lot and took the Red Line Trolley down to the Marina 22nd Street stop. From there a shuttle bus is provided to Cabrillo Beach. We walked on to the beach and I shot some movies and still pictures. The lighting was not good and some of my close ups blurred. But it was still fun to see. From there we went to have lunch at a little beach type lunch/bar place and then walked around Ports 'O Call. That is really run down and not how we remembered it from years ago. After we left there we went over to a Fire Department Museum. It was really interesting. We had a good time and it was nice and cool down there.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


This past Saturday a group of us went into Hollywood to the El Capitan theatre to see Pirates of the Caribbean 2. What fun. I went down about an hour earlier than the rest of the group and met my brother at the theatre and purchased the tickets. That way we were assured of getting them in case it sold out. And it did, sell out that is. So Bruce and I went and got a bite to eat at McDonalds and then came back and started the line. When Jennifer and her friends arrived we had the tickets and a place in line for them.

Above left is the marquee all decorated for Pirates. Below is the organist. They have a pipe organ that is played for twenty minutes before the start of the show. This guy is awesome and for this engagement is dressed in pirate clothing. He plays all Disney music. For the last number he and the organ go down into the stage. It is really something.
Afterward you can walk around the lobby area and see props used in the movie. They also have props and costumes in the lower level. In the lobby they have a Captain Jack Sparrow look-a-like and of course Jennifer had to have her picture taken with him. I also took a picture of all the girls with him but unfortunately it blurred.

Outside while waiting in line they have some pirate performers come by to keep you amused while you wait. This lady was on slits. Her ship is made from balloons as are the swords. Here she is with Bruce.

My next adventure was this past Tuesday. I went into Los Angeles on the Blue Line Metro Rail and then caught a shuttle bus (call DASH) over to Exposition Park where the Museum of Natural History is located. The first Tuesday of every month the admission is free. They had an exhibit on the Bog People that I wanted to see. Without going into a long explanation, here is a link to what this is all about:

After viewing this and walking around the museum a little bit I went over to the Science Center and looked around and then over to The Rose Garden. This garden has been there since the early 1900's. There is a beautiful fountain in the middle of the garden.

This is a view looking toward the West from the middle of the garden toward the old section of the Natural History Museum. This part was built in 1910, the same year my parents were born. As a matter of fact, Exposition Park was where my parents hung out as teenagers and played baseball. My Mom and Dad met in this park.

This is my artistic shot from under the arches of the old part of the building.

Also going on is a butterfly exhibit. For a couple of dollars you could go into this outdoor mesh building and watch the butterflies fly all over. It is very neat to just stand or sit and watch them flutter all over. Sometimes they will land on you.

So there you have it. An update, finally. My next adventure will be to go to San Pedro where the Black Pearl from Pirates of the Caribbean is docked while undergoing changes for more filming for part 3 of the movie. They say you can see it very clearly from a nearby beach. I will, of course, take pictures.


I decided after seeing other peoples templates for their blogs that I would switch to this one. The only problem is that my colored text did not show up. I have attempted to change the color to black on the ones on the front page. In doing this I accidentily lost most of post under the Revlon Run Walk blog. From now on I will just post in black or as it turns out automatically, white.

I keep forgetting to take my camera to events I have been to. I did go to Exposition Park in Los Angeles yesterday and took some pictures which I will try to post about. I have to do that on my other computer, though, as that is where the pictures are (long boring story, so I won't bore you :)

Also I am hoping to go see The Black Pearl sometime soon and take pictures. It is the sailing ship belong to Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Carribbean movies. It is docked in San Pedro and clearly visible from Cabrillo Beach. They are doing work on it before more filming is done for the third installment of the movie.

Speaking of Pirates I did go see this movie last Saturday with my brother, my daughter and five of her friends. We went into Hollywood to the El Capitan theater. They did a wonderful job of dressing the set and there was even an actor there dressed as Captain Jack. I have a good picture of Jennifer with him. She will probably kill me when I post it, but tough cookies :)

Saturday, June 17, 2006


Yesterday was the last day of school and it was also Catherines last day of teaching at our school and here in the United States. She and her husband have accepted a position teaching international business people's children in an American school in China! They leave for an orientation in New York this week for two weeks and then leave for China the end of July with a start date of August 18.

Yesterday was very hard for everyone saying goodbye. The students and their parents were wonderful and Catherine got some very practical gift cards. The last day of school went so smoothly and it was good for the final time.

Today was a luncheon in her honor which was very nice. There was no crying today, just a good time of sharing and laughing.

Here are some photos I took of the event. In the top picture, Catherine is the one in the middle. I am on the left and the other First Grade Aide and my partner Kathy is on the right.

This is Joyce and Sue. They helped with putting all the food together, setting the tables and clearing up and washing the dishes.

This is Catherine with "Grandpa" Dick. He is the main maintance man at the school and everyone just loves him.
This is another teacher, Lisa, and her daughter Stephanie who had Catherine as her teacher when she was in elementary school
Here is a mother/daughter teaching team. Sandy on the left teaches one of the kindergarten classes and Tracy on the right teaches one of the fourth grade classes.
The gentleman on the left is Tom our music teacher. He writes his own music and wrote a special song which he performed just for Catherine. The woman in the back is a very active parent at our school and she helps in the athletic department. The young woman on the right is our band director.
Here Catherine is pointing out to Stephanie where she will be living in China.
This is our administrator Pat with his wife
One of our Third Grade teachers, Karen with her son Jonathan who also had Catherine as a teacher when he was at our school.
Roy is the one who planned this whole event and Catherine was given flowers.

It was a lovely event and a good chance to say good-bye in a relaxed, casual manner.

I will miss Catherine so much!

(I had two more pictures, one of the cake and one of Catherine with her husband, but I am not able to get them on the blog. It tells me they have successfully published but they do not show up. Sorry about that)

Sunday, May 14, 2006


Yesterday was the 16th annual Revlon Run-Walk for Women's Cancer in Los Angeles. This was my second year participating. The pictures that I have posted for this blog are from last year's event. I didn't feel like carrying my camera with me and frankly everything is just the same. In looking at the above picture just imagine that I am wearing a purple shirt instead and that the survivors hat is red. Wearing red and purple made me feel like I was part of the Red Hat Society!!! Revlon gives everyone a T-Shirt but this year Curves Corp. also made available to the Curves clubs in the Los Angeles Basin a free T-Shirt. They were dark purple and across the front in white it said Curves Cares for Women Revlon Run Walk L.A. May 13, 2006. What was nice about this is that there were lots of other Curves Clubs there and we could see each other on the course and talk to each other. I thought it was a great idea and I applaud Curves for doing this. We had a small group from our Curves. Unfortunately our new owner just was not on the ball with the event this year. I may take over organizing it next year so we can have a full team. We would also do a fund raiser in the club with donations and sell raffle tickets. I have big plans for next year! Something else I and a few others did differently this year was to take public transportation. I got up at 4:45 AM (yawn) and met the others in front of Curves at 5:30. Then we drove to the Del Amo Blue Line Station to catch the 6:09 AM train (which was on time!). We got off at the Pico Station and walked one block over to Staples Center and caught the free%2

Well, I lost the rest of this post while editing the color of the print. Seeing as how few people read this blog I am not going to try and recreate it. I will just soldier on with the new posts.