Saturday, June 16, 2018

Cuban fusion


I discovered a new cafe in Downey—Caña by Tropicana Cafe. It is located on the corner of Firestone and Old River School Road.

20180616_181959-120180616_185453-1They serve Cuban fusion and the menu choices make it really hard to decide what to eat. I ordered a couple of the sliders and a side of yucca fries. Here is a picture of the Ropa Vieja slider with some of my fries. Dinner was amazing.

"I am not a glutton, I am an explorer of food."
~ Irma Bombeck

Friday, June 15, 2018

Instant messaging


On my way home on the 105 freeway, I spotted this message on the SUV in front of me: "Love you dad. Have a great day at work.". What a sweet message for this dad. With this being Father's Day weekend, I thought the message was even more special.

"A father is someone who carries pictures in his wallet where his money used to be."
~ Unknown

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Humans of Downey - Jim (and Andreas)

Jim and Andreas

"I'm glad that I'm a dad. Andreas has brought peace in to my life. My father was always working. My dad immigrated in 1972, my mom came in 1975, and I was born in 1977. The immigrant work ethic was very strong in my family. To get ahead and give the children better than we had meant work, work, work. So, my dad wasn't around very much. Instead, I had my dad and my two uncles as my male role models.

Andreas"I followed in my father's footsteps by choosing to work, work, work. But I don't think that's fair to him, so I have chosen to calm my life down and spend more time with him. Bringing him here to sit and watch him hit golf balls is one way he helps me to be more peaceful. I had to step back and take a look at how I was earning money and see if I could be smarter about it. He is my future and if I want him to be a good person, then I'm going to need to be a role model and a mentor."

~ Jim

"One father is more than a hundred schoolmasters."
~ George Herbert

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Father's Day plans

Birthday table 1_edited

This Sunday is Father's Day. What plans do you have? Does it include the family gathering around a table for a meal? or swimming in the backyard? or a day at the ballpark? I hope your dad feels honored this Sunday whatever you do. Even if it's calling him long distance.

Birthday table 2_editedDon't forget to set a place for your little ones.

"I think my mom put it best. She said, 'Little girls soften their daddy's hearts.'" 
~ Paul Walker

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Looks like California

Warren High native plant garden

In the "not new, but new to me" category is this Native Plant Garden and Murals, created by the Art Club and Environmental Club at Warren High School, back around 2012. (I'm not sure if the "Tree People" on the sign refers to members of the club, or is perhaps the name of the mural behind the sign.)

Warren High native plant gardenThe garden is filled with blooming native plants, to be enjoyed by people and insects alike. Monarch butterflies flitted from bush to bush (although they seemed to delight in avoiding my camera). Bees were doing a lot of flitting, too, but with them the avoidance was on my side.

"Native plants give us a sense of where we are in this great land of ours. I want Texas to look like Texas and Vermont to look like Vermont."
~ Lady Bird Johnson

Monday, June 11, 2018

Make it happen

Warren High think it prove it do it

"Think it." "Prove it." "Do it." These encouraging words are the first thing that students and staff see when they arrive at the front parking lot at Warren High School. Think something up, find a way to show that it works, and then—make it happen!

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Purple power


I always love when the jacaranda trees are in bloom. They look so glorious. They are this big, purple explosion of color. I find myself turning down 5th  St. or Harper Orange Estates, just to see the colors. Today, as we walked to Furman Park, I couldn't resist snapping a picture of the color and the shadows.

20180609_124012-1Of course, as much as I love the incredible purple color, I am thankful I do not have any of these trees close to my house. As you can see, this homeowner is raking the blossoms off her grass, which I have on good authority she does often!

"Trees are the earth's endless effort to speak to the listening heaven."
~ Rabindranath Tagore

Friday, June 8, 2018

End of day


I like the long shadows that come as the sun sets low in the sky.

"Sunsets like childhood are viewed with wonder not just because they are beautiful but because they are fleeting." 
~ Richard Paul Evans

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Will it fit?


I wonder if the construction people were thinking to themselves when they got to this spot to start construction on this building, "Will it fit?" It does fit, but barely. It is one of the charming aspects of the old towns in France, their narrow streets and putting up buildings adjacent to each other.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

French wine vineyards


As we drove in southern France, we saw miles and miles of vineyards. During our travels, we stayed at a bed and breakfast owned by one of these vineyards. They told us that it is illegal to water the vineyards because the plants need to send their roots deep to get water. The average depth of the roots is 60 feet.


They told us about how each plant needs to be trimmed during the season. Only two vines can grow off of a main vine. The other late comers must be snipped off. It is a very time-consuming and passionate affair. But the end result is worth the effort.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

The peaceful path


Last week, Pam wrote about the Memorial Day Ceremony at the Downey Cemetery. While we were there, I couldn't help but appreciate the peaceful feel of the surroundings. The path that led us to the ceremony is curved and shaded with beautiful, mature trees.

There is something calming about walking through the grounds and reading about people who lived before us, many of whom sacrificed so we could have the freedoms we do today.

“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.” 
~ Pericles


Monday, June 4, 2018

Sailing for the little ones


This is the fountain of the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris, France. Every day, small sailboats are put in the water for children to play with. There is usually a good breeze to keep the sails full.


Children have sticks that are provided to capture ships that come close to their spot. They use the sticks also to push the ships out to sea again. They then travel wherever the wind caries them. There are enough children around the fountain that someone will continue the process again.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Roasting on spits


The Downey Greek Food Festival was this weekend. It is amazing to think that this was the 34th year of the festival.

It is always a fun outing, listening to traditional Greek music, watching the performances, and of course, the food. I am always drawn to the lambs roasting on the spits—it makes for such a fun visual. This year, however, I opted to have the pork souvlaki. It was delicious!

How about a Plutarch quote: “Know how to listen and you will profit even from those who talk badly.”

Friday, June 1, 2018

A bridge to nowhere


This bridge, Pont Saint-Bénézet in Avignon, France, was built in the 12th century. It was the first bridge in this area to cross over the Rhône river. It also gave Avignon another way to collect taxes, as each traveler or merchant that passed over and entered the city had to pay a toll.

During a massive flood, the bridge was partially destroyed and abandoned. The city still makes money off of the bridge, though. They charge 11 euros for you to walk on the remaining portion of the bridge. It's a great view of the river. I decided to stay below and capture the sight for free.