Saturday, September 29, 2018

Reach for the sun


This Thai basil is reaching for the sun. Working outside with my plants is the way I relax. I putter around the yard, snipping and pruning, There is something peaceful and calming about watching the bees move around the blossoms and working alongside them, smelling the strong basil smell.

"Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us."

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Calvary Chapel Car Show 2018 part 2


This is Daryl standing by his 1955 Chevy. Daryl used to race this beautiful hot car, but he has since calmed it down a little so that now he can take it for a lovely drive on normal streets. Learn about the 1955 Chevy and how it was "considered a huge turning point for the manufacturer and a major success" here.

Did you ever ride in one?

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Calvary Chapel Car Show 2018 part 1

Steves 1970 Olds

This is Steve next to his custom 1970 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser with a 455 cubic inch engine. The original owners were his grandparents. Steve still takes it out cruising. He was showing it off at the Calvary Chapel Car Show on Saturday, September 15.

1970 Olds engine"She had a 455 rocket
The biggest block alive
Couldn't hardly wait just to take my turn
She was made for the straight aways
She grew up hating Chevrolets
She's a rocket
She was made to burn"

from Kathy Mattea's "455 Rocket"

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

More carnival


Carnivals are fun places. They come into town and kids can't wait until it is time to go and ride the rides and play the games.

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”
~ Helen Keller, The Open Door


Monday, September 24, 2018


Shoe Palace

There's an eye-catching mural on Firestone Blvd. now. An athlete, his body only partially visible, holds a basketball in the palm of his hand. Since this basketball fills much of the building's wall, it certainly grabs your attention.

Shoe PalaceThis building has long been dedicated to sports. For many years, it was the home of Russell's Bike Shop. Now, it's home to Shoe Palace, which sells sports shoes.

Josh welcomed us into the store. And so did the cozy sitting area just inside, where you can relax and rest your weary feet while you try on some new shoes.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Carnival at Warren High


This weekend there was a carnival at Warren High School. Sunday evening the crowds had thinned but all the rides were still running.

IMG_6627-1The idea of riding this roller coaster would be terrifying. I do not do well upside down on a ride where I have no control

"Happiness is a carnival game. It's never as easy as it looks, but the dumb ones always seem to be walking around with a big stuffed animal."
~ Dov Davidoff

Friday, September 21, 2018

Locks of love again

Downey International Food Festival 2018

In my travels, I've seen these "locks of love" on bridges in international locations (Paris, St. Petersburg). So it is fitting that we should have some locks of love at this year's International Food & Music Festival.

Of course, there's no river in which to throw away the key. And I'm not sure that couples came prepared with locks that carried their names. But it's a fun idea anyway.

Downey International Food Festival 2018

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Humans of Downey - Pete


"My first truck was a 1998 Peterbilt 377. It cost me $15,000. It was a faded burgundy color, but the paint on the roof was so badly faded that I had to use Rust-Oleum high gloss black paint and apply it with a roller. I buffed out the paint myself. The whole truck was such a mess, I just started at the bottom and worked my way up. I cleaned it up as well as I could and was using it to transport cars within a month. If the truck had been in good shape when I bought it, it would have gone for $125,000. I kept it for a year and then sold it to purchase a 2013 Peterbilt 389.

"Eventually I sold that one and then bought this stock Peterbilt, which I have modified to look like it does today. I think it helps me to get more jobs. It's like going in for an interview in a coat and tie instead of shorts and a T-shirt. My truck and the pride I take in its upkeep impress potential clients.

"My dad was a truck driver and he put a lot of pride in his work. Often, he would take me out on runs. We would go from Long Beach to Phoenix, up to Las Vegas, and then back home. He let me clean his truck and work on it to make it look and feel better. I was make to drive a truck."

~ Pete

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Humans of Downey - Kristen

Jamie and Kristen 2

"I'm like everyone else because I have a family that I love and want to take care of and do everything I can for them.

"My uniqueness comes in that I have a 12-year-old son that I met when he was one year old. I instantly fell in love with him. People that I've talked with tell me that it's not always easy to have a good relationship right off the bat. To us, it came naturally. And now, we're just one big happy family. So, even though my blood doesn't flow in his veins, I love him. He is my son."

~ Kristen

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

What does Downey have?

McDonalds 65 years with Chris Nichols

"Paris has the Eiffel Tower. New York has the Empire State Building. What does Downey have? The world's oldest McDonald's!" So says Charles Phoenix (below in the hat), American humorist, historian, and author of Addicted to Americana. Phoenix and Chris Nichols (above), columnist at LA Magazine, were on hand to celebrate the 65th birthday of our unique Speedee and McDonald's in August (while DDP was on vacation).

Closed and nearly gone at one time, the building is restored and operational now, and even has a drive-through lane to help it stay competitive with the newer McDonald's down the street.

Happy belated birthday McDonald's!

McDonalds 65 years

Monday, September 17, 2018

Righteous and the Wicked


Another one of the bands who performed at the International Food and Music Festival in Downey was Righteous and the Wicked—a Red Hot Chili Peppers tribute band.

20180915_190755I just could not get enough of the stuffed animal pants.

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” 
~ Plato

Saturday, September 15, 2018

International Food & Music Festival


Tonight was Downey's International Food & Music Festival. There was food from local restaurants and food trucks, craft beer and wine garden, DJ, live entertainment, on three stages, balloon artists, caricature artists, photo booth, henna artists, face painters, and more.


My favorite group this year was Masanga Marimba. They play music from Zimbabwe and more. They were awesome and fun to listen to.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Now open

New Downey Starbucks

I don't even like coffee. But I'm still excited at the opening of a new Starbucks within walking distance of my home. (I like their hot chocolate.)

According to the Downey Patriot's initial report last year, "the Starbucks will 'bring liveliness to the southwest corner of Florence Avenue and Paramount Boulevard, that does not currently exist in the area.' ...[T]he new café will benefit the entire shopping center...Traffic in the intersection will not be impacted, city officials said."

Well, we'll see about the traffic. Meanwhile, I'm enjoying my hot chocolate!

New Downey Starbucks

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Humans of Downey - Jamie

Jamie and Kristen 1

"I am like everybody else in that I am kindhearted and I think everyone wants to be kindhearted. I want to be kindhearted to everyone that needs my help. If you have a flat tire on the side of the road, need help with your bags, need help crossing the street, someone's car is stuck and they need it pushed out of the way, I will probably get out and help.

"At age 6, my family immigrated here from El Salvador. The reason we left El Salvador was because of the civil war going on there. So, when we came here, I grew up appreciating everything here and what this country offers. I appreciated what you could make of yourself and all the opportunities available. I think I am unique because I truly appreciate everything I have including this country because of what it has done for me and my family."


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Just in time to visit

Kaiser gardens 1

This tranquil setting was disturbed yesterday by an individual that thought he wasn't waited on fast enough at a Kaiser outpatient clinic. You can read about the incident here. This park-like setting is mostly used by the Kaiser staff to relax or walk and by visitors while they're waiting for things to happen inside.

My timing was impeccable yesterday. I entered as the last person they let into the hospital before it was on lockdown. I came to visit a friend that is a patient in the main hospital. When I got to his floor, I had to be escorted through locked doors to get to his room. Once there, we were told not to leave the room until the "all clear" was given.

So Richard and I talked for 30 minutes. His wife and children called to see if he was alright. Then his mom called to make sure he was alright. After an hour of all that talking plus his medication, he fell asleep. So, for the next hour and a half I read, watched the construction out the window, and waited for the "all clear." A little after 2:30, a staff member announced that the Downey Police had given the "all clear" and we could leave. When I and others got down to the main floor, the manager in charge of the main door hadn't been told of the "all clear" and she wasn't letting us out. That lasted about one minute. A large crowd was coming from outside to get back to work and visit patients and they had gotten the "all clear." I went home and had some lunch.

Kaiser gardens 2

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Good start to the day


I like eating dinner outside but I love eating breakfast outside.

The morning was quiet, except for the birds who were making sing-song sounds in the trees around me. The sun was warm and the light breeze was cool. It was a perfect way to start my day.

“The sun does not shine for a few trees and flowers, but for the wide world’s joy.” 
~ Henry Ward Beecher

Monday, September 10, 2018

Eggs of many colors

Farmer's market eggs

The color of an egg is determined by the genetics of the hens. The breed of the hen indicates what color eggs she produces. Of course, none of this affects the taste of these eggs for sale at the weekly farmers market. So what makes many-colored eggs so much more appealing?

Saturday, September 8, 2018

I'm still standing


I think it is so interesting that builders can leave up two walls and completely reconstruct a home, but because it technically has part of the original structure left, it will be considered a remodel versus a new build.

According to Zillow, this home was originally built in 1927 and was a total of 824 square feet—the last official remodel was in 1930. It is probably time for a facelift!

20180908_164543"May your home always be too small to hold all of your friends."
~ Unknown

Friday, September 7, 2018

Anticipation is keepin' me waitin'

Stonewood Cinnabon

Cinnamon rolls. The sight and smell of them from the Cinnabon kiosk in the center of Stonewood Center made my mouth water and next thing I knew, I was ordering several for my breakfasts the following week.

Stonewood CinnabonCinnabon was started in 1985 by a father and son on a quest for the perfect cinnamon roll. With a combination of Makara cinnamon, fresh-baked dough, and Ooey-Gooey™ cream cheese frosting, they found the combination that made the rolls a success.

I enjoyed every bite!

"Pleasure is found first in anticipation, later in memory."
~ Gustave Glaubert

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Road rage results

memorial at fense

This makeshift memorial is for a driver that was involved in an episode of road rage. According to a neighbor, the car came down Alameda Street, it crashed into a parked car, flipped over, and came to rest after striking this block and iron fence. He didn't know if the driver was the victim or perpetrator.

I remember a cartoon we watched in driver's training in high school starring Walt Disney's Goofy. As a pedestrian, Goofy was mild-mannered and congenial. But once he got behind the wheel of a car, he became incensed with power. He alone had the right of way and every other driver and pedestrian needed to get out of his way or suffer the consequences.

Do you see this out on the road?

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

A meal as big as he is

squirrel on fense

I heard some chattering in my backyard recently and when I looked out the back door I saw this squirrel chewing on an avocado almost as big as he was. He ate for a few more minutes and then dropped it on the ground. He didn't bother to throw his leftovers in the trash.

I googled "squirrels in downey" and found this interesting article about a transplanted squirrel species, the Eastern fox squirrel, that is affecting the native Western gray squirrel population. I think I'm harboring a member of the invasion army.

“Sitting under a tree in a park in the summer, listening to birds and squirrels chirping while reading a good book is priceless.”
~ Charmaine J. Forde

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Don't make me boycott CVS


Question:  Have you shopped at CVS? What is up with the receipts?

This past weekend I went to CVS. I bought one item. I needed a battery for my car key fob. The receipt I received was more than half the length of my body.

I am not alone. In doing a little research, I found a Jimmy Kimmel  Live commentary on the length of the receipts at CVS.

My question now is:  Have any of you ever used one of the coupons you received on the CVS receipt?

Monday, September 3, 2018

National Night Out

Downey Night Out police horses

Back in August, Downey celebrated National Night Out with a variety of activities at the Civic Center. This was the first National Night Out for the Downey Police Department’s mounted unit, which is overseen by Captain Mark McDaniel and Detective Paul Hernandez. Mark and Paul, along with their equine partners “Captain” and “Coqueta,” posed patiently for me.

In actual practice, Captain and Coqueta don't actually do much policing. They get to come out for events like this, where they are admired and patted by both adults and kids.

In another area, the Downey Police Explorers fingerprinted kids for a National Child ID kit. Nearby, a Downey motorcycle officer showed a young girl how to use a radar gun to determine if a driver is speeding. Lots of other activities and freebies made this a fun night for Downey families.

Downey Night Out Explorers kids fingerprintingDowney Night Out speed gun

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Kids' Workshop


It is September and we are back!

I love that Home Depot has Kids' Workshops every month. This month I happened upon the projects in action.