Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Cactus Film Fest



Jim and I were going to get some tickets to the Palm Springs Film Festival today but after learning that one of the big hits "Ida" was actually on Netflix and really wondering what to go see we decided we'll try out stuff on Netflix especially foreign films and search around on YouTube.   Some I mention may only be on US Netflix since that's what we're getting right now.

So,  I invite my blog readers and folks on Facebook to post or send me an email about suggestions that I will share on my blog.

Looking forward to your suggestions!

Here are a few on Netflix that we've watched and enjoyed:

Dicte, , Cafe de flore, Violette,
Women on the 6th floor, The French Ministe,
Broadchurch, ,Last Tango in Halifax, In the Loop,
Black Mirror

And some that Netflix thinks I will like:

Two Lives
(Zwei Leben)
2012 NR 1hr 39m
As the European communist bloc is collapsing, Katrine's quiet life in Norway is interrupted by questions about her early years in East Germany.

L'Auberge Espagnole
2002 R 2hr 2m
When a Frenchman signs on to become an exchange student in Spain so he can land a coveted job, his new roommates help him discover how to enjoy life.

(Die verlorene Zeit)
A married woman faces an emotional crisis when she learns that the former lover who rescued her from a concentration camp 30 years earlier is alive.

Last day of 2014 in Palm Springs

Hal Castle,  who lives in Canyon Sands,  took these photos of "our mountain" …wonderful, aren't' they?  The mountain got quite a bit of snow last night.

My photos from the pool area….the real snowy ones are to the left and blocked from my view from the pool.

Monday, December 29, 2014

These boots are made for walking...

Yesterday Grace and Richard were on a hunt for the perfect cowboy boots for Grace.  They found them and celebrated by going out for Mexican food for lunch.  We were going to go out  to Alicante Restaurant to try their paella but we were all a little tired and full and Richard had bought loads of goodies that needed eating up and I had made turkey carcass soup so made a meal of all that.

We watched Johnny Cash at Fulsome prison on YouTube…seemed appropriate after cowboy boot buying.  The night before we watched Into the Wild (we had seen it) since some of it takes place in the Salton Sea.

And time to say good-bye after a wonderful visit.  We're going to miss having you guys around!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Heading out to Bombay Beach today

Grace and Richard had quite a filled day yesterday…along with the Ace Hotel,  they also got to The Crazy Coconut Bar and Grill (Karaoke there) and the Saguaro,  and even took the Buzz shuttle.  That seemed like a lot of fun…lots of friendly tourists.

At the falls on the Tahquitz Canyon hike.

The Ski Inn at Bombay Beach….still the same…. very cool.

Grace added a bill to the collection….

Richard talking to one of the resident old timers…Barbara

Grace played some tunes on the jukebox…Roy Orbison and Patsy Cline just for us.

 Richard hadn't had an In and Out Burger fix for 6 months.  He got addicted when he was working in California.  Unbelievable the number of people there…Saturday night treat for a lot of people.

Friday, December 26, 2014

A leisurely morning….

We all got up rather late this morning.   Grace and Richard had Christmas cake that Grace made and some of the wonderful apple pie Erna brought for dessert last night.  We went a little more traditional.

Grace ready for the hike and wearing the hummingbird necklace we gave her.

Grace came bearing many gifts…wine,  Christmas cake,  wonderful pork jerky,  a CatfĂ© calendar,  and Purdy's chocolates….wow!  Thought I better take this photo before we finish everything….

 Richard and Grace are off to a hike to  Tahquitz Canyon.  They've figured out the bus system.  Pretty good deal.  A dollar and then you can buy a transfer for 25 cents that lasts two hours.  For us,  the senior price is 50 cents.

And we began recycling today thanks to Richard.  I could never find the blue bags anywhere.  Recently, the HOA said we could use regular bags and label them.  Feels like a good way to start the year!

Richard and Grace finished their hike and are now having drinks at the Ace Hotel.  He sent me this photo:

Richard took this photo of a dog that looks like he's driving…he's as assistance dog so was parked in the handicapped space….too funny!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

A great Christmas dinner….

Richard went all out preparing a fabulous Christmas dinner that we all enjoyed immensely.  Great food,  great company….wonderful weather…does it get any better than this!

Merci,  mille fois,  Richard!

 Appie time….

 Richard and Grace

 The empty table…a family tradition.

 The beast…

 The turkey was cooked to perfection.

Erna and Marvin

Christmas morning

Elaine always makes sure we have lots of gifts under the tree and almost all cat related!  As usual,  wonderful and so thoughtful.  We get such a kick out of opening these gifts!  Thank you so much,  dear friend.

Ceramic travel mugs…how cool!  And bookmarks,  a cat book,  a santa bottle cover,  and a bag…perfect now that California bans plastic bags Jan 1.

And for Richard sent included a special spoon since he was doing the cooking and a tie Don would probably wear….it lights up!

 For Richard,  a few crazy socks,  books,  and I was pleased to get a Gastonbury DVD that had Radiohead on it…the headliner when he went.

And my books from Jim….an even two dozen…lots of great titles that I haven't read!

I got Jim a Kindle….one more device for Richard to deal with…ah well...

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Greetings from Palm Springs

Christmas Eve is upon us again.  Richard is doing some preparation for tomorrow's dinner.  He is taking charge of everything….the best Christmas present!

Jim and I are sitting by the fire having a drink and also chatting with Richard…I love these open plans! Jim is going to make spaghetti and then we'll watch A Christmas Carol.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Men in the kitchen…I love it!

Well,  I do have to adapt to this luxury…Richard commented that he now understood what the "peanut gallery" was….moi?  making unwanted comments and advice…surely not!

Dinner finished…now listening to:
The Story of the Goblins Who Stole a Sexton, by Charles Dickens

Dickens wrote this story many years before….the roots of A Christmas Carol.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Woody's tonight...

I was picking up a  couple of grapefruits and this guy was picking up some oranges.  He goes around in this thing…kind of neat.

Tonight..we went went to this very cool hamburger joint come jazz bar…great fun and great food.  Richard had the  idea to get sliders from all six hamburger variations.  The music was great.

Great jazz and great food!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Sunday, December 21, 2014

For Ian

Ian and Binky in their front yard.

Jim’s brother, Ian, passed away at his home last week. His last message to us signed off " Ian, and currently sleeping in my bed, Binky". We feel comforted to know he was able to return to his beloved cat and home in Cordova Bay after being very ill last April.  Andreas, his landlord, told us Ian looked like he was enjoying life until the very last moment and that he had recently helped him with some computer questions. The best present we ever gave Ian was a computer and once he learned it he loved downloading programs, films, and music and communicating with folks far and wide.

Ian was a unique individual with an amazing wit and sense of humour. We have shared many belly laughs with him. Richard had many wild and crazy times with “uncle” over the years.

Richard had a really good visit with Ian in Victoria in the summer and Ian came for an overnight visit with us in Vancouver in September on a beautiful sunny day so we all parted with good memories.

Ian did not want a service but liked the idea of people who knew him to raise a glass in his memory.

To Ian....

Ian doing a crossword in the sunshine on our balcony in Vancouver in September.

His musician friend,  Sky Ladd,  sent this little video of Ian doing a Mr. Bean impression.  He loved all things Bean!  From Sky:
I spoke to him on the phone a week ago and he was in such good spirits, talking about many things, including the fact that Richard would be with you guys...of course sharing his love of instrumental music...telling stories about Binky...and also expressing happiness about a great outfit he had managed to find at the Sally Ann.  

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Las Casuelas today

Richard loved our "rockers" too!  Fun music for everyone,  good food,  good drinks,  great weather…what is there not to like.

A couple of cool dogs were also enjoying the scene.

 Loads of little birds getting up close today.

 I was introduced to "Lilly"