Tag Archives: travel

FPQ74: The Reopening

Fandango’s provocative question

Fandango provocatively asks…

Which pre-pandemic activities are you ready to resume (or have you already resumed)? Which, if any, pre-virus activities are you likely to continue to avoid?

I have been going into my office a couple times per week and am totally fine with resuming a full-time schedule. There are only a few of us in a large suite and we hardly get any visitors. I will likely bring my own lunch so as not to deal with the cafe.

I’ve already been to my dentist for a normal cleaning and X-rays. I felt perfectly safe. They took my temperature as I came in and everyone was masked. I would also be okay with going to a regular doctor, if necessary.

When I grocery shop or go into other crowded public places, I wear a mask, even if it’s not required. I plan to continue doing this indefinitely. It’s uncomfortable, but I think it’s worth it. 😷

As I mentioned, I’ve visited my family in LA and have had a socially distant BYO picnic with friends. I’d probably be okay with outdoor dining at a regular restaurant. But maybe not… can’t predict how crowded it might get.

I want to get my hair cut and colored, but my daughter talked me out of it. I guess I can wait or figure out some DIY alternative.

I want to visit my older daughter in NorCal, but I’m definitely not ready to deal with either airports or flying. I could drive, but that’s a huge PITA. We shall see… 😞

While I find it enjoyable to hear the sounds of people having fun at our community pool, I’m not ready to join them. Not that I was a pool person in the first place. We also have a great gym though, but I’m not eager to go back there either. I’ll be passing up all peopley events for the foreseeable future, such as fairs or festivals or concerts or movies or even (my favorite) game nights with a bunch of people touching stuff.

Not worth the risk.

Roulette

~*~

Images from Fandango and Pexels.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

5 Things [I Miss During Lockdown]

Ticket to Ride New York

1. I miss going to work in my office every day. I’m one of those rare souls who dislikes working from home. I don’t like to slob around in grungy clothes, graze at the fridge all day, and procrastinate until I end up doing my work late at night. So annoying! Not to mention all the noise from gardeners, cats, etc. I like to work at work.

2. I miss playing Ticket to Ride, my favorite board game. Other games are doable over Zoom (not that I like Zoom that much, different issue), but you really need to play TTR in person. I could go on indefinitely with remote games… except for the loss of TTR.

3. I miss being able to grab a coffee in a Starbucks (or wherever) and sit for a few minutes while zoning out with my phone… or even having lunch somewhere by myself at a little table and reading on my phone or gazing out the window. I guess we can start doing this again, but I’m not inclined to expose myself to germs for no reason. It just seems foolish.

4. I miss being able to fly up to Northern California to see my daughter and her hubby, and I don’t feel comfortable flying yet or going through an airport. Maybe I’ll drive up at some point, though that’s no fun at all. Seven hours on the road each way, gah.

5. I miss being able to hang out with my younger daughter in Los Angeles and her family, go to the park, or grab lunch, whatever. I can see them now, but it’s still pretty limited.

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

I don’t remember where I grabbed this TTR image. How are we supposed to keep track of all the images floating around in our library?

Written for Dr. Tanya’s #5Things Prompt.

SLS ~ Location

Song Lyric Sunday

Jim Adams hosts our wonderful Song Lyric Sunday and today he’s given us a different type of prompt. We’re to find a song about our hometown or a city/place we vibe to. I was born in Sleepy Hollow, NY and moved around a lot (a lot!). I don’t feel connected to New York any longer. Sometimes I talk about Chicago, but I haven’t visited since I left in 1983. I liked Sedona, Arizona and Portland, Oregon, but I can’t really say right now I feel anything that special toward them. I thought about this assignment quite a bit and concluded that after all these years I have finally become a California girl! I don’t want to be anywhere else. 💖

So, it is appropriate that my song for today is not only my favorite song about California but also one of my favorite songs generally! It would be a disservice to post a few tidbits about this great piece of music, so I encourage you to visit this link and read the entire article.

Hotel California

On a dark desert highway
Cool wind in my hair
Warm smell of colitas
Rising up through the air
Up ahead in the distance
I saw a shimmering light
My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim
I had to stop for the night
There she stood in the doorway
I heard the mission bell
And I was thinkin’ to myself
‘This could be heaven or this could be hell
Then she lit up a candle
And she showed me the way
There were voices down the corridor
I thought I heard them say
Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely place (such a lovely place)
Such a lovely face
Plenty of room at the Hotel California
Any time of year (any time of year)
You can find it here
Her mind is Tiffany-twisted
She got the Mercedes Benz, uh
She got a lot of pretty, pretty boys
That she calls friends
How they dance in the courtyard
Sweet summer sweat
Some dance to remember
Some dance to forget
So I called up the Captain
“Please bring me my wine”
He said, “We haven’t had that spirit here since 1969”
And still those voices are calling from far away
Wake you up in the middle of the night
Just to hear them say
Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely place (such a lovely place)
Such a lovely face
They livin’ it up at the Hotel California
What a nice surprise (what a nice surprise)
Bring your alibis
Mirrors on the ceiling
The pink champagne on ice
And she said, “We are all just prisoners here of our own device”
And in the master’s chambers
They gathered for the feast
They stab it with their steely knives
But they just can’t kill the beast
Last thing I remember
I was running for the door
I had to find the passage back
To the place I was before
“Relax”, said the night man
“We are programmed to receive
You can check out any time you like
But you can never leave”

~*~

Image credit to Jim Adams.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Make Me A Sandwich

Yummy veggie sandwich

This is the yummy veggie sandwich I used to get at our office building café BC. How I miss it… and my office! I’m one of those odd people who like working in an office every day. And I liked going to school way back when too. 📚

At first, I was gonna riff on the whole “sand witch” thing, but a billion people got there first. I hate when that happens. Which it always does. Instead, I will reminisce about the time that I actually got out of bed to make a guy a sandwich and he complained later that I hadn’t baked him a lasagna. True story for the #paulacanpickem file.

Anyway. The veggie sandwich isn’t my very favorite sandwich; it’s just my favorite that I used to get while working. My favorite is probably a grilled cheese and tomato. I’ve experimented with various breads and different cheeses, and I have to say that I always return to rye bread and American cheese. I also like my grilled cheese very well done, almost burnt, not golden like they serve it in restaurants.

Grilled cheese sandwich

Another favorite sandwich is loxonabagel. Yes, all one word like that. Most of the time, I have this deliciousness open-faced, but it still counts as a sandwich.

Lox and bagel

Please note how it’s perfectly fine and even recommended (by yours truly) to dot the cream cheese with capers, but I’d rather not have onions on my loxonabagel sandwich. And please no tomato! Save that for grilled cheese. Keep your sandwich fixings in their lanes.

Yes, I know there is tomato in this photo. I am just saying. The only way to know your loxonabagel is better sans tomato is to have one with tomato, amirite? 🤣

Moving on. Some people call a hamburger a sandwich… are you one of them?

Cheeseburger CD holder

I think it’s acceptable! The point is to have a thing between two other separate things. I’m defining it that way to eliminate stuff like pie, which is #notasandwich, but to include sandwich cookies, which we will discuss in depth soon. You didn’t think I was going to end this post without talking about cookies, did you? 😱😱😱

Anyway. Here we have a bun (hun), which is two separate bread pieces, and it creates a convenient way to hold the things inside, which we then can nom while continuing to lose at cards, just as the Earl of Sandwich envisioned. Of course, we must not nom on the pictured cheezberder because it is a CD holder and that would be gross.

Five years ago, when we were living like normal humans, relatively speaking, my eldest took me to a wonderful high tea in Northern California. We had the most scrumptious little cucumber sandwiches and other delights and pastries, and of course many pots of lovely tea. 💖

High tea

Before I bring the dessert cart, please allow me to pay tribute to one of the best combos ever invented: the peanut butter and jelly sandwich!

Peanut butter and jelly

My favorite combo is Jif smooth PB with blackberry or strawberry jam (not jelly) on whole wheat. What’s yours?

Okay, onto the sandwich cookie! Oreo has a baZillion flavors out now, some totes ridonkulous, but I must admit that besides the Double Stuf original flavor, I thought the cookie dough was pretty tasty.

Cookie dough Oreos

Up in Northern California (again ~ they have yummo food!), my daughter treated me to this divine hazelnut pastry at an Italian bakery.

Hazelnut sandwich pastry

So so good!

In my fantasy of living a normal life again, whenever that may happen, if it even ever does… I’ll walk into a restaurant without worrying about the last time everything was soaked in bleach, order a sandwich at the counter without fretting over how close people are standing to me, and calmly eat my lunch in a booth with my mind on my blog or a book or work or family or friends or whatever thing other than the you know what!

~*~

Images all mine.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

A Bunch Of Nonsense

To distract myself from myself, I’m going to answer these super intrusive questions about myself from Melanie

1. Tell us how you met your partner. Please be specific in telling your tale.

I don’t have a “partner.” I’ve been divorced since 2011 and all my attempts at dating were documented disasters. Right now, it might be nice to have someone to be cooped up with though. Or maybe not.

2. What is your most romantic experience, again with details?

I have a post in drafts called Skyloft. It’s about the best first date I ever had ~ my last first date. I had a couple more first meetings since, but they don’t count as first dates. This man was also a disaster, like the others, but worse because I’d finally begun to trust again, and after him everything was impossibly shattered. The date itself was incredible. It was the hottest day of the year, and I was sick, had been sick for a month, which made the whole experience surreal. I felt I was in a painting, with all the colors and sounds and tastes and smells so exquisitely bright. When he touched me, I felt transported to another plane. Nothing was the same again… it still isn’t. He kissed me at the beach, with the turquoise waves crashing in, just like a dream. I will never forget this, no matter what he did later.

3. What is the most extravagant purchase you’ve ever made, and why did you buy it?

I have not bought anything extravagant for a really long time. I’m super careful. I’ve spent money, sometimes a lot, but on stuff that’s necessary, such as a car (a sensible one). I simply can’t think of anything. Oh! I know. My daughter went to Costa Rica several years ago and brought me some very cool artwork. I spent $400 to have it framed. But I love it. ❤️

4. What is your favorite swear word or expression, and when are you most likely to use it?

I’m an equal opportunity swearer. I try to give all the bad words a good workout daily, but I must admit that since I haven’t been driving they’ve been sitting in a sad heap on the sofa watching reruns of Gilligan’s Island and munching potato chips. 😢

5. What is your favorite kind of pie? With or without ice cream?

Ooh pie! I had the best pie up in Northern California ~ key lime with whipped cream and a thick graham cracker crust. That is my fave, followed closely by lemon cream and then cherry. No ice cream necessary.

6. While we’re on the subject, what is your favorite ice cream, and where did you last eat it?

Cookie dough! I don’t remember when or where I ate it last. I don’t eat ice cream often because I’m always freezing. 🥶

7. Who is your most unique friend and why? (May be someone from the past.)

My daughters are both brilliant and hilarious and totally unique. I love them to bits! My besties! 💖💖 (Why? Because I raised them! Duh.)

8. What is your most irritating habit?

Yelling at my cat to quit yelling. 🐱

9. Who was your favorite teacher and why?

I loved many of my philosophy and writing professors at CSUN.

10. Do you like being alone and if so, what would you probably be doing?

I enjoy choosing to be alone; I don’t enjoy this forced isolation and not being allowed to go to work. It’s super depressing. When alone, I read, write, play phone games, chat with peeps online, etc.

11. What is the most outlandish thing you’ve ever done?

Probably picked up hitchhikers and taken rides from strange men back in Illinois. Nothing bad ever happened even though this is a terribly stupid thing to do.

12. What superstition do you always follow?

I count things a lot, which isn’t really a superstition, but more an OCD, except not that much since I don’t do it consistently. I just feel things will work out better when there’s the right number of ’em.

13. What famous person or animal have you met? Tell us about the meeting.

Not really. I’ve seen various celebs in the Los Angeles area, but haven’t hung out with any. I don’t think celebs or royals are better than anyone else, and people ought to quit making such a fuss over them. 😛

~*~

Image credit to Bitmoji.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Wow What A Week

Don’t touch your face

I touch my face a billion times per day. Yes, I counted, which is why I haven’t been around much this week. I have itchy eyes and am aways messing with my hair and rubbing my achy neck and just generally transferring germs to my face and from my face to everywhere else. But now that’s a crime and also it’s scary to think that all this time people weren’t washing their hands or cleaning their houses. Gross! 🦠

Just when I think I’ve adjusted to the latest barrage of news about THE THING, here comes a new assault of information. Well, not information so much as stuff we’re not supposed to do anymore. First, it was hey quit hooking up with random men from the internet and I was all no problem been on that diet for over three years now. 👍🏻

Wash hands 87 times per day, got it. Clean everything all the time. Sure, okay. Unlike some of you lunatics, I already had Lysol and wipes and alcohol. Don’t go to China or Italy. Lol, okay. Don’t fly at all. Wait, what? Grrrr, okay… I canceled my trip to Vegas this week. Don’t sit in bars and restaurants. Sigh… I canceled Friday night plans and changed Saturday’s.

Tonight I read that Mayor Garcetti has shut all entertainment in Los Angeles ~ bars, gyms, libraries, museums, etc. Grocery stores are allowed to remain open and you can get restaurant takeout only. Governor Newsom says if you’re over 65 you should self-isolate. Luckily, I’m “only” 58, yet I plan to stay inside most of the time, basically go to work, then come home to work more and read/write/blog, and not do much else.

Oh, that’s actually my normal life! 🤣

Joking, sort of. Even though I’m not the most social of butterflies 🦋 I do make some plans… and I don’t enjoy being told I’m not allowed to. But I get it, I get it. I intend to comply with these guidelines in order to help myself and others too. It’s important.

Wash your hands

Happily, we’re not really that isolated now, are we? There are so many ways we can stay connected without sitting next to each other in the same room. I’m looking at the bright side of this situation and saying, okay, how can I optimize my time? Well… read and write more obviously. I have lots of partially finished works in progress that I’d love to get on my Kindle shelf for you guys to buy, hehe. In a previous post, I mentioned that I plan to work on Ghosted this year again. Great opportunity!

And I definitely want to stay connected to Blogville! 💕 I know some of us have been drifting a bit or slowing down some, but I have every intention of soldiering on. My Monday Peeve and Thursday Inspiration posts will continue. I’ll do Jim’s Song Lyric Sundays as long as he hosts them. It’s rare I miss a (new) Wednesday Fandango FPQ, and I enjoy the Friday Flashbacks he began as well. I enjoy the weekly SOCS. Other prompts will happen as the mood moves me…

That brings us to the April A-Z Challenge. Last year, I said I wouldn’t do it again for a variety of reasons, but I’ve changed my mind. What’s funny is that I went to the website and was immediately annoyed just like last year! Oh, here’s one reason why I said I wouldn’t do it again… their ridiculous forms, etc. Well, ya know what? I’m going to do it without linking to them at all or jumping through hoops to get myself listed. I don’t care about trying to get more views here. If new peeps come by, great! But if the only readers I have are my “regulars,” I’m fine with that too. 😻

My theme is gonna be games. But I’m not gonna jabber on boringly about rules and game pieces and game theory and the history of chess or any crap like that you could go google for yourself. No. I’m gonna talk about how a game affected me. This blog is about ME! Me me me me!

Checkmate Bitmoji

~*~

Images credited to Bitmoji.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Sharing At A Distance

Share your world

This week’s questions from Melanie:

Are you a sweet, sour, tangy or other type of person?  Take that as you will! 😉

I have been told by the majority (in real life) that I’m a sweet person. Even online now, I’m pretty darn nice, compared to back in Usenet days. It’s just not worth it to engage with trolls and jerks. They have all the time in the world… and I do not. But that doesn’t mean I’ll put up with crap! Those days are gone. I vanish if someone is mean to me. 👻

Does the whole coronavirus phenomenon worry you?  Or are you more a “meh – it’s just another severe flu scare” type of person?

First, severe flus are scary! They kill loads of people every year, relentlessly. So, there is nothing not scary about another severe flu coming around. I’ve had the flu twice and both times were absolutely miserable experiences I do not wish to repeat. Each year, I get a flu vaccine, which supposedly is not perfect, but I haven’t had the flu any of those years (knock wood). 🍀

Second, scientists don’t have a complete handle on this coronavirus yet. They aren’t sure exactly how it behaves, and there is no vaccine yet. Its progression from mild to moderate to fatal can be extremely rapid, which is… scary. You feel like you’re getting better and then, bam! Your lungs overload.

Third, while the number of cases in the U.S. is tiny at the moment, we don’t know how many contagious people are walking around shedding the virus everywhere. This unknown is scary. Next week there could be thousands of cases shutting down a particular city, but which? Ah. 😱

Fourth, while I’m not in a high risk group, I am older-ish, so it’s prudent for me to be cautious. Forex, I just canceled a pleasure trip to Vegas next weekend. It can wait. No need to be on a plane and in large crowds right now. I’m not so much worried about death as I am the pain-in-the-assedness of having to deal with some kind of two-week quarantine or whatever annoying thing if I’m exposed to the virus. 😛

When was the last time you were snooping, and found something you wish you hadn’t?

I’ve written before that I snooped as a teenager while babysitting and found many “interesting” magazines and books. Later in life, the only times I’ve snooped were the typical looking for evidence on a guy’s laptop type of situation. I can’t say I’m sorry I found what I did. It’s always better to know.

What’s the most pleasant sounding accent in your personal opinion?   Everyone has a pleasing accent to someone! 

British, of course. 🇬🇧

Gratitude: Your chance to share your joy!

I found two new chairs for our dining room and that makes me happy.

Cat on dining room chair

~*~

Images from Melanie and me.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

20 for 2020

I haven’t answered questions for a while. These are from Ally at The Spectacled Bean. Check out her blog! 🙂

Your most memorable fancy dress costume?

I dressed up as a glittery fortune teller for Halloween once. I guess that purple and black costume was one of my fanciest. I haven’t been dressing up much lately, even though I still think it’s fun, because my eyes are too sensitive for makeup. If I can’t glop on a ton of mascara, it spoils the festive look.

Which social media platform do you use the most?

WordPress. I also like Twitter.

Favourite season?

Summer. I used to say fall, but I’m really craving hot weather and longer daylight.

If you had to choose the beach or mountains, which would it be?

It depends. I love the beach… nothing is more peaceful than the rhythm of the waves. I could walk on the sand and/or just watch the water forever. If there were no other people around! But that’s rare. The mountains can be quieter, though they are often cold. Scary things are in mountains though, like snakes and bears and curvy roads that drop you off a cliff… but oceans have tsunamis. And also didn’t someone just discover a whole new species of gross disgusting penis worms living under the sand? THANKS FOR THAT!

I’ll just stay in my office.

What can you play very well?

Devil’s advocate.

What kind of cheese do you like?

Brie.

Life goal?

To make a goal.

How many cities have you lived in?

I’ve lived in the three largest US cities: NY, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Plus, I’ve lived in a scattering of towns around these cities.

What language do you wish you could speak?

All of them.

What can’t you stand?

Most things. I’m highly intolerant.

If you have an hour to kill on your hands, what would you do?

Waste it reading garbage, probably.

Your favorite routine?

Start to like some dude and imagine how things might be nice between us and then think of all the reasons why it would likely just be another horrible disaster and get so annoyed at wasting any time on this that I’m snippy the next time I see him causing him not to like me at which point I say to myself aha it would never have worked!

When do you become hyperactive?

After half a coffee!

Text message or phone call?

Text message.

Your most precious treasure?

Note that living creatures aren’t “treasure,” imo, so I’m going to say handmade cards from my daughters.

Your latest foreign language mistake?

This is funny. I was listening to a guy make some plans with me in what sounded like English, but it was really inverse English, so everything was a not-plan. Boy, did I feel silly! 🤪

What’s the best therapy for you?

Writing.

If you could be a fictional character, who would you be?

God.

Where would you like to travel?

Assuming I could afford it and not have massive migraines and backaches the whole time… Maine, Boston, NYC, WDC, Nashville, Santa Fe, Taos, Yellowstone, Montana, Idaho, Utah, Vancouver, Israel, Greece, Ireland, England, Scotland, Aruba.

Where did you meet your spouse/partner?

At the Orange County Animal Shelter.

~*~

Image credits to Bitmoji and Google and me.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Tell Me That You’ll Wait For Me

Love is in da blog

Happy February! I’m participating in Bee’s fun music challenge again and hope you’ll join in (you don’t have to play every day).

Today’s theme is a love song about travel and I’m sharing an oldie from Peter, Paul & Mary. I’ve always enjoyed their music and I hope you’ll give this one a listen.

~*~

Written for Love Is In Da Blog Day 18.

Image credit to Happy Color.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

The Chocolate Lady’s Eight Candle Book Tag ~ Day 2

Menorah

To celebrate Chanukah this year and my friend the Chocolate Lady, I am accepting her challenge to participate in the Eight Candle Book Tag. This is a fun game and very easy to play ~ just visit her link for the options. I am of course doing the most complicated version. 😀

My daughter and I loved The Cat Who Went to Paris by Peter Gethers. This is an utterly charming tale of a writer who becomes completely devoted to his quirky new Scottish Fold kitten. There’s a lot more to it than just a “cat story.” The writing is infused with love and humor throughout, and it’s also tale of romance and travel. There are two sequels; I read the final one.

Happy Chanukah!

~*~

Images from The Chocolate Lady’s blog

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.