Category Archives: Activities

Planning our Getaway

My family rented a house for us all to stay for a weekend as a birthday gift for me.  Isaac asked me to bring my Monopoly game.  I said I would.  When I told Erik, he said they have Monopoly in Spanish.  We both agreed that we would need Isaac or Ari to translate for us if we played in Spanish.  We both agreed the better choice is to play in English. 

I have played Monopoly with them many times. 


Isaac and Ari came over for a sleepover.  They are older now, and we don’t do this as often as we did.  I suggested we go to the Oakland Zoo as I have maintained a membership since they have enjoyed going there for seven years.  We do so infrequently now, I do not intend to renew.  On the way there, we talked about what we would see and do. The parking lot was full when we got there.  It was Memorial Day weekend and, apparently, a favored venue.  We drove a bit, along with many other cars, and parking was not available nearby.  I was not interested in walking a mile to the zoo.  We left.

That may have been our last Oakland Zoo venture.


The good news is that we have had a lot of rain this winter.  The bad news is that we are getting tired of it and are ready to see the sun.  The forecast was for a clear day today.  I went to the gym in the dark.  I came out to a slight mist. I met a friend for breakfast and we walked out of the restaurant to a rainstorm.

Another hair drying day.  Onward.


Had the family over to celebrate two birthdays.  I decided to try a new recipe for a cake.  I bake all the time, but entertain myself with new recipes periodically.  This was a peach/caramel/bourbon cake.

All of my eight guests loved it.  I did not.  I will not make it again.  I have always followed this guide to cooking.  I have to like it a lot to make it.

The recipe is available to those who want it.


When I decided to substitute part time in Maine, I had to have my fingerprints checked.  I had been living there for six years and owned a restaurant.  I discovered I had no fingerprints.  The agent asked me if I washed dishes a lot.  I told him I did pots and pans daily.  He said that would explain the problem and alternative ways of having my prints visible worked.

In California I had to have my fingerprints recorded to join the gym.  Each day I go, I enter my phone number on the machine and place my finger on the scanner.  It typically does not surface properly and I have to give additional information to get through, unless the person at the desk remembers me.

Avoid doing dishes.  It is a hazard to your identity.


When I moved to California six years ago, my daughter Carrie, bought me a birthday gift of a ticket to a local theater.  She and I went and loved it.  I subsequently got season tickets and have gone to every play.

Good friends ended up getting tickets and the four of us meet for lunch and go together.  I treasure my time with these people.  It is another example of why I chose to move here.

The time with my kids is so rewarding.  A true highlight.

I did it

Since I moved to California, I have had my car washed in one of two ways: my ex took it to a car wash, or my grandsons did it when they were staying over.  My ex is gone and my grandsons are coming over for dinner tonight with their parents, which did not feel like good timing to request help,

So, I did it myself.  I dragged the hose, filled the bucket, got the clothes.  I began the spray to wet the car all over and discovered the wind was not blowing in my favor.  I ended up misted, head to toe.  Not to be deterred, I changed direction and proceeded.

Guess what, Isaac and Ari?  It was fun!


Last Friday, I went to exercise, a business group meeting, saw one client, had lunch, and saw six clients back to back until 7 pm. I grabbed something to eat. I then went to the Temple in order to welcome the new rabbi who was conducting her first service. The service was from 7:30 to 9 pm.

After the service, there was an Oneg Shabbat, a traditional offering of food to celebrate the evening. I interacted with a few good friends for about 10 minutes and decided to leave because I could not stay awake.

My thought was that I was not handling activity as easily as I had when I was younger. Disappointing.

The next morning I told my daughter-in-law about it. She said, “Age? That was an exhausting day. I would have gone to bed too.”


Activity for Depression

I tell clients with depression to make a list of activities they can do to distract themselves.  One of my clients likes to go to the supermarket and walk the aisles.  She does not shop, she just walks the aisles.  Sometimes she looks at products and sometimes she focuses on colors.  She does this a couple of times a week.

She said that she had a thought one day.  She imagined walking around the supermarket and seeing someone else doing so without a cart who was going up and down aisles.  She decided she would go up to the person and say, “Are you seeing Natalie in therapy?’

We laughed.

Exercise Bonus

I go to the gym three mornings a week.  I treadmill, bike, use machines for my arms, sit ups, and stretching.  I am determined to keep my body strong and healthy.

I went to San Francisco with some friends one night.  We parked the car and had to walk up (truly up) two blocks.  I did so and stopped at the first corner for a red light.  I realized my friends were not with me.  They were halfway down the block.  I waited and we all began the second block.  Same experience: I arrived at the light and they were far behind me.  I waited and we entered the hotel we were going to.

Later, a friend who knows us all, came up to me and said, “So I hear you were the only one who could walk here easily.  I guess exercise had paid off.”  Clearly my friends had said something to her.  It caught my attention.  I had truly not struggled at all walking up those streets.

Back to the gym.