This is one Mean Old Lady!

This is one Mean Old Lady!
Self-portrait: 'Quilter on Fire'

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Traveling Part V: More highlights!

The city of Cupertino (bordering on Sunnyvale and sharing the school district) has a sister city in Japan and celebrates the Cherry Blossom Festival annually.  There are performances, vendors, exhibitions, and big crowds!  Last year I'd urged our young couple to attend, and they enjoyed it despite the very hot day; this year there were chilly breezes but bright sun. Unfortunately, the drought meant that the lovely ponds and waterways were empty and dry, devoid of waterfowl, much to Nathaniel's dismay.  

Inside were demonstrations of traditional art forms, including Ikebana (flower-arranging.)  Now, one Martin Herbach, a NYT Crossword Puzzle test solver and frequent flyer on WordPlay, the online blog that accompanies each day's puzzle, also happens to be an Ikebana Sensei (a master of the art.)  I knew he would have an arrangement on display.  When we entered the hall, I picked out someone who looked likely and quietly stalked him while we admired the diverse examples.  Picking a moment when he was not busy answering questions, I introduced myself, using my WordPlay moniker of 'Mean Old Lady.'  Martin exclaimed, "What are you doing here?" but not in a bad way, ha ha.  It was a happy surprise for Martin and a pleasure for me to meet him.  We met his wife (Japanese, also an Elaine.)   

I picked up this postcard at the Bonsai exhibition table.
Naturally, I had forgotten to bring my camera...

Our other Saturday plan was a potluck dinner with my nephew (and Nat's cousin) Ben Hilburn and his new bride Amy Malady (pronounced 'ma-LADY) at Nat and Karen's home.  I had made a cold pasta dish (cheeses, pine nuts, basil and EVOO) and Natty had smoked two chickens, flavorfully stuffed with olives and rosemary.  Ben and Amy brought a delicious chopped salad. Karen's fabulous praline cupcakes were a wonderful finish to the meal.  

Yes, this is how darling they are.

DHubby Don stayed bundled up a good bit of the time.  (Even on hot days it usually cools off at night.)  

Also present:  the three black cats.  Neo here looks uncannily like our beautiful Charlie.  

After it grew dark, we all repaired to the patio and toasted our toes and a few marshmallows around the fire pit.  

Lovely evening!

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