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12:46 p.m. - 2008-12-11

I remember how the girls loved butterflies when they were little. Some years we get a tiger swallowtail or two, morning cloaks, and sometimes a monarch. We grow a lot of flowers so the butterflies like our yard. The town of Pacific Grove is called the Butterfly Town because the monarchs are supposed to come home there. We were in town one time when a small parade was being held, one of the cutest parades I have ever seen. They dressed the elementary school kids up in costumes and marched them down the street in front of the old-fashioned-looking elementary school. The costumes were terrific - monarchs, other butterflies, and various sea creatures. There were even some jellyfish costumes in iridescent fabric. Totally cute.

Anyway, the spouse had to go to Carmel again so I went along for the ride. While he toiled for a living, I took the car and drove to Lighthouse Avenue in Pacific Grove. I walked around for a bit and admired the splendid weather and the sparkling sea with the fogbank off in the distance. I found my way to the small natural history museum and spent some time looking at the exhibits. I went to the gift shop and got to talking with the older lady who worked behind the counter. She told me that there is a Monarch grove sanctuary down the street that you can visit and see the butterflies. I was surprised because I thought they came back in the spring, but no, they come back to spend the winter. I drove over there but missed the turn and got lost. While driving down the wrong street with pretty beach homes on the left and the ocean on my right, I saw two interesting sights. One was a for sale sign that said "Price reduced $500,000", and notice that that is the amount that the price is reduced, not the new sales price. The other sight was a momma deer and her baby right by the side of the road eating someone's iceplant. I pulled over right next to them and watched them for awhile. Then, since I was lost, I decided to stop at the municipal golf course to ask the way. The extremely cute young guy in the golf shop gave me excellent directions to the elusive butterfly sanctuary. When I found it,I parked the car next to the adult school on a quiet lane, and you could see the large orange butterflies flitting all over the neighborhood. You walk down a narrow walkway between two properties, then you are in a small grove. You could spend all your time taking pictures like the two professional photographers who were there, but I think it is better to put down the camera most of the time and let the butterflies swirl around you. Sometimes it is better to really be in the 'now' than to spend all your time trying to record it. A young mother was there with her tiny girl who was enchanted by the spectacle. What a wonderful experience, what a gorgeous day.

After that, it seemed too tacky to go to thrift shops like I usually do, so I drove down the street towards Monterey and stopped at Olio. This shop, my favorite in the area, sells vintage items. This time she had quite a few vintage patterns and I bought about half a dozen. I got a Claire McCardell summer dress, and some embroidery transfers, and my favorite, a wonderful man's shirt pattern in the spouse's size. The collar in this pattern has interesting semi-circular stitching on the inner back portion of the collar. I want to try this and see what the benefit of this extra step would be. I think this pattern dates back to the 40's.

After this, I was tired so I went to the market that is near the husband's office and bought a sandwich, milk, and some items that were on sale, namely, Oreos, Nutter Butters, and some Fritos. I never had Nutter Butters before, but they are very good. I sat in the car in the peace and quiet and ate my lunch and read an excellent science fiction story, "In the Quake Zone" by David Gerrold. This story doesn't cause the usual mindnumbing paradox confusion and contradictions that some time-bending stories do, and I really enjoyed it. My current favorite sandwich from the S@few@y is the Big Easy.

It took a long time to drive home after picking up the spouse because of the weekday traffic, but we got home in time to watch Life, a better than usual episode. I am totally confused about the back story but that's OK.

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