Christmas Play and Peacocks

The past few days slipped by on us, but there were some notable events.

CeeCee was admitted to the hospital to treat a stomach ulcer.  It took the docs a day or so to figure out what the issue was, but quickly got it under control when diagnosed.  There were several visits to the hospital and one day was dedicated to getting her set up at Barbara’s house (Jeanne’s mother) when she was discharged.  CeeCee is now recovering nicely under Barbara’s watchful eye.

A major highlight of the past few days was the Holiday Program at Summit School.  This is a very small elementary school located in the hills above Santa Paula.  With only 63 students, Andy and Dannette’s five kids account for about 8% of the total student body.  This is the very same elementary school Jeanne attended in the days when pterodactyls flew over the nearby condor refuge.  When I commented the students from this small community were all strikingly similar in appearance, Jeanne gave me a rib-jab with her elbow.

The program was about what you would expect for a Christmas Play, which was renamed the Holiday Program by the Politically Correct police.  What the students lacked in talent, they made up with enthusiasm.  Our grandkids had prominent roles and carried their lines well.  The event was well organized and attended.  When it was over, the teacher/producers were noticeably relieved.

Flash photography was not permitted, so the associated pictures of the Holiday Program may be a little bleary.

Earlier today we had lunch with Owen, a friend and former co-worker of Jeanne’s.  Readers of this log may remember Owen from our stay in Mesa, Arizona, where he lives in retirement.  Owen looked good and we caught up on things over lunch specials at the Olive Garden in Oxnard.  After lunch, he demonstrated the features of his new car, a minivan.  It was good seeing him again and we will probably cross paths in a month or so.

We continue with the workouts on our every-other day schedule.  After a long layoff caused by a bout with the flu, Jeanne is running again and is almost back to her prior level.  We continue to enjoy running here where the morning air is clear and cool.

The rest of our time was mostly spent Christmas shopping and running errands.  The Christmas shopping experience is a little easier in Ventura County; the stores are not as crowded and the drivers are not quite as crazy as in Los Angeles.  We were able to get all our shopping done and presents are hidden in all the nooks and crannies of the coach.

One of the interesting features of our current campsite is the presence of peacocks.  I talked with the owners about the birds and it turns out the current flock are escapees from Steckel Park.  By the way, I really don’t know what a group of peacocks is called.  Is it a flock?  A gaggle?  A covey?  If someone out there has the answer, please let me know.

Anyway, over the years the peacocks prospered and multiplied and there are at least thirty roaming through the campground.  They eat almost anything, which they process and return to the local environment.  This makes quite a mess and we try to keep them away from the coach.  They are also curious creatures and will patiently watch any activity that seems out of the ordinary — like someone doing Pilates in the morning.  At times they can be aggressive.  We have seen them gang up to chase off threats like the feral cats in the area — fifteen pointy beaks are just too many for a small cat to handle at once.  At night, they all roost in one tall pine tree; their collective mass blocking our satellite TV signal.

Peacocks are about the size of a wild turkey, but we have never heard of anyone trying to eat one.  I would imagine the meat would be gamy and tough.  Jeanne thinks peacocks are evil birds and their feathers bring bad luck, so we leave them alone.  Enough about the peacocks.

The next few days should be the usual hectic run-up to Christmas and, like everyone else, we’ll be glad when it’s over.

Contemporary note:  A group of peacocks is called a muster.