This week we had a new experience - we went to the fights. This was not on our bucket list but the opportunity came up so we decided to go for it. And it was really interesting. There were 8 or 9 fights, starting out with the least experienced and working up to the most experienced boxers. I was concerned that it would just be guys trying to beat each other up, and I guess that is basically what it was, but there are a lot of rules that keep it from getting out of hand. And the referee watches carefully to be sure they follow every one of those rules. Sometimes he was so close to the fight that it looked like he was going to get hit!

There was also a big Mafia-looking guy (big, beefy, wearing a black suit, lots of hair oil and no smile) at each corner. In between each round he watched the boxer very carefully to make sure he was not too hurt to continue. He also watched to make sure nothing illegal went on while the boxer got water and advice before going into the ring again.

There was only one knockout and fortunately the guy wasn't really hurt, he just got the wind knocked out of him. Another fight was stopped because the ref thought a guy was getting beat up too much, but he wasn't really hurt. The crowd was so unhappy that the fight was stopped that they gave the "loser" the biggest ovation of the night. He just loved that - he jumped up on the ropes, gave a couple of victory yells, then exited the ring, grinning from ear to ear.

The rest of the fights went the full rounds. The less experienced guys had 6 rounds and the more experienced guys fought for 8 rounds. After each fight the judges would announce who they decided had won.

One more new and interesting experience!

It’s been a long time since we updated our blog! One of the reasons is that we decided that since we were going to be in Riverside for awhile, maybe we should get a temporary job. Since we like to try new things, this time we did a Road Show. That’s what they call it when people hand out samples in stores such as Sam’s Club and Costco. Folks who know me will not believe what I was handing out . . . fudge! Talk about a tailor-made job! Our job was basically encouraging people to try free samples of fudge. Because I pride myself in doing a great job, I took it a step further - sampling each and every one of the fudge types myself, so I could perfectly define their flavor to my customers. Sometimes I sampled them several times a day….no sacrifice too great!!

The only drawback was that we had to be on our feet for 10 or more hours a day, so at the end of the day we didn't do too much else. And right after the fudge job was done, I got sick. (Maybe it was because I wasn’t getting any more free fudge?). I spent a few days in bed, too sick to get up, and since then I’ve had a cough I can’t shake.

Sunday my cousin Teresa hosted a jewelry party for me. She invited some of her friends from Theater to get together for appetizers, jewelry and fun. It was really nice - I got a chance to explain about the history of ivory I use and answer some questions. Some ladies bought earrings and everyone had a good time. Of course, the real reason everyone got together was because of Teresa's cooking! She made mini pecan pies, banana pies and coconut pies, ham rolllups, cheese-and-jam spread, spinach dip, and a whole host of other goodies.

Riverside is having it’s winter rain now. It drizzles on and off all day, and although the sun shines, it doesn’t get very hot. And in at night it gets down to 55 degrees. I guess I shouldn’t complain about that….

Riverside is an interesting town. It has a heavy Hispanic influence in street names, restaurants, etc. And it has a lot of colleges, which is always a good thing. And it has beautiful views. You can be driving along almost anywhere and if you glance up from the road, you can see some amazing mountains. They are just part of the scenery here. . .they often blend in with the clouds on the horizon, or, as seen below, rise up over those clouds.

And a lot of the roads are lined with tall, stately palms.