Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, October 6, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page A:3


Mountain View News Saturday, October 6, 2018 

KATIE Tse..........This and That

WALKING SIERRA MADRE... The Social Side By Deanne Davis


Racing is back at Santa Anita! 
Finally I have something to 
do on the weekends besides 
laundry. My husband has 
always loved gambling, but I 
could never get into it when 
we went to places like Vegas 
because I believe I have an undiagnosed math disability. 
Trouble with counting makes games like black jack and 
poker difficult. When he introduced me to thorough bred 
racing, we found a new common interest. While I may not 
be able to add up to 21, I can usually tell which horse reached 
the finish line ahead of the others. Of course predicting 
which one will get there first is another story.

 Santa Anita has changed some things since they closed for 
the season back in June. John White still does the morning 
line odds, but his commentaries are no longer available in 
the program. Boo Hoo! I relied on him! Now it’s crammed 
with stats that are a little too much like math for me. I liked 
the way he described horses as “plummeting in class” or 
“looming the one to beat,” among other colorful descriptions. 

 Before they closed for the season, I got the chance to take 
my parents there for the first time. My mom had been to 
Clocker’s Corner for breakfast with her friends, but had 
never been inside the track. You may 
remember from previous articles that 
she is an avid, bordering on compulsive, 
knitter and fiber lover in general. She 
has always had a habit of bringing along 
a bag of knitting when she anticipates 
she’ll have some down time to work on 
it. In other words, it’s something for her 
to do when she’s bored.

 I asked her if that’s why she brought it 
that day, but she denied it. We arrived and bought a program, 
something my husband and I typically just look at on our 
phones, but this was a special occasion. Mom also surprised 
us by buying “lucky pens,” I still have mine in my purse. My 
dad declined gambling, preferring to study the program and 
watch the horses and people. People watching is half the 
fun at a place like Santa Anita. My mom decided to place 
a modest amount on the number 5 horse, so I explained to 
her how betting works, and showed her how to purchase a 
voucher, etc. 

 It was the first race of the day and we stood outside near 
the finish line as the horses loaded into the gate. I think the 
race was several furlongs on dirt. The gates opened and the 
horses shot out as they do. I watched them in the distance, 
and then on the big screen, the little squares with the horses’ 
numbers jostling back and forth for the advantage as they 
went around the turn. To all of our surprise, the 5 horse won! 
He had not been the favorite or even the second favorite. My 
mom clutched her ticket and cheered. “That’s a good horse! 
I knew that was a nice horse!” The kind of comments only 
real horse racing pros make.

 We got lunch (the best corned beef sandwiches ever, worth 
going just for that) and my mom picked out her horse for 
the next race. Unbelievably, she won again! And then the 
next race, then the next race after that! My dad was baffled. 
She was literally just picking numbers and names out of the 
air. I could relate. On my first day at the races, a Saturday 
before Easter, I put $5 on Nazareth, also not the favorite, just 
because of the name. He won and I’ve bet on him ever since 
(sometimes just to show, because he’s usually not as good as 
he was that one Easter-Eve).

 My mom was cleaning up, but I hadn’t won a thing all 
day. That’s fine, it happens. And I was excited for her. It was 
funny to watch her expertly place her 
bets using the machines, not needing 
any assistance after that first time.

 Toward the end of the day I played 
a superfecta (John White’s picks) and 
won! It was the only race my mom 
lost the whole day. She was happy for 
me, but kept saying “You only put 10 
cents on that bet. Imagine if I had put 
my $10 on those horses, I would’ve 
won over $100. And if I had put $20, then I would’ve made 
over $200...” (The math on that might not be right. I’m 
reconstructing the odds from memory and you know that 
math is not my strong suit.) So typical, when you lose, you 
regret betting as much as you did, and when you win, you 
regret not betting more. We left the park happy that day 
after the last race, my mom’s bag of knitting untouched. A 
gambler is born.

“Each year the Great Pumpkin rises out of the 
pumpkin patch that he thinks is the most sincere. 
He’s gotta pick this one. He’s got to. I don’t see how 
a pumpkin patch can be more sincere than this 
one. You can look around and there’s not a sign of 
hypocrisy. Nothing but sincerity as far as the eye 
can see.” Charles Schulz – Peanuts!

 “Fall Bucket List: bake pies, have a S’Mores 
campfire, visit a pumpkin patch, make leaf art, 
pick apples, make (and eat!) caramel apples, go 
trick or treating, drink hot apple cider, make fall 
cookies, carve a pumpkin, admire fall colors...
red, brown, yellow, orange...rejoice in the loveliest 
season... “Autumn is a second Spring, when every 
leaf is a flower.” Albert Camus

 “Vegetables are a must on any diet. I suggest 
carrot cake, zucchini bread and pumpkin pie.”

 We love fall...all the fall stuff is out and it’s 
looked like Halloween at my house since before 
September. Why wait when you know it’s what you 
want to see all over the house. 

As we’ve already advocated vegetables on our fall 
diet, why not try these pumpkin cookies. They are 
easy to make, you can refrigerate the dough and 
make just a few at a time, they’re delicious, and 
you can justify eating them as they are loaded with 
good things...cranberries, oats, walnuts or pecans, 

Giant Pumpkin Cookies

3-1/2 cups all purpose flour

2-1/3 cups old fashioned oats

1-3/4 tsp. baking soda

1-1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. cinnamon (generous)

. tsp. nutmeg

. tsp. ground cloves

Combine all the above together in a big bowl. 
Now use your electric mixer to blend the following 
and then gradually add the flour mixture.

3-1/2 sticks butter, softened

1-3/4 cups white sugar

1-3/4 cups packed brown sugar

1 (15 oz) can Libby’s 100% pure pumpkin (not 
pumpkin pie mix)

2 large eggs

1-3/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Stir in as many pecans, walnuts, dried cranberries, 
raisins as you’d like to have. 

 This dough is happier and makes better cookies 
for you if you chill it and then bake.

 Drop 1/4 cup dough onto greased baking 

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 14 to 16 
minutes or until firm and lightly browned. Cool.... 

 Give some to anyone who looks like they need a 
cookie. This will be most of the people you know. 
Watch for scarecrows! They are appearing all over 

 Just for fun, here’s a excerpt from one of the 
Emma Gainsworth Adventures:

 “Emma Gainsworth walked into a cobweb one 
cool October day on just walk into a cobweb, 
the cobweb reached out and embraced Emma, 
cocooned Emma, captured Emma with all the 
enthusiasm of the handsome young lover who 
had dumped her for a cocktail waitress with 
Dolly Parton curves and genuine blonde hair. As 
Emma had attended high school with Chantal, 
the cocktail waitress, some years before, she could 
attest to the real blonde hair as they always seemed 
to share the same gym class. Drat! She whispered, 
trying to move her head enough to see just exactly 
who...or what, had captured her.”

 “Scarecrows, corn in rows, pumpkins on the 
vine...leaves curl, wind swirls, fall is right on time.”

 My book page: Deanne Davis


 Kindle readers, give yourself the gift of the 
Emma Gainsworth Adventures:

“Just Dessert: A Fall Fantasy” – “The Intergalactic 
Pumpkin Battle” – “The Lost Amulets”

 They’re on on my book page!


 Follow me on Twitter, too!

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