Conejo Post

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Conejo Valley Post
Conejo Valley News, Happenings and Humor

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HappyThanksgiving, and, Let’s Let Go of “Perfect Pictures”

To all Conejo Post readers, a very Happy Thanksgiving!

May we realize that somtimes we experience really good holiday celebrations, and other times, not so good.  But, no matter what our circumstances are this Thanksgiving, let’s let  it be OK.

Wishing you the best with many blessings…

Janna Orkney, Editor

Thanksgiving It Is

Reprinted  from Conejo Post Archives, November 24, 2009, with editing

Is the turkey ready?

I was thinking back to Thanksgivings past, and what struck me was the variety of them all.  Yes, I have experienced the stereotype of a multi-generational family gathered around a packed table of turkey, dressing, gravy and cranberry jelly,  sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, and green beans, but how often have I experienced the holiday in full stereotype?

In thinking about past holidays, it surprised me to realize that more often than not, I have celebrated a variation of the traditional picture.

When I was young, it definitely was the full family-press, with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.  We cousins got reacquainted, as our moms and grandma scurried in the kitchen to get all the mouth-watering food on the table warm and ready to eat, at the same time.  Our dads and grandpa talked football, and then ate so much that they had to lay down on the floor after dinner, holding their stomachs!

But, as I grew up, things changed.  I have experienced Thanksgiving with just my immediate family of husband and children, to larger gatherings including some friends and family , and then sometimes just friends, or just me attending a church dinner or other gathering.

There have been a variety of life circumstances too.  Sometimes I have done most of the cooking (perhaps you can tell by my full list of what should be on the dining table!)  and sometimes I have been a kitchen helper.  And, I have had Thanksgiving when there has been great bounty in my life, and other times when finances were tight.

Why am I sharing this?  Because we all get “perfect pictures” in our heads of how a holiday should be, and can make ourselves feel pretty miserable if our experience do not match up  to these images.

So, why don’t we go easy on ourselves this holiday?

What I am realizing now is that most all of my Thanksgivings have been good, whether matching perfect pictures or not, and I am much happier if I stay in the moment, rather than comparing where I am to a touched-up photo in a magazine.  Plus, there has always been something to be thankful for.  Maybe I had a little trouble seeing that at the time, but in retrospect,I do see it.

Again, Happy Thanksgiving, and now, if you will please pass me the squirt whipped cream (in the cannister) to put on a piece of pumpkin pie…

November 26th, 2014 · Uncategorized

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I Am Back at the Conejo Post, Now that my Book Manuscript is Finished

Possible book cover

Possible book cover

Whew!  It is good to be back!  I have missed writing about goings-on in the Conejo Valley, along with postings of random musings on life in general, and hearing back from folks in the Conejo Post community. When I was doing the last bits of manuscript editing of my upcoming book, Growing up with G.I. Joe’s, that had to be my focus, so that I could work towards a publication date of April 30, 2015.

Since it looks like I am still on track for that publication date for this history of my Dad starting a surplus store in a G.I. hospital tent in Portland, Oregon,  in 1952, that grew into a 31-store chain, selling sports, outdoor recreation and auto merchandise,  now I can start-up posting again.

For more info on the book, go to, or the Facebook page: Growing Up With G.I. Joe’s.

Janna Orkney, Editor

November 26th, 2014 · Books

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Whirling Around in Gilroy, Garlic Capital of U.S.


I was on vacation for a while this past week and so the posts were a little sparse.  Now I am back in the Conejo Valley, enjoying the sunshine and blue skies, and will be posting more, again.

One place I visited was Gilroy Gardens, about 30 miles south of San Jose.  Gilroy Gardens is an amusement park with an agricultural, mellow theme, that is now owned by the city of Gilroy.

I certainly could see a similar park in Ventura County, and I sure would take grandkids there!

Photo:  Yes, those are twirling strawberries spinning up fun for young and old!

August 17th, 2014 · California

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I Will Serve On the Triuno Board Another 4 Years: Only Incumbents Filed to Run

The good news for me is that I don’t have to spend time and money on a political campaign to win a seat on the Triunfo Sanitation District board again.

This is because only the three current board members, including me, who were up for election filed candidate papers.  Therefore, there will be no election for the seats and we will automatically get to serve another 4 years.  Our names will also not appear on the ballot.

However, what is good news for a candidate is bad news for the electorate.  What happens with this scenario is that important issues of water supply, conservation choices, storage choices, and board policies don’t get discussed in The Acorn and The VC Star and in political forums. 

Thank you for the pass to serve again, and I will continue to bring up water and wastewater issues in the Conejo Post, but it is not the same as taking part in a rousing, good debate in front of potential voters!

Janna Orkney, editor

August 11th, 2014 · Elections

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Mail Box at Mysterious Blue-trimmed House


Who wouldn’t want a statue of a bearded, muscular, one-armed man at their mailbox?  I just never considered it option, till I saw this at the mysterious, cactus-surrounded house on the way to Topanga Canyon from the Valley!  To read Al Martinez’ column from a few years ago in the Daily News:

August 11th, 2014 · Uncategorized

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Mysterious Blue-Trimmed House Is For Sale in Woodland Hills

If you have driven through Topanga Canyon to get to PCH from the San Fernando Valley, I will bet that you have seen this house.  It is hard not to, because of the interesting landscaping all around it.  Definitely not your usual landscaping, either, with varities of cactus abounding.

It is located on Topanga Boulevard, where Mulholland intersects.  You can search previous posts for a photo essay of the grounds.

August 8th, 2014 · California, Uncategorized

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Just Say No to Traffic Circle at Kanan and Agoura Road Intersection


There are too many vehicles going through the Kanan/Agoura Road intersection for a traffic circle to be useful!  In fact, I could see longer lines of cars waiting on Kanan to get through this meeting of the roads, as folks go to and from the beach in the summer.


One possible solution is to change some lane designations.  There is now one lane heading south toward Zuma Beach, coming from the 101 Freeway.  The other southward lane on the outside is for right turns only on to Agoura Road.  As you can see in the photo above of Saturday traffic, no cars are in the second lane to turn right.  It is a wasted lane, and backs up traffic to over the 101 Freeway.

How about making that outside southward lane dual-purpose?  It could be used either for turning right or for continuing though the intersection.  Then, a long merge lane after the intersection could be put in.

The only time I think traffic circles actually calm traffic is when there is much lower volume.

August 6th, 2014 · Agoura Hills, Conejo Valley, Development, Transportation

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Westlake Village Sharky’s Remodled

Usually I am gung-ho when a restaurant is redone and updated, but not so with the new look at Sharky’s fast and healthy Mexican food in Westlake Village, at the corner of Thousand Oaks and Westlake Boulevards.

I still like the food, but to me, the inside space is now heavier and darker, with fewer seating options.  Guess I will just have to pull up a chair at one of their outside tables, by the lion fountain!

August 5th, 2014 · Restaurants, Westlake Village

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