Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Day After

Greetings from cold, foggy North Highlands, CA. After having a few sun shiny days, we are back to fog. The weather forecast says we are suppose to have some rain this weekend.

I hope Christmas Day was an enjoyble time in your house. We spent a quiet day. We did have a visit from Elizabeth, our oldest daughter and her 3 girls. Hannah and Emily did some art pieces for Gerry and I. They usually have something that they've made for us. Also had a nice chat with Denise. Stephen surprised her with a Cricut for Christmas so she was excited to start creating with it. She will be able to make some exciting things to go along with her scrapbooking.

On Thursday, Gerry talked me into going shopping with him for my Christmas gift. I wanted to stay home and bake cookies; I let him persuade me especially after he told me he really wanted me to go with him. We drove out to the Galleria in Roseville. Surprisely enough it was not that bad out there. We found a parking space right away by Nordstroms. I had no clue as what I might have wanted as a gift. We walked the entire length of the mall on both levels. By the time we got back to Nordstroms, my back was really "talking" to me so we sat down and rested for awhile. Gerry was hungry so we walked back to the food court and got some lunch. I got a fish taco from Rubio's and Gerry got something from the Japanese place that is in the food court. We were by Sears which is on the opposite end of the mall from Nordstroms. Gerry offered to go back and get the van and come pick me up. So I walked outside of Sears and waited for him.

He needed to get some more coffee from Peet's so we drove across the street from the mall to the Fountains where there is a Peet's. Again we found a parking space right in front of the store. After that we came home. There was a PGR mission out at the airport so Gerry went to that and I stayed home and baked. He had wanted to go to the Communion service at Trinity Life Center, a couple of blocks down Madison from where we live. He's been going there for church on Sundays. I didn't want to go so instead we went to The Golden Corral for dinner and then drove around to look at lights. The Golden Corral is a buffet place, this was our second time going there. The first time the food was pretty good. Neither one of us were impressed this time.

We drove all around the Arden area, Fair Oaks and Carmichael. We were going to go over to Dovewood Court in Orangevale, however the traffic waiting to get there was horrendous. The court is not very big, however every house is decorated. They have been doing this for several years. We use to go over there when Denise was still in high school which was over 20 years ago. We did get in a line of cars waiting to turn on to the street that leads to the court and then decided it would take a good hour or more so decided against it. People were parking wherever they could and walking over to the court. We drove over to Roseville and were going to drive to Rocklin to a street that has just about every house decorated. By this time I was getting pretty tired, so we turned around and headed home.

Last year there was a house in Carmichael that had music and the lights were synchronized with the music. We couldn't remember what street it was on, however driving around, Gerry figured out where it was. We found the house but they didn't have it decorated this year. We imagined there might have been some complaining by the neighbors with all the traffic, music blasting and the lights flashing off and on. It sure was pretty. The music played was by the Trans-Siberian orchestra. If you look on Youtube you will find several homes across the country that have done the same thing.

Getting back to the shopping. Gerry was taking a long time getting back to Sears to pick me up. I called him and he didn't answer his phone. So he finally appeared, he didn't say anything about why he took so long and I didn't ask him. Anyway, when I got up yesterday morning I checked my email and Facebook first then went to go make breakfast. I do not like to fix breakfast, however Christmas morning is the one day a year I will fix it. I made scrambled eggs, sausage links and with the help of "the dough boy" made some biscuits. After I cleaned up and took my shower, I came back to my office. Sitting on my laptop was a little bag from Helzberg Diamonds. And inside the bag was a tiny box which contained a beautiful pendant. It is a key, the top of it is in the shape of a heart with a pretty ruby in the center. Our birthstones are both ruby. Then below the ruby and down the key part are diamonds. When he walked back to get the van, he stopped at Helzberg's. I chided him for not knowing what to get me. It is beautiful. I tried to take a picture of it earlier so I could post it and was not having much success. Maybe I will ask Gerry to take a picture of me wearing it tomorrow. I've got sloppy clothes on now otherwise I'd ask him to do it now. :))

Last night for dinner I made a roast. I cut up some small potatoes and put them around the roast. I've always been afraid of fixing a beef roast other than pot roast. I've discovered a really easy way of doing it and it comes out so good!! I steamed some fresh yellow squash and made a fruit salad. We even used the Christmas dishes. After we were done, Gerry says to me "you didn't take pictures". It did all look pretty before we stuffed ourselves.

Friday's is a ride day for Gerry and since he didn't ride yesterday, he decided to go on the club ride today. I went to Bel Air and got a few groceries then came home and changed into some comfy clothes to lay around in. I got some country style porkribs at Bel Air and am fixing them for dinner. I just put the rice on so we will be eating very shortly.

Enjoy the last few days of 2009 and trust 2010 will bring lots of new and exciting things for you all.

Mele Kalikimaka (Merry Christmas) and Hauoli Makahiki Hou (Happy New Year).

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Weather News

Just a quick note - we are suppose to have snow in the Sacramento area sometime tonight or tomorrow. The temps are really cold and is suppose to be in the 20's tomorrow morning. It is raining now. So we shall see if the weather reports are correct! :))

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Easy English Trifle

I know, I am so bad about posting to my blog. I wanted to share the recipe with you of a dessert I made last night to take to Gerry's bike club Christmas potluck.

Here's the recipe:
1 pkg (8 oz) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
2 cups cold milk, divided
1 pkg (4 oz) Jello-O Vanilla flavored instant pudding
2 1/2 cups cubed prepared pound cake
1/2 cup strawberry preserves
1 can (15 1/4 oz) peach slices, drained, chopped

Beat cream cheese and 1/2 cup milk in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add dry pudding mix and remaining 1 1/2 cups of milk, beat on low speed for 1 minute.

Layer half each of the cake, preserves, peaches and pudding mixture in 1 1/2 quart serving bowl, repeat layers.

Cover surface with waxed paper or plastic wrap.

Refrigerate several hours or until chilled.

******
This is a Kraft Foods recipe. I love their recipes, they are quick and easy. Here are some changes I make to the recipe.

The grocery store that I shop at sells the pound cake already sliced. I purchase 2 containers and use 1 whole container and 3 or 4 slices from the second one. I use 1 large can and 1 small can of peach slices that I drain really good and cut up in pieces. I like lots of fruit. I use about 1/2 to 3/4 of a jar of strawberry preserves. The last layer is the last of the pudding mixture. I smooth it over the top so the cake and fruit is completely covered.

Enjoy!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Birthday Denise Noe'lani

I am celebrating the 40th anniversary of the birth of my daughter today!!

I am not sure where the past 40 years have gone. However, I can honestly say Denise has brought great joy to my life. I like to say she is the sunshine in my life. Even during the dark days of when she and I were by ourselves, the mere mention of her name or to look at her dear face, gave me the assurance that everything would be alright.

Her father wanted a boy and was convinced that I was going to have a boy. I prayed for a girl. I remember I started crying when Dr. Shean told me I had a girl. My heart was filled with thanksgiving that God had answered my prayer.

After she was cleaned up and brought to me, I couldn't believe my eyes -- she was beautiful!! She had light skin, dark brown hair and lots of it. The nurses had combed her hair into a beautiful wave and there were blond streaks through the wave. It looked like someone had taken a paint brush and painted the streaks in her hair. In fact, I asked the nurses who had done that and I was assured it was natural! She also had blue eyes. My prayer had been for a girl with dark hair, fair complexion and blue eyes!!

As Denise got older, her hair turned to a beautiful auburn color. When she was about 5 years old, I took her to my hairdresser for a hair cut. I asked my hairdresser what color would Denise's hair be called. She told me it was like spun gold, it had a lot of red in it and highlights of blond. She said it was a color that couldn't be gotten from a bottle.

Today, Denise and her husband are ministering in Enterprise, AL. They have a coffee shop called Boldly Going and have a Calvary Chapel fellowship going on. She keeps herself busy with making all kinds of yummy home baked goods for the coffee shop. About a month ago she shared some news with me.

About June 7th of next year, she and Stephen will welcome another child to their family. Yes, she is expecting another child!! This was exciting news to receive. Just when we thought there would be no more grandchildren, Denise gives me this news. Her children are 22, 19 and 16, so it will be starting all over pretty much. She is doing good, just tired and a little morning sickness.

So to my sweet daughter, a very Happy Birthday to you. Your voice this morning brought a smile to my face. I am so thankful God answered my prayer and gave you to me to enjoy for a while. Words can not express how blessed I feel to say you are my gift! May God continue to bless your life and give you the desires of your heart. I will forever love you!! Your mother.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Memories

From about the 6th of November through the 11th, every year, I do a lot remembering. Why, you ask?

Well, because my due date to deliver my baby was November 6th. It was a Thursday and I didn't want to deliver on that date. I wanted to deliver on November 11th because it was a Tuesday. I was born on a Tuesday, I conceived on a Tuesday so Tuesday had to be the date. My then husband wanted November 10th, the Marine Corp birthday (he's a Marine).

Labor pains began sometime on the Saturday. They weren't very intense and in fact, I don't think I really knew what they were. My mother had come to stay and help me. It had been so long ago for her, she didn't remember what labor pains were like. Then on Sunday the pains became stronger and more intense. My neighbor and dear friend came over and we started to time the pains. They subsided and I felt okay. Mom had fixed a fantastic dinner of shoyu chicken. It was so good. The pains started up again, a bit stronger and were close together.

We lived 6 blocks from the hospital. I had been in contact with my doctor and I called him again about 9 pm that night. He told me to go to the hospital and he would meet me there. I was checked and unfortunately, the pains had stopped. They decided to go ahead and admit me. I heard one nurse saying "she seems very frightened, let's just keep her and see what happens". The pains were off and on through the night.

The next morning after my doctor saw me, he told me that if I wasn't in active labor by lunch time, they were going to induce labor. That was started after lunch. Labor began in earnest, however nothing was happening. I wasn't progressing. The doctor was quite concerned when he checked on me that evening.

Finally, about midnight when nothing had changed, the doctor decided to do a C-section. I had in labor some 30 plus hours. He had told me early in my pregnancy that if my baby was more than 7 lbs, I may have problems. I had a very narrow cervix and he wasn't sure I would be able to have a natural delivery. I took fertility pills (Clomid) to conceive. I was the first patient in North San Diego County to take the drug. I also had to have a hormone shot each month so I wouldn't miscarry. Towards the end of my pregnancy I had a shot weekly. Sometimes I had to have two shots because my backside was so punctured, the serum would just run out. So I was a high risk patient.

So finally, at 2:47 am on November 11th, a Tuesday, I delivered by C-section my beautiful daughter.

This was 40 years ago.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Yesterday

We spent a quiet anniversary yesterday. Gerry went to church in the morning. He's been going to Trinity church which is about two blocks from us. Its Pentecostal and a rather large church. More on this later.

We were going to go to Outback to eat. Gerry has a $50 gift certificate, however he couldn't find it. We went to The Elephant Bar instead. They were very busy and so we had to wait for a bit. I had short ribs in a Char Sui BBQ sauce. It was very good and I ate them all. Gerry had Jambalaya We came home after eating to rest for a little bit.

We then went to a Singspiration that Trinity Church was having. As I mentioned, the church itself is huge. The sanctuary holds up to 2400 people. The attendance is around 800. As what happens with a lot of churches, they went through some changes. They lost their pastor and the numbers dwindled. Two years ago they called Glen Cole out of retirement to be their pastor. Glen Cole pastored Capital Christian another mega Pentecostal church that is located in Rancho Cordova off of Highway 50. When he retired, his son took over the leadership of Capital Christian. In the two years that he's been at Trinity, the church has made substantial growth. I have not been feeling well so have yet to attend worship services there with Gerry.

Along with a singspiration time, they had a brass band performing. They are from the Redding area and are very good. The music played and sung were the old hymns of the church. It was very good and glad we went. I was very tired by the time we got home. Gerry put a DVD on after we got home and after it was over, I went to bed.

So, no big celebrations for us. I guess it is a sign that we are getting older. :))

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy 29th Anniversary

Today, November 1, 2009, at 2:22 pm in Sacramento, CA, Gerry and I have been married for 29 years. It was a dreary Saturday 29 years ago. I was surprised at the turnout for our wedding since Denise and I had not lived in Sacramento very long. Most of the guests were church family and friends of Gerry. A friend, Larry Bowler told Gerry after the ceremony that we were pronounced man and wife by Gerry's dad at 2:22 pm. Through the years I have been reminded of the precise time in numerous ways.

I remembered it was a very busy morning. All of Denise and my belongings were moved to Gerry's apartment that morning. Then I had to get things set up for the reception and in the church besides getting 5 girls dressed. Gerry had the responsibility of making sure 3 boys got dressed.

A friend, Rita, made our cake for us and got it set up. She was a big help in helping me to get what was necessary for the ceremony and reception.

We were married at Arden Church of the Nazarene, Gerry's dad performed the ceremony and our eight children were the wedding party. It was quite a task finding outfits for 7 of them. Our oldest son got his own suit. Gerry found a 3 piece cordoroy suit at Sears in a rust color and so Erik got a beige one. Our colors were peach, rust and ivory. I found a really nice peach colored gown at a bridal shop in Town and Country that needed very little alterations. The four youngest girls dresses were found at Sears. Surprisely enough we were able to find sizes to fit them all. They were ivory and our oldest daughter wore a long ivory colored gown. I think we found it at JC Penney's. Matching shoes was another story. I had to go to the Naturalizer store to get Denise's shoes. The other girls shoes were bought at Sears. The two boys wore khaki pants with a printed western style shirt.

The ages of the children were 19 years to 9 years.

It is hard to believe that 29 years have passed.

Monday, October 12, 2009

San Luis Obispo Trip

Sorry, I've been MIA. We had a great time in SLO. As I mentioned in my previous post, Gerry rode with the SLO bike club. They ended up in Avila Beach for coffee and then made their way back to SLO. After he got cleaned up, we went in search of lunch and a grocery store. We found a Japanese place and had a teriyaki chicken rice bowl. It was good, there just was a lot of it and I couldn't finish mine. We went to the Kitamura's Friday evening. Bob & Janice had catered some sandwiches from a local deli. Janice made a huge assorted fruit salad. She also got some pies from a local place, the pies are put together then have to be baked. She had apple and ollalieberry. The berry pie was excellent. Two of Bob's sisters were there also. Josh and Becca came over later. Becca's dad had a bad cold and her mom was tired so they didn't come over.

On Saturday morning after breakfast we drove down to Avila Beach. There was a walkathon going on so there was a lot of people down on the beach. We shopped in a few shops, I bought a Tshirt and then we stopped at the coffee shop where the SLO bike club goes to. Its called The Hula Hut and is right across from the beach. Very nice place.

Josh and Becca's reception was at 4 pm at the church where the Kitamura's attend. The church is on the south side of SLO, up on a hill. The rooftop can be seen from the freeway. The view around it is beautiful!! The reception was catered. There were appetizers first and then dinner was tri tip, bbq chicken, oven roasted potatoes, a mixture of vegetables that had been grilled, baked beans, green salad and then a sundae bar for dessert. There was punch, iced tea and water to drink.

We were introduced to Becca's parents and so enjoyed visiting with them, Francis and Brenda Pieprzyk. (Please don't ask me to pronounce their last name, I have no clue. I believe its Polish). In conversation with Brenda, she commented on the excellent job Stephen did performing the ceremony and how beautiful and gracious Denise is. I was happy with the compliments, I had been praying for my kids that whole day.

Sunday morning we all met back at the church, Mountainbrook Community, at 11 am for worship service. We enjoyed the service and noticed there is a beautiful view of the surrounding area from the sanctuary.

Later we met at the Apple Farm for lunch. The Apple Farm is right across the street from the La Cuesta where we were staying. It is quite a large complex which includes a hotel and a huge waterwheel. There's a gift shop down there along with one that is a part of the restaurant. I didn't think the food was as good as its been in the past.

After we ate, we all went over to Bob & Janice's. Most of Bob's family had gone home except for his sister and her husband that live in Portland. They were staying at the La Cuesta too. The family had met at the Apple Farm for breakfast. As we were finishing lunch, Bob's sister called and they came over.

Janice does several boutiques this time of year so after we got over to their house, she showed me some of the things she had made for the boutiques. She sews childrens clothing, knits; she also had some purses she made, aprons, kitchen towels. I love tote bags and she had one that I fell in love with. It is an autumn print. She wouldn't let me purchase it from her, insisted that I just take it. I love it and look forward to using it. I haven't taken a picture of it, I will and will have it on facebook.

Everyone started getting hungry so we ordered take out from Mo's BBQ which is downtown. Gerry and I shared a pulled pork sandwich with cole slaw. It was outstanding. After a fantastic evening, we all said our goodbyes. Bob's sister and her husband had an early flight Monday morning for Portland, Josh was going to take Becca's parents sightseeing on Monday and we were going to drive down to Solvang.

Solvang is about an hour or so south of SLO. We found a parking spot very close to the windmill and walked around. We stopped at the Solvang Bakery and got some goodies. There are tons of bakeries and restaurants in Solvang. We stopped at one restaurant and had some lunch - well, Gerry had pancakes. I just had an egg salad sandwich with cole slaw. On the way back, we drove down to Pismo Beach and walked out on the pier. It was pretty cold walking out there. It was amazing to watch the pigeons, pelicans and other birds. They are so use to having people around that they don't fly off when you approach them. I got pretty close to a pelican to take its picture. We then drove through Shell Beach and parked along the beach and just enjoyed. It is so pretty down there.

For dinner that night we found a little tacqueria and had a very nice inexpensive dinner, cheese enchiladas for me and chile rellano plate for Gerry.

Tuesday morning we were heading home, we decided to walk across the street to the Apple Farm for breakfast. I think it was after 9 before we got on the road. We drove up 101 for a change and before we got to Salinas, there was a truck with 2 trailers and a load of onions that toppled over on its side. Surprisely enough the traffic flowed without any stops. When we got to San Jose we took 680 over to 580 and I-5 home. Got home just before 4 pm.

Josh gave me a DVD of the wedding. It was being played throughout the reception so before we left, he gave it to me. He had told me previously that he had it for me. I am so thankful to have it.

I enjoyed getting to know Becca a little, she is a lovely girl. It seems a little strange to say I have a granddaughter-in-law. I got the impression they want to start their family soon. It will be nice to have a great grandchild. :))

Here's a link to see the pictures I took:
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=37617&id=1040101927&l=aacb1ba2f2

Enjoy!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

San Luis Obispo, California

Greetings from SLO! We are arrived here yesterday afternoon about 1:30 pm. We didn't leave North Highlands until 7:15 am and made several stops along the way. The temps were in the 60's and 70's, however we had the warm morning sun shining through the front of the van, so it was pretty warm while driving.

We are staying at the La Cuesta Hotel. It is right off of Highway 101, in fact there is a freeway on and off ramp right here so we hear all the freeway traffic. Although, with the slider closed, it was pretty quiet. We have a double queen room. The pictures you see on the internet of the rooms are really deceiving. The room is not as big as it appeared in pictures on the hotel's website. Its okay, I sat out on the balcony yesterday for a little bit.

Last night Josh and Becca came up to the hotel, picked us up and we met his parents down at Farmers Market in downtown SLO. They close 4 or 5 blocks for the market. There are all kinds of farmers selling their fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers, vendors selling all kinds of other stuff and then there are the food vendors. Josh's folks were standing in the line at McClintock's. They serve the best ribs and a whole lot of other stuff. The interaction between the people working the booth is quite entertaining. Gerry and I had a combo meal, with a pork rib, tri tip on a stick and a pork bundle which is the bottom part of the rib. It was all so good, Gerry got some beans. I brought some of my dinner back to the hotel. We sat out in front of a place that made and sold frozen fruit, which was like a slush. A girl came out with samples and so later Janice went in the store and bought some to bring back. I got a pint of the peach and ate some of it last night. It is so good, very refreshing. Bob & Janice had to leave early so Josh & Becca and us sat around for a little bit then made our way back up towards where the car was parked. It was very crowded by then. I stopped and got some really yummy grapes, don't remember the variety of them.

This morning Gerry is riding with the SLO Bike Club. Then tonight we are going over to the Kitamura's for dinner. Josh & Becca are driving down to Irvine to pick up Becca's parents that are flying in from Pennsylvania. They'll be back in time for dinner.

Well, I better go get myself ready and go downstairs for some breakfast.

Talk to you later! Have a great day!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Make-Over for Me

A year ago I decided to try and let my hair grow. It was quite short and had worn it like that for many years. At first everything went well and then it got to the point where I didn't know what to do with it. I started wearing it in a pony tail or pulled back with a big clip. I was getting quite a bit of gray and had a section on each side of my face that was quite gray. I absolutely hated it and was getting quite depressed about it.

So a couple of weeks ago I sent an email to the hairdresser that use to do my hair and asked if she had any available appointment close to the end of the month. She answered back and said she had an opening on the 22nd.

Then over the weekend I was chatting via FB with a friend of ours who is a hairdresser, Brent Steele. Brent's father pastored the Nazarene church here in Sacramento where Gerry and I met and were married in 1980. Brent and Denise are the same age and they became friends right away. Brent has been doing hair about 7 years or so. Anyway, I asked him if he was still doing hair and he said yes. We discussed a problem I've had with my hair where a section of hair on the right side of my head has not been growing out like the hair around it.

Well, I cancelled the other appointment I had and made an appointment to see Brent this afternoon. He suggested that he give me some low lights which would blend the gray hair into my natural color. He left some of the gray in. I am so happy with the way it turned out. My hair actually has some shine to it again, it looks healthier and brighter. He cut it and styled it into a very nice easy hair style. It's still a little long, the back rests at the base of my neck and the sides cover my ears.

Brent took pictures which I put on my FB. I will put a link here so you can go look.
http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=35956&id=1040101927&l=55927d5d16


When I walked in the door, Gerry asked me where I'd been and I said getting a hair cut and then he says "and you colored it". He has always been totally against me doing anything to my hair. Its okay for his daughters to color, not me. I've always listened to him. However, I got to thinking, it wasn't about what he thought any longer. It was more about how I felt when I looked at myself in the mirror and I was not happy when I did. An hour or so ago I was at the kitchen sink and he came into the kitchen. He says "oh, there's still some gray there. I couldn't see it. I guess I will have to get used it because it is very different". So that will be the closest to any kind of "complement" I will get. That's okay, it doesn't matter.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

ONIPAA 18th Annual Luau

Last night we went to the luau put on by the Ka Pa Hula Kalama Halau. It was their 18th Annual Luau. ONIPAA stands for "The Organization of Native Islanders of the Pacific, Its Alliances and Affairs.

We went to this particular halau's luau last year. This years theme was "A Tribute to Hapa Haole Hula". According to the program, "the popularity of Hapa Haole songs were first brought to the Hollywood screens during the 1930's, 1940's and continued to flourish after WWII. The art form of the "real Hula" went underground, hidden for over 50 years, leaving the hapa haole songs to flourish. Hapa-Haole means songs primarily in English with a smathering of Hawaiian words included."

They started their program with the Kahiko dances (the ancient dances of Hawaii) which are chanted by the Kumuhula (dance instructor) versus singing the words of the mele (song) while the dancers interpret the song through their dance. These are the dances that I enjoy. They then did the Auana (modern dances of Hawaii) which the Kumuhula sings the songs. Some of these songs were written back in the '30's and there was one song that was written in 1916.

It is always fun to watch the little keikis (the children) and the guys do an awesome job too.

A traditional Hawaiian meal is served consisting of Kalua pork, chicken long rice, lomi lomi salmon, ahi poke, poi, sweet potato and haupia (a pudding made from coconut milk) for dessert.

For the most part, it was very enjoyable, however we had some people sitting across from us that were drinking heavily. We were late getting there and someone was sitting in my seat. All of the seats are reserved. The tickets are printed on color paper according to the price range and the seat numbers are written on each ticket. These particular people did not look at their tickets for their seat numbers and just sat where they saw empty seats. It was 3 couples and a guy by himself. In fact the guy that was sitting in my seat had a ticket for a different section. He was pretty much wasted.

This might have been the last year the Halau will do a luau fundraiser. The Kumuhula mentioned that in the previous 24 hours they had 175 people call for tickets. Usually the hall where this is held is packed. It was about 3/4ths full this year and the vendors were inside the hall instead of outside in the lobby area. I noticed that a lot of the merchandise being displayed and for sale was from China. The luau is held at an Elks Lodge in the Greenhaven area of Sacramento. The economy certainly affected the turnout this year for the luau.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Josh & Becca's Wedding Day

This afternoon, in Grove City, PA, my grandson Joshua William marries his college sweetheart, Becca. My son-in-law, Stephen is marrying them. I so wish I could have been there. Unfortunately, that was not possible. I am looking forward to hearing all about it from Denise.

Stephen, Denise and Bekah left Enterprise, AL sometime Thursday afternoon and drove all night to Canton, OH where Stephen's parents live. Grove City is about an hour or so away from Canton. Stephen's folks will be at the wedding and I imagine Stephen's sister, Susan will go too.

This is a very special day because on a wintery day in January of 1987, after many hours of hard labor, Denise delivered Joshua by c-section. She and Stephen were seniors in high school. They had decided to relinquish Joshua for adoption and his adoptive parents were there at the hospital. Josh went home to San Luis Obispo and subsequently adopted.

We saw him in September of that year on the Sunday he was dedicated at SLO Nazarene. It was grandparents Sunday. This would be the last time Denise would see him. We saw him 2 other times, the last time when he was 3 years old. It was an open adoption so we all knew where each other was and from time to time would hear bits of news about him.

During the summer of 2005, Josh contacted Stephen via email and thus began a relationship with his birth parents and siblings. He chose to attend Grove City College in Pennsylvania and in October of 2006, the family gathered at Stephen's parents home in Canton, OH to meet Josh and spend some time with him. It was a great weekend, although I believe a bit overwhelming for Joshua.

He and Becca met, I believe, their sophmore year of college. She is from Pennsylvania. After they were engaged, Josh asked Stephen if he would marry them. Stephen said yes. He did pre-marital counseling with them via webcam.

God's hand has been in this whole situation from the beginning. Denise's pregnancy was so heart renching in so many different ways, however I truly believe God's love for us and our trust and belief in Him helped us to get through. Josh and Becca's wedding today, the fact that Stephen will be marrying his first born son and Denise is there to witness her first child be married is an awesome thing. God is so good!! I will be there in prayer.

Josh and Becca are moving to SLO after a honeymoon on Maui. His grandmother has a condo there. In October a reception is being held in SLO for friends and family who are not able to attend the wedding. We will be there to join in the celebration and meet my new granddaughter-in-law.

It will take some getting use to having two granddaughters with the same name. Rebecca (Becca) and Rebekah (Bekah), Denise's daughter. Thankfully they spell their names differently. :)

Congratulations to Josh and Becca! You are loved so very much.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Weather Changing

Have you noticed how the mornings are a little cooler? Well, maybe not in your part of the country. Here is Sacramento the mornings are cooler. The days are still warm and still need to have the A/C on for a little bit. Of course, it is still August and we have September and October to go through before Fall sets in. I am so ready for some cooler weather. Although, all things considered, we have not had a really hot summer. We've had 100 plus days, it just hasn't been days on end. It will cool off for a few days and then warm back up. That's been the pattern most of the summer.

On another note, Saturday is the big day for the Shoebox Card Swap that I am hosting here at the park. I have 15 ladies coming and we'll be using the clubhouse. We'll be making cards all day and having a potluck lunch. I'll be up super early to get everything down to the clubhouse that I need to take down. Sure hope I don't do myself in before we even start. I'm excited to see the card samples that everyone has made. Everyone will bring kits so we can make each others card. For a stamper, a whole day of card making is the best!! Each of us will go home with 15 different cards. :))

Friday, August 21, 2009

Post Getting the Most Hits

I find it rather interesting that the post I did about fixing Sweet and Sour Spareribs seems to be getting the most hits on this blog. Most of the hits are from Hawaii, too. I must say Sweet and Sour Spareribs is a meal that is very popular in Hawaii. I can remember that it was a meal my Dad fixed often when us kids were growing up.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Golden Corral Grill & Buffet and Other Stuff

I have been terribly neglecting my two blogs lately. I've been so busy that by the time I think about my blogs, its too late in the day.

North Highlands finally has a decent restaurant to go to. Out on Watt Avenue, which is a main north/south street, there was an X-rated movie theater. Next to it was a stand alone building that had been numerous fast food places. The theater and fast food building was torn down and in its place a Golden Corral was built. Years ago there use to be a few of these restaurants in town. For some reason they were all closed. Well, it has come back to the Sacramento area. There is also one in the south area.

This particular one has been open a week and it has been jammed packed. We tried to go last week Thursday and then again Sunday after church. Michelle came over to look at some of my stamps and it was after 7 when she and Liberty left. We decided to go give the Golden Corral another chance since it was late. Well, the parking lot was full again; we found a parking space and went in. There was a line waiting, however it moved quickly and we were seated in no time. I don't think we waited more than 10 minutes. The food line is sectioned off into types. It is not cafeteria style, you walk down the line and when you see something you want, you step up and serve yourself. There is Italian, Mexican, Chinese, freshly grilled steaks, baked ham, fried chicken, all kinds of vegetables choices, seafood, a salad bar. The bakery is separate and also an ice cream bar. I had some macaroni & cheese, a chicken leg, pot roast with veggies, battered fried mushrooms, a small piece of medium rare steak, lima beans. This was not all at one time. I went up twice and got small portions of each of these. And then the most delicious bread pudding. A lot of the offerings are fried. It was all very good. The adult price for the dinner buffet is $10.99 and the senior price is $10.49 (I think). Between 2:30 pm and 4:30 pm there is a special senior price of $7.49. It closes at 9:30 and when we left at 8:30 pm, people were still coming in.

My grandson, Nathan left for his Army basic training on Wednesday the 12th. Denise and Bekah have received post cards and Britta has received several letters. She got 2 more today. He is still hanging out at the reception center and thoroughly bored. His 19th birthday was the 16th and he told Britta he got 19 spankings with a belt. He also ate a wasp for $40. He doesn't have his cell phone and he told Britta he'd give half his paycheck to get it back. We don't have an address for him yet and he told Britta some guys told him they have to earn having an address. Well, hopefully he will be starting his actual basic training before too long. In a letter Britta got on Monday, he said he hadn't gotten into trouble yet and wondered how long he'd be able to keep that record. :))

Denise and Stephen moved into a rental house the end of July. It is 3 bedrooms, has a yard and a 2 car garage. It is on a street that runs behind the coffee shop. There is an elementary school across the street from them and during the morning and afternoon, the street is a one way street. Probably to make it easier for the parents dropping off and picking up kids. Something interesting is that they have a police officer or private security guard monitoring traffic.

Bekah started her junior year at Enterprise High School last week. She knew some kids that went there so that is good that she already has some friends.

Denise is able to have a craft room again and she is happy about that.

I am busy getting ready to host a Shoebox Card Swap here at the mobile home park. I am using the clubhouse for the swap and have 15 ladies coming. We'll be making cards all day.

I sure hope to get more vacation pictures put on the blog sometime.

That's about all for now.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

New Story on Shooting of Deputy Yesterday

http://www.kcra.com/news/20330033/detail.html

Here's the link to a news story on KCRA, Channel 3, of the shooting of a deputy yesterday in our neighborhood.

I couldn't figure out why the traffic on the overpass was stalled. According to the story it was because the other 2 suspects were caught on the overpass. Amazing how quickly they got away from where they were hiding behind the building to then be casually walking over the overpass.

The area was a mess with traffic through the early evening hours. These guys were from Manteca which is down in the Fresno area. They sure traveled far to go rob a bank.

3000 Hits

Wow, I have 3000 hits to my blog. Pretty impressive since I don't update it very often. :))

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Two Incidents Involving Sacramento County Sheriff Deputies

In the last couple of days there have been two incidents involving Sacramento County Sheriff Deputies.

The first incident occurred on Wednesday or Thursday of this past week. A deputy was on her way to work at the Sacramento airport when another driver made a sudden move into the lane the deputy was driving in, causing the deputy to lose control of her personal vehicle which was a small sports car. Her car spun around hitting a big rig that was entering the freeway. The deputy was killed at the scene. The CHP had received reports from some drivers about a red car weaving in and out of traffic. The car that was involved was red. The driver was arrested and will be arraigned on Monday afternoon. She is 23 years old with a clean driving record.

The deputy had worked for the Sheriff's department for 15 years. Her husband is also a deputy and her father worked in law enforcement also. She had 4 young children, the 3 youngest are triplets going into the first grade this year. This hit close to home for our family. One of the triplets was in our grandson Andy's class and is one of Andy's friends. We picked Andy up from school on Thursdays last school year and Gerry would talk to the father as he waited to pick up his triplets.

Then today Gerry was going out to the airport for a PGR mission. He had been at our church all morning helping to do some work on the grounds. He came home to get cleaned up before he went. I wasn't going to go with him because I wanted to go out to Rocklin to Green Tangerines and look for some cardstock to use on my cards I'm working on for my card swap the end of the month. I left about 15 minutes after he did.

When I turned onto Madison and got up to Hillsdale which is 3 traffic lights from Jackson, traffic was backing up. I heard sirens behind me and a couple of sheriff cars were trying to get through traffic to make a left hand turn at Hillsdale. People were gathered on the sidewalk looking down Hillsdale and there was a helicopter in the sky circling. (That is a common thing around here, helicopters circling). As I crossed Hillsdale, I glanced down and noticed that there were several law enforcement vehicles pulled over in front of a shopping strip on Hillsdale. As I approached the overpass traffic came to an absolute standstill. Then there were sirens coming from everywhere. I could see that there were patrol cars on the overpass too. I called Gerry to see where he was and told him what was going on. People were getting out of their cars walking towards the other side of the overpass.

I was going to take the freeway onramp to go east on I-80. As we inched along, I noticed crime tape blocking the onramp. So there was no getting on the freeway.

Well, supposedly 4 guys robbed a bank in Rocklin and took off down the freeway westbound. They got off on Madison and turned right into the shopping strip. For those that know this area, it is where Brookfield's is and the Super 8 motel. Someone told a Sheriff's deputy that there were 3 men hiding behind a building and they had masks on. He took off on foot to investigate not realizing that these men had robbed a bank and were armed. One of the suspects shot the deputy in the back. He is in stable condition at a local hospital. There are personnel from every law enforcement agency in the area including park rangers. The parking lot of Trinity church is packed with patrol cars. Am not sure what was going on on the overpass because both sides of the overpass had patrol cars and officers. One CHP officer stopped me as I approached. Don't know exactly why. There was camera crews out there too. A couple miles of Hillsdale is closed and the Swat Team is out looking for one more suspect. Three are in custody. They are also searching for weapons that might have been tossed.

Gerry told me when he was driving out to the airport, he saw patrol cars on the freeway coming this way.

I had to do alot of circling in order to get on the freeway. Then the freeway was jammed packed.

It is so crazy out on the streets and in our communities. People are saying it is only going to get worse because of the layoffs and cutbacks that the Sheriff's department has taken.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Bowling at Mardi Gras Lanes, Sacramento - Monday 7/27

Bowling is another family summer vacation get together at Mardi Gras Lanes on Madison Avenue, east of I-80. Little Emma wanted to get up on the bowling floor so someone had to distract her. Here Melody is chatting with Emma. Her momma, Joyce is bowling. Jason just bowled. It probably wasn't a good one looking at the expression on his face. Jason took the whole week off from work to spend it with his siblings.
Granddaughter Ashley, age 17.

Granddaughter Emily just took her turn. These are Elizabeth's daughters, Ashley is the oldest and Emily is the youngest. She'll be 13 in November. Hannah, age 15 1/2 is the middle daughter.
Gerry getting ready to take his turn.








Kayaking at Negro Bar, Lake Natomas, Folsom, CA

One of the activities that the family goes on during the summer visits of our Southern California kids, is to go kayaking at Negro Bar. This was Sunday, 7/26. Here is grandson Andy, daughter Jenni's son, with Uncle George, our son-in-law from So. California. George is married to daughter Joyce. Andy was all excited because he and Uncle George were the first ones back and they beat Hannah. Geese enjoying the water.
Aunt Wendi and Melody. Wendi lives in So. California and Melody is daughter Jenni's daughter.
Granddaugther Katie, age 4 1/2 with her mom Joyce who was doing all the paddling. I think this is Katie's second or third year to go kayakking. She loves it!
The first group got in about noon. Gerry wanted to go out so son Jason went with him. They were gone for about an hour and a half.
Jason was pretty tired and hungry when they got in.
I am still having a difficult time in getting pictures uploaded to Blogger so I will try to put a few on my blog. Then will create a full album on Facebook. Of course anyone wanting to see all the pictures will have to be a friend. Send a friend request if you are already on Facebook, or join and send a friend request. Hope you enjoy my attempt to share some of the family "goings on".





Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Flower Farm, Loomis, CA

The first time I drove out to The Flower Farm to meet Gerry, I didn't have my camera with me. Gerry wanted to do a 70 mile bicycle ride on Saturday, 7/25, to celebrate his birthday. He stopped here at The Flower Farm for a break. I drove out to meet him and remembered to take my camera this time. The Flower Farm is a nursery. There is also a coffee shop, flower shop, gift shop and also a B&B and a large barn that is rented out for large events. The first time I was out there, things weren't really in bloom yet. It is so pretty out there, quiet and peaceful even though Auburn-Folsom Road, a busy thoroughfare, is right there. This view is from the patio on the back of the coffee shop looking out to Auburn-Folsom Rd. Fresh, cut flowers sold here.
A friendly cow checking out the surroundings.
There are numerous metal animal sculptures scattered around the nursery. Here's a huge frog sitting on a lily pad.



They have a small produce stand on the property. All locally grown produce.
Beautiful heirloom tomatoes at $3/lb
Entrance to the Coffee Shop.
Getting ready to finish the ride.
See how I managed to get our van in the background.Some of the plants either just growing there or for purchase.
Entrance to the Nursery and Gift Shop.















Birthday Celebration - Saturday 7/25/09

Elizabeth makes the birthday cakes for the family birthdays. This is the cake she made for Gerry. The kids had been in Old Sacramento earlier in the day and Jason found these candles. They all thought these were appropriate for their father's cake.This is the cake she made for me. After Gerry blew out his candles, I took the candles out and put them on my cake. It was a celebration for his 70th birthday; Elizabeth makes a cake for me too since my birthday is 3 days later. The cakes are always chocolate. If the birthday person wants something else, they have to request it.
Our youngest granddaughter, Emma Louise Yniguez, age 20 months. She is sitting on her momma's lap, daughter Joyce. Emma is an absolute delight.
I made two pans of Pineapple Chicken, we also had rice, salad and corn. We used the clubhouse at our mobile home park for the party.
Gerry, after blowing out the candles on his cake.

Blowing the candles out on my cake.






Sunday, July 26, 2009

Fresh Peach Pretzel Dessert

Here is the recipe for the dessert I made Thursday night when the kids came over for dinner:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2 cups crushed pretzels (place in Ziploc bag and coarsely crush with rolling pin)
1/2 cup melted butter
3 T sugar
Mix together pretzels, melted butter and sugar. Spread evenly into a 9x13 baking pan. Bake for 8 minutes and then cool completely.

1 - 8oz package cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
8 ozs Cool Whip, thawed
1 - 6 oz package Peach Jell-o
2 cups boiling water
4 cups sliced fresh peaches (6 peaches)

Beat together cream cheese, sugar and then fold in Cool Whip. Spread over cooled pretzel crust. Dissolve Jell-o in boiling water and allow cooling to room temperature. Stir sliced peaches into cooled Jell-o. Place in refrigerator for about 30 minutes and then spoon over cream cheese mixture. Chill until firm.

This dessert is rich yet very good. I would like to try it with a different kind of crust.
Recipe courtesy of http://thehappycooker.com
I get a weekly email from this web site with a weekly recipe. She also does monthly recipes which is usually a main dish, side dish and dessert. The recipes are not archived on her web site so if there is something you want, you need to print it right away.
Enjoy!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Update on Dinner Tonight

Dinner was a huge success. The pot roast was "melt in your mouth" good. I fixed a big salad, fresh steamed carrots and rice with gravy. Our son-in-law, George, loves to cook. He came into the kitchen just as I was getting ready to make the gravy so he watched me do it. He said he has not made gravy before. Everyone including the two little granddaughters, Katie and Emma, ate to their hearts content.

Then we had dessert, Fresh Peach Pretzel Dessert. It was awesome! I forgot to take pictures, however there is some dessert left so I will try to get a picture of that and post the recipe.

The kitchen is partially cleaned up. The dishwasher is stacked full. I just need to do the pots and pans, they are going to have to wait until later. My back is hurting so need to sit and rest for a while. :))

I thought George was going to Fairytale Town. He ended up going with Jason, Elizabeth and her girls to do the bumper cars and miniature golf. Jason came over for dinner too. He is our youngest son and lives in Roseville.

We'll do dinner together again on Saturday. Elizabeth and her girls and Jenni and her kids will join us. It should be fun.

Well, I'm going to try and finish cleaning up the kitchen and then going to bed.

Family In Town

Hi there!! This is a quick post. I am so bad about updating my blog. There aren't enough hours in the day. :))

Anyway, it will be a hectic few days around here. George, Joyce, Katie, Emma and Wendi drove up from LaPuente yesterday to spend a few days here in Sacramento. They are staying with Elizabeth. This morning they along with Melody, Andy, their mom Jenni and Granddad went to Fairytale Town. Elizabeth and her girls along with Jason were going to some place in Citrus Heights to ride bumper cars and play miniature golf.

Activities are planned for every day that the Southern California family is in town. We will participate in a few of them. Most of them will be with their mother included. Tonight they are coming over for dinner. I have a pot roast in the crockpot happily cooking away. I need to get to the kitchen and make a dessert, Fresh Peach Pretzel Dessert. It is much like the Strawberry Pretzel Dessert or Salad, just with peaches. I also need to dust the living furniture. So I really need to get away from my computer.

Saturday evening the whole crowd will be over here for dinner to celebrate Gerry's 70th birthday (down at the clubhouse). I'm cooking for that too - Pineapple Chicken. Elizabeth is making the birthday cake, she is the official family birthday cake maker and has been doing it for several years now.

We've had beautiful weather the last few days, in the 90's. The AC only goes on for a little bit in the afternoon. Then there's a nice breeze in the evening, the much loved Delta breeze.

I'm off to make that dessert! Hope you are having a fantastic day!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Graeff Albert Galebach, Dixon, CA 7/17/09

Gerry forwarded this email to me a few minutes ago. This is our dear friend who passed away 3 days after we got back from our vacation. Gerry heard yesterday from another friend that Graeff was going to be buried at the Veterans Cemetery in Dixon. He asked me to call Nancy and see if she would be interested in having the PGR present at the service. Nancy said yes and Gerry emailed Bill Hawkins who is the Capitol Region Asst California State Captain to get some information for Nancy. This morning he found a business card for Bill Hawkins, called Nancy and gave her a phone number to call. She did get in touch with Bill Hawkins and the information was sent out to the PGR members.

We will be attending the service and Gerry will be part of the flag line formed by the PGR.

*************************************************************************************

From: Doc Hawkins
Subject: [PGR-NorCal-Members] Graeff Albert Galebach, Dixon CA 7/17/09To: PGR-NorCal-Members@yahoogroups.comDate: Thursday, July 16, 2009, 5:12 PM

The family of Graeff Albert Galebach, have invited the Patriot Guard Riders to be present when his remains will be buried at the National Cemetery in Dixon Friday 7/17/09

PGR to stage at 2:00PM Chevron Station I-80 and Dixon Rd.
Briefing at: 2:15PM KSU 2:30PM to National Cemetery
Military Honor Services at: 3:00PM National Cemetery Dixon CA.

Graeff was 83 when he went to be with Jesus on June 16, 2009. He was born August 4, 1925 in Elizabethtown, PA. He served in the Army from 18 OCT 1943 to 21 OCT 1945. He was in the 1857th Service Command Unit, served in New Guinea on the island of Biak and received the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign medal with 1 bronze star. He was Honorably Discharged to re-enlist in the Regular Army and was recommended for further military training. He served in Weisbaden, Germany and received the Army of Occupation Medal. World War II Victory Medal. Graeff A. Galebach, RA 33802486, Private First Class, 89th Station Complement Squadron was discharged 20 NOV 1946 at Fort Dix, New Jersey Separation Center. Graeff A. Galebach, AF 33 802 486, USAFR, ENL: 21 November 1946 received an honorable discharge from the Air Force 20 NOV 1949. Additional info: Graeff and I (Nancy) were married 56 years on June 13, 2009. We have 2 children: son, Allen, and daughter, Ann Marie (wife of Eric Vance), 5 grandchildren and one great granddaughter. He had worked as an airplane instruments technician in Civil Service, was transferred from Olmstead Air Force Base in PA to Hill AFB in Utah and from there to McClellan AFB, CA.


RC will be John Steiner john_steiner@ pacbell.net
CMSgt. US Air Force ret.


Bill "Doc Hawk" Hawkins,
Capitol Region Asst California State Captain

A Response From Denise About The Story I Shared On Monday

On Monday I shared about a young mom and daughter at a restaurant we went to in Winters, CA.

The next morning Denise had a comment on her Facebook about my sharing that story. She also shared a remembrance she still has of our time alone when someone helped make a Christmas a little brighter. In part she said: "I still remember that Christmas you came home with a Christmas tree".

It was a struggle most of the time, making sure I was able to provide for Denise. She and I were living in Fresno and I had gotten a job through SETA with Fresno County. I had a temp job first in Vital Statistics, then was able to get a permanent position with the County at the Main Branch of the Library. I was one of 5 people in the Acquisitions Department, 3 clerks, 1 accounts clerk and our supervisor. One of the clerks was a woman in her 50's who had worked for the county for a lot of years. She also had been transferred to several departments and Acquisitions was kind of the last resort. She was a good worker, however she kind of made her own rules and so consequently there was always a lot of friction between she and her supervisors.


She was always at least 20 minutes late every day, took long breaks and lunches. Very few people got along with her, I was the only one in our department that she was actually friendly to and I didn't have any problems with her. She knew I was a single mom and because she had once been one too, she could relate.


It was Christmas 1978. It would be another bleak one for Denise and I. A few days before Christmas, she was late again and when she walked into the department, she told me to come with her to her car. I said I probably should say something to our supervisor first and she told me to just come. She also asked the account clerk to come with us (he was a guy and they clashed all the time). So we followed her to her car. She opened up the trunk of her car and there was a Christmas tree in there which she asked the account clerk to put in my car. She was parked right next to me. She also took out a couple of bags filled with decorations for the tree, and a bag of gifts for Denise to put under the tree. I was absolutely flabbergasted and could not imagine why she would do that for anyone much less me. We walked back to the building and when we got to our department, our supervisor called me into her office. She wanted to know where we had all gone. When I told her what had happened, she couldn't believe it either. I told her I would consider the time away from my desk as my morning break; my supervisor told me not to worry about it.

As I walked back to my desk, this co-worker called me over to my desk and handed me some money. I did not want to take it, she had already done so much for Denise and I. She told me it was for our Christmas dinner and whatever else we may need or want.

Needless to say, Denise was excited to see what I had brought home. She and I set up our tree and decorated it with all the trimmings the co-worker had given me. She even included a tree stand. And there were presents to put under the tree.

This co-worker would do other things for us during the time I worked in the main branch. We all found out that underneath all the ugliness and being so uncooperative, was a person who did not hesitate to show kindness to someone who needed an extra helping hand. I hadn't thought about this co-worker in 30 plus years; I will always be thankful for the kindness she showed Denise and I.

I'm amazed that Denise remembers that particular event in our lives. I realized later on in my life that a God whom I had turned my back on during that particular time in my life, was keeping watch over Denise and I. He always brought a helping hand into our lives just when we needed it.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Note About the Heat

I was out earlier today doing a couple errands and when I got back in the van to come home, the temperature reading in the van said the outside temperature was 104 degrees!!! It will be in the 100's until the weekend according to the weather service. Yuck!!!

HOT Again - Escape to the Coast

It has warmed up again to high temps. There for a few days it was in the 80's, felt so good. Of course, being July one knew it would be short lived and sure enough.

We don't sleep with the a/c on so when I turned it off about 10 pm last night, it was still over 80 degrees outside. Consequently we slept with a fan blowing on us. It was still warm and difficult to sleep and then I wake up in the morning and I'm congested and coughing. I hate the summers in Sacramento. Of course, I guess I shouldn't complain too much. It has been horrible in Enterprise, AL.

We are planning to go to the coast this weekend and maybe it will be cooler there. Gerry made an overnight reservation for us at Mount Herman Christian Conference Campgrounds. We will have a room, a buffet dinner Saturday night, a concert by Steve Green. Then a buffet breakfast Sunday morning then church. Mount Herman is in the Santa Cruz Mountains in Felton. Lots of big trees so hopefully it will be cooler.

I've never been there, however, Gerry and his family use to spend summers there when he was growing up. It will be an early birthday get-a-way for both of us. Yup, we have birthdays coming up, Gerry's the 25th and mine the 28th of this month.

Well, try to stay cool wherever you are!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Today

This morning Gerry had another PGR mission to go on, again at the Veterans Cemetary in Dixon. The service was for a Army Sgt E-5 who died on June 24th from cancer. His wife asked the PGR to participate in the service. A film crew had been filming his life story and exposure to Agent Orange when he died. He did two tours of service in Viet Nam and survived Tet in 1968. He was diagnosed in 2008 with tumors and was given 2 months to live. He lived a year with the diagnosis. The film crew was there to film the conclusion of his life story.

The PGR formed a flag line around the gazebo where the services are held at the cemetary. There were 32 flags, 44 motorcycles and 2 cages. Cages are vehicles (cars, trucks etc.).

Usually I stand off to the side, observe and take pictures. Today I decided to join Gerry in the line and didn't take any pictures. The sergeant was given a full military send-off and I must say, it is very impressive. I didn't even try to contain my tears rolling down my cheeks. At the conclusion of the service, the widow and a gentleman, perhaps a son, walked around the circle of PGR flag bearors, thanking them for coming. A few of the guys hugged her and the son shook some hands.

As Gerry and I walked away, the guy filming the event filmed us walking towards him and said to us "God Bless You" as we walked past. Gerry replied "God Bless You too".

There was a second mission going on at the Yolo County Airport. A soldier from Dunningan, CA who died on July 4th in Afghanistan was being brought home. We drove out there to try to be a part of that mission. Gerry took a wrong turn and we missed it. Gerry got another email saying that there were 30 motorcycles and 5 cages at that mission. The PGR formed a flag line as the coffin was brought off the plane and then escorted the family to the mortuary in Woodland where the services will be held on Thursday. They also were escorted by the VFW from Woodland, fire department vehicles from Woodland and Dunnigan, Woodland Police, and the CHP. Gerry will probably be participating in the Thursday mission at the mortuary.

Since we missed the turn for the airport, we drove over to Winters to have a late breakfast at the Putah Creek Cafe. This is one of our favorite places to go. We had finished our meal and while we waited for the waitress to bring our check, I went to the ladies room. When I got back, and we had boxed our leftovers to bring home, Gerry stood up and walked over to me. He had a different look on his face; he says to me "remember when you were a single mom and didn't have a lot of money. Well, this young mom sitting at the table next to us is counting her money to see if she has enough to pay for her meal. Here go give her this while I go to the mens room." And he handed me a $20 bill. I had seen the young lady walk in and sit down, she had a little girl with her. The waitress brought them some water and the mom ordered, I thought. Well, I folded the bill in my hand, got up and went over to her. I gently touched her arm and slid my arm down so it was between the table and her and indicated to her to take what I had in my hand. She was startled at first and then looked down and saw I had some money in my hand. She took it and thanked me. I went back to our table to gather my purse and our to go boxes and looked over at her. The waitress was bringing a meal I guess she ordered for her daughter and asked if she knew what she wanted for herself. She opened up the menu and ordered a hamburger for herself. As I walked by again, I bent down and whispered to her that I had been a single mom at one time and didn't have any money, and someone helped me. She thanked me again and had a smile of relief on her face. There was an older couple sitting at a table behind her and they heard what I said to the young lady. When I walked around them, they looked at me and smiled.

That gesture of kindness brought back so many memories of when I was divorced and struggling to raise Denise. There were a couple of people that crossed my mind today that helped me in much the same way. I was not in a position to see all that was transpiring at that particular table, however Gerry was and God whispered in his ear to extend that kindness to that young mom and her daughter. We will never know that mom's circumstances or what she was thinking at that moment and time, however hopefully it helped to brighten her day just a little bit.

We see people all over Sacramento standing on street corners and freeway offramps with their signs asking for money or something to eat. We tend to ignore them because more than likely they will use whatever money they get to buy drugs or more liquor and we won't support that sort of thing. Then God puts a situation like this young mom and her daughter in your path and it is just the right time to help.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Beef with Fresh Green Beans

There's a lady at church that has a huge garden each year. She brings her produce to church each week to sell and she does quite well with selling her produce. She has every kind of vegetable available and she also cans, makes jams and jelly, pickles, okra. I wanted some fresh green beans to fix with a piece of top sirloin that I had in the freezer and was going to get some at Bel Air when I was there on Saturday. I decided to wait to see if Agnes had some on Sunday. Sure enough she did. I asked her for a pound and she actually gave me a pound and a half all for the grand sum of $1.

So I fixed them last night with the piece of meat I had.
I should do like my friend Jalna does and take pictures with each step because I don't use a recipe for this particular dish. However, I never think about doing that. So let me see if I can tell you how I do this.

First I snip the ends off the beans, if some are too big, I cut them in half. Then I put them in a bowl with some water and set them aside. Next I slice the meat using a VERY sharp knife and cut the meat on a slant across the grain. This is hard to describe, I have the side of the knife laying on the top of the meat as I slice the meat getting thin slices. I cut up half of an onion in thin wedge like pieces and set that aside. If I'm using fresh garlic and ginger (I didn't have any last night) I get that peeled and cut up.

Next I heat up a pan on high, put a little bit of olive oil in and when the pan is hot, I put the garlic and ginger in and stir it around. You'll know the pan and oil is hot when the oil starts popping. Then I add the meat in and stir fry that quickly, stirring the garlic and ginger into the meat. When the meat is almost cooked through (there'll be a little bit of pink left), I add the onion and stir that around, then add salt, pepper, shoyu (soy sauce - in Hawaii we call it shoyu) and some sugar. I can't give a measurement because I don't know. I just add it in. Mix this all together and then add the vegetables. Then I add more salt, pepper, shoyu and sugar. I just did green beans last night, sometimes I add fresh mushrooms. You can add other kinds of vegetables. I stir everything together, turn the fire down and put a lid on the pan and let it simmer until the beans are fork tender but still crunchy. Some of the thinner beans got cooked a little too much. Then serve it over rice.

A couple of weeks ago Denise had a post on her Facebook that she had fixed this for dinner and her family said it was yummy. This was a meal she liked when she was still home. I use to make it often, however, beans have been expensive in the grocery store and not very good looking. Agnes' beans were fantastic. She said she had picked them Thursday evening. She does all the gardening by herself. She is in her 70's. She has quite a bit of property and has a fully equipped kitchen in a separate building on her property that is solely for doing her canning, baking and tending to her vegetables.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Mexican Cheesecake

This is one of the desserts that we had when we were in Enterprise. Denise's friend, Selena made it. I thought it looked kind of familiar and that I had a recipe for it, however it was called something else. Selena made it again before we left.

I asked Denise to ask Selena for the recipe and she said she would. I asked Denise about it after we got home and she told me it was the same as the recipe I had, Selena increased the amounts of some of the ingredients. So I went searching for my recipe and sure enough found it. My recipe is called Cinnamon Cream Cheese Squares. I am not sure where I found the recipe, I've had it for a few years. I made it for an Easter brunch at church.

I got the ingredients to make it when I was at Bel Air last week and made it earlier today before it got too warm outside. So here it is:

It is very rich, however so absolutely fantastic!!
I'll put Selena's variations in brackets. I made it like she does. I think the next time I will cut down on the sugar and cinnamon topping a little.
Mexican Cheesecake (Cinnamon Cream Cheese Squares)
2 - 8 ounce tubes refrigerated crescent rolls (I used Pillsbury)
2 - 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened (I used Philadelphia)
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
1 tsp. (1 T) vanilla extract
1/4 ( 1/2 ) cup butter or margarine, melted
1 tsp. (1 T) ground cinnamon
Unroll one tube of crescent roll dough and place in a lightly greased 13x9 baking dish. Seal seams & perforations and stretch to fit pan; set aside.
In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, 1 cup of sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spread over dough.
Unroll second tube of dough and place over cream cheese mixture, seal seams & perforations and stretch to fit.
Brush butter evenly over top; sprinkle with cinnamon and remaining sugar. (I mixed the cinnamon and sugar in a bowl first)
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until done. Cool; cut into squares.
Note: I didn't use all of the melted butter. Selena increases the amount of vanilla, cinnamon and butter. The next time I won't use as much sugar and cinnamon on the top. My recipe says it makes about 3 dozen squares. That would depend on how big the pieces are cut.
So give it a try. I am sure you will enjoy it too!! :))




Gerry sent this cartoon to me earlier this week. I don't believe we thought to do this while we were on our vacation. Oh, darn!! LOL!! This is too funny!!

The Oldest Still Performing Showgirl

I got this email from Rod Inefuku, a former classmate at Kailua High School. This woman is pretty amazing!!

Enjoy!!

- - - " The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies holds the Guinness record for being the oldest professional chorus line in the world, and one of its performers, Dorothy Dale Kloss, holds the record—at age 85—for being the oldest still-performing showgirl " - - - No wings, great figure still, young looking legs, moves like a young girl, talks like a youngster...gives me some inspiration until I look in the mirror. http://bulletin.aarp.org/yourworld/articles/Dorothy_Dale_Kloss_Oldest_Showgirl_in_the_World.html

Sunday, June 28, 2009

I copied the article below from an email Gerry sent. He also posted this on his FB. I don't know where he found it. Gerry served 4 years of active duty as a Marine in the late '50's, early '60's. And once a Marine, always a Marine. So it doesn't surprise me that he would find this and post it. His loyalty to the Corp is strong, proud and steadfast. He wears hats with US Marines on it, has numerous T-shirts with US Marine Corp on them, and there are Marine Corp emblems on the new van and stickers on his van. On numerous occasions when he's had one of his hats or T-shirts on, people will stop him and ask him if he was in the Marine Corp. When he answers "yes" they will thank him for his service.

I never knew this about Ed McMahon. He was well known for his involvement in the television/entertainment industry. However, he was a decorated Marine officer who did much for his fellow Marine brothers. I would rather hear these kind of stories than some of what we are going to be enduring for some months to come.

Trust you will enjoy reading this particular article.

*********************

COLONEL ED, A NATIONAL HERO, HAS DIED He wanted to be a Marine fighter pilot. The US was building up their military force, but they were not at war yet and the Navy required all its potential Navy and Marine pilots to have two years of college. So Ed started classes at Boston College .
When Pearl Harbor was attacked the Army and the Navy both dropped the college requirement and Ed applied to the Marines. His primary flight training was in Dallas and then he went to Pensacola , Florida . He was carrier qualified, which means he knew how to perform a controlled crash of his single engine fighter, onto the rolling deck of a Navy floating runway.
It took Ed almost two years to get through all the Navy flight training. His problem was he was a very good pilot and the Marines needed flight instructors. He had a great command presence and public speaking ability, which landed him in the classroom, training new baby Marine pilots.
His orders to the Pacific fleet and the chance to fly combat missions off a carrier came in the spring of 1945, on the same day the Atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima . Of course his orders where changed. He never went to sea and he was out of the Marines in 1946.
Ed stayed in the USMC as a reserve officer. He became a successful personality in the new TV medium, after the war. His Marine command presence helped. He was recalled to active duty during the Korean War. He never got to fly his fighter aircraft, but he saw his share of raw combat. He flew the Cessna O-1E Bird Dog, which is a single engine slow-moving unarmed plane. He functioned as an artillery spotter for the Marine batteries on the ground and as a forward controller for the Navy & Marine fighter / bombers who flew in on fast moving jet engines, bombed the area and were gone in seconds. Captain Ed was still circling the enemy looking for more targets, all the time taking North Korean and Chinese ground fire.
He stayed with the Marines as a reserve officer and retired in 1966 as a Colonel.
The world knows Ed as Ed McMahon of the Johnny Carson, Tonight Show. One night I was watching the show when the subject of Colonel McMahon earning a number of Navy Air Medals came up. Carson, a former Navy officer, understood the significance of these medals, but McMahon shrugged it off, saying that if you flew enough combat missions they just sort of gave them to you. McMahon flew 85 combat missions over North Korea ; he earned every one of those Air Medals. The casualty rate, for flying forward air controllers in Korea sometimes exceeded 50% of a squadron’s manpower. McMahon was lucky to have gotten home from that war.

Once a Marine, always a Marine.

When the public was spitting (taking their personal safety into their own hands) at Marines on the streets of Southern California during Vietnam , Colonel McMahon was taking Marines off the streets and into his posh Beverley Hills home. I spoke to a retired Marine aircrew member the day Colonel McMahon died and he personally remembered seeing McMahon at numerous Marine Air Bases in California in the 1960s. He was known for going to the Navy hospitals and visiting the wounded Marines and Sailors from this country’s conflicts, even in the last years of his life.

Colonel McMahon presented awards and decorations to fellow Marines and attended many a Marine ceremony and the annual Marine Corps Birthday Ball. He stayed true to his Corps as a board member of the Marine Corps Scholarship Fund and as the honorary chairman of the National Marine Corps Aviation Museum. After retiring from the Marine Reserve, one night on the Johnny Carson show, members of the California Air National Guard came on stage.
Colonel McMahon was commissioned a Brigadier General in the Air Guard in front of millions of Americans who watched it happen live. You will not see anything like that on TV anymore.

The three core values of a United States Marine are; honor, courage and commitment. This is what a Marine is taught from the first day of training and this is what that Marine believes. That was Colonel Edward P. McMahon Jr. USMCR Retired. Before he was a national figure he was a true combat hero and a patriot the nation needed then and this country needs now.
Your war is over.

Thank you Colonel McMahon. Semper Fi sir.

23 June 2009 Major Van Harl USAF Ret.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Rebekah-Elizabeth Noe'lani - Sweet 16th Birthday

Yesterday, Friday June 26th was my granddaughter's 16th birthday. Her full name is Rebekah-Elizabeth Noe'lani. Elizabeth is after me (her first name is hyphenated like mine is) and Noe'lani is my daughter Denise's middle name, her mom. She is lovingly called "Bekah". She is a lovely girl, not only to look at, also to be around. She enjoys reading and is writing at least a couple of books. There may be more that she is working on, I don't remember exactly. We thoroughly enjoyed seeing her on our visit to Enterprise. This picture was taken in Destin, FL where we drove to on the Sunday before we left Alabama. That is the Gulf of Mexico in the background. I will be sharing more pictures of our visit to the Gulf later.

Here are the words to the song "Sixteen Candles" sung by The Crests back in the late '50's. I included this in the birthday card I made for her and edited the words to reflect what I wanted to say to her.

SIXTEEN CANDLES
Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday, Rebekah-Elizabeth Noe'lani
Oh, we love you so!!
Sixteen Candles make a lovely light
But not as bright as your eyes today
Blow out the candles, make your wish come true
For we'll be wishing that you love us too
You're only sixteen
But you're our teenage queen
You're the prettiest, loveliest girl we've ever seen
Sixteen Candles in our heart will glow
For ever and ever for we love you so
You're only sixteen
But you're our teenage queen
Oh, you're the prettiest, loveliest girl we've ever seen
Sixteen Candles in our heart will glow
For ever and ever for we love you so
For we love you so!!!!
I got a FB message from her today and she loved her card! :))

Checking In

I've been away from my blog and writing any new posts. The other day I downloaded the new Internet Explorer onto my desktop computer. Since I did that, I've been having all kinds of problems. When I try to get on my blog, I get an error message and get kicked off. The few times I have gotten on my blog and didn't get kicked off, I've just looked at Jalna, Leslie and my granddaughter's blogs. I got so irritated this afternoon, I turned on my laptop. So I've been using it instead. The desktop was fine before I downloaded the new Internet Explorer.

I finally got all of the vacation pictures downloaded off my Casio and Canon cameras to my laptop. Then I went through all of them, making notes and refreshing my memory as to where they were taken. I counted over 1000 pictures. Gerry has some on his Casio he hasn't downloaded so I want to download those onto my laptop. I downloaded over 200 of his while we were still traveling.

As soon as I get all that done, I will start downloading some to my blog. I won't put them ALL on, that would take me forever. I want to be done with blogging the trip. :)) I may create some albums on my Facebook too.

It has been rather warm here in Sacramento. I am not sure how hot it actually got today, it was suppose to be over 100. The next few days will be warm and then should cool down some by the middle of next week. At least it is cooling down at night. It is difficult to sleep at night if it is really warm. We turn the AC off at night, open the bedroom windows and have a fan going.

Yesterday we went to another memorial service. This one was for Graeff Galebach, age 83, who died from cancer last week. It was a wonderful worship service and was done by the former senior pastor from Roseville Nazarene. The service was done at a church in Citrus Heights not at Roseville Nazarene where Graeff and his wife Nancy have been members for many years. It would have been a little awkward. It was like a huge family reunion. So many who have left Roseville Nazarene over the last few years for one reason or another, were at the service. The former youth/associate pastor at Roseville Nazarene who is now a senior pastor in Midlothian, TX drove out with his family.

Hopefully there won't be any more memorial services for awhile.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Pineapple Chicken Recipe

This Pineapple Chicken was one of the meals we had when we were in Enterprise, AL. Denise sent the recipe to me back in March. It is her friend Julie's recipe. It is very good and I decided to make it one night last week.

Here's the recipe:
5 lbs of chicken thighs
1 can of pineapple chunks in 100% juice
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 cup of shoyu (soy sauce)
1/2 cup of vinegar
4 T of cornstarch
1/2 tsp powdered ginger

Put all ingredients except the chicken in a saucepan, stir and bring to a boil. Place chicken in a large pan, pour sauce over chicken. Bake at 350 deg for 1 1/2 hours.

* I used a family pak of boneless/skinless chicken thighs. There were 8 pieces in the package. Be sure to watch the sauce because as soon as it comes to a full boil, the sauce will thicken. Also stir occasionally as the sugar will burn and stick on the bottom of the pan. I baked it for about an hour and 15 minutes and used a 9x13 inch baking dish.

When we had this in Enterprise, we had the combination thigh and leg pieces. Those probably would have to be cooked the 1 1/2 hours.

Serve it with rice. It is very good, we had 2 meals out of it. I forgot to take a picture so you could see what it looks like. Let me know if you decide to make it.