Saturday, July 31, 2010

Celebrating Our Birthdays

Gerry's birthday was Sunday, the 25th. He celebrated by doing a moonlight century bike ride last Saturday evening. The ride started in Davis at 7pm and he was home by 2:30 am Sunday morning. He managed to ride 80 miles of the 100, the last few miles of the 80 he got a sag ride back to the start of the ride. He missed the first rest stop and ended up riding 57 miles before he stopped. He was hurting from being in the saddle that long and I guess his whole body was hurting.

My birthday was Wednesday the 28th. We had breakfast in Folsom and drove down Highway 49 to Columbia State Park which is off Highway 49. The last time we were there was in the early '80's.

At one time Columbia was the 2nd largest city in California. The town was created in the 1850 when gold was discovered in the area. In 1854 and 1857, the town was burnt down and then rebuilt. In 1945 the California Legislature designated it a state park in order to preserve a typical gold rush town.

Deserted mines surround the area as do numerous caverns. The cavern that the family visited a couple of weeks or so ago, is in the general area.

A few of the buildings remaining in the town:

I thought this bench cut from a log was rather interesting.

The stage coach ride seemed to be the most popular thing to do.
Gerry standing beside a freight wagon.
There was an area where people could "pan" for gold and that was a busy spot too. We noticed a lot of foreign visitors judging from the different languages being spoken.
After we left there, we continued on Highway 49 passing through Jamestown, past the turn-off for Yosemite, into Escalon and Manteca. We stopped there for something to drink and a potty break. As we got into Elk Grove, we decided to get off the freeway and have some dinner. We went to a place called "Hawaiian Style Grill" - local fast food. I wanted to go to Michael's and by the time we got on the freeway, traffic had died down quite a bit. Denise called just as we were leaving the restaurant. She had called a couple of times and I hadn't heard my cell phone ring. Hearing her voice made my day.
I had gotten Gerry a Razzleberry pie from Marie Callendar's Sunday night so we came home and finished it up.
It was a nice relaxing day just being together. And Thursday morning I woke up not feeling any older than I did Tuesday night when I went to sleep.

Townsend Family Pictures

I copied a few pictures from Joyce's photo album. This first one is George and his daughter, Geraldine. It looks like it was taken this past 4th of July. Here's one of Emma (2 1/2 yrs. old) and Katie (5 1/2 yrs. old), our youngest grandchildren/granddaughters. Daughter Joyce is their mother. Daddy and big sister are in the first picture.
Joyce with Katie and Emma. This was taken at a family reunion of their mother's family up in Auburn. The kids cousin, Pam and her husband, Steve, hosted the family. This is a creek that runs through their property.
I've shared numerous pictures of Denise and her family. Finally have a picture of all of Gerry's kids. Left to right the girls are: Wendi (youngest), Elizabeth (oldest child/daughter), the twins Joyce and Jenni (she is the oldest of the twins). Then left to right the boys are: Jason (youngest), Keith and Erik (oldest of the boys). Wendi lives in La Puente (So. Cal with Joyce), Elizabeth lives in Fair Oaks, Joyce lives in LaPuente and Jenni lives in Citrus Heights. Jason lives in Roseville, Keith lives in Ft. Worth, TX and Erik lives in Mt. Home, ID. Joyce, Jenni and Jason are married.
The kids and grandkids:
Left to right, seated on ground: Rachel (20-granddaughter/Erik's daughter), Melody (10-granddaughter/Jenni's daughter), Emma (2 1/2-granddaughter/Joyce's daughter), Wendi (40), Joyce (41), Katie (5 1/2-granddaughter/Joyce's daughter), George (married to Joyce). Kneeling: Emily (14-granddaughter/Elizabeth's youngest), Andy (7-grandson/Jenni's son). Back row: Jason (38), Seth (18-grandson/Erik's youngest son), Elizabeth (49), Jenni (41), Hannah (16-granddaughter/Elizabeth's middle daughter), Keith (46), Ashley (18-granddaugther/Elizabeth's oldest daughter), Erik (47) and Geraldine (16-granddaughter/George's daughter. Missing are: Erik's two older sons, Matthew (24) and Joshua (22); Keith's daughters, Nathalie (30) and Joy Lynn (28) and Jason's kids, Anthony (22) and Courtney (21).
Grandson Seth and his girlfriend, Brittany. They are a very good looking couple. I got to meet her when the family visited a couple of weeks ago. Brittany is a very nice girl and it was fun getting to know her.
Emma feeding Granddad some grapes. This was taken when they went kayaking.
Geraldine. She is such a beautiful girl and an excellent student. She will be a senior in high school this year. We actually have 4 grandchildren that will be seniors - Seth, Ashley, Rebekah (Denise's daughter) and Geraldine.
Granddad acting silly. He is wearing Seth's cap. This was taken after they had gone kayaking.
Sweet Katie enjoying kayaking.
Seth and Brittany.
Seth posted some pictures of he and Brittany. I told him I was going to copy a few of them too. I'll share those later.
We are a family of 4 sons (Gerry has an adopted son whose whereabouts are unknown), 5 daughters, 19 grandchildren, 3 son-in-laws, 1 daughter-in-law and 1 granddaughter-in-law.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


I just posted these two recipes on my Facebook. I fixed them Friday night when some of our out-of-town kids that are visiting came over for dinner. I thought there might be someone who reads my blog that would like to have these so I am posting them here too.

Chicken with Apricot Glaze
4 lbs of chicken pieces. boned and skinless. (I used a combination of breasts, which I cut in half and thighs)
1 - 8 oz bottle of Wish Bone Russian dressing
1 envelope of Lipton's dry onion soup mix
1 - 13 oz jar of apricot preserves.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rinse and dry chicken pieces. Place in baking dish. Combine all the ingredients and pour over chicken pieces. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serve with rice.
Pig Lickin' Cake
This recipe appeared in the Sacramento Bee several years ago. Supposedly the cake was made by the father of Newt Gingrich when Connie Chung of NBC news (she could have been with CBS, I don't remember) interviewed Newt Gingrich's parents. I have seen the recipe in other publications by other titles.
1 box butter recipe yellow cake
1 small can of mandarin oranges with juice
4 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup of vegetable oil
1 small box instant vanilla pudding
1 - 20 oz can crushed pineapple with juice
1 - 12 oz container of Cool Whip
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13 x 9 baking dish with PAM. Blend cake mix, oil, eggs and mandarin oranges with juice. Beat for 3 minutes. Pour into baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes or until done. (I baked mine for 10 extra minutes). Cool completely.
Frosting: Pour pineapple with juice into a bowl, add the instant pudding and mix well together. Set aside. When cake is cool, mix Cool Whip into pineapple mixture and stir thoroughly. Frost cooled cake. Refrigerate.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Busy Time

Another quick post. Yesterday was a very busy day yet enjoyable. Gerry called me from a stop in Penryn that they were headed up Indian Hills Road over to Auburn Folsom Road and then down to The Flower Farm. I was in the middle of cleaning the front bathroom, so I finished up what I was doing and drove out to The Flower Farm in Loomis. They had just gotten there when I pulled into the parking lot. It was busy out there, there weren't any tables on the deck, however, Gerry spotted a picnic table out in the yard.

We ordered our usual Special Bagel Sandwich. It is cream cheese on a bagel of choice, sliced cucumbers, red bell pepper strips, sliced red onion and then slices of smoked salmon with a special sauce of some kind on it. It is so yummy and messy to eat. One of these times I'm going to remember to take a picture of it. We usually share it. Keith had a breakfast sandwich. We were out there for about an hour, I absolutely love it out there. They've added a cover over the deck and added some seating out in the garden.

After I left there, I drove over to the Antelope Bel Air and got fixings for dinner. Gerry and Keith got in about 4pm, they had ridden over 70 miles. Keith helped me get the dining room table set up with the leaf extension while Gerry went to storage to get our folding chairs. Keith then left to go get cleaned up. I told him he could do it here, he wanted to go back to his hotel.

Erik (oldest son who lives in Idaho), Seth (his son/grandson), Rachel (his daughter/granddaughter) and Brittany (Seth's girlfriend) arrived after 6 pm. Jason (he lives in Roseville and is always included when I fix a dinner for our out of town kids) arrived shortly after and then Keith came back. We ate a little after 7pm.

I fixed a chicken dish, rice, corn and a salad. Then I fixed a yummy dessert. I'll do recipes later. Again I forgot to take pictures. There was too much going on to remember to do everything. :) After we ate Rachel wanted her dad to take her over to Aunt Elizabeth's house. She was going to stay there with them. Erik, Seth and Brittany are staying at Jason's. After Erik got back we had dessert.

Last night was the first time I met Brittany. She's been skiing when some of the kids get together in February in Idaho. Gerry has met her there. Anyway, she came in the kitchen when I started cleaning up. She ended up rinising all the dishes and getting them in the dishwasher. I was very impressed!! She graduated from high school this year and is going to college in the fall. She hasn't decided if she'll go to Boise State or somewhere else. I also found out that she has a smidgen of Hawaiian blood. Her middle name is Keahonui. One of her grandmother's is part Hawaiian, I don't remember if its her father's mother or her mother's mother. Anyway, she's a sweetheart.

While we were waiting for Erik to come back, we came into the craft room and I showed her some of the cards I've made. Since all the guys were in the living room, we decided to have some girl time. :)

Gerry and Keith are getting in a bike ride this morning and then joining the rest of the family at Negro Bar to go kayaking. Negro Bar is part of the Folsom Recreation Area and is below Nimbus Dam which is part of the American River. This is a yearly activity when the out of town kids come to visit.

I am taking 2 card classes with Julie Ebersole from A Muse stamps today and will be gone all day too. So everyone will be having a fun day.

I will check in later. Have a great day!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Family Visiting

Just a quick post...the out of town kids are in town visiting for a week. The Southern California group arrived Wednesday evening, Keith from Texas arrived yesterday and as I type, Erik from Idaho is in Nevada driving here. He is expected around dinner time. I know for sure, besides Erik, Seth and his girlfriend and Rachel are with him. There was mention of Erik's friend coming too yet no one knows for sure. I talked to him a little bit ago and forgot to ask him.

Keith, Jason and Erik et al will be here tonight for dinner. The Southern California kids made other plans. I don't know what I am going to fix yet, need to make a quick trip up to Bel Air.

Keith and Gerry left on a bike ride earlier. I may or may not meet up with them later for lunch. Gerry is suppose to call me. The plan is to stop at The Flower Farm in Loomis (one of my favorite places).

Tomorrow everyone is going kayaking. Gerry and Keith may get a ride in before that. I have had plans to do two card classes at The Paper Garden with Julie Ebersole, lead designer with AMuse stamps located in Seattle, WA. On Monday we are going up to some caverns in the foothills. We're taking a picnic so it should be fun.

Gotta run for now. Will post more later. Everyone have a great day!!

Sunday, July 4, 2010


God Bless America,
Land that I love,
Stand beside Her and guide Her
Thru the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies
To the oceans white with foam
God bless America
My home sweet home
God bless America
My home sweet home!
The flag aboard the USS Chung-Hoon whose home port is Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. This is part of a group of pictures that were taken at Pearl Harbor when the destroyer was welcomed to its home port for the first time. We drove down to Walnut Grove today to go to the Walnut Grove Buddhist Church's annual bazaar. This was the 56th year of the bazaar, it is held every year during the 4th of July weekend. The church is tucked away on a side street and was not very easy to find. We followed people walking in the direction of the church and found it.
The long line of people waiting to get the food, teriyaki chicken, chow mein, inari and futomaki sushi and tsunemono were the items being offered for sale. The food was good although the teriyaki chicken from Oto's Marketplace in Sacramento is a lot better.

Seated next to us was a camera crew from, probably a Japanese TV station. As we got ready to leave they were interviewing a couple of elderly Japanese gentlemen. I overheard one of them say to the reporter that Walnut Grove was where a lot of the Japanese coming from Japan to the Sacramento area settled. They then moved from there to other parts of the area. All of the Japanese in the area were taken to internment camps during WWII and some returned to the area. Many of them return every year during the bazaar to reconnect with friends left behind many years ago. The Sacramento Bee did a very nice article in the paper this morning.

People enjoying the food. The overhead covering offered some relief from the sun beating down. It was very warm down there.
On the way back, we drove up the river on the Yolo County side into West Sacramento. We then drove over the Tower Bridge which becomes Capitol Avenue after crossing the river. Up ahead is the State Capitol. It is such a beautiful building.
A closer view.
Before we came home, we stopped at Jamba Juice so I could get a Strawberry Surfrider. Gerry went over to Starbucks in the same strip mall and got a frappicino.
I think this is strawberries, peaches, pineapple sorbet and lemonade. Whatever is in it, I love it!!
I sat at my computer for about an hour and kept falling asleep so I went and took a nap. I slept until 8:20pm. Gerry was watching the Tour de France that started yesterday. Now I am wide awake. I hope I can go to sleep later, it's 10:30 pm now. If not, I'll read until I get sleepy. I can hear fireworks going off around the neighborhood.
Hope you have had an enjoyable 4th of July.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Betty Boop

Gerry emailed this image to me earlier. I have an aunt that called me Betty Boop when I was growing up.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 1, 2010

PGR Welcome 31 WWII Vets Home From Trip to Washington DC

This past Sunday evening 8 PGR members welcomed home a group of 31 WWII Vets who left Friday morning to visit the WWII Memorial in Washington, DC. The group included 2 women Vets.

Here's a group of them coming down the escalator at Sacramento Metro Airport.

The woman in the yellow t-shirt clapping her hands and her husband coordinated this trip for Honor Flight Northern California. Her daughter in the blue t-shirt is at the door of the elevator telling the vets using the elevator which way to go. The woman in the wheelchair is one of 2 women Vets on this trip.
PGR members who formed a flag line at the bottom of the escalator are from left to right: John Riley (ride captain), Gerry, Wayne (Wayne's step-daughter and her husband belong to the bike club that Gerry belongs to), Mickey Giacomo (he is the safety officer. you might recognize him from pictures I took of the Sea to Shining Sea wounded warriors cross country bike ride), John Steiner (assistant state captain, capitol region for the otherwards "the boss"), Ardis Riley (John's wife) and a husband and wife whose names are not known by Gerry.
The gentleman in the dark tank top with his back to the camera was waiting for his son to come home. The PGR welcomed him home too. He is the young man second from the bottom of the escalator. He was on a flight from Hawaii where he is stationed at the Kaneohe Marine Corp Air Station. And recently returned from his second tour in the middle east. The marine base was not too far from where I lived in Kailua and where my ex was stationed when I met him.
Here below, I have included the summary email Gerry received from John Riley, the ride captain for this mission.

As previously announced, the PGR was invited to be present and assist with as well as stand a flag line honoring 31 WWII Vets who were on a flight to Washington, D.C.. It would be proper to note that 2 of the 31 vets were ladies. This was a 2 PART MISSION:

PART 1 On 6/25 when 9 PGR members arrived and although no assistance was needed (each VET had a GUARDIAN assisting them) we had an opportunity to meet and talk with these real life Heroes. After their group was completely assembled we were notified they were ready and I led the group to our flag line which was set up at the base of the escalator going up to the secure area for passengers where they were all screened and boarded the plane for the trip to D.C. We had two of our PGR group stand watch and assist with loading the elevator and making sure they got to the upstairs area in good fashion.We were joined at the head of the flag line by 2 TSA employees who were dressed in their CLASS "A" uniforms and who rendered hand slautes to each and every one of our heroes. A VERY IMPRESSIVE SIGHT.
Our participation for the send off was completed.

On 6/27 13 of the PGR gathered once again at Terminal A of Sacramento International Airport to stand a flag line for our 31 returning WWII Vets. The plane arrived and the airline let all passengers off with the exception of "our guys," who came down as a group without other passengers. This was at the request of the group leader, and worked very well. If one of our heroes came down the elevator, we escorted them to the bottom of the escalator and made sure they went through our flag lines, while at the same time those who could, came down the escalator also went though the flag line.Several of the Vets were asked how the trip was, and you could tell by the sparkle in their eyes, it was OUTSTANDING, thus confirming what they were saying.One of the saltier gentlemen was asked if he would prefer a wheel chair to which he relpied - "Hell NO. I am 99 years old now, when I turn 100 I get one." A real character!Although our parts of this mission was completed, we all saw something in these Vets that swelled us up, maybe drew a few tears, but most certainly made us PROUD AS HELL of these Vets. It was obvious that they have something special in them that makes them what they are, and made them what they were over 65 years ago. . . . WINNERS!

Several of the passengers who deplaned prior to our group asked why we were there, and after an explanatin of the Honor Flight, decided to hang around and joined us in the welcome home. THANK YOU folks. You helped make this one very specail night.To those members of the PGR who were able to attend this mission, THANK YOU SO much. You have helped write yet another chapter in the history book of our returning Vets.

To HONOR FLIGHT NORTHERN CALIFORNIA: Thank you for sponsoring the very important part of our heroes lives. Without your funding, I am sure this would never have happened.For more information about HONOR FLIGHT NORTHERN CALIFORNIA please visit the following web site:

To our returning heroes: THANK YOU ALL for your service to our country. We truly consider each and every one of you a real HERO, and YOU WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN!
Respectfully submitted with PRIDE and HONOR,
John RileyRide Captain

SPECIAL NOTE: June 6, 2010 saw the 66th anniversary of D-day, and it is estimated that we are loosing our WWII vets at a rate of 1,000 a day. If an opportunity arises, take a bit of time and talk to them about their experiences. It was another day and another time, but one well worth capturing for our own history and posterity.