Friday, November 30, 2012

Back to My Childhood

October 2012
This is my childhood home in Northern California, outside of San Francisco.

Here's how it looked in 1960 with my sister Patsy out in front:


I had the chance to spend a few days kicking around there,
team-tagging it with my trip to Hawaii.

I visited the following people:
old neighbors (2 of them), 
elementary school friends (2),
high school friends (3)
church friends (2)
niece & nephew (1 each)
cousins (3)
and numerous other fine people (at least 20).

 Sashi and David provided me with fabulous lodgings.

Sashi and I met in second grade and our friendship has survived for the last 53 years.  Wow.

Her husband is from Jamaica and he's so delightful.  (See HERE.)

Taken in 1991
They've also taken on the role of godparents to my three munchkins
who now all have babes of their own. 

Recently, S & D acquired a home in the 'Wine Country', north of San Francisco.

I took this shot on the most gorgeous fall day ever.

They put fresh flowers in my bedchamber and that's just the beginning of their hospitality.
Me, in the 'Wine Country'
As I mentioned, it was my pleasure to visit three dear cousins while in California:

Peter, Margot, and Steve.

Here's Peter:
Cooking Abalone.
True confession: I had a crush on him when I was 12 years old and he was the same age.

During this trip, he treated me to an abalone feast which was absolutely divine.

That sweet guy actually donned a wet suit and swam out into a Pacific Ocean bay and collected the abalone.

This is the colorful shell of an abalone:

Peter pries out the meat and fries it up in the most scrumptious batter.

Like his apron states, it's "The Other White Meat".

In addition to collecting and cooking abalone,
Peter also makes these custom conga & tumba drums:

 If you've always had your heart set on getting a conga drum, head straightway to his website: HERE.

Just have to say, this trip to California surpassed my expectations.  I felt like I was really coming home.


Being enfolded into the arms of dear family and old friends.

April 2012
My son checked out his mom's childhood home while he was in San Francisco on a business trip.

Wasn't that sweet of him?

He and his family of five will be coming all the way from England to be here (in Utah) for Christmas.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Hitting Sixty

  I've made it to SIXTY.

 It seems like such a miracle

. . .  and a blessing.

My siblings gathered for the occasion at my brother's new mountain cabin.

I got to be Queen for the Day.

My brothers even zipped up my jacket when the thing confounded me.

It took two of them.  How delightful!

 Then four of us went out riding in my brother's Thing-a-ma-gig.

It went straight up a steep mountain road with 2 feet of fresh snow.

I had a fabulous time until we did a bit of sliding 
and I envisioned falling over the edge of the cliff and breaking THESE.

We descended,
because I wanted to
and it was my birthday
and my brother actually responded to my wish.
SIDE NOTE: It was NOT my birthday when the very same brother drove his snowmobile the entire length of Yellowstone Park going between 80 and 90 mph while I held on for dear life behind him.  I tried using my pregnancy (with child #1) as an excuse to get him to slow down, but that didn't work.  My 60th birthday gave my a great deal of CLOUT and I loved it.

Here I sit on my throne with brother Ken and sister Tricia.

It was such so much fun to have a long evening to simply chat.

  Then came the dearest gift I've ever received. 
My daughter Leah and my sister Tricia created this book of keepsakes

(BELOW inside the lovely gift wrapping)

with entries from 38 of my loved ones.

They each wrote such dear, thoughtful memories about our relationships. Treasures.

If you look closely, I'm crying before I even open it.

 Leah spent many late nights doing page after page of gorgeous lay-outs, including photos.

She used her considerable talents at scrapbooking to make each page a masterpiece.

EVERYONE loved going through the book together.

Ken and Tricia read some of the essays out loud.

I was so surprised and totally overwhelmed by this gift of love, especially knowing Leah's crazy life.

It was very emotional for me.

The next day, another merry group of four went on an expedition in the Thing-a-ma-gig.

My son-in-law Duane is waving from the back seat.  Kelty is next to him.  I've got their toddler and the camera.

Ken and his wife Athelia left for Great Britain shortly after this photo was taken.

 The following evening, they stayed in Oxford, England at my son's home . . .

. . . while we remained at the cabin one more night.

My son's family seems so very far away, but my brother and his wife were with them in less than a day.  Wow.

I'm glad they enjoyed a splendid time together.

We, at the cabin, had a mighty fine time, as well!

My granddaughter, Ms. Rella May at the cabin.

A heartfelt thank you 
to my brothers and sisters and children 
who put so much effort into making my 60th sooooooo totally perfect.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Pumpkins, Costumes & House-mates!


 A new family tradition has been founded:

The 1st Annual Pumpkin Carving Extravaganza 
@ Aunt Ginger's / Grandma Ginger's place.

Pulling this off was a piece of cake
compared to THIS ACTIVITY which was a beloved, but labor-intensive and creative holiday event.

Here's how we did it: 

Everyone showed up with their own pumpkins and carving tools.

Uncle Mark even brought his electric drill. 

We set out the tables  
and clan members gathered around.

Pumpkins were carved, 
intermixed with:
and general hanging out.


Some of the college-age kids came empty-handed, but still found ways to participate.
Here's Eliza, tossing my very happy granddaughter onto the couch.

Again!  Again!  Again!

And then there was Halloween!

Who wouldn't LOOOOOVE to have these adorable children showing up at their door, 
excitedly modeling their imaginative costumes???

To me, this element of Halloween is just grand.

But the grandest of all is THIS little trick or treater.

She's a snow queen and a granddaughter 
AND a house mate.

Yep.  My daughter Kelty and her husband Duane have made the big move back to Utah.

Duane is not just a great at jumping into leaf piles - BELOW -
he also is a techno-whiz who had jobs coming out of the woodwork when he returned.

He's thrown his weight with Instructure which gives its employees the coolest canvas bags ever.

They've purchased a home close to my brother Ken and nephew Paul.

Rella enjoying a picnic with Grandma today.
However, until it closes, they are living with me.  Maybe we can even string it out til December.
I am completely thrilled to have them around.

Counters Free Counter