Monday, December 28, 2015

A Very White Christmas

This is after the snow had fallen out of the trees and the mountains are visible. It was a white-out.
My favorites are Book of Mormon Stories and Goodnight Moon and there are some other fun ones.

I brought four trees from a tree lighting. We're lucky two kept them on long enough for this picture.
Who knew? We did see it!

Paul treated me to Tucanos for my birthday on James' birthday, December 19, who was treated by his brother. Another friend of theirs joined us. Wow. What a place. I loved it. Thank you Paul. Hee Haw Farms got another visit from the twins and me taking Eve's family for a fun time. We played tether ball and saw bunny tracks and three bunnies along with lots of farm animals. When James went to the airport Paul and I had a chance to visit Temple Square and go inside all the buildings. The nativity is spectacular. Weather was inclement but families were out in force. When Eve's family arrived on the 23rd we shared soup, salad, chips and hummus and games and conversation began in earnest. I gave up the guest room and made use of the couch for three nights. How wonderful to be invited to Liz's home for a Christmas Eve luncheon and visit. Thank you David for the popcorn! They had plans and we left and met Christina and her four children to carol at Provo Rehab. That worked out very well for 15 of us, the youngest seven months, on a cold, winter's day. It was our 36th annual caroling adventure. A lasagna dinner for Christmas Eve and four darling grandsons dressed in red reindeer pajamas ready for Christmas morning. Adam read from St. Luke with all babies and adults present. No one cooperated for a live nativity. What was I thinking? I was thrilled to play Scrabble with my sons! It was late morning when gifts were opened in turn and very enjoyable for all. Rick, Adam and Paul were pressed into service to put together trikes followed by A Ticket to Ride Europe and finishing just in time to set the table and welcome Teddy's family of six for Christmas dinner--a feast of ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, cheesy green bean casserole, rolls, butter, sparkling cider and lava cake and pecan pie for dessert. Spoons and cards were played and I played cars with DMM a long time at the table. I've cared for my grandsons and fed them, read to them, played cars and blocks. I took the twins to surprise their father at the office one day after naps. I took the dogs out when needed. Many happy memories were made together with family and close family friends.


How much is that doggie in the cage?
December 23 when we first gathered.

Christmas morning after packages were put under the tree.

December DMM bike riding in New York.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Roosevelt Tamale Parlor


How many decades have I been going to Roosevelt's, first with Kathy. I learned about the closing two days after the fact. It doesn't seem possible. It's a blow to my senses.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Ninth Annual 555 California Street Tree Lighting, My First

This is such a stunning tree I discovered by accident several years ago, never realizing there was an annual tree lighting. Thankfully better late than never. I arrived at 5:00 having walked through Union Square to a band playing and a nice crowd at the building I'd watched being built in 1964 when I moved to the city and got a job at Continental Insurance Companies in the financial district. Dignitaries, 49er owners, football players and former Mayor Willie Brown were set up in a chandeliered tent adjacent the stage. They were all introduced later including Ronnie Lott. 49er cheerleaders posed with people for pictures. Kind bars were handed out. Samples of hot chocolate and egg nog were available along with red antlers and green trees for our heads. In fact the person who gave me mine asked if she could take my picture I looked so festive in my green coat. I danced to the music and had a wonderful evening that lasted 1-1/2 hours. Andy Grammer performed for us, fresh from DWTS competition. The tree was lit and what a stunner, fresh from Mt. Shasta. Samples of yogurt were available and someone with chocolate bar samples offered me an 18 Rabbits, my first. Then around the corner at a warehouse sale where BofA used to be I ate salted caramel ice cream samples. So it was quite a night and next year will be the 10th anniversary. I don't want to miss it. On my way home I found a pink kid's chair so there I was on BART with my red antlers and pink chair but no one noticed. They were all planted in their cells. Then the next night on Wednesday I watched Rockefeller Christmas and who performed but Andy Grammer. He's a busy man going coast to coast for engagements.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Double the Pleasure

They pushed around these boxes and sat on them for hours like it was their job. I turned around the garbage can so they couldn't pick out the trash. I had to find ways to outsmart these smarties. We read books, played and laughed together. We especially enjoyed Book of Mormon Stories and I sang to them.
Time to bundle up and go outside again. I foiled M's attempts to remove his shoes by attaching jacket gloves to his feet instead, too tight to remove. He wouldn't keep gloves on his hands though and would use his teeth to remove them.

I cared for the twins, now walking, and the dog, while parents were away on vacation. I had a ball with these two live wires, constantly on the move unless they're in their high chairs. We took walks daily, twice past all the start-ups where their father works, twice to the purple park for swings, once to Hee Haw Farms across the road, and once around the block on a brisk and windy morning. It snowed while I was there. I took the dog(s) out every several hours and fed at night. Paul and James helped me at the ward the first Sunday and came over for dinner after their ward with Landon. Then Paul, James and Marcus brought food over and cooked a feast for Mindy and me Thursday night. On Friday my long-time friend from singles ward days, Carolyn, came for a visit and lunch during nap time and got to meet the twins. Mindy stays during the school week and was a lovely housemate, my son's fiancee. Adam took us to the BYU/Fresno State game, my first in the stadium, and it was a lot of fun. First we stopped by In and Out for take-out. How about those Cougar Tail maple bars Teddy bought us? The Brick Oven was Stephanie's place of choice for her birthday celebration and I was glad Adam kept up the tradition of taking turns telling the person of honor what we liked about her. There were 18 of us. The second Sunday we went to Teddy and Christina's ward in Provo. The big surprise was on Stephanie's birthday when her best friend Tori surprised her by coming out to Utah for the week with her children. Our numbers doubled. More of the Bells are coming for Thanksgiving and though I thought about staying through the week I kept to my plans of leaving as planned after 10 days. Our last day Stephanie was in charge of three babies and three kids and took us all horseback riding at the stables where Aspen is boarded. I can't remember for sure the last time I rode and it was thrilling. Perhaps in my late 30s I may have ridden after I married Michael. First we all rode Duke, very docile. Aspen on the other hand was a frisky one. It was so fun to pick up Paul and eat at In and Out together. I flew in and out of Provo again. Unfortunately my caramel sauce was confiscated being over three ounces. It's been a great adventure.
 Carolyn thinks I look good and I think she looks good. So good to see her again.
 This is me on Duke. I rode Aspen too. So much fun! How many decades has it been?

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Danville to celebrate Kathy's birthday

Eugene O'Neill Historic Site for a 2 p.m. guided tour, walking along the Iron Horse Trail, and a leisure dinner at Thai House Restaurant are the Bay Area's best-kept secrets, all in one lovely afternoon yesterday. This after a Veterans Day celebration at 11 a.m. and discovering a new veterans building in Danville as well. I started the morning picking a couple bags of hachiya persimmons. These must fully ripen to eat. The fuyu persimmon is eaten hard.