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Today is Friday February 24, 2012 and I do not have anything prepared for my blog.  Normally I write for my blog as close to the event as possible. But by the time I proof (Yes Jenny I do proof my work) my work and schedule it for my blog, time has moved forward.  So what you read in my blog normally is something that has happened some time ago.

I am writing today’s blog today because I have not finished proofing some of my work that I scheduled for today.  The reason I am late is a happy one for me.  Both of my daughters, Deb and Sue stopped by Marti and my home in Aptos for a visit.  Deb brought two of her children, Abby and Braylin along with her friend John.  John retired from the Air Force and he is a really nice guy.  Susan brought little Monica with her.  Susan’s soon to be husband Bruce was at home sleeping because he works nights and needs to rest during the day.  Bruce is a nice guy who works hard and has become a great father for little Monica.  He is also very happy to become a loving husband to my daughter Susan.

My granddaughters Braylin and Monica are close cousins and enjoy each other’s company.  They are close in age and have played together from very early infancy.  I am sure that they will always be friends.  Abby is my middle grandchild and she is a wonderful young lady.  She loves the theater and wants to be an actress when older.  She has already been in school plays and is very good.

Both families arrived early this week and the day was spent talking and enjoying each other.  Of course we talked about the upcoming wedding of Susan and Bruce this June.  The ladies talked about dresses the wine and even tasted the Champagne for the toast at the wedding. Marti arrived home from work and after talking we made a wonderful dinner of two types of chicken, potato salad, Cole slaw, green salad and great French bread.  We enjoyed our dinner and after dinner Susan and Monica departed for their home.  Sue needed to return home as she needed to work the next day.

Deb and family stayed and spent the night at our home in Aptos. The next day we awoke and based on a request from Braylin had bacon and French toast.  The family enjoyed breakfast and after breakfast headed to Monterey.  They had plans to see the Monterey Bay Aquarium today.  I wished them well and started to plan our dinner. Gosh it sure is fun to be a grandfather!


Next it is Chris’s Birthday!

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We were all hungry so Jessica prepared dinner for all of us.  We had a dinner of peppers and sausage sandwiches with a special homemade salad.  The peppers and sausage was excellent and it reminded me of my mother’s peppers and sausage dish.  Jessica prepared the buns with a butter and garlic spread followed by toasting the buns.  The buns by themselves were delicious but stuffed with the peppers and sausage they moved to outstanding.  The salad was refreshing and went well with the sandwiches.  The dressing on the salad was excellent; it brought out the crisp fresh flavors of the leafs and other items within the tossed salad.  We finished dinner and continued talking and telling stories.  After dinner and talking, Jenny and David left the house with their families.  Marti and I went upstairs for a good night sleep.

I awoke Sunday morning and after checking to see if Marti was awake I decided to wait for Marti to wake up.  She was awake about thirty minutes after I had gotten up.  We bathed straighten out the room and headed downstairs.  Jessica and David greeted us as we entered the kitchen.  We were ready to start the last leg of our weekend trip.  Today, we will be driving to San Francisco California.  Our son Chris is celebrating his 19th birthday today.  After saying goodbye to my sister and brother-in-law, Marti and I started the drive to THE CITY.  Our driving plan was simple once we enter the US 80 heading west we will continue until arriving in San Francisco.

This was to be Chris’s first birthday away from home.  Chris had moved to San Francisco almost six months ago.  Marti and I miss Chris a lot but we understand that children need to fly from the nest.  We were bringing some basic items to Chris for his use.  The car trunk was full of microwaveable food items.  In addition to the food items there were two boxes of cupcakes, paper towels, toilet paper, and a piggy bank with lots of quarters.  I guess all parents worry after their child leaves the nest.  This worrying motivates parents to bring basic items for their child to use.  This also lessens the guilt felt by parents as we see our child start to mature.

After clearing out the trunk we headed to a nice Mexican restaurant for Sunday brunch.  We were all happy because the brunch menu was very good.  The restaurant served hot homemade corn tortillas that were delicious.  I do not think that fresh hot homemade corn tortillas compare to any other type of tortillas.  We talked, laughed, and had a great time as we enjoyed our brunch.  Much too soon, our brunch was over and it was time for Marti and I to return home.  We drove Chris back to his apartment and said our goodbyes.  Now it was time to start our drive home to Aptos California.

Braylin’s “Willa” and My sisters

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After visiting and catching up with the family, the seven of us started to head out to a restaurant in order to celebrate Braylin’s birthday.  Before departing Braylin wanted to show me her birthday gift Willa.  Willa is an Interactive Toy.  It is soft, mild, and a funny toy.  I could see that it was becoming Braylin’s best friend.  Willa is a robotic friend for little girls.  The toy is cute because it has a high quality voice recognition system.  Another thing that I liked about Willa is that it is safe for children. It is a very smooth and soft toy.  After spending some time with Willa we departed Deborah’s home and headed to the restaurant for lunch.  We had a good time at lunch and everybody left the table full and laughing.  I think Braylin enjoyed her special birthday lunch with all of us.

We were now on our way to Auburn California, home to my sister Maryanne and her husband Bill.  My sister Maryanne is the oldest sibling in our family.  She was born before my Dad was assigned to a Naval Base located in the Pacific Ocean.  She was blessed with three boys who have grown into fine men.  Each of her three men has children of their own and a few grandchildren. Our visit was very pleasant as we talked and discussed various subjects.  Brian and his son stopped by to visit his mother while we were still visiting.  Brian is the youngest man of Maryanne’s three children.  His visit was a pleasant surprise for Marti and me.  We continued talking about various subjects and you could see that everyone was enjoying the visit.  Time passed and soon Brian had to depart and return home.  Marti and I took this opportunity to end our visit as well.  We were still a little ahead of our planned schedule so we did not have to rush

We said our goodbye’s and started our drive to Lincoln California, home to my other sister Jessica and her husband David.  Jessica is the youngest child in our family.  She was born after my mom and dad moved into their home just after the end of World War II.  Jessica and David had three children two boys and a daughter.  All three have families of their own as well as children.  Our visit with Jessica and David went well as we found ourselves again talking and covering various subjects.  We have been invited up to Jessica and David’s cabin located in the Serra Nevada Mountains.  The cabin is very special as it was a joint venture by Jessica and David and my mom and dad.  We talked about some things we could enjoy during our trip to the cabin.  During the visit two of Jessica and David’s children along with their families stopped by and joined the get together.  I enjoyed seeing David, Dayan, and the baby.  Jenny and her family joined the visit and we continued talking.  Jenny brought up the need for me to have a proof reader for my blog.  Jenny went on to ask me if I just published whatever I wrote or if I proofed it myself.  I thanked her for reading my blog, explained that I proof read my writing twice.  Jenny just smiled at my response. I just love Jenny so much.  She and her family spent time at our house in Aptos California and they are planning to return.  David and Dayan are planning to stop by our home on their way to Monterey California.  I will have a chance to enjoy their company again.

Braylin’s Birthday Party

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Braylin’s Birthday Party & Visit to my Sisters

I always try to see my grandchildren on their birthday at least during their young years.  If it is not possible for me to see my grandchild then I like to visit them as soon as possible.  This weekend Marti and I planned to not only see my granddaughter for her birthday; we were going to see our son Chris who was celebrating his birthday as well.  This was going to be one great weekend.  I developed a draft agenda for the weekend and sent it to Marti at her job for her approval.  She approved the draft and our weekend was planned. We would start at 6:00 am on Saturday and end almost 500 miles later, around 3:00 pm on Sunday.

I awoke Saturday a little before 6:00 am and prepared to start my visiting weekend.  We left the house around 7:00 am and were on our way to Citrus Heights, California.  Approaching the city of Elk Grove, California I called my cousin Anna Jean to see if it might be possible to visit my Aunt Grace and Uncle Jim.  I soon learned that today was not a good idea for a morning visit.  I understand that visiting my Aunt Grace and Uncle Jim is dependent on how they feel and other variables so I just try as often as possible and understand when it is not possible.  With that visit being cancelled I continued north on Highway 5 to Highway 80 heading east.  We were now heading to my granddaughter Caitlin’s new apartment.  She had just moved out of her mother’s home and was starting her adult life.

Marti and I stopped at a local super market and picked up some cookies and three gallons of milk as a welcome to her new apartment.  After calling Caitlin a few times we were able to locate the apartment and together with the gifts went to see her apartment.  Seeing her apartment brought back memories of the time, a very long time ago, when Monica and I moved into our first apartment.  The apartment was cute and just like all first apartments a little sparse on furniture.  I was very happy to see how proud Caitlin was about her new home.  She spoke about her plans to decorate and furnish her new home.  We also talked about her continuing school and following her dream of becoming a police officer.  I was so happy to hear her say that she was still reaching to complete her dream.  I cannot wait until I attend her induction into a police department.

Next stop was my daughter’s home in Citrus Heights, California where the birthday girl Braylin lives.  We arrived well before lunch time so we could visit with my daughter Deb, her two children Abby and Braylin, and Deb’s boyfriend John.  Abby and Braylin are Deb’s youngest children; her two oldest children Jordan and Caitlin have left the home of their youth to start their own home.  It is always a joy to see my daughter and her children.  The birthday girl, Braylin, is in first grade and doing well in school.  She is the youngest child in the family and always has a smile on her face for me.  Her sister, Abby, wants to be an actress in the theater when grown.  She has participated in her school plays, and attended summer theater workshops.  As I stated their oldest sister is Caitlin, she hopes to become a police officer.  Their brother, Jordan, was unable to attend because he was needed to take his girlfriend to the dentist.

One Day just like the last


I enjoy going to the grocery store and love spending time in the bakery section. I arrive at the grocery store and the first thing I see is a chocolate cake. It jumps into my shopping cart and I smile. Next I smell fresh-baked bread. I just love fresh-baked bread. It makes me think of my grandmother who made her own bread. I can remember smelling the fresh made bread and when my grandmother would cut that first slice of bread she always gave it to me. I would slather it with butter and the next thing I knew it was in my mouth. Nothing tasted so good. I am sure it was not just the bread but the love my grandmother felt for me that made the experience so memorable. I sure do miss my grandmother.

Next I see that pies are on sale but they are cream pies and I know the refrigerator is full so I make a mental note to pick up a couple for the family gathering on Saturday. I need to leave the bakery department before I purchase everything. In the produce section I look around for some ideas for dinner. Wow the cauliflower looks beautiful and the eggplant seems just right for tonight. I can make my special cauliflower with peas and my Italian baked eggplant. I then see some nice firm cucumbers and I know they will be my salad tonight. I head to the checkout counter, wait my turn, pay, and head for home.

I hear my phone ring so I answer and it is my friend Chris. He would like me to go with him to visit a local glass blower artist. I quickly check the house and head for my car. Oh no I see that the trash company has come and left the empty containers. I quickly move the empty trash containers from the street and back to their resting place on the property. I enter my car and head out to visit with Chris and see the glass blower artist. I arrive at Chris’s house and he shows me his new toy. It is a paddle boat. The paddle boat looks like a very long kayak but without any hollow area to fit the paddler. This ocean paddle boat is just a very long surf board that you would lay down on and paddle with your hands. It has a rudder that you use to steer the boat with. I am sure it would be fun to play in the ocean with one of these paddle boats.

A Normal Day?

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Another normal day!

Does anyone really know what a normal day is like? I for one do not know what is normal and what is not. In order to add something normal to my blog I am going to write about today, the first Friday in August. The morning started just like all other week days. Marti’s alarm went off at 6:10 am and she got out of bed and prepared herself for a day at work. Marti departed the house at 6:45 am ready to join the car pool for the drive to work.

I wake up at the same time as Marti but I do not leave the bed. I turn on the TV and check the weather. After the weather I check to see if the program “Cheaters” is scheduled to run. If it is available I watch the program. If it is not on then I am ready to get up and start my day. Today was a good day “Cheaters” was on and I was able to see two men cheat on their girlfriends and one woman cheat on her boyfriend. It is always funny when the guys get caught cheating they are either sorry, or mad for being caught. However when a woman gets caught it is always the man’s fault for not asking her.

Well after my laugh for the morning with all cheaters caught, I crawl out of bed and prepare myself for my day. I fix the bed and then go downstairs to head outside and find the newspaper. With the newspaper in my hand I go back inside the house, sit at the table and read about the tragic events from yesterday. Today I learn that the stock market took another dive and we may be in a recession. See nothing unique or abnormal happening today. I wonder if any of my investments will grow for me or am I just going to spend my savings to survive. Well I cannot let this get me down so I call my daughter to see how she was feeling. I get a positive report from my daughter so I am happy again.

You know what I mean. As long as your family is healthy and safe anything else is just a minor distraction. Along those lines I start thinking about my girl Marti. I know that I promised to make her a great dinner for tonight so I start to plan the dinner. I look through the freezer and choose lamb steaks as the main course. Next I look in the vegetable bin and nothing there seems to go with the lamb. I decide to head to the store and pick up some fresh vegetables that will compliment the lamb. Prior to driving to the grocery store I call Cindy to see if she would like me to bring something for the family gathering scheduled for tomorrow. After a brief talk all she would like me to bring is some form of dessert.

Continued from Yesterday

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Oh no! I just remembered today I need to go and get my blood work completed before my next doctor visit.  Lucky for me I had not eaten anything all morning.  So before going home I went to the medical lab to have my blood tested.  I walked into the lab and for the first time in all my life no one was waiting to be tested.  I signed into the log and turned in the paperwork. Before I could sit down he called my name and
I headed to the room where they draw my blood.  The nurse stuck me with a hypodermic needle and took my blood.  Expressing my thanks to the nurse I left the lab happy knowing one more item that needed to be completed was done.

I head home to place the chicken in the refrigerator and think about how I will prepare it for tonight.  After placing the chicken in the refrigerator I wanted to check out my e-mail account. Wow what a surprise, another e-mail from my little honey.  You are correct inside the e-mail was one more request.  All she needed was for me pick up two and one half pounds of Al Pastor and one and one half pounds of chicken from Gordo’s.  I called and
placed the order then I drove to the restaurant and picked up the order.  I was home just in time to start dinner.  I bet there are lots of men out there who wish they had a day like this.

Call me if you would like to help me with my honey do’s!  Better yet, call me if you would rather do something called fun!

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