Another Two Birthday’s

Leave a comment

I sure am a very lucky person.  It seems to me that we are either just finishing someone’s birthday or we are getting ready to celebrate another birthday.  Well I just finished celebrating my Grandson Michael’s birthday and I just sang a song to my sister Marianne on her birthday. Now I am prepared for another two birthday’s one for my new daughter Alex and one for my daughter Susan.  The older I become the more birthdays’ there are for me to miss.

As a young boy all I had to remember was five birthdays.  They were the birthdays of my mom, dad, two sisters, and one brother.  When my sister married and made me an uncle not just once but three times, I needed to remember three more birthdays.  When I got married I not only had to remember my wife’s birthday, I had to remember a lots of other dates too. No longer did I just need to remember the birth dates of my family. I now had to remember my wife’s family birth dates as well. Oh yes, I also had to remember the day we meet, our wedding day and other days my wife felt were important.  The more time passed the greater in size the list of days I needed to remember grew.

My newest daughter, Alexandra is having a birthday this month.  Alex is a wonderful person and I am happy she is my daughter.  Alex is currently working for a new web technical marketing company.  In addition to her full-time job she is attending graduate school on her way to a MBA.  She is a special young girl who was a pillar of support for her mother after the passing of her father, Cy.  Alex was instrumental in my being able to meet her mother, Marti.  Alex was also the first in Marti’s family to welcome me into their family.

I want to take this time to wish my new daughter, Alex a wonderful and happy birthday. Alex lives and works in southern California so we do not see her as often as we should.  However, we do see her on special occasions and these are always good times.  Alex likes my cooking skills.  One of her favorite items that I prepare is from my list of salads, it is known as John’s tomato salad.  I will make this salad whenever Alex visits her home in Aptos.  Alex also likes my special burnt Almond cake from Peter’s Bakery in San Jose California. I have been known to pick up a burnt Almond cake when Alex visits her mom and me.

I also like the fact that Alex and Monica share the same room at our house.  They act like sisters even though Alex is Monica’s Aunt.  Alex has welcomed all of my grandchildren and enjoys spending time with each of them.  Alex attended the family reunion and enjoyed the event.  She will be attending the wedding of my daughter Susan in June.  She is going to visit her Aunt Jolynn, who lives outside Washington DC and is expecting her second child in October. Alex shows she is a caring and loving person by how she has maintained friendships from her early school days through today.

Alex was born on the same day her grandfather was born.  Her grandfather, Mike S. was living in southern California when he suffered a stroke that affected his right side.  The family felt it would be better for Mike if he was moved to the Santa Cruz County.  This move would place Mike close to his son and daughter, Matt and Marti.  Mike is a very interesting person and most of the time is a fun person to visit.

Mike likes to drink Coca-Cola. So whenever we visit him we bring extra dollar bills so he can ask the orderly to purchase one for him.  He also likes for us to bring him sweet things he can eat.  His favorite sweet snack is Lemon Bars.  He also likes Tiramisu, Lemon Cake, Chocolate Cake and Cheese Cake.  Mike’s condition has improved greatly after his move from southern California.  I attribute the improvement to his health directly to the multiple visits from his son and daughter.  I also visit Mike because he makes me laugh and treats me as a member of his family.

Happy Birthday Alexandra!  Happy Birthday Mike!  I love you both!

Advertisements

A Special Dinner (pasta, sausage, onions and peppers, without tomato sauce)

1 Comment

We arrived in Aptos ahead of Marti. She had to work at her job with the Monterey County today but she will not have to work this weekend. Chris and Monica put their things away in their respective rooms as I prepared dinner.  I was planning to make my special sausage pasta without tomato sauce.  I start by cooking the sausage in a frying pan.  I place the sausages in the pan with a little water and cook the sausage for about twenty minutes.  By this time the water has evaporated and it is time for a little olive oil to brown the sausage.  With the sausage browned I remove them from the pan and prepare to brown some onions.  Using the same pan the sausage was cooked and browned I add just a little butter and cook the sliced and chopped onions to their caramelized state. I add three crushed and chopped garlic sections and a dash of crushed red pepper.  I normally cut each of the sausages up into four equal pieces and toss them into the onions and garlic.

Just prior to sitting down I toss my pasta into the salted water to start the cooking process.  As the pasta cooks I prep the final few ingredients.  I cut cherry tomatoes into half’s, chop fresh parsley and basil, and grate my hard cheese. I reheat the sausage, onion, oil, and butter mixture to await the pasta.  When the pasta is cooked just right I remove it from the water and toss it into the pan with my sausage mixture.  Tossing this combination quickly to coat I dump it all into a large pasta bowel.  It is at this time that I add my four last items to the dish cherry tomatoes, parsley, basil, and cheese. One final toss to mix the cold ingredients and my dish is ready to be enjoyed.

I like to serve my pastas with a cold crisp green salad with just a light oil and vinegar dressing.  Of course I also serve Crispy French bread with butter or better yet, John’s special olive oil.  Round out the dinner.  Let me add my special note here.  To make “John’s Special Olive Oil” for bread all you need are the following simple ingredients:  Good tasting Extra Virgin Olive Oil, black pepper corns crushed, balsamic vinegar, and grated parmesan cheese.  Mix well and serve on the table in small individual bowels for each person.  I have found that normally people will dunk their bread into the mixture.

I have served this meal many times and too many different people and it has been a hit with all.  If you ask Monica, Chris, Michael, and Marti they will all tell you not only how good it is and they even like it reheated by microwave the next day.  I am always happy to hear just how much they like my pasta.

Today

Leave a comment

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!