Sunday, November 30, 2008

Today was kind of a lazy day. I slept through part of one of the football games Don watched today. So now, he's ready to hit the sack, but I am not going to make the same mistake I made Friday night. So I'm writing while he sleeps. I do have some new pictures of the grandkids, so I guess you'd like to see them! This one is Vanessa and Alan's baby, Adrian Marquez Bradley. We sure are sorry to miss out on so much of his life, but we are glad for the technology that lets us see the grandkids in pictures as they grow. I have a vivid imagination and can easily imagine holding them and giving them hugs and trying to spoil them!

Well, technology is great when you know how to use it!! The pictures aren't going up "where" I told them to, but the other picture is Adrian and Gabriel who are cousins. Both had rough starts from birth, and both are doing well. This one was taken when Maria was up to Vanessa's house trying to get an ID that she lost. She also lost her citizenship papers a LONG time ago and it is quite costly to replace it and difficult to prove who you are without it. She got caught driving without a license (she can't get one without proof of who she is and even an ID won't do the job) and I don't know what she's going to do to stay out of jail for that if she doesn't get the papers. She works at Steak n Shake and has been working there for quite a while.
We had a good Thanksgiving break, restful. We enjoyed the dog we cared for while our friends went out of town. They came and picked her up today, and I forgot to get a picture, so sorry about that. She is little comparable to Jairo's little dog, Ocho, was except this one was black and white. Part shitsu (not sure of spelling) and part poodle. Very nice dog, but I'm glad we don't have one cause you have to take care of them 24/7.
Don leaves for some computer training in Birmingham, Alabama all next week...well the training is only a couple days, so he is taking advantage of the time to go see Jairo and some Florida friends and family. Jairo has been learning how to write a "brief" to present in court. He has been studying law in order to help himself and has ended up helping a couple of other people in the process. He is enjoying it but still prefers physical labor to sitting behind a desk.
While Don is gone I'll be working on GR-FR, yard work, and writing on my books. So I plan to keep very busy. (GR-FR is Grubbs-Ray Family Reunion)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Don't ever go to bed early

Here I am, wide awake. I went to bed early and woke up well before midnight. The sun goes down so early now that it just SEEMS late. I guess I won't do that again. I guess I could read a while, that usually puts me to sleep if it's not too exciting a book.

Tandita finalized coming here in April for 4 weeks to do her final inservice...I can't remember what it's called, but anyhow she'll work in a physical therapy lab getting lots of practice for her future career as a physical therapist assistant. She is really enjoying the work so far. She does an 8-week rotation in January/Feb. as well. We are looking forward to having her home for a while.
Esther and Angelina are coming for Christmas. We wish her husband, Nick, could come too, but that's not working out.
We had a quiet Thanksgiving. Don and I delivered meals for the Salvation Army on Thanksgiving morning. We were supposed to serve for those who came to the dinner, but they were short drivers and we ended up doing that instead. We only messed up on one...we reversed the "order" and gave the family who were supposed to get 2 dinners four, and the one with 4 only got two. Fortunately we had to call that family because we couldn't get in the driveway and they had caller ID. They called us as we were on our way back to the church to pick up more meals, so we apologized and told them we'd bring them since they happened to live one street over from our house. We didn't feel TOO bad, cause the family who got the extra seemed like they really could use the extra.
We are dog-sitting for Gene Keller. I'll put up a picture of the dog later. It's a nice dog, well-mannered. Good job, Kellers!

Well, guess I'll try reading now!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Oops, missed two pictures...

Daphne and Breasa at our house...the other pictures were taken at their house

View from the conference room. Lanny gave us a tour of their new offices.
He is the Union Educational Supt.

The new NPUC office

Lanny and Duska Hurlbert, longtime special friends. We wish we were able to see them more often. We spent a little time with them when we went up for the Patzer memorial service.

Daphne and Eluid and their two beautiful children. Daphne and her family were at the orphanage in Costa Rica when our adopted kids arrived. She and her sister and mom lived with us for a time while the girls attended UCA. We enjoyed the company of Daphne, Eluid, Anthony, and Breasa last Sabbath at our home.

Sweet picture, eh? It's obvious they love each other, too. Pretty neat kids.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

More California Trivia

I decided I'm not going to attempt to re-create the last posting that I lost. It was about our trip to Portland for the Patzer memorial service and all the old friends we briefly greeted. I see they are posting the service online and offer a printed version (although I didn't say much about the service).'s some more California trivia while I take a break from working hard today. You can answer if you want to, just for fun.

Former questions and answers are:
Los Angeles lies farther east than Reno!!
California's largest lake was created in 1905 when the Colorado River flooded.
Tarzana got its name from the Tarzan stories; the author founded the town.
Anaheim was settled by immigrants from Rhineland...the city's German name means home by the river.

New Questions:
Where is the lowest elevation in the Western Hemisphere?
California's highest and lowest points are how far apart?
How many different kinds of fruits and vegetables are grown by California farmers?
In 1826 98% of the territory's population were Native Americans...what percent of CA's current population is Native American?
What is known as "the crookedest street in the world"?

Ok, who can give the right answer first??

Monday, November 17, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Well, I just deleted probably the longest post I've ever written...accidentally, of course. I am NOT going to recreate it now. I'm too ticked.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Tribute to our Veterans!

This was written by my nephew. He wrote it about a generation of our family after losing several in death. But since this applies to many others, I thought you might like reading it since tomorrow is Veteran's Day.

Phil Umek
January 15, 1996

One by one the men who are our heroes are passing on. The men who taught us so much about life. The men who are so strong, so big, so invincible, so determined to make this world a better place. One by one God calls them home.

They want so much for us to understand the importance of family, of friendship, true friendship. Oh…how this world needs to listen to them. Their smiles are brightest when children are playing…and we all want to be on their team. Now, one by one they are leaving us.

They helped us see that you don’t have to be tall to have strength, that you don’t have to shout for people to listen, that hard work is always better than just getting by. One by one they march. Proud, Loyal patriots who defended our country without being asked, knowing it was right! They ask for nothing, and they deserve everything! They don’t ever complain even when they have something to complain about. They endure pain with a smile and a concern for others. One by one they are passing.

Who will be there to teach our children to play ball? They made a back yard game seem like the world series. Who will be there to show them that fingers go inside the glove, not outside? Who will be there to remind them that a good bunt is as important as a home run, that you can pick up a chair by the back leg, that “near falls” don’t mean the match, that teamwork is unbeatable, and that you don’t have to apologize for winning? One by one we see them go.

Our hands are not small any more and we have learned to reach as high as we used to throw. Because of you we will teach them, remembering many of your words, reminding them of who you are and what you mean to us. One by one we have to say good bye.

We long to see you, to hear your laughter, to listen to just one more story, to hear your spoon clink against your coffee cup, to shake your hand just one more time and say “thank you for all you taught us. We are so proud of you and we love you!”

Be at peace and God…Please take care of them, one by one.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Latest Word from Vanessa

The latest from Vanessa is:

"...everything is really good. Adrian is very happy and doing well. He is now wearing a special brace on his hand to separate his fingers which tend to stick together. He is just about sitting up on his own though he doesn't roll over yet. Carter is back in school and though I miss him a ton, I am feeling much better about the whole thing than I have in a long time. I am working on getting registered for the winter semester at Lake Mich College. I have an appointment tomorrow with my advisor. Alan and I are really excited about that. We are doing really good. we are really happy and life is pretty uneventful. Which is good. I like the peace and quiet. It's a nice change."

Divide and Conquer

Tandita is finishing up her second year of the physical therapy assistant program and has some inservice training that she has to do this year. She is doing one in Niles and one in Benton Harbor back to back and will be staying with Vanessa while she does that. She is in the process of trying to work out the last one at the Paradise Adventist Hospital here in April/May. We are hoping it will all be worked out. The hospital has a pretty large physical therapy outpatient program. In fact that's where I went for the PT that I just finished. We're kinda excited about having her come. I thought you'd like to see this picture of her.

When we grocery shop, we use the divide and conquer method to get done. A few days ago we went to Chico and got groceries at WinCo, a discount store that also has bulk staples, etc. We first experienced this chain when we lived in Idaho. It was busy but not too crowded (as it sometimes is). Anyhow, Don sent me to find a couple of items while he scooped up some things in another section.

I was hurrying down the left side of the aisle with some canned milk in my hand. (Don had the cart) Suddenly a gentlemen stopped in front of me (coming from the opposite direction). I was kinda hemmed in and couldn't help but see what he was reaching for. He pulled one jar off the shelf, and I said "sauerkraut!"
Now, I haven't considered buying sauerkraut for many years. He looked at me as he reached for another, so feeling a little stupid for my comment said, "I love sauerkraut." He said, "so do I, it's good."

"I think I'll buy some, too." I decided. So he handed me the second jar as he took it off the shelf and thanked him. We both laughed, and I thanked him and went on my way. When I found Don, he was not impressed that I bought sauerkraut. "Don't fix any of that for me!" was his response. Well, with some big franks cut into it, I think I can have a couple great lunches. I'll let you know next week if it was as good as it looked.

I'm wondering if any of you remember having sauerkraut and if you liked it. I even remember my mom making it herself...but I don't remember how it turned out. But I do like it a lot.
This afternoon Don and I are going to the home of the Spencers for a short visit. (This is for the Boston connection) Don saw Gary at church, and Mary called us in the afternoon. I don't think I have ever met either one of them, but of course Don has.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Skeletons in my closet?

My family has an e-mail "family list" where we josh back and forth. Sometimes it gets interesting. (emphasis on the "sometimes") I wish I could get them to switch to this, cause the comments people make (reply all) often get all mixed up and it's hard for some to figure out what the comment means or refers to. This would take care of that, cause all the comments would be under the same posting.

Anyhow, I thought I'd post some of the latest insights you may find interesting...or not.

I guess "or not", cause I discovered it would take too long to find the right sequence of information-sharing. Oh well, no gossip for you today...BUT DID YOU VOTE?? We did. Don was the first one there, and he got to go around to all the ballot boxes to check to make sure they were empty (no cheating here). In Magalia, our voting is done in the fellowship hall of the Adventist church just up the road from us.

Monday, November 3, 2008

O me, O my!

You know you're old when all you have to talk about is doctor appointments! But the unheard of raises its voice whether you like it or not!

My first appointment was at 7:00 this morning!! It was physical therapy, tho, so it woke me up. That is going well, and the "good" arm has only 10% more range of motion than the "bad" arm...and probably 10% less pain!! Well, the good arm has no pain and the bad one is MUCH better.

Then from there I walked around the courtyard to the other side of the complex and reported for my 9:30 dermatologist appointment half an hour early. Since I've had a skin cancer issue once before, my new doc made arrangements to keep tabs on it. That's good since my GP removed the previous one and I was always a little edgy about not seeing a dermatologist later when everything I saw looked suspicious. LOL Anyhow, he looked me over from head to toe and didn't see anything worrysome. I asked him how much he would charge me to remove all those BOTHERsome hangy wangies around my throat that my grandbabies love to grab. He said "no charge", so I said, "great, do it!" Good thing my grandbabies aren't around now, cause the spots would certainly look intiguing now!

Tomorrow it's to the dentist...guess Don wants to get me in shape! Rightly so, cause I have a tendency to put things off. My mamogram isn't until next week, but I haven't had one of those in 4 years...yes, shame on me.

Well, I wish I had something more interesting to report, but ah the life of life with no kids or grandkids around. Or maybe blah the life. But I do love those "comments"!!