Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Its been a rough February. Audrey, our daughter spent 15 days in the hospital with a very serious illness. She is now home and we are so grateful that she is recovering. There were many people from coast to coast who were praying for her and for our family. Those prayers pulled all of us through. She is getting better every day. Many emails, text messages and personal expressions of hope and love were so beautifully given to us. February saw our 40th wedding anniversary and because Audrey was in the hospital we just celebrated very quietly. We went out for dinner to a modest restaurant. The waiter was so kind. When he heard that it was our anniversary he made us a big bowl of strawberry shortcake. With lots of whipped cream. It was quite delicious! We have so much to be thankful for and thank God and our dear friends who have stood by us with love and support in the past month.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Desi Comes to Visit!

Today Desi (Tatiana's dog) came to visit Fuego and us. Well, Fuego was a bit upset about the unexpected guest, but soon adjusted to his new found "friend." It seemed though that he did not want to have his rear facing Desi. Desi is three months old and as a puppy, was very excited and wanted to play.

The top picture shows Desi as he took over the cat's bed. He really liked the bed and made himself right at home. It doesn't hurt that there is a heating pad underneath the cushion. I liked his red sweater. It had a sparkly outline of a bone on the back. Very elegant!

You can see from the pictures that Fuego eventually made peace with Desi and they enjoyed sitting on Audrey's lap (Fuego does look a bit wary in that picture though). Of course, there was a little food sharing and some growling because of the food (nothing serious though).

The third picture is Audrey as she was leaving with Desi in his carrier. He apparently loves his carrier and will just sit in it without getting out. That's alot better than Fuego....he would be out in a flash! He would much rather be on one of his human's laps.

The cats' reactions were mixed. As usual, Mr. Mellow Milo didn't have much reaction. He is quite a bit bigger than a chihuahua and Desi didn't seem to get it that even though he's a cat, there were no hisses coming out of this one. He did alot of sniffing and dodging (no doubt expecting some hissing) of Milo, but just nose-to-nose style. Now Cleo on the other hand was a different story. One look at him and she started MAJOR hissing. Desi was smart enough to give her a very wide berth. The first opportunity that she had, she ran upstairs to the safety of our bedroom

It was a good experience for Fuego and they were lots of fun to watch.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Jennifer's Graduation

Today Jennifer Braden Gardner graduated from Saddleback College with her AA in Nursing. Its been 10 years she has been thinking about and working on this degree and now she has accomplished it!

Jennifer is the daughter of our dear friends Jon and Bev Braden. Dan has been friends with Jon since second grade and we have shared so many wonderful memories over the years with their family. We've known Jennifer and her sister Christina literally since the day each one was born.

I was sorry that I couldn't be there to congratulate and celebrate with Jennifer (or JAB as we call her - for Jennifer Ann Braden). I was working - just a few more days to go until I retire.

Jennifer is going on to get her Bachelor's and her R.N. degrees. In the meantime, congratulations on a job well done Jennifer!

The picture above is everyone at the celebratory luncheon after the graduation. From left to right: Dan, my husband, Jennifer's good friend, Jennifer's husband Jason, Bev, Jennifer, Jon and his brother Mark.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day at Owens' Bistro

Just got home from the most wonderful Mother's Day dinner ever! Here is the menu from Owen's Bistro in Chino:

The first course was a special tasting prepared by the chef:

A risotto with spinach, chicken and vegetables.
The second course was a delicious salad with sourdough bread brushed with olive oil and toasted.
The main course - incredible steak with lobster with a side of mashed potatoes and asparagus:

And the dessert. An incredible balsamic vinegar ice cream with a scrumptious chocolate cupcake topped with strawberry whipped cream:

An incredible dinner from beginning to end. Audrey and I had a wine flight with a Chardonnay for the first course, a red wine blend for the second course and an Asti sparking wine for the third course. And, oh yes, we started out with champagne to begin the meal. Dan had a Steelhead beer.
Finally, we had our picture taken with Chef James Kelly. We congratulated him on a fantastic meal from beginning to end!

The most important thing was I was able to share it with Audrey and Dan. Audrey gave me such a special card. I cried my way through reading it! Thank you to my special family for a more than special day! I love you!

Happy Mother's Day!


Happy Mother's Day everyone. We came home from a wonderful 50th birthday party for a fireman friend of ours and these beautiful roses were on the front porch from Mark and Katie. They are sitting right now on our coffee table and I am really enjoying them. Dan gave me some beautiful flowers yesterday too. I am enjoying all of them!

Tonight I am being feted at one of my favorite restaurants - Owen's Bistro in Chino. This tiny restaurant is one of the best ones around. A wonderful chef (James Kelly - Chef of the Year 2008 from the Los Angeles Restaurant Writers), very beautiful ambiance and of course wonderful, very creative and delicious food. They are having a special menu tonight for Mother's Day. Here is their website. They come HIGHLY recommended!

I saw on television this morning what the typical mother's "services" are worth (at the rate of $9.95 per hour) and it came out to about $65.000.00 a year. This does not take into account all those "services" that are not quantifiable, like being there for your kids 24/7. And who can quantify love? Well, needless to say every Mom is worth every cent and more. And all that Moms do is given so selflessly and with such love. Moms are truly amazing!

I am so blessed to have such wonderful children (adults now). They are both wonderful, loving people who I am so very proud of! And of course my wonderful husband who makes every day happier and happier. Again, to all Moms out there - a very well deserved Happy Mother's Day!
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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Dan's Honor from the Los Angeles City Council

Tonight Dan finally received his Los Angeles City Council resolution for his 35 years of service as a Los Angeles City firefighter. It is signed by all the council members, the mayor and the city clerk. Even though he retired almost three years ago, it took almost that long to get his well deserved resolution. We had dinner with Dan's friend and fellow firefighter (who is actually now a Batallion Chief) Craig Yoder and his wife Frances. Craig was the MC for Dan's retirement dinner and helped usher through the resolution. That's Craig in the photo with Dan.

To get this we had to contact Councilman Tom LaBonge who graciously brought the resolution before the City Council where it was passed on March 25th 2011. I worked with two members of his staff who were so helpful. If it hadn't been for them and Craig, we still would not have gotten it. Thanks to them!

The most beautiful thing about this resolution is that all the artwork is done entirely by hand. All the gold leaf and the calligraphy are done by hand. It is truly a work of art! I have heard that the City employs a calligrapher who does these special pieces. That person is a very gifted artist and well worth keeping even in these days of dwindling budgets.

Finally, I am so proud of Dan and have always been so proud of his career and his bravery throughout all his professional life. I think about the many lives that he has touched and influenced and I am so immensely moved. This is true for all firefighters.

Even though its been almost 10 years since September 11th, I was still very emotional when I heard that Osama Bin Laden had finally been eliminated. Justice has indeed been served and I thank President Obama for his determination to bring this murderer to justice. I told a friend at the time that I would NEVER be resolved to this horrible tragedy and I never will as long as I live. Now that Bin Laden is gone those who lost their lives that day may now finally rest in peace.

My thanks to Dan for being a great firefighter, but more important than that, for being an even greater husband and father. My life has been blessed beyond measure by him and I'm grateful for his presence in my life every day!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Mark and Katie

Yesterday I attended the bridal shower for my future daughter-in-law Katie Winter. The picture above is Katie and our son Mark. They are such a beautiful couple and we are really so happy for them!

I brought Mark's baby book and everyone enjoyed looking at it. I had not opened that book in probably 15 years or more and I had about as much fun as everyone else, looking at everything. I certainly logged and recorded just about everything that he did as a baby and toddler. I even amazed myself. But the births of Mark and Audrey were so very special to both of us and we enjoyed every moment that we had with them as they grew up.

But now it's on to other adventures as Mark is married and he and Katie start their lives together. God bless them both and we are all looking forward to much happiness for all of us in the years ahead!
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