Wednesday, November 12, 2008

To Where You Are....

My mother died of a form of cancer called Multiple Myeloma 7 years ago today here at home....right in this room, which is now my office. She was only 7o when she passed. She found out only a few months before that she had cancer.

The title of my subject is actually the title of a song that I first heard near the end of 2001. I was watching the television show 'Ally McBeal' and saw then newcomer Josh Groban singing this song:

I thought of my mom when I heard it and now my father too.

My parents on their 50th Wedding Anniversary in 1999

Friday, October 17, 2008

Random Thoughts...

Ok...I should be in bed. I woke up at 7:13 am on Thursday morning and I leave for work at 7:15am!

We are still trying to nail down a guest speaker for our Seahawks booster club event next weekend. I am not sure why this is such an issue this year. After the fiasco last year (that will be another post some day) we would have hoped that our problems were solved this year with our group staying at the team hotel and having the party there. Nope! to bed....I

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Madeira Heritage Day

Back in June, I blogged about having a booth at the Dia de Portugal Festival. Thru that festival, I found a group called the San Pedro Association. They are a group near Sacramento, Calfornia who is dedicated to the preservation of the Madeiran Portuguese culture and history. Since both of my parents were born in Madeira, I knew I had to join. A lot of the Portuguese groups and festas here in the Bay Area are centered around those with ties to the Azores Islands (where hubby's family is from), so it was nice to find a group with heritage from Madeira. I was with my peeps! lol
Today they had Madeiran Heritage Day, which they hold every other year at a small park they Association owns called San Pedro Park - a small park located on a residential street.
Here are some photos of the chapel in the park:

Today we took a slight detour from the shakes and ate some Carne de Espeto (cubes of top-grade beef spiced with coarse salt, bay leaves and garlic and grilled over a pit. Here is a photo of two of the cooks tending to the meat:

A view of the pit afterwards:

There were also folcloric dancers performing dances representing various parts of Portugal.

The striped skirt costumes represent Madeira. Ever since I was a child I recognized those costumes from photos and my trip there when I was 12 years old. My parents took me there for 3 weeks that summer. I still want those
This is a group posing by the Santana house. Does it look familiar? It's my 'house' from the Dia de Portugal Festival. Hubby's dad made it from my father's 90th birthday in 2005. The director's of the Association requested that I bring it. Glad we did!

This is a photo of the leaves off of a huge bay leaf tree/bush in the park. A lot of Portuguese recipes used bay leaves. I remember my mother had a lot of this in the cupboard!

There was also silent and live auctions of gift baskets and other items. I donated a Madeira ornament that I sell on for the live auction. The woman who won the bid is also going to buy more as Christmas gifts!

I really had fun today and I hope to be able to participate in more of their events. I only wish my parents were both still here to have found this club!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Family Reunion 2008

Hubby and I belong to an online Seahawks fan forum where we call each other Family. Each year a Family Reunion weekend is planned on the weekend of a home game - usually the home opener. This year's Reunion was last weekend in Seattle - with the game vs. the SF Forty Niners.

On the Friday night, we met at King Street Bar and Oven for a Kick-Off Party, where our friend's band, Soulfish, played. This was our final weekend of "regular" food before the Cleanse started on Tuesday so I decided to have my blue drinks. But there are 2 types of blue drinks - the evil blue drink and the not-so-evil blue drink. I prefer the second one which is the Blue Hawaiian. The first one is called the Hawk Island Iced Tea - think Long Island but with 'stuff' to make it blue. I think I tried one last year and could not make it thru one! There was also the yearly rendition of "Sweet Caroline" played for yours truly.

On Saturday we went to the races! We went to Emerald Downs in Auburn, WA. Our group had part of a banquet-type room reserved, where we were able to have a buffet lunch and enjoy a view of the races. Hubby placed a couple of $2 bets and I think we won 50 cents! Someone in our group won $80 on a $5 bet.

View of the track from our area

Horse walking by

View of Mt. Rainier

We stayed there until about 6:00 pm and then headed back to our hotel in Seattle.

Sunday was Game Day! We headed to the King Street bar and Oven at 8:30 am (yes - AM) and hung out there with our friends for a while. Qwest Field does not have much for tailgating at the Stadium - pretty much a no-no. A couple of us headed over to the Team Store and looked for goodies. After that, we went around the corner to The Hawks Nest - a new bar and grille that just opened up by a friend of ours. It was packed! I am so happy for her - her dream of a Seahawks-only bar/grille had become a reality.

The game was a good one - was decided in OT by a field goal.....and we were not the winners...sigh. The worst part is that the loss was to the Niners and we had to come back home to Niner-land and hear all about

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Irish Heritage

I just realized I have not blogged about our trip to the Giants game. On Tuesday, August 19, we went to see the SF Giants play.

We had a fun time - despite the home team losing. Andy (our friend from Edmonton), Hubby and I took the train (BART for those of you who know the Bay Area) to San Francisco and met Mike, his buddy, Vance, his wife and children and Darcey at the game. We all became friends thru the years because of the Seahawks.

That week, the SF Giants were having Heritage Week with a different theme each night. It was Irish Heritage Night for our game - Hubby and I were the token

Hubby, Andy and Mike before the game - the hats were the giveaway for having tickets in the Irish Heritage section.

We could not pass up a photo op with our 12th Man Flag!

Even the former mayor of NYC was in attendance.

The view from our seats - The Cove in the background.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Back from SoCal

Hubby and I returned yesterday from our long weekend in the San Diego area for the Seahawks vs. Chargers pre-season game.

We stayed with our good friend, Dana, in Oceanside. Also staying at Casa Dana were our friends, Rich from Colorado and Andy from Edmonton, Canada.

The rest of Saturday was spent unpacking and resting at Dana's while we figured out what to do for the rest of the day. Andy was able to get on our flight as he was here in our area on business and was able to fit the Seahawks game into his schedule. Rich was flying into San Diego from Denver and he was arriving a bit after us.

On Sunday, Andy wanted to swim in the Pacific Ocean. For the past couple of years, Dana has been telling me about the fish tacos at the Brigantine restaurants in the and beach San Diego area. So, we were going to go there for lunch and then to the harbor in Oceanside.

After lunch, we headed to the beach. The "boys' headed to the sand and Dana and I visited the shops. The shops probably took us 10 minutes to visit so she and I ended up at Rockin' Baja Lobster for We did have to stop there anyway so we could make dinner reservations for later in the evening. She and I then headed to the beach to meet up with the guys. Andy was able to swim in the ocean and enjoy the SoCal weather.

We went to dinner at Rockin' Baja Lobster and Dana's boyfriend, Tony, met us there. After drinking more margaritas and just enjoying each other's company.

Monday was game day! The game started at 5:00 but we arrived at parking lot section J3 of Qualcomm around 1:00pm to start the tailgating. We met Seahawks fans from all over Southern California, Las Vegas and Washington.

Here is a picture of Dana (#8) and I before the game:

We headed in to the game and hiked up to our seats. We were second row from the top. Since we have great seats for our home games, our away game seats are usually 'nosebleeds'. The game was a tribute to the military. At half time, a few troops were introduced. They were injured in the Middle East. I was just about in tears. Also, during the game, they showed video messages on the jumbotron of Chargers fans stationed overseas with messages to their family and their team.

Well, the Seahawks lost to the Chargers but it was a fun time - just to hang out with my peeps!!

I went back to work today - that was hard, but knowing that we have a three day weekend made it better!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Rolling Stones and Wedding Bells

Last week started with a kidney stone and ended with a wedding - neither of which were mine!

I'll start with the wedding first. Hubby's first cousin married his perfect match yesterday. They had been together for about 6 years when he proposed Christmas of 2006. Originally this wedding was to take place in June at a golf course but the course/restaurant had filed for bankruptcy. Alhough they said all event contracts would be honored, our cousins were referred to the Holy Trinity Cultural Center in Moraga. It is a lovely place! My husband was the photographer and this was treated like any other 'normal' client, as far as contracts, hiring an assistant, etc. Actually, I have not done a wedding with him for a couple of years. I get too stressed He original assistant came down with shingles about 1 1/2 weeks ago so to be safe, he quickly found another local wedding photographer to assist him.

Here is a photo of the wedding favors...I helped the bride get these through my party and wedding favors business.

One of her bridesmaids made the printed program. She also made all of the Save the Date cards, bridal shower invitations and wedding invitations. She did an awesome job!
Now to the kidney stone....which actually turned into something more serious. I had called my mother-in-law on Tuesday to see if they could come by on their way to the wedding and pick me up and I would go home with hubby. Our house is on the way and there was not a point in taking two cars when he family would be driving by my area anyway. Hubby had to be at the Center early for photos and I could just arrive with the other guests. My MIL had answered my message saying her and my father-in-law were dealing with a situation - FIL was having problems with kidney stones again. This was about his 7th bout over the years with them so they went to Urgent Care at the big K and they took and x-ray, gave him a prescription for pain pills, and he was sent home. He was basically told to do what he always does when the stones hit - drink a lot of fluids.
On Thursday night I noticed that one of hubby's sisters called but did not leave a message. I was in the backyard, picking some peaches. Hubby was at his monthly photography association meeting about 15 minutes away. He came home about 11:00 pm and mentioned that his sister left a voice mail but he said he would check in the morning. They were driving over from the other side of the Bay to stay with their parents - all going to the wedding yesterday and then to a local amusement park today. So, hubby figured that was why she was calling.
On Friday morning, I checked my emails before leaving for work and saw an email from MIL, with the time of 3:04 am. My MIL called 911 and and ambulance came and took my FIL to the hospital. Not the big K but the closer one that does take big K patients for emergencies. He had a very high fever, and had the chills and was getting delirious. He developed sepsis. Without going into much detail, he was drained from the fluid being block by the stone. It was a bad infection that could of killed him. His blood pressure was low and his heart beat was very high.
He was taken into the Critical Care unit so he could be monitored. By Friday morning and afternoon, he was hooked up to an IV with antiobiotics and was more aware and doing much better. He spent Friday night at JM Hospital. We found out that he was being moved to a big K hospital nearby - not to a Critical Care unit but to a regular room. He was settled in by Saturday night. Another cousin took some photos and had them developed for him to see today.
Hubby and I went over to see him today. One of the bridesmaids told me to take one of the floral centerpieces home so we took it over to him. We got to his room as he was finishing his lunch. He looked good. He was sitting off of the edge of the bed, eating from the rolling table. He was there and also one of his nieces husbands stopped by. FIL was in good spirits - looked tired though and seemed a bit out of breath after eating, but not wheezing, like earlier on Saturday.
The doctor came in as we were about to leave FIL to rest. FIL said we could all stay as the doctor checked him. The blood tests show that his kidney functions are getting back to normal. His white cell count was elevated but his leukemia was contributing to that. They are taking him off IV antibiotics and would be starting oral antiobiotics to see how he does. If all goes well, overnight and into tomorrow, he will be released and able to go home - and doing 2 more weeks of oral antibitocs at home. He will have an xray in the morning to check the stent that was inserted and the kidney stones.
My hubby is doing well with his dad having his medical issues. Hubby was with me when I was dealing with my parents and their illness and then when they passed away here at home.
I love my in-laws. I hear horror stories of how others don't get along with theirs and I know I am so blessed. Looking forward to FIL being around for a long time!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Just a Another Saturday...

Earlier today we went over to my in-laws to visit. They only live about 15 minutes away by car. I am really lucky to have in-laws that I like and get along with. They are both retired and belong to an RV club. Just this past weekend they went to Smithwoods in the Santa Cruz Mountains - .

While over at their house today, I took some photos of my mother-in-law's flowers. My husband is the professional photographer but I wanted to test out the 'close up' feature on my camera. I don't think he has to worry about me stealing any jobs from him!

The rest of my Saturday has been spent here at home. I finally have my laptop so I am trying to work on the family history research but the thought of trying to decipher Portuguese is not sounding fun
We received our Seahawks season tickets package yesterday - yes! But it is hard to believe that the pre-season starts up soon! Our first trip of the season will be at the end of the month to Southern CA to see the Seahawks at the Chargers. I do miss our football Family and really look forward to our trips to be able to hang out with everyone.

Friday, July 18, 2008

My Little Velvet Ears

I was playing with our dog, Flash, today and notice she is starting to get a bit more white in her face. It's hard for me to believe that she will be 9 years old in January! She is my first dog. I never really had a pet growing up. I had 2 parakeets but it's just not the same! Since we do not have children yet, she is my 'daughter'
Christmas of 1999, hubby's gift to me was a dog bowl and I thought he was nuts. We decided to really do research and find the right breed of dog for us. We looked at the Portuguese Water Dog but they need to be near the water a lot. Since we are both fans of the show "Dukes of Hazzard", we decided to find our "Flash". We initially liked basset hounds but worried about their future health problems. We then looked towards the Beagle. I have always been a fan of Snoopy so I fell in love when we got her. We found our Flash and I cannot even imagine our lives without her!

Flash - Spring 2000
(Don't mess with her porkchop!)

Flash 2006

The 2nd photo was taken by hubby at a local dog park. We have a large print (I think it's 16"x20") of this framed and hanging in our hallway.

She is now napping on the couch in the family room. Hubby is cooking something and that nose of hers is keeping her near the kitchen!

Side Note:
Tonight was the first SF Giants game after the All Star Break. Even though #33 had a homerun (a BIG woohoo!), my G-Men lost. ARGH..... Pitchers and catchers reunion tomorrow at the ball park - and it's a radio only game.....of course! :(

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Independence Day Weekend 2008

We had Friday off from work so I am finishing up my three day holiday weekend. It was basically a quiet weekend. On the 4th we went with hubby's parents and cousins to the Central Vally area to see his father's side of the family. They live in the country and are almond farmers. My hubby's cousin J2 invited us because her parents (Tia and Tio) used to have holiday parties and bbqs years ago and with them getting older, J2 thought it would be fun to do again. Tia DeeDee reminds me so much of my mom - a bit thicker accent than my mom had, though . She showed me her sewing room - she used to make wedding dresses for some of the affluent families of the Valley. We drove home by sunset, just in time to see the fireworks shows in our area. I look forward to our next visit to our 'country' cousins!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Dia De Portugal 2008

This past weekend I had a booth at the annual Dia de Portugal Festival at History Park in San Jose. We met a lot of people who came from Madeira - they loved the Santana House!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Welcome to the Jungle

Well, not quite here in the 'burbs but the closest thing I have to it!

It's such a nice day outside so I went into our backyard to take photos. We do not have a large yard but my parents managed to plant a lot! Their legacy lives on....

This is a view from the house:
This is the view from below - past the white picket fence:
A close-up of one of the apple trees:
This is a close-up of one of the loquat trees:
A close-up of young figs:

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Extra Innings....

I may as well start this blog with one of my favorite things.

Last night a friend and I went to a Giants game at AT&T Park in San Francisco. She and her sister have season tickets. Sister T is out of town this weekend so E asked if I wanted to go. Of course! The Giants were commemorating the 15th Annual 'Until There's a Cure' Night to present AIDS awareness day at the ballpark.

The game went into extra innings and the Giants ended up losing to the Padres.

Some other images from the ball park:

(View of McCovey Cove from our seats. Looks empty now that Bonds no longer is around to make those Splash Landings!)

Ceremony for Omar Vizquel - broke record for most games played by a short stop. He has such a great smile!:

One of my favorites on the team - Number 33!:

After the game, there was a fireworks show over the water. I have video of it from my camera and will try to upload it

Another shot - of the Bay Bridge - from one of the walkways around the ball park. The weather was cold and windy - normal for an evening in San Francisco!: