Sunday, August 30, 2009

El Camino Gardens

Albertha and Kristen have a little fun on a slow Sunday afternoon. They are staff members in the Life Guidance Unit at Atria El Camino Gardens where my mom lives.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

This Little Piggy

Nicole and Greg came to visit at Justin's today. Justin explained the fine art of pig-rearing. He's raising 3 right now, they'll be butchered in 4-6 weeks.

And we learned that Nicole has always wanted to mow a lawn. I remember when she went camping for the first time with Greg and a girlfriend (or two?) a couple of years ago.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Clara Skaug Interviewed

The California Report, a KQED public radio program, did a report on the economic struggles of Dixon Unified. Clara's part of the interview comes at about 3:20 in the 5-minute-long story.

Amazingly, Dick, his sister Carolyn, and sister Aurora all heard the broadcast live. Dick found this link on the Internet

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Another Hodel

Today was Mom's follow-up appointment to discuss last week's colonoscopy. She has a 5-6 cm cancerous mass on her ascending colon. Bloodwork and a CT scan are our next steps. At the lab, the technician asked my mom how to spell her last name.

Rapidly, my mom reeled off "H-0-D-E-L."

The technician showed Mom her ID badge and asked, "Is it spelled like this?"

This is Jamie Hodel. She grew up in S California, her family previously lived in Kansas where they raised cattle. We couldn't any find any names/relatives in common, but we convinced ourselves that somehow we were related.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Happy Anniversary Jim & Lucy

A week ago, both Jim and Lucy thought their anniversary was either August 24 or 25. Jim checked the engraved wine glass in the china cabinet and discovered it was actually today, August 26. He decided to surprise Lucy by sending flowers to Lucy at work.

It was the biggest bouquet I've ever seen. Jim definitely loosened the purse strings on this one.

Lucy had trouble getting it into her vehicle to bring home. Dick had to help get it out.

The peacock feathers were a humorous addition to the arrangement.

There's an annoying neighborhood peacock which jump-flies from roof to roof and walks around the yard, leaving a mess in its wake, until the dogs decide to chase it away.

Dick and I got a fruit basket cake from New Roma Bakery, which shifted slightly before serving. Last week, Lucy and Dick were discussing how delicious this particular cake is.

Friends came over in the evening:
L: Virginia, Jim's step-mother.

R: Lupita
L-R: Neighbors Archie and Sandy Sanders, Jerry (Lupita's husband).

Chief is in the foreground.

L-R: Jim, Jerry & Susan Trautman, Jimmy Reed.

Breakfast with Adrienne

Good conversation and great food at Venita Rhea in Rocklin

Monday, August 24, 2009

Weekend in Palo Alto

Ahhh, a lovely weekend with Carolyn (Dick's sister) and Mark Dobervich.

The wonderful scent of a Kentucky Beefsteak tomato, nurtured to maturity by Mr Tomato.

On Sunday, Carolyn and I went to University Avenue for this annual event.

Jim and Maryann from San Francisco joined us. Carolyn was maid-of-honor at their wedding about 40 years ago.

Craftspeople and artists came from all over the United States.

Our final stop was a purchase at this lemonade stand around the corner from Carolyn's house

Friday, August 21, 2009

Dinner at TJCKS

Dick went to work at his mom's house in the morning. He was using his bicycle helmet for sun protection as he dug post holes until I brought him a proper hat.

TJCKS = Tom Julie Clara Kevin Skaug. 5 lettters summarizes Dick's brother's family. They live in Dixon and hosted dinner in the evening.

A pre-dinner tour of the garden. Mark donated some of the tomato plants.

Mark aka Mr Tomato

L-R: Tom, Kevin (a freshman at Dixon High School), Leta, Dick

Dick is center front.

L-R: Kevin, Julie, Leta, Tom, Carolyn, and Mark
L-R: Julie, Clara (a senior at Dixon high school), Leta


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Alma's Health

Today we took Mom for a colonoscopy to find out why she's anemic. Justin was great at cheering her on. The doctor found a 5-6 cm mass on her colon which may be cancer. We'll know more after the 27 August appointment.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Dick Meets a Weird Samaritan

Dick went to Goodwill to look for dress pants and maybe a jacket or shirt to wear to Mike & Nicole's September wedding. Inside the store, Dick noticed a man staring at him. The guy pointed at him and said, "Gimme your address. I'm going to send you five suits. They'll fit you perfect." Dick made some excuses and left.

A while later, in the parking lot, the man spotted him again and asked, "What size are you? 42? 44? I have the perfect suit for you." A conversation began. He said, "I just live up the street. Come over to my house. I have just what you need." Dick finally agreed and then helped him unload his car-ful of donations to speed things up.

At his house, he showed Dick all kinds of clothing and handed him 4 pair of slacks. "Wait! Wait!!" he said and went in the house, coming back with a very nice sport coat.

Dick asked him why he was getting rid of all this stuff. The man responded, "Since I've moved back in with my wife, I've lost 27 pounds. None of these clothes fit anymore."

At that point Dick thanked him, they shook hands and introduced themselves. That's how Dick met James.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A 9-Finger Day

I accidentally stabbed my forefinger with a knife and it bled pretty good.

But, that didn't stop me from a day of sewing at Justin's house.

Hurray!! Welt pockets conquered. Not perfect, but finished.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Bruise Brothers

Dick and his brother, Tom, pruned the large magnolia tree at their mother's house. Leta lives in the Bay Area and her house is rented.

Leone Thorne drove by and stopped to chat a while.

Downtown Sacramento: the third-Saturday Designer's Showcase at 10th and K.

The Sacramento Ballet.

Nicole Docimo, our future daughter-in-law, in her booth talking to Dick.

I couldn't resist buying the jellyfish and sea anemone prints. After they're framed, I'll hang them in our boat. These are part of an alphabet series of drawings.

You can find Nicole's blog at and her shop can be found at

Conquering welt pockets, Afternoon at Thais & Lenin's

Back to Justin's early in the morning for another run at those darn welt pockets.

Getting closer, but not quite finished yet.

Justin picked up his grandma and we all went to Thais and Lenin's for lunch.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Fear of Welt Pockets

Early Friday morning, I head to Justin's for some focused sewing on the jacket I want to wear to Mike and Nicole's wedding in September.

I am afraid of welt pockets. I've put off working on this jacket because the welt pockets are next.

My mom always made my welt pockets in the past. Since she's 90 and I'm 60, maybe it's time to break through this roadblock.

My tip for straight lines: use low-tack masking tape between end points, then baste or stitch.

NOTE (added Jan 2010): I think the only picture of the finished jacket appears at Sophia's baptism on 16 Jan 10.

Justin cooked some chicken breasts on his George Forman grill. I made a sandwich for Justin before I left then went back to Jim and Lucy's to make more for all of us before friends came over later in the evening.

L-R: Jerry Trautman, Les Thayer, Jim Reed.

L-R: Susan Trautman, Lucy Reed, Dot Thayer.

Lucy made a fire on the back patio. Dick and I made apple-cinnamon s'mores for everyone.