Thursday, October 31, 2013


Luke the Panda.

Sophia the Peacock.

Frida Kahlo and Mickey Mouse.

Avery did NOT like the Mickey Mouse hood! A package of candy allowed the picture to be taken.

Kellen the US Army soldier and Power Ranger Odin.

The handmade part of this post : I made the panda costume about 6 years ago in the little cabin outside Yarmouth Nova Scotia.  Kellen and Odin each wore it.  I handstitched the peacock mask Sophia wore.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Babysitting Sophia and Avery

This is what happens when you say "Strike a pose."

I was assured by Sophia that the poses were just as good from the back.

Sophia's on a soccer team at St Ignatius.

This is called "the jail." It was so cool, I was encouraged to take a picture and send it to Mom. Of course I complied.

Time to play Hide from Grandma Behind the Curtain.

Avery couldn't figure out how I was always able to find and tickle his toes.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Party crashing

I tagged along with Val M and discovered a few friends I haven't seen in a long time.  L-R: Linda, Val M, Val S, Maria, me.

Above we were at the American Legion in Rio Linda. Then we moseyed across a parking lot to the 145 Club where a band was playing. By the way, long long ago, Maria's father and his brothers owned this same bar then named Klein's Club. 

Want more? Ok. Go to

Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday night at Phyl and Dave's

This was fun: 3 sons and 2 grandsons of Phyl and Dave met at their house to go to a football game at Rio Linda High School.  They were playing Casa Roble High School.

L-R: Juan, Dave, Chris Jr, Chris, Phyl, Jon, Greg. Juan recently graduated from Casa, all the other guys graduated from Rio Linda.

Rio linda won. They're having a great football season.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Happy 2nd Birthday Avery

and a peacock mask fitting.

Avery, "Me too."

Friday, October 18, 2013

Project Ride Smart

I started working at H Allen Hight Elementary on Oct 14 teaching bicycle skills to four classes of 5th graders. This time, my teaching partner is Scarlet. Project Ride Smart lasts for three weeks. Each class will get 9 hours of intense instruction, blacktop drills, and a longer ride in the surrounding community.

Nice straight lines for the blacktop drills.

A fleet of bicycles in three sizes to meet the needs of everyone.

We took advantage of the decorations put out for the annual Harvest Festival.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Pruning roses

One of the most enjoyable things I've been doing lately is dead-heading roses at the Dry Creek Ranch House.

Twice a month, usually in the late afternoon, I spend up to an hour in the warmer months (about 30 minutes this month and November will be the last month)

removing all the fading blossoms. It's a quiet and peaceful.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Bike Palo Alto

I was invited by the Safe Routes to School coordinator to do a presentation at Bike Palo Alto.

El Carmelo was on a route through the city where participants could stop

for information on bicycle routes through the neighborhoods of Palo Alto,

get a helmet fit, find the safest route to school,

or learn more about family bicycling.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

A few days in Palo Alto

Dick came to California for a couple of weeks. Luke and Greg came to Palo Alto for a visit making for a very happy Grandpa.

And an equally happy great-grandmother.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Regina: goodbye

At last, a morning visit to Tim Horton's.

"The Ledge" as the locals say, ie the provincial legislature.

Lake Wascana. Here is the longest bridge over the shortest span of water.

Onto the Heritage Museum.

Regina is also home to the Saskatchewan Rough Riders. Regina and the rest of the province are crazy in love with their team.

A quick tour of the RCMP Academy, Depot Division which has been providing police training to Royal Canadian Mounted Police "cadets" since its establishment in 1885.

Two gardeners talk about plants.

Time to say goodbye. Thank you Glenn so much for your gracious hospitality.

As it turned out, mechanical difficulties would delay our departure and we ended up spending the night in Denver.  The next morning would be a mad scramble to get to work for Justin and to a meeting for me. We all had a great time.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Regina: day 3

We drove north from Regina into the Qu'Appelle Valley.

The northern side of the valley.  We would turn east on the first road we came to to get to the family farm.

A view from the top.

On the other side of the road, harvested fields and ...

Wheatwyn Church.

Built in 1907 by a small group of German Lutheran immigrants.

Part of a Sunday school list from the 1950s. Six of the first nine on the list are my cousins. Note the poor attendance of Harold Hodel - no stars at all. Could I be related to him also?

In the cemetery behind the church, my mother's parents graves.

Out to the fields where the final harvesting is taking place. At right is cousin Donald, Glenn's brother.

Donald bought Uncle Fernie's farm when he retired.  Uncle Fernie and Aunt Ardyth once lived out here before moving into the village of Markinch. Donald donated the farm house to be used for an RCMP bomb training scenario. This is what's left.

I rode in the combine with Donald's son Marc for a few passes and loved it.

Thais rode around with Reg. In a good year of wheat farming, they harvest about 25-30 bushels/acre, in a very good year about 40 bushels.  This year it's about 60! A bumper crop as they say.

Justin drove the grain truck.

Off they go as the sun gets lower in the sky. They should be done by the end of the week, just in time for Canadian Thanksgiving on the 14th.

From the truck

to the granary.

I think my mom was the first child (the 4th of 6) to be born inside this house.

Donald's wife Marcia.

We drove to Southey to have dinner at cousin Angela (Glenn's sister) and Les' house. Glenn's family (L-R) Jordan, Glenn, Andrea. Glenn is holding grandson Romen.

To Glenn's left is his mother Adeline, Angela and Les.

Another great day, time is passing too quickly.