A Nostalgic Hodgepodge

It’s time for Wednesday Hodgepodge. Jo From This Side of the Pond publishes the questions on Tuesdays for us to answer and then we post our answers on Wednesdays to share with other Hodgepodgers.
1. When is the last time you experienced nostalgia?
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I was putting together all the photos of my little Babushka for a post and it got me thinking of her life and all she endured and her perseverance. She died in March of 1980. So many conversations that I couldn’t have with her because of our language barrier. When we were young and she would come over to stay with us I’d hope to be the one who would be able to sleep with her on the fold down couch in the living room. Her left arm was amputated at her elbow in her youth but she learned to do more than a lot of people with two hands can do. She taught me to embroider or I should say she persevered with me as I tried to embroider. One thing she told me as a teenager that I still quote from time to time is something like this, “Nothing good happens in the dark”. She was cautioning us as young adults not to be out at night. She prayed for the salvation of all her grandchildren and their spouses. It would have been fun for our children to know her…
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 2. September 29th is National Coffee Day.
Do we need this? Ha!
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Seems like everyday is a National day of something. Reminds me of handing out trophies to everyone regardless of their talent.
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So are you a coffee drinker?
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I am a coffee drinker. The mug on the left is my current every morning choice of coffee vessel. I bought that mug at TDMaxx (not TJ) in Windsor, England.
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If so how many cups per day, and tell us how you like it.
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One large cup in the morning, strong and black.
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Is there a recipe you enjoy that calls for coffee as one of the ingredients?
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I have had some things that have coffee as an ingredient but nothing that is in my recipe wheelhouse.
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 3. Do you find praise or criticism to be more motivating? Explain.
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My pride gets in the way of accepting criticism. I find it easier to accept when the Holy Spirit convicts me of something that needs correcting.  I’m definitely spurred on by genuine praise but not flattery.
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 4.  What’s a television series you keep coming back to and re-watching?
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Vera, Midsomer Murders, Detective Lewis, Endeavor…there’s a theme going here. British murder mysteries.
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 5. As the month of September draws to a close give us three words to describe your mood.
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Smiling With Anticipation…
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 6. Insert your own random thought here.
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The reason I’m smiling with anticipation is because the month of October will be family filled. We are meeting up with my youngest brother’s family this Thursday in Idaho and then they will be parking their 5th wheel at our place for a bit. My oldest sister’s family is traveling to Washington state next week and we will gather together on the west side of the Cascades for a few days together. Four of our eight siblings will be together along with their families and our “Coast” kids. Then more family time in Colville with all of our kids together for our annual hunting weekend. All the rooms will be full at all the Family Inns for many days in October.
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We are traveling for a few days and I will be late in visiting everyone this week. Cheers!

Flashback Friday

For Flashback Friday, since we are again covered in snow (4-5 inches yesterday) I’m choosing these photos from July of 2003 when our youngest brother and sister turned forty and hosted a luau in our brother’s backyard. The party was in Downey, California.

Sisters, oldest to youngest.

Photos from a camera with film not digital or I would have taken some of these over.

Ellen b.’s siblings in order of birth. I’m number four and the twins were seven and eight. Kathy, Vera, Fred, Ellen, Tim, Steve, Lana and Leonard. About a seventeen year span for our births. Our oldest sister, Kathy, died in Persia when she was two before Kathy, the second, was born.

The luau was a fun event with good food and hula dancers, too.

Some of the nephews. Many other nieces and nephews were at the party but I did not get good photos of them or all the other guests. I’ll blame that on the fact that we hadn’t entered the digital age yet.

My siblings with our spouses, minus Lana and Steve. Our brother Leonard was not married until 2006. This photo was taken at another family event sometime around the Luau, maybe while we set up for the party.

Our parents, Moisi and Nadia, were still in Russia for this event. They would return from Russia in time for their 60th wedding anniversary party that we had in this same backyard in September. I’ll share those photos on Tuesdays with Moisi.

Can you feel those island breezes? Our kids on “the Coast” are wanting a break from the constant rain on that side of the Cascades. It’s been relentless. We aren’t going stir crazy from our snow…yet. Spring will come…

Sounders 8 Years Ago and Today!

These first two photos are from a post that I wrote 8 years ago!

What fun for Seattle last night and my sons, nephew David and friend Beau! They attended the Inaugural game for the Seattle Sounders and they got to see them win with a sell-out crowd who were very loud. Seattle fans are known for cheering loudly.

I really enjoy seeing my sons together having a good time!

Now this afternoon, eight years later who would have guessed that we would win again with the same score 3-1 and against the same team, the New York Red Bulls! A great season home opener! The sun was shining and I think I got a sunburn. Glorious views on the way to the stadium and on the way home, too. Laura took these next photos with her phone.

On the way to the stadium you could see Mt. Rainier in the background with the two stadiums and the wheel in the foreground.

Before the game started they unveiled our latest banner, MLS Cup Champs 2016!

Laura captured the sun rays shining down on the field. After several days of rain with a very few sunny days in between this was a real treat for all of us.

Here we are happy season ticket holders for the 9th year! Thank you Sounders for making our day in the sun a whole lot of fun!

Things about Spring that I enjoy…

Easter, Renewal, Strawberries, Flowers, Bird Nests, and Soccer!

Happy Spring Everyone. May this be the year of fresh revival in your Spirit, Soul, Heart and Mind!

Dear and Me B.C.

For my flashback post today I’m posting photos of Dear and me after we were married but before we had children.

img570Here we are just after our wedding all ready to take off for our honeymoon. I’ve already shared our honeymoon photos but hadn’t scanned this one yet.

In 1976 we took a trip across the country. We stopped in to see Dear’s Great Aunt Matilda in Oberlin, Kansas on our way to Michigan. She never forgot anyone’s birthday and she and I shared the same birthday.

img576This is Dear’s grandmother Nettie from Illinois visiting us at our first apartment in 1974.

Pregnant Josh newbornDear, Grandma Nettie, and Dear’s father.

Christmas at Dear’s parents’ home.

img573Our first apartment and our first couch that we bought with our own money. We had lots of hand me downs when we were first married that furnished our apartment. We also bought a few items from second hand stores.

Today we have a nice cloud cover with some rain promised for today and the weekend. Everyone is excited about the prospect of the rain and hoping it also helps put out the fires that are still raging here…

Hope you all have a great last weekend of August!

Easters Past…

For my flashback this week I’m going back to Easters in the past. These are all from the 50’s. Later this month I’ll share Easter Flashbacks from our immediate family that hail from the late 70’s and early 80’s.

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img604Growing up my immediate family was divided 4 x 4. My mom and dad had the four of us siblings pictured above and then there was a 7 year gap before they had 4 more children. I was the baby of the family for 7 years.

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Black and Whites

img643My mom had one brother who survived to adulthood and these are my cousins on my mom’s side of the family. This photo was taken of my maternal grandmother’s grandchildren at the time. She would add 5 more grandchildren in time.

img610I was so excited when I learned I’d have a baby brother or sister. I really wanted a brother and I remember jumping up and down on our family room couch when my father announced that my mother had my baby brother Tim. Tim was soon followed by our cousin Tanya and then our brother Steve. The twins, Leonard and Lana came a few years later.

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img640This last photo is of my Dear and his older brother Terry. Dear and Terry were born 4 years apart. I’m guessing this could be an Easter photo but it also could be that it was just a Sunday going to meeting photo!

Do you host Easter at your house?

Fashion Flashbacks

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For my flashback post this week I’m going back to the late 60’s and early 70’s with Fashion Flashbacks.

img441The seventies, cords and suede boots. Could I find a larger Ichthus? The Maranatha and Jesus Movement was strong in Southern California. I am happy to have been a part of “the movement”.   This photo is from the Montgomery Ward parts department where I worked part-time while attending college.

img488Interesting use of rick rack on this long dress.

img482Christmas morning at Bethany Baptist Church in Los Angeles. About the shoes…

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img460Pant suits became all the rage in the early 70’s.

img457Yikes! This striped sweater pant suit was an interesting statement.

img454Solvang, California

img449My first decent car that I bought through my credit union. Cars were a fashion statement, too.

Back to today…we enjoyed some nice weather this weekend and the sun is shining nicely right now. On Saturday Dear and I spent a few hours in the yard mowing and cleaning out some planters. It felt good to get the yard cleaned up. Tomorrow we are suppose to get up to the 60’s woohoo! On Tuesday we are back to a rainy pattern. How was your weekend?

Welcoming Spring…

…with some Spring flashbacks!

img475Laguna Beach in the early 70’s. My sister Kathy, Babushka Vera, and my mom.

img474Laguna Beach, California

img498Dear at his home in Santa Monica, California in the early 70’s

img497Forest Lawn Glendale

img861Dan and Josh in Ventura, California 1985

img939Trip to Descanso Gardens March of 1988

SIL Kelly, MIL Verna, Me, sis Kathy, my mom

nephew Timothy, niece Michelle, Katie, niece Melissa

img940Michelle, Katie, Tim, and Melissa

A Prayer in Spring

by Robert Frost

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfil.

I hope Spring weather will arrive and Spring flowers bloom in your neck of the woods!

Friends

img615My flashback this week is all about friends and family in Persia in the late 30’s and in the 40’s. These two friends got into trouble for applying lipstick before they took this photo. My mother on the left and our friend who we always called Aunt Zena on the right.

funeral007-002The same friends over 60 years later in California. Aunt Zena on the left and my mom on the right.

Most of the people in the following photos immigrated to the U.S.A. from Persia. Unfortunately my maternal grandfather died before he could immigrate. My maternal grandmother came to the states as a widow.

img594My mom is sitting down on the left. I need help identifying the other girls in this photo. I think some are Katkovs and the girl on the left is Vera (Leleland). Hopefully someone who sees my post that knows our extended family and friends can help me out with some names.

img617This is my mom on the left, her sister who died young, and her brother Paul.

img613My mom and my Uncle Paul

img596My mom and her cousin Luba

img595My mom on the right with her cousin Luba on the left and the two gals in the middle are Vera Leleland and Lyda Hamzaeff (married last names).

img589Nicolai, Aunt Nina, my mom and Uncle Paul

img588The Katkov and Shvetzov families in Persia. My parents and sister had left Persia already for America. My maternal grandfather is sitting on the right next to my maternal grandmother with my cousin Alex standing between them.

img592My Uncle Paul’s wedding day with my Aunt Nina and her family and friends. All the people in this photo are single except for my aunt and uncle. It was a tradition for the bride and groom to take a photo with their single guests and family.

Here we are in March already. We’re fighting off a cold bug at this old house. Dear is down for the count and I hope I don’t have to join him.

Have a good week everyone!

My First Plane Ride…

In 1970 my best friend and I were able to plan a trip east to see her family and meet up with friends for a wonderful tour including Mackinac Island, New Jersey, New York City, Buffalo, Boston, Connecticut and Washington D.C.  This would be the first time I took a trip that included flying in a plane. Here are my old photos from that trip.

img327I’m really not sure exactly where we started from and where we ended this trip. My friend Heidi and I traveled from Los Angeles. One of the spots we stayed was in Michigan at our friend Faye’s home. Faye’s dad was our pastor at Bethany Baptist in L.A. for several years. When they left L.A. they settled in Troy, Michigan. Faye and Heidi were best friends through high school. We also spent time on the lake at Peter and Ruth Leonovich’s home. Peter and Ruth took the three of us to Mackinac Island for a day.

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We had loads of fun riding bikes around the island. On the way to the island there were threats of rain and I remember Pete stopping the car so the 3 of us could do sun dances instead of rain dances. Looks like it worked.

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img324In New Jersey after we visited Heidi’s grandmother and uncles and aunts we were guests at Peter Leonovich’s brother’s home. Al and Babs treated us to wonderful meals and a trip into New York City to see the sights including the Statue of Liberty.

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img306Somehow we also ended up in Buffalo New York with more “friends of friends” who took us to see Niagara Falls and we had the most delicious barbecued corn during a backyard barbecue that I had ever tasted.

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img308Andy Semenchuk was our amazing tour guide to Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Washington D.C.

img309Boston was beautiful. I remember how shocked I was at seeing how small Plymouth Rock was.

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img314Because we were from California we had to pose next to Junipero Serra in the National Statuary Room. Turns out the first school Dear and my two sons attended was Junipero Serra Elementary School in Ventura, California.

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img317George Washington’s Mount Vernon

img318Looking back I’m so humbled at how hospitable everyone was to us. A place to lay our heads, food, sightseeing trips, and transportation everywhere we needed to go and didn’t need to go but these amazing people wanted to treat us to these sights. Thank you, thank you, to Andy Semenchuk, the Al Leonovich Family, Peter and Ruth Leonovich, and the Chechowich family. You broadened our horizons and our world view and modeled hospitality to us! I am forever grateful…

Cross Country

For my flashback post this week I’m posting some photos from Dear and my trip from California to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. We made this trip in 1976. We stopped in Denver, Kansas, Illinois, Michigan and Canada in our little yellow 1976 Honda Civic.

Road Trip 1976Somewhere in Colorado on our way to Denver to visit Dear’s uncles and aunts on his mother’s side. Just as we entered the fine state of Colorado the state patrol decided we should contribute some money for the state’s economy!

Road Trip 19761Dear had 2 uncles that never married and they cared for their mother till she died. We had a good time in the kitchen and I helped Uncle Cliff make his famous Rhubarb pie. This was my first experience ever with Rhubarb. Uncle Arnold was the poet of the family and historian. We spent some time with Uncle Red (Chester) and Aunt Jeanette at their cabin and Dear helped Uncle Red saw wood. We also stopped to see my sister’s SIL’s family who had moved to Denver from Chicago, Kenneth and Lillian Semenchuk. (Upper left photo). We would stop at another of my sister’s SIL’s in Michigan.

img234As we continued east we went through Kansas and stopped at Dear’s Great Aunt Matilda’s. She was single all her life and never forgot anyone’s birthday. We all received cards every year while she was alive.

Road Trip 19762Our next stop was in Peoria, Illinois to visit Dear’s paternal grandmother and his uncle Harry at the family home. We visited other aunts and uncles while in Peoria but I don’t have photos. One uncle was a pig farmer and those pigs scared me. So huge! From Peoria we made a stop in Wheaton to visit our friend Andrew Semenchuk who officiated our wedding and his dear wife, Pauline. They worked for Slavic Gospel Association so we visited the offices in Wheaton.

Road Trip 19763From Chicago we drove to Michigan to my sister Kathy’s sister-in-law’s home. Peter and Ruth Leonovich were so hospitable and generous to us whenever we ended up at their home on the lake. I learned to water ski here.

img220We continued on our journey into Canada from Detroit with a plan to stop at a China shop in Windsor to complete my Royal Albert china set. All I had was a tea set that I purchased on one of our trips to England. We found a shop that had a good selection of seconds and we bought service for 12 in my pattern. We decided to continue on and visit the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. We also visited Niagara on the Lake. If only I had a digital camera then. I would love to visit this area again.

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Road Trip 19764

Have you ever visited Niagara Falls? This was my second visit. In 1970 I visited friends in Buffalo, New York and they took me to the U.S. side of Niagara Falls.

img306It’s good for my brain to document these trips we took so long ago. It’s amazing how far we’ve come in the world of photography since those days. When we crossed back into the U.S. from this trip we were given the 3rd degree about our camera. They would not believe we hadn’t purchased it in Canada. I gave them all the receipts for the China but they did not care about the China, all they were concerned about was the camera! Oye!

This week I’m looking forward to a visit to my hairdresser and then our tax return appointment with our accountant. It will be nice to have that behind me. How’s your week shaping up?