Christmas Spirit Hodgepodge

Wednesday Hodgepodge questions that Joyce From This Side of the Pond asks each week are not surprisingly Christmas themed in December. Here we go…

1. What do you think it means to have the holiday spirit?

Going deep on this one and deferring to my hubby:

“It’s having the Spirit of Christ, who convicts of sin and enables faith in that Jesus is who He says He is and has done what He has says He has done. Without the work of the Spirit of Christ we would have no hope for forgiveness, for eternity with Him, for glory.

Romans 5:1 (ESV)

“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”

2. What’s one thing you’ve baked this month?

I baked a Chocolate Decadent Bundt cake last week for our card night.

Have you eaten the finished product?

Yes, at the card night last Friday night. It got very good reviews from those who ate it.

How much baking do you do around the holidays?

This varies from year to year. Some years I don’t make any cookies…shock!

What baked sweet something does your family insist is on the menu during this season of the year?

Roolyet is a Russian treat our mom would make every Christmas. A yeast dough rolled with a  walnut filling (walnuts, sugar, egg whites and vanilla). Now that my sister and I perfected the recipe I should make it every Christmas, too.

3. Your most recent ‘half-baked’ idea?

How about thoroughly baked. In January I clicked on the buy button for plane tickets from Seattle to London for September of this year. Then COVID-19 struck us all. Plane tickets, Air BnB deposits and many plans made that had to all be cancelled. Thankfully all was refunded.

4. Where were you the last time you ‘baked’ in the sun?

In my own backyard pulling weeds.

The top ten sunniest destinations in the world (most sun from January-December according to this site) are Dubai, Bali Indonesia, Los Angeles CA, Miami FL, Barbados, Dominican Republic, St. Lucia, Mauritius, Antiqua, and the Canary Islands Spain. Have you been to any of the cities listed?

I was born in East Los Angeles and raised in the “burbs” of Los Angeles and spent many summers baking on Southern California beaches slathered in Coconut Butter. Craziness!

Which one on the list appeals to you the most?

We do not choose sunny destinations these days. We do not lay in the sun. We look for shade and head straight to an umbrella when the sun is out and the air is hot. The only reason L.A. is appealing these days is because of our loved ones who live there and who we enjoy spending time with.

If the world were not upside down crazy and you could lie on a beach anywhere right now where would you go?

Never mind lying on the beaches, I would choose Jolly Old England any time of the year, walking down a lane instead of lying on a beach!

Now that said, we do enjoy walking on the beach at dawn in the summer and any time of day in the Winter.

5. Today I wish I had more _____________________.

Options for shopping in my little town of Colville.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

This past Sunday to Monday we enjoyed a 46th Anniversary night at the Coeur d’Alene Resort in Idaho on Lake Coeur d’Alene. Dinner at Beverly’s on the 7th floor made us feel like normal before all this craziness came upon us all.

Our complimentary Anniversary dessert! Vanilla ice cream wrapped in cotton candy with some fruit and dessert bark.

When the Christmas cards are all signed, sealed and delivered to the Post Office I feel like I should get an award. Do you still send cards?

Ruby Tuesday ~ Descanso Gardens

On Saturday my daughter and I were in the Los Angeles area and we met some family members at Descanso Gardens. What a beautiful garden to stroll through. The roses were beginning to open up nicely…

To see more Ruby Tuesday please visit Mary at Work of the Poet.

I decided to add this photo so you could get an idea of what part of the Rose Garden at Descanso looks like…

ABC Wednesday ~ The Los Angeles Zoo

Welcome to ABC Wednesday. We are on the letter Z. Yikes, the end of the Alphabet.

What fun I had meeting my brother, his wife, little Hope, my niece Michelle and her son, Jackson at the Los Angeles Zoo the week of Christmas!

 

My brother was here with his family from Dallas to celebrate Christmas with all of us. Hope will be 1 in January. What a joy to spend time with them all.

 

My niece Michelle and her son Jackson live in the L.A. area and they joined us for the fun.

 

It was a nice cool day at the Zoo and the animals were out and about. The bird is a Kookabura. We were singing the Kookabura song for quite a while after we saw this beauty. But since we are on the letter Z, this song would be more appropriate…

Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah

Zip a dee doo-dah, zip a dee ay
My, oh my, what a wonderful day.
Plenty of sunshine headed my way.
Zip a dee doo-dah, zip a dee ay

Mister bluebird on my shoulder
It’s the truth, it’s actual.
Everything is satisfactual.

Zip a dee doo-dah, zip a dee ay
Wonderful feelin’.
Wonderful day.

Lyrics by Ray Gilbert and Allie Wrubel.

 

 

Since we are on the letter Z, I couldn’t ignore the Zebras!

 

This photo is of my brother Leonard and me pushing the strollers at the zoo.

For more ABC Wednesday posts on the Letter Z visit the ABC Blog.

Photobucket is holding all my photos from 2007 to 2015 hostage and has replaced them all with ugly black and grey boxes asking for a ransom to have them re-published. Such a frustrating bother as I go through each post to delete the ugly boxes.

ABC Wednesday ~ M is for…

 M is for Mariachis, Mexican Food, and Margaritas.

Mariachi is a type of musical group, originally from Cocula, Jalisco, Mexico. Usually a mariachi consists of at least three violins, two trumpets, one Mexican guitar, one vihuela (a high-pitched, five-string guitar) and one guitarrón (a small-scaled acoustic bass). They dress in silver studded charro outfits with wide-brimmed hats. The original Mariachi were Mexican street musicians or buskers. Many mariachis are professional entertainers doing paid gigs in the mainstream entertainment industry. Professionals are normally skilled at more than one instrument, and they also sing.

 

Some of our Mexican Restaurants in Southern California have Mariachis strolling around the restaurant taking requests for songs to play and sing.

This Mariachi group played at my nephews wedding

I was born and raised in the East Los Angeles area of Southern California. The Mexican culture (these days if you are politically correct called “Hispanic” not “Mexican”) was all around me. We celebrated Mexican holidays at my elementary school, took field trips to Olvera Street in Los Angeles where the culture was further introduced to us. I have always enjoyed Mexican Food. There isn’t a Mexican restaurant in the Southern California area that calls itself Hispanic that I know of. They still all refer to themselves as Mexican restaurants.

 

Our favorite Mexican Restaurant in the Camarillo Area is El Tecolate. In Mexico El Tecolote means the Owl. Mexican Restaurants always serve chips and salsa at your table when you arrive. Sometimes we order guacamole to go with the chips too. Guacamole is a dip made with mashed avocados and other ingredients.

They have decorated the restaurant with many different types of owl “art”. This is just a fraction of the Owls you’ll see inside.

 

They serve your typical Mexican food here and other interesting dishes that are unique to this restaurant.

This is an open tamale

Carnitas (slow cooked pork) is another Mexican favorite. So yummy…

There are some Mexican restaurants that still hand make their tortillas. The restaurant where this Mexican lady is making tortillas is in Venice Beach, California (a district of Los Angeles).

 And last but not least I leave you with a Margarita which is a classic Mexican Tequila and lime drink! You can have the double, I’m fine with the single.

We prefer ours on the rocks. A lot of people like the blended variety that gives you a brain freeze on your first sip. Muchas Gracias for visiting my M post mi amigos y amigas.

For more ABC Wednesday visit Mrs. Nesbitt.

Photobucket is holding all my photos from 2007-2015 hostage and they have blacked them all out. I’m slowly working at restoring my posts without their help. Such a tiresome bother!

Dressed-To-A-Tea!

Generally when I go to a tea I dress up just a bit from my normal everyday style (jeans and a top) I’ll put on my black pants and try to wear something more interesting on top. I am not a hat person because a hat does not compliment me at all. My daughter Katie can wear any hat out there and look cute but not me!

 

We had tea at The Gilded Rose Manor Tea House for my mother’s 85th birthday on Saturday. I took a few photos of some pretty accessories they had around the tea room to share for “Dressed-To-A-Tea! This hat rack with the hats and boa’s was in the front entry.

 

This was something for a little girl to wear.

 

And some other pretty vintage children’s dresses.

More typically our Tea apparel is “to each his own” as you can see from the tea guests above. There are more pictures from my Mother’s birthday tea here.

This is my daughter Katie dressed for a Winter Tea with her vintage hat, gloves and pearls.

I’m hoping to be able to share a tea post with my daughter dressed for her Japanese Tea Ceremony class soon. She’s taking this class from the University of Washington and travels to a Japanese Tea-house in Seattle at the Arboretum each week for her instruction.

Visit LaTeaDah at Gracious Hospitality for more Dressed-To-A-Tea Posts.

Photobucket is holding all my photos from 2007-2015 hostage and they have blacked them all out. I’m slowly working at restoring my posts without their help. Such a tiresome bother!

Tea in the Afternoon

 

Kelly (SIL married to my brother Steve), Melissa my niece (Sister Kathy’s 2nd daughter) Jessica (soon to be my niece by marriage to my nephew Timothy, Kelly will be her MIL), Kathy my oldest sister, My Mother Nadia, My sister Vera, Debbee my niece (Sister Vera’s daughter), Michelle my niece (Sister Kathy’s first born daughter), and myself. (Wish my daughter Katie and DIL Laura, my sister Lana, my SIL Letty, my SIL Mandy, and my niece Kristin (Vera’s DIL) could have been with us, too!!)

In honor of my mother’s 85th birthday I spent a couple hours today with these lovely ladies having an afternoon tea. (More tea posts to follow) My mother the guest of honor shared with us some verses she wanted to gift us with. She read them in Russian from her Russian Bible. (This Psalm is 132 in the Russian Bible)

 

Psalm 133 ~ “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! It is lke precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard running down on Aaron’s beard, down upon the collar of his robes. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.”

What a blessing it is to live with these ladies in unity. It is good and pleasant everytime we get together. Thanks mom for sharing this Psalm with us at your tea.

Photobucket is holding all my photos from 2007-2015 hostage and they have blacked them all out. I’m slowly working at restoring my posts without their help. Such a tiresome bother!

TT #25 ~ 13 Big Years in my 57!

 Friday March 14th is my 57th Birthday. For my TT this week I’m choosing 13 very memorable years in my 57!

1. 1951 ~ My birth year. I was born in East Los Angeles, California.

2. 1963 ~ At Hume Lake Christian Camps in King’s Canyon, California God called me to become a disciple of Jesus Christ and I started a new life following him.

3. 1968 ~ Graduated from Montebello High School in Montebello, California

4. 1972 ~ Went on my first date with Dear in October of this year.

5. 1973 ~ Graduated from Cal-State Los Angeles with a degree in Home Economics and an Elementary Teaching Certificate.

6. 1974 ~ Got married on December 6th to Dear and have celebrated 33 years of marriage so far. We were married on a Friday evening.

7. 1979 ~ Our first child was born in January. Josh is our firstborn weighing in at 10 pounds. Born on a Friday.

8. 1981 ~ Our second son was born also in January, also on a Friday. Dan was 8 pounds and 1-1/2 oz.

9. 1985 ~ Our third child was born on a Friday, too but not in January. Our first daughter (and last) Katie was born at the end of December even though her due date was in January also. She weighed in at 8 pounds and 12 oz.

10. 1988 ~ We moved from California to the state of Washington so Dear could go to Pharmacy School at the University of Washington.

11. 1996 ~ We gave our dream home and all of our equity back to the bank because of a major landslide on the slope behind our home.

12. 2001 ~ Our first born son was married to our beautiful daughter in law, Laura.

13. 2006 ~ Dear took a full-time job in Southern California and he and I find ourselves living in Southern California again but without our children close by. They are all still in Washington. Dan and Katie are taking care of our home while we’re in Southern California in our Condo.

I’ll leave you with this party image of me way back in the 50’s. I’ve always been one to love a good time…

 

For more TT click here.

Photobucket is holding all my photos from 2007-2015 hostage. I’m working on updating my blog posts very slowly.

Happy Birthday Vera! Born on Leap Year Day in 1948 ~

My sister Vera was born on Leap Year Day in 1948. That means she’s 15 years old today. Well this is just the 15th time that her actual birthdate has occurred in her lifetime.

 

Vera is the one on the bottom row holding the cake. I’m next to her holding the skirt of my dress. My sister Kathy is in the top row between our cousins June and Nancy. My brother Fred is the the one in the overalls on the bottom row. My cousin Vera is next to me and my cousins Mike and Bill are in the top row as well.

 

This has to be Easter judging from the dresses and the white patent leather shoes. Vera, Kathy and Me.

 

This is Vera and me sometime in the 50’s. Fall or Winter judging from the black patent leather shoes! 🙂

 

This is a photo of the 4 of us sisters a year ago at another birthday celebration. Kathy, Lana, Vera and Ellen. We also have 4 brothers.

VERA! I hope your day is filled with love, joy and happiness. Looking forward to celebrate with you soon. Praying for God’s continued blessings in your life…

Photobucket is holding all my photos I stored with them from 2007-2015 hostage. They have blacked out all those photos on my blog posts. OH BOTHER! I’m slowly cleaning up my posts.

Olivas Adobe ~ Ventura, California

Photobucket is holding all my photos I stored with them from 2007-2015 hostage. They have blacked out all those photos on my blog posts. OH BOTHER! I’m slowly cleaning up my posts.

Since I have 13 photos in my collages on this post I decided to make this  my 23rd Thursday Thirteen entry.

The restored 1847 Adobe home of Raymundo Olivas stands as a monument to the rancho period of California’s history.

Born in 1809 in Los Angeles, Raymundo was the seventh child of a poor family. He joined the Mexican Army in California at the age of 16 and was assigned to the Presidio (fort) of Santa Barbara as a Lancer (cavalryman). He met his wife in Santa Barbara was married in 1832 and had 21 children -8 girls and 13 boys!

In return for his service to the State, Raymundo Olivas and his friend, Felipe Lorenzana, were granted 4,670 acres by the Mexican Governor Juan B. Alvarado. Raymundo began ranching his land in 1847. He started building this adobe home in 1847 with Chumash Indians providing the labor. The main house for the Rancho San Miguel was one of the few two story haciendas in Southern California and one of the most impressive homes in the Santa Clara River Valley.

 

For many years the Rancho prospered but droughts in the 1860’s and the death of Raymundo in 1879 was the beginning of the end for the Olivos fortune. The house was sold in 1899. After passing through many hands the Adobe was purchased by yeast king Major “Max” Fleischmann who restored the building in 1927 and built the distinctive bell archway. Upon Fleischmann’s death, the adobe was given to the city of Ventura and it opened as a museum in July, 1972

 

I’m going to go back and visit the grounds later in the Spring to visit the 100 year old fuchsias in the front yard and the 140-year old grapevine that can trace its roots to the days of Fray Junipero Serra and the missions.

I got the history information from the Historical Park brochure. They have a web site here.

For more Thursday Thirteen posts click here.

A Hike Yikes and My weigh-in!

Please Scroll Down for Fun Monday… 

It’s Monday morning weigh-in time. After my .3 gain last week I’m down .1 this week. I’m still clinging to the hope and the encouragement that this is an activity level and eating plan I can stick to for the long haul and I’ll decide after 6 months if it’s working well. I’m not doing anything drastic in a diet plan, just eating less and not eating after meals, etc. With this effort I think the numbers are going to change gradually and not drastically. So as they say “time will tell”. In the meantime I am always happy not to have put on an extra 5 pounds…

I have some photos from a hike I took yesterday with someone I met at church last week. She invited me to go on a hike with her and another gal and I said yes. I generally walk on mostly flat surfaces but this was a feel new muscles hike for sure. Here are some sites I saw during my 9394 steps…

 

This hike was in the Santa Monica Mountains whose north western boundary ends in my own front yard. We went on the Satwiwa short hike up to some falls.

 

The Santa Monica Mountains are 10 miles across at their widest spot and 50 miles long from Griffith Park to Point Mugu. We really have some amazing places to walk and hike during our stay here in Southern California. We are more and more thankful for the area we live in.  Poison oak grows well here, too, so it’s good to be aware of the danger it poses. Some people (like our oldest son) react quite violently when they come in contact with it. I decided to take a photo to make sure I recognize it.

 

Because of all our rains and snow in Southern California this year there is more water in the creeks and streams. It is refreshing to come upon this site on a hot uphill hike.

 

This is what you are treated to at the end of this trail.

 

The view on the way back to the trail head.

Have a wonderful Monday and week. Keep on walking…

Photobucket is holding all my photos I stored with them from 2007-2015 hostage. They have blacked out all those photos on my blog posts. OH BOTHER! I’m slowly cleaning up my posts.