My Mom’s Roolyet

I posted the recipe that we finally perfected that tastes like my mom’s nut roll. Head over to the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog to see the recipe and instructions. Click here.

I’m happy to have arrived home safe and sound from Southern California on Wednesday morning. Now I’m doing laundry and sorting through some mail. I’m hoping to get around to some blogs soon.

It was so good to see family and friends over my seven days in Orange County. I arrived on Wednesday and we had a birthday dinner for my pop on Thursday at my sister Kathy’s. Then on Friday we had a sister day in Huntington Beach. On Saturday we had another family gathering at my sister Vera’s and we honored my sister Kathy, my pop and niece Debbee who all have May birthdays.

On Sunday evening Vera and I had a lovely time at Ken and Heidi’s. Heidi was my best friend and partner in crime in my college years and beyond. She and Ken met and were engaged during a period of time that Heidi was living with Dear and me. We have been good friends for all these years and it was nice to enjoy an evening together.

Ken and Heidi have a slice of paradise home with an outdoor space that really reminds you of something you would call a tropical paradise.

Our fellowship, the weather, the setting and the food were wonderful. While we were eating outside a Bobcat chose to walk across the far side of their outdoor space with no interest in us, thankfully. I heard recently that bobcats really aren’t interested in attacking humans.

On Memorial day we enjoyed a barbecue at my niece Debbee and Lenny’s home in Huntington Beach. Red, white and blue were the colors of choice on this day. Before we ate a friend of the family prayed and thanked God for those who served and gave their lives for us and the freedoms we enjoy. We enjoyed burgers, ribs, corn on the cob, salads, sweet watermelon and a few desserts. Thank you Lenny and Debbee!

On my last evening in Southern California Vera and I met up with Dear’s brother, sister-in-law and two of three nieces. It was another good time to catch up with what is going on in their lives. Cell phone photos are hit and miss in the darker restaurant.

Thank you Vera for letting me crash at your place and for being my private chauffeur while I was in Southern California.

Hello June! We are starting the month off with rain here in the Puget Sound area. We’ll see how long June gloom lasts. I have gloomy things to do inside so I’ll go with the flow and soldier on with sorting, trashing, shredding and recycling things I should never have stored away! Addy’s expression in this next photo just about covers the task set before me.

I love her expressions! Thank you modern technology. Snap and send has never been more appreciated!

Huntington Beach

On Thursday the 25th of May my sister Vera and I had a walk in Huntington Beach and on the pier.

It was fun to see the pelicans. They look so prehistoric, don’t they?

We took the obligatory selfie.

On Friday Kathy joined Vera and me in Huntington Beach for a sister morning. We had breakfast and did some shopping together.Our youngest sister, Lana, is traveling in Scotland right now.

Before Kathy left we took another sister selfie.

On Saturday we are going to have another family gathering with more of our family at my sister Vera’s. It will be nice to see two of my brothers and my sister-in-laws. Vera and I will be baking again on Saturday morning because our dear old pop told us it would be good if we baked another roolyet (nut roll) for our family gathering.

I’ll be posting the recipe of this family favorite on the Mennonite Girls Can Cook on the 31st of May.

Hope you are having a good long weekend and can pause to remember those who have fallen in service to our country.

He’s Another Year Old Today…

Technically he was another year old yesterday.

14317439_10210161594261007_2186919252756866346_nMy dear old Pop turned 94 years old on Thursday. This photo is from last year when he was 93 at his great granddaughter’s birthday party. Vera and I drove to Kathy’s yesterday to wish him a happy birthday and to have dinner with him and Kathy’s family. Before dinner we all prayed individually to our God to bless our dear Pop in his final days on this earth with peace and joy.

This is my pop and me in 1973 and 2017. We both have aged a bit. I’ve put on weight and he’s lost a lot of weight and muscle.

Last year he got cherry pie which he really enjoys.

This year Vera and I baked my mom’s signature nut roll called Roolyet. My pop talked about the fact that my mom’s Roolyet was the best. He said no one made roolyet like mom. We were hoping ours would measure up.

We put the candle in his birthday roolyet and he enjoyed blowing it out. He did say, “I’m 94 why only 1 candle?”

Pop loved our attempt and he teared up because it brought back good memories of his bride. He told us to make it again on Saturday when we have another party on the books. I’ll be posting the recipe on Mennonite Girls Can Cook on May 31st.

This is my sister Kathy’s family minus their son-in-law Ryan who is busy wrapping up his teaching year. Vera and me are flanking our pop with Avery. Pop got calls from his other kids and even got a call from our younger sister who is vacationing in Iceland to wish him a happy birthday. After dinner and all the excitement of the day he sat down to watch Jeopardy and then excused himself and retired to his room to read his Bible and pray for all of us like he does every night. Vera and I hit the four freeways we needed to take to get back home. There are a lot of freeways in Southern California!

Friday is sister day and the three sisters that are here right now will have some fun. Lana is on her way to Scotland with her hubby after spending time in Iceland which is an okay trade-off for not being here for sister day.

Crystal Cove State Park

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These are some of the cottages that can be rented. Quite a nice location.

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Crystal Cove is a California State Park and the Cottages on the beach can be rented through the Park system. There’s information at this link.

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California beaches in January can be very dramatic. Winter is the time of year I really enjoy the beaches.

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My sister Vera and I walked along the shore while we waited to be buzzed for our meal. There is a restaurant on the beach in the State Park called The Beachcomber. The food and service was real good. My post about the restaurant is here.

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These photos were taken on January 21st. Back here in Western Washington the news of the day is all about mudslides. Our hills have been saturated first with melting snow and now with a significant rain fall. Several roads had to be closed this week because of mudslides. Our major east/west interstate 90 in Issaquah was shut down on the west side this Thursday after mud and debris came across the west bound lanes. Glad I wasn’t there. No one was hurt thankfully. We are getting a little dry spell between the storms which is very helpful!

Hope all is well in your neck of the woods.

I’m linking up to Saturday’s Critters at Viewing Nature with Eileen.

A Grand Hodgepodge…

img5681. What do/did you call your grandparents? If it’s something unusual tell us the story behind the name. If you’re a grandparent what do your grands call you? Who chose your moniker?

I called my grandparents babushka and dzedushka growing up. My parents both were born in Russia. Their families escaped separately into Iran and my mom and dad met in a village outside of Tehran and were married there and then immigrated to the U.S. after WWII. Most of their family members immigrated after them. My maternal grandfather/dzedushka died in Iran. The top photo is of me with my maternal grandmother, babushka Vera, on my wedding day. The next photo is of my paternal grandparents, dzedushka Timofei and babushka Marfunia Bogdanoff. We were a lot closer to my maternal grandmother than my paternal grandparents.

img5782. Ever taken a road trip along the California Coast? If so what was the highlight of your trek? If not, any desire to do so? If you were to take a trip along the California Coast what’s one attraction you’d have on your must-see list?

honeymoon-001Dear and I were born and raised in Southern California. Greg was raised a stones throw from Santa Monica and Venice Beach. Why yes we have taken some road trips along the coast of California. On the first night of our honeymoon we stopped in Ventura and then traveled north making stops in Solvang, Carmel, Monterey and San Francisco.

In 1985 we took a bicycle trip with 2 other couples starting in wine country and to the coast at Mendocino and south to Russian river. This is all north of San Francisco.

Since then we have made trips from Camarillo to the Central Coast of California staying in Pismo Beach.

We lived close to the coast in Huntington Beach (1975-1984), Ventura (1984-1988) and Camarillo (2006-2010) during our married life. The photo below of Josh and Dan at the beach is in Ventura 1986.

venturaI would have to break up the coast of California in sections and pick a favorite in each section. The coast of California is very long and varied. North of San Francisco I’d say Mendocino, but inland of course you have wine country Napa and Sonoma. So maybe a combo trip that takes in Napa/Sonoma/Mendocino. San Francisco is a stand alone city to visit. South of San Francisco I’d say Monterey, Pismo Beach or San Luis Obispo, this is also an area with lots of wineries inland from the coast.  Farther south Santa Barbara is a stand alone destination. South of Santa Barbara is Malibu and Santa Monica. I’d skip the next several miles south until you get to Huntington Beach. Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Corona Del Mar and Laguna Beach are all doable together. Lastly I’d do La Jolla and San Diego together. Besides beaches and wineries there are several California Missions along the coastal areas of California.

In January our whole family was in California for a wedding on the coast north of Santa Barbara. I stayed on in California after my family traveled back home and enjoyed a couple days on the beach in Huntington and Crystal Cove.

joe-hannah-090I’d like to add a northern coastal trip in California some day. From Mendocino up to Oregon.

3. What are three things you don’t know how to do?

Fly, Scuba Dive and Figure Skate.

4. Tom Peters is quoted as saying, ‘Celebrate what you want to see more of.‘ If that’s true what will you celebrate and more importantly, how will you celebrate?

Right now we are celebrating getting past 10,000 steps with our fitbit keeping us informed and motivated being connected with family members on fitbit, too. I want to see more of this kind of movement in my life and I want to achieve those steps out in nature as much as possible.

5. Thursday (February 16) is National Almond Day. Do you like almonds? Which would you prefer-an Almond Joy or a macaron? What’s something you make that calls for almonds?

Almond Joy! My famous cheesecake recipe calls for almond extract.

6. What does Saturday morning look like at your house?

These days Saturday morning looks like any morning since Dear has been unemployed for 8 months. Last Saturday morning we went for a walk at a local bay park. Hopefully a morning walk will be a habit on Saturday mornings before we have a doughnut!

7. Share with us a favorite book you’ve read this winter.

The Great Reckoning by Louise Penny. The latest Chief Inspector Gamache novel.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

We are in count down mode for the arrival of our first grandchild a little girl who is already named, Addyson, Addy. We are going to be traveling to northeast Washington for an open house/baby shower for our kids next week. We are hoping for a good travel day across the Cascade mountain range there and back again. While at Dan and Jamie’s, Dear will be painting Addy’s nursery and a dresser they will be using for Addy’s things. Dear’s first job was painting with his father. He’s very good. As soon as we hear that Jamie is in labor later in March we will hit the road again and travel east to catch a very early glimpse of our first grandchild. Not sure what we want to be called. Maybe I’ll stick to my roots and have her call me baba/babushka. Maybe Dear will be called Papa. Time will tell.

Linking up to Wednesday Hodgepodge with Joyce From This Side of the Pond. Thanks for the questions Joyce.

Saturdays Past

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It’s already been 3 weeks ago that I was on the beach at Crystal Cove having brunch with my sister. I still need to share the photos of the lovely beach and the history of the state park where this restaurant is located…right on the beach. The food was very good!

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I took this photo just out front of the restaurant. After you are shuttled across the highway (for $1.50) from the parking lot to the beach side of PCH (Pacific Coast Hiway) which costs $15.00 to park, you can put your name in at the restaurant and they give you a buzzer to let you know when they can seat you. This is a very popular place to enjoy a meal so the wait can be long. In the meantime you can explore the beach and walk along the sand until you are buzzed. If you eat at the restaurant you can show your paid receipt and your parking is free for up to 3 hours. There is a tunnel that goes under PCH if you’d like to walk to the beach side of PCH and get to the beach and restaurant on foot instead of the shuttle. On this day we took the shuttle across because the tunnel was closed due to the heavy rains and runoff that was flooding the tunnel. When we were done with brunch and exploring and ready to go back to the parking lot the tunnel was open with cautions of some running water. We chose to walk the tunnel back. Crystal Cove is a California State Park.

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The tunnel was decorated with several murals that were painted by boy scout troops and others. There are hiking trails where you can come across these plants pictured in the mural above.

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These two were my favorites. “Protect what you see and what you Don’t see” and the lower one that showed Splash Zone, High Tide, Mid Tide, Low Tide and Sub Tidal.

Linking up to Mosaic Monday with Maggie at Normandy Life.

Also linking up to Monday Mural with Oakland Daily Photo.

Now to the present…Dear and I did some walking on Friday and Saturday morning. We walked a river trail and then at a nearby park on a bay. We hope to make it a habit to walk more. Sunday evening we are having Josh and Laura over for an early Valentine’s Day meal. Dear and I have been cooking for a couple days now trying to recreate Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon. I hope I remember to take some photos of the finished product. Hope you all had a nice weekend. The sun is shining nicely here right now!

InSPIREd Sunday

crystal-cove-090Community Church Congregational United Church of Christ in Corona Del Mar, California. That’s quite a mouthful for a name. Lots of C’s for sure.

crystal-cove-089On January 21st while I was in California my sister and I spent the morning at Crystal Cove and on our way home I spotted this church on a side street off of PCH (Pacific Coast Hwy) and my sister humored me and turned down the street so I could take some photos.

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We took full advantage of the sunny days in between the rain storms that Southern California experienced while I was there.

Linking up to InSPIREd Sunday with Beth and Sally. It’s been a few months since I’ve linked up.

We are still planning what we will be doing for Super Bowl Sunday and if anyone will be joining us. Maybe some New England Clam Chowder and a Georgia Peach Cobbler if I go with a game theme to represent each team. It will definitely be a fly by the seat of our pants kind of day! What are you planning?