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.

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?

The Best of January Hodgepodge

1. Can you believe it’s the end of January? What was the best day of January 2017 for you, and why?

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January had so many good days. Days in California by the Pacific Ocean, a family wedding, a baby shower for our sweet little granddaughter arriving in the Spring, time with my dear old Pop and sisters. Three birthdays in our immediate family. Three birthdays in our extended family. My time in California ended with a memorial service where I was able to spend time with several old friends from friendships that began in my youth and in the 70’s. January was filled to the brim with good relational events so it is very hard to choose one day in particular.

2. What sounds make up the background noise in your life?

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Interesting question. I have the choice as to what the background noises are in my life if I turn those noises on like the stereo or the T.V. If those noises aren’t on at this old house the noises that we hear are street noises predominately cars and trucks traveling on a busy street nearby or crows. We have a murder of crows around this old house every day.  I’m happy to say that mostly I allow good affirming noises to settle in my brain and not the negative.

3. I read on the Power of Positivity website a list of ten things to drop from your life right now. They are-

anger outbursts, people who put you down, regret, negative self talk, being a people pleaser, the notion you need to be perfect, the past (but keep the lessons learned!), gossip and judgment, comparing yourself to others, and the word hate (focus on what you love instead). Which thing on the list do you most need to drop? Are you trying or will you try?

I will ask for help from God to continue to drop gossip and judgement and I will focus on what I love and keep this next verse from the Bible in my memory bank.

Philippians 4:8 (NASB)

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

4. What is sacred to you?

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The life I have because of what Jesus did for me on the cross is the most sacred thing.

5. January is National Oatmeal month. Are you a fan, and if so how do you like it?

I really enjoy Oatmeal cooked in water with some salt and then topped with raisins, walnuts, brown sugar and milk.

6. What feelings does twilight stir up in you?

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The feelings that twilight stir up in me are rest, refreshment and relaxation.

7. Something you’re looking forward to next month?

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Looking forward to heading east across the Cascade Mountain range and beyond to attend our kids open house and baby shower. We will have the chance to paint the nursery and meet and enjoy Dan and Jamie’s friends and family in their new home.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I hope February is a brighter and more positive month on social media. I am weary of all the angry noise.

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

February is starting very chilly here in the Seattle area. Our thermometer outside is below 20 degrees. I’m headed to the Navy Exchange with our daughter this morning. Hope your February is starting well.

Look Closely…

The sign on the gate caught our eye but the surrounding fence really had us investigating. Check out the stone fence surrounding this gate. The fence around this beach home near Oxnard in Southern California holds lots of surprise elements.

When my husband was working in Southern California from 2006-2010 we had a condo so on the weekends we were”foot loose and fancy free” to do whatever we wanted. We really enjoyed early morning walks at the beach and one Saturday we ventured out to the Oxnard area and spotted this house.

Here are some closeups of the wall/fence.

I’m linking up to signs, signs with Lesley and to Good Fences #75 with TexWisGirl at Run*A*Round Ranch Report.

I’m looking forward to some time in the future when Dear and I might be footloose and fancy free. Time will tell. In the meantime I’ll be content with our busy schedules and long prayer lists!

Our Honeymoon…

This weekend I finally got familiar with the new scanner I purchased to scan old slides that Dear took in the 70’s. At least one day a week on my blog will be devoted to a blast from the past.

I’m starting with our honeymoon which was in December of 1974.

img079After our wedding we went to my parents home and got ready to leave on our honeymoon. Our family and closest friends were there, too, and we opened gifts before we changed into our get away clothes and left for our honeymoon. Did any of you do that after your wedding or did you take off and go straight to your honeymoon from the wedding sight? We were pretty beat when we finally arrived to our first destination, the Pierpont Inn in Ventura, California.

img080The Pierpont Inn, Ventura, California. Little did we know that 10 years later we would move to Ventura.

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img084From the Pierpont we continued north along the coast of California.

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img092This little log cabin somewhere in Central California was a nice little spot to stop. I can’t find it online anymore but it was called Butterfly Trees Lodge.

img093This was Dear’s car, a 1971 Datsun 510.

img094We went as far north as San Francisco and then headed back home along the 101 highway to our apartment in West Los Angeles. We stopped in Solvang on our way home.

Back to the present…

We had a nice quiet weekend and we were able to start a couple new projects. I filled our bird feeders…finally. Dear is working on closet doors. I started the huge project of scanning old photos starting with our slides. What fun it’s been to see these old images from the 70’s. How was your weekend?