Meanwhile…

…back at the ranch this old house. For Friday’s Fave Five and Five on Friday I’m sharing the following collages and photos of what’s been happening around home.

2016-07-07 4th and beyond1

Steve and Lana, Bob and Jan, Andrew and Katie, Matteo and Sandy. Friends and family gathered for our Fourth of July celebration. I took photos of the couples but missed getting Paul and Monica together but I do have one of Paul and Dear.

4th and beyond 006

Dear smoked a couple of Pork Butts and we enjoyed pulled pork sandwiches, coleslaw, beans, corn on the cob, and salad. We had hot artichoke dip and onion dip for appetizers.

2016-07-07 4th and beyond

Our neighbor Sandy brought cupcakes and my sister Lana brought trifle for dessert.

Even though all of the couples did not know each other everyone enjoyed conversation and getting to know someone new. It was good to find out more about our neighbors.

2016-06-18 yard-flowers

Lots of purple blooming about the yard. One of our hydrangeas is an intense purple and the other is a cross between purple and blue.

2016-07-03 the fourth of July1

signs etc

Not everything is purple. Our Fuschia continues to charm us.

2016-06-18 yard-flowers1

Our apples and pears are going to be ready sooner this year than last.

mohai46

Our latest yard project is digging out the grass area in front that is encroaching on the drive and making the yard area more defined. We are adding a crushed base so the drive doesn’t get muddy from the rains. When we win the lotto we’ll have a cement driveway poured.

I’m thankful for family, friends, freedom, flowers, fruit trees and still being able to do some hard work. Don’t know if we’ll be able to move without moaning tomorrow but we are happy with our work progress.

Thank you Amy and Susanne for hosting these weekly Friday memes.

UPDATE: Our hearts and minds are with the families of the police officers killed in Dallas last night. Here are a few thoughts from a pastor in Dallas…

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A Few Thoughts Regarding The July 7th, 2016 Dallas Shootings

Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.  Let all that you do be done in love. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Catsup or Ketchup?

This is a little catch-up post from my weekend doings but I thought I’d ask this question. Which spelling of that red accompaniment to french fries or hamburgers or scrambled eggs do you prefer or do you use both? On to my catch up weekend!

Open house 028On Saturday I arrived to John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana and commandeered my sister’s car and headed to my Pop’s apartment. To be honest he wasn’t doing well on Saturday at all. We sat with him and cried with him and encouraged him to eat some of the food my sister Vera provided for all of us.  After several hours we left the apartment. I checked into my hotel. On Sunday all of us who could gathered at my sister Kathy’s house through the afternoon and into the evening. The above photo is of all the grandchildren of my pop’s who were able to make it to the open house. My father was doing a lot better on Sunday.

2014-09-14 Open house2There was lots of good food. I didn’t get photos of all the amazing desserts but I did get photos of my niece Melissa’s cup cake creations for our little Miss Avery’s 5th birthday celebration that we enjoyed during the open house, too.

2014-09-14 Open house3She was so so cute and delighted with each and every gift running to give a hug to whoever bought the gift! Today is Avery’s actual birthday. Happy Birthday dear Avery. Now you are five!!!!!

2014-09-14 Open house1My Pop was happy to see all of us but it was a special treat when these next two gals arrived.

Persiaearly UTamara and Milla are the daughters of my mom’s best friend in Persia, Aunt Zena. My mom and Aunt Zena took this photo with lipstick on in Persia and got in big trouble from their parents for wearing that lipstick! We were close enough to Zena to call her our “Aunt”. What a treat for Pop to be able to talk to Tamara and Milla in Russian and to talk about some of the good ole times our families enjoyed together. Tender moments were shared.

2014-09-15 Molokan Cemetery1On Monday I picked up Pop and my sister Kathy and we drove to Slauson Avenue in Commerce to find my grandparents grave site. We spent lots of time at this cemetery in our youth. Funerals were always just another part of our experience. As children we were never shielded from death and we attended every funeral that our parents did. Some of my father’s brothers and sister-in-laws are buried here, too.

2014-09-15 Molokan Cemetery5I took a lot of photos before I saw the sign in this next collage.

2014-09-15 Molokan Cemetery4Because of where this sign was positioned I think it refers to taking photos at an actual funeral procession, etc. That’s my explanation and I’m sticking to it!

I recognized a lot of common names from growing up but I was really surprised to see the family name Tolstoy in the Molokan Cemetery.

2014-09-15 Molokan Cemetery2

2014-09-15 Molokan Cemetery3This is my Uncle Pete’s grave waiting for my Aunt to be buried beside him. My aunt Anna is the only surviving sibling of our Pop. She is ill and her days are numbered. She’d like to be buried here in her plot that is paid for but since she became a believer she hasn’t obtained permission to be buried here. We are doubtful that she will get permission. Since this is a “Molokan” Cemetery I do not challenge them not permitting non-Molokans to be buried here. I do have questions about the Molokan church, though. I wonder if a true follower of Jesus can remain a Molokan? Can the Molokan church truly be classified as a Christian church? You know me…I’m always wondering.

Molokan Cemetery 009A close-up of my grandparents marker. We see that they got my grandmother’s birth year wrong…she died at age 93, not 98. That means she was born in 1893 not 1888. My mom was not buried in this cemetery and my pop will not be buried here because he left the Molokan church in the late 1960’s. Most of our friends and family members from the Los Angeles area are buried at Rose Hills Cemetery. Our former Molokan friends who were ostracized from the Molokan church when they decided to follow Jesus wholeheartedly and separated from the Molokan religion are buried at Rose Hills or elsewhere.

HyeAfter the cemetery we tried to go to a favorite restaurant in Montebello called Golden Skewers that specializes in Armenian food but they are closed on Monday. My sister remembered another Armenian restaurant that is in Montebello and we were happy they were open. Hye Cuisine was a hit with me. The food was delicious. After lunch I dropped my sister off at home and my pop off at his apartment saying our goodbyes till next time. We had worn him out really good over the three days I was there.

I headed to Newport Beach to check into the next hotel I’d stay the night in before heading to the airport on Tuesday morning.

food SeptOne last hurrah! On Monday night two of my sisters and my niece met up for dinner at Seasons 52 at South Coast Plaza. We had a wonderful time.

2014-09-15 Molokan Cemetery6The first two nights in Orange County I stayed at the Tustin Fairfield Inn which was very nice with a complimentary breakfast. The location was great for going back and forth to my pop’s part of town. Dear had enough points for me to stay free at the Hyatt in Newport beach for one night and that’s why I switched over. No free breakfast here but I enjoyed room service breakfast.

The oppressive heat that we all experienced in Southern California over the weekend and that they are still experiencing today really takes a toll on your activity. The only time we were outdoors was at the cemetery. That lovely deck off my room in Newport Beach was not used. Even the beach towns were too hot to enjoy out of doors. I’m enjoying being back in the Seattle area sitting in my home in temperatures that are very comfortable.