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.

The Wedding of Joseph and Hannah

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By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea. Dos Pueblos Orchid Farm is located in Goleta just north of Santa Barbara. It is a venue that can be rented for many different types of gatherings and it turned out perfect for a wedding.

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Our nephew Joseph married Hannah last Saturday the 14th of January. Joseph is the youngest of four brothers. My brother Steve and SIL Kelly are his parents.

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The majority of the guests rode a shuttle bus to the venue from a nearby elementary school. The walk to the wedding ceremony site was about a quarter mile from the reception area. After several days of rain and clouds in southern California Saturday’s weather was clear and warm with beautiful blue skies.

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Our Washington Family really enjoyed soaking up the sunshine since we left Seattle in 20 degree weather. Dan and Jamie’s home in eastern Washington varied from 8 below to 15 degrees before they flew south.

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Our dear old pop was so happy he could manage the trip and the time spent at the wedding. He got a special ride to the ceremony stage.

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Before the Processional there was a reading of “The Marriage” by Rumi.

May these vows and this marriage be blessed.
May it be sweet milk,
this marriage, like wine and halvah.
May this marriage offer fruit and shade
like the date palm.
May this marriage be full of laughter,
our every day a day in paradise.
May this marriage be a sign of compassion,
a seal of happiness here and hereafter.
May this marriage have a fair face and a good name,
an omen as welcomes the moon in a clear blue sky.
I am out of words to describe
how spirit mingles in this marriage.

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The procession began with Joseph walking to his parents and on to the platform.

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Now the attendants (all 28 of them) two by two made their way to the platform.

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Joe’s three brothers and their wives were part of the wedding party. Levi and Timothy with their wives in the upper photos and Caleb in the lower right photo. Caleb’s wife is in the lower left photo. Caleb was one of the best men so he is walking with one of the maid’s of honor. Two of Hannah’s sisters shared the maid of honor roll. Caleb and Joe’s best friend growing up shared the Best Man role.

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It was now time for the cutest flower girl there ever was! Eleanor is Joe’s first niece and belongs to Tim and Jessica. She is our grandniece.

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Here Comes the Bride! Hannah was escorted by her mother and father. When Hannah and Joe were hand in hand the families declared their support and the Officient asked everyone to refrain from taking photos. The Officient, Jim Wright led a semester in Istanbul from Westmont college that Joe was a part of as a student first and later as a leader.  I’ll write more about that in my post about the reception. A Prayer began the ceremony, O Come, Oh Come Emmanuel and For the Beauty of the Earth were the unique songs that were sung and scripture readings from Numbers 13. That’s not a typo for those of you who are familiar with the book of Numbers in the Old Testament. The personal Homily, vows, and exchanging of rings and declaration of marriage wrapped things up!

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Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Bagdanov were introduced and the recessional signaled the time I could turn my camera on again.

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My brother’s family.

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Dzeda Bagdanov with Joe and Hannah.

16142708_10155070822573029_160087478280951245_nI didn’t take this photo and I’m not sure who to give credit to but it is a gorgeous shot!

I’ll be sharing the reception photos soon and all the unique details that Joseph and Hannah chose and why.

Congratulations Joseph and Hannah! Your wedding was a joy to attend and one that will not be forgotten!

Dear is home now and I’m still in California for another week. I’m staying with my sister Vera. She’s getting a new internet company on Friday with speedier connections so it should be easier for me to post. This post has taken me a very long time. Besides the beautiful wedding that will take another post or two my nieces had a baby shower for Jamie on Sunday which was so much fun. Our Addy was showered with love and gifts and delicious food. I have the beach house and beach time to share and now I’m getting in sister time and more time with my dear old pop. On Monday I’ll be attending a memorial service for a friend’s mother from the Russian Baptist church we were part of in the 60’s and 70’s. Dear says it’s raining in the Seattle area.

 

On the Way…

…to Gaviota for the wedding we attended on August 10th we headed off Hwy 101 just North of Santa Barbara to pick up Josh and Laura at the Santa Barbara Airport.

IMGP0709Josh and Laura had to travel on Saturday because Josh was directing Junior Highers at Lakeside Bible Camp for the week. They arrived after 1:00 pm and we were all hungry so we headed to Goleta Beach.

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We ate at Beachside Bar-Cafe.

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We missed Andrew and Dan but enjoyed the fact that the 5 of us were able to be together.

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Caleb & Marie

We all enjoyed something different. Dear had the fish and chips and I went with the great local treat of Santa Maria Tri-Tip.

IMGP0715There was a boat launch at the end of this small pier and they used this tractor to haul the boat off the pier once they lifted it out of the water.

From here we stopped in Hollister for some donuts before we headed farther north along the coast for the wedding.

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Girl CousinsThe girl cousins! I had to lift this one from my niece Melissa. Somehow I missed it with my own camera! Looks like Marie didn’t make it in the shot, either.

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It was so good to be with our kids. Katie and Andrew are driving West right now from North Carolina headed for Salt Lake City to visit Andrew’s mother and sister before they finish their road trip here in Seattle. We are busy getting their room ready. Dear will finish the trim on the new bedroom door and re-install the closet doors.

We got a lot accomplished over the weekend. Dear’s closet was completed and ready to get all his clothes back upstairs from the basement. I’m busy organizing my new office upstairs in the sitting room off our master bedroom. Little by little and inch by inch everything is getting more organized and fresh around here.

August is just ticking away. What do you have going these last weeks of August.