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.

Forty Years and Counting…

December – When December’s snows fall fast, marry and your love will last.

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Today Dear and I are celebrating the day we got married forty years ago. We were married on a Friday evening in Southern California.

img568I love this photo of my dear maternal grandmother and me. She was a gem.

img567My grandmother, my mom and me.

img566Our sweet and oldest niece was at our wedding.

img578My paternal grandparents came to the wedding, too. This was not a given and we were pleased that they came.

img576This is Dear’s paternal grandmother and she was not able to travel to the wedding but she visited us in our first apartment.

img560Out of order but this is a photo from the rehearsal for the wedding.

img570Here we are heading off to our honeymoon.

As my dear old Pop would say we are so thankful to God for all He “did to us” these forty years! “Thank you God for what you did to us” was my pop’s prayer. He has given us peace and joy through the hard times and good times. He continues to lay His hand upon us and lead us beside still waters. We already had a wonderful anniversary celebration in England in July but that doesn’t stop us from continuing our celebration today. We are headed to a little town north of us to enjoy dinner at a restaurant we enjoy on our actual anniversary day! We trust God for the future of our marriage.