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

This church is in Ventura, California. When we walked past a few years ago it was not being used as a church anymore. It has been operating as a Bed and Breakfast and Tea Room.

Southern Methodist Espiscopal Church ~ Designed in the Carpenter Gothic Style by Ventura architect FP.Ward, this church was built by Selwyn Shaw in 1888 on donated land. Notable features include Eastlake detailing stained glass windows, steeply pitched roof, 96 foot steeple, and delicate “gingerbread” along the roof edges. (City of San Buenaventura Historic Preservation Commission)

I’m linking to InSPIREd Sunday with Sally and Beth. Click over to see more churches or graveyards.

We had quite a wind storm blow through last night and some people are without power including our daughter and her husband. They live in an all electric building so that has made life interesting for them. Katie is spending the day with us while her hubby is at work since we have power.

Welcoming Spring…

…with some Spring flashbacks!

img475Laguna Beach in the early 70’s. My sister Kathy, Babushka Vera, and my mom.

img474Laguna Beach, California

img498Dear at his home in Santa Monica, California in the early 70’s

img497Forest Lawn Glendale

img861Dan and Josh in Ventura, California 1985

img939Trip to Descanso Gardens March of 1988

SIL Kelly, MIL Verna, Me, sis Kathy, my mom

nephew Timothy, niece Michelle, Katie, niece Melissa

img940Michelle, Katie, Tim, and Melissa

A Prayer in Spring

by Robert Frost

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfil.

I hope Spring weather will arrive and Spring flowers bloom in your neck of the woods!

E is for Egret

It’s time to think about Alphabet Wednesday and the letter E. Thank you to our hosts and hostesses that have kept this meme alive for years.

Egrets from Camarillo and Ventura, California.

An egret is any of several herons, most of which are white or buff, and several of which develop fine plumes during the breeding season. No plumes on any of my captures so this was a different season.

I hope to catch up with all the E’s soon maybe in between watching curling at the Winter Olympics! I’ll be posting soon about my quick round trip to Abbotsford, Canada on Tuesday. Have a great Wednesday!

The Gate Ajar for Me ~ Hymn

The Gate Ajar for Me

There is a gate that stands ajar,
And through its portals gleaming
A radiance from the cross afar,
The Savior’s love revealing.

Refrain

O depth of mercy! Can it be
That gate was left ajar for me?
For me! For me!
Was left ajar for me!

That gate ajar stands free for all
Who seek through it salvation;
The rich and poor, the great and small,
Of every tribe and nation.

Refrain

Press onward, then, though foes may frown,
While mercy’s gate is open;
Accept the cross, and win the crown,
Love’s everlasting token.

Refrain

Beyond the river’s brink we’ll lay
The cross that here is given,
And bear the crown of life away,
And love Him more in Heaven.

Refrain

Words: Lydia O. Baxter, circa 1872.

C is for Cemeteries

Some of the places that I like to visit when we travel are cemeteries. I only enjoy very old cemeteries. Here is a sampling from several of the cemeteries I’ve visited.

Alton to Cotswolds 199St. James Church in Chipping Campden (Cotswolds) U.K. September 2013

IMGP9396Monumentale Cemetery in Milan, Italy March of 2013

IMGP7563Graceland Cemetery in Chicago, Illinois May of 2012

IMGP7117IMGP7115Riverside National Cemetery California May 2012. My Father in law is buried at this cemetery.

Arlington National Cemetery May 2011

Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta, Georgia October 2012

Ivy Lawn Cemetery in Ventura, California

Calvary Cemetery ~ Seattle June 2008

Crosses could have been an added theme for the letter C. I wouldn’t mind re-visiting some of these cemeteries. I have a goal in my head to visit a very old cemetery covered in snow…

Hope your week is going well.

I’m joining in the fun at ABC Wednesday click over to see more Letter C posts!

Winter Note Cards

It’s time for Vee’s January Note Card Party.

I’m going back to 2009 and our walks on the beach at Emma Wood in Ventura. While Dear and I were living in Camarillo, California we would get up very early on Saturday mornings to head north to Ventura for a walk at the beach. These shots are all from January 10, 2009. I’m adding a poem by Ralph Spaulding Cushman from his Hilltop Verses and Prayers.

The Secret

I met God in the morning
When my day was at its best,
And His Presence came like sunrise,
Like a glory in my breast.

All day long the Presence lingered,
All day long He stayed with me,
And we sailed in perfect calmness
O’er a very troubled sea.

Other ships were blown and battered,
Other ships were sore distressed,
But the winds that seemed to drive them
Brought to us a peace and rest.

Then I thought of other mornings,
With a keen remorse of mind,
When I too had loosed the moorings,
With the Presence left behind.

So I think I know the secret,
Learned from many a troubled way:
You must seek Him in the morning
If you want Him through the day!

A prayer of the fisher folk:

Help me, O God, for my boat is so small and Thy ocean is so wide! Amen

We are so happy to be back in Washington State but I do miss our early Saturday beach walks. Thank you Vee for hosting the monthly Note Card Party.