Posts Tagged With: friends


DSC07068 (Copy)I needed a sewing machine needle threader and stopped by Country Cloth in Angels Camp. Christmas kits for avid quilters are quick and easy. Ginger puts them together, her own ideas, and it makes for a quick satisfying project. But, not for me. I already have too many projects on hold. I enjoyed looking, even so.

DSC07070 (Copy)I liked this kit, too. Maybe in my old age. I keep saying that.

DSC07131 (Copy)I LOVE this. Three wise women would have asked for directions, arrived on time, helped deliver the baby, cleaned the stalls, made a casserole, brought practical gifts and then there would be PEACE ON EARTH. My daughter-in-law keeps this on her table during the season.

DSC07132 (Copy)Her tree is one she and Ken bought from a cut your own tree farm. It is beautiful. I’ve been locked out of my small storage building where I keep my Christmas, Halloween, Easter, decorating stuff. Yesterday, I removed the door. I have little mini plastic trees, but I haven’t gotten them up yet. I’m still doing cards. And, I practically faint at the price of Christmas trees these days. Memory can do a number on you.

DSC07240 (Copy)But, Christmastime is to fun to stay home. I met my friend Marilyn for lunch at Firewood. She came up from Discovery Bay and had a hankering for Fish Tacos. We met a fascinating woman RVer, 77 years old, who travels on her own or with friends, or grandchildren, all over the country on her own. Her name is Kathy Walsh and I got her phone number. Can’t wait to hear more tales of her travels. Anyway, I think Marilyn was a bit embarrassed because I wore this funky hat, and wanted my foot in the picture. I wore the hat because my hair was wet and it wouldn’t behave.  My foot? Just being silly. Marilyn is a great writer and has a published book, but she is not interested in writing another.

Make good the season. Its okay to be silly. Ciao, my friends.


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DSC07075 (Copy)After a late evening Doctor’s appointment, I returned to Murphys in time for Christmas Open House held every year on Main St.  Fire buckets up and down the street give light and warmth as folks make their way from shop to shop. Or for a bag pipe player to practice his craft for anyone who will listen.

DSC07078 (Copy)The Murphys Hotel, festooned on three sides, looked like the Fourth of July. A fellow was juggling and spinning lighted batons to entertain the crowds, but my picture was one big blur.

DSC07084 (Copy)Everyone is welcome to do their own thing. This fairy tale princess rode around town on a bicycle dressed just like her. She stopped for a cigarette.

DSC07072 (Copy)From the East end of town, I looked into a gallery and ran into Marlene Bradford, a friend and neighbor who tried to teach me to be a sculptor. I watched her make this fish so I took her picture with it. Then  five old friends I hadn’t seen in six months showed up, which for me, is why I like the Christmas festivities.

DSC07079 (Copy)Pam Quyle got separated from her friends, cell phones not on, so she waited for them to find her. We chatted until I got cold and ditched inside the shop…

DSC07081 (Copy)What did I find?  Like a golf hole, this apparatus is for frisbee players. Murphys, San Andreas and  Bear Valley now have a course. Frisbee is very popular. I took this picture for my son-in-law, Cedric, who is a tournament player. If we were a gift trading family…only $149.

DSC07085 (Copy)Since I hadn’t had dinner, I was searching for cookies. At Tanners Wine Shop, Amy was serving her decadent Cowgirl Apple Dumplings. She gave me a double since I hadn’t had dinner. Oh, yum. Better than cookies. She claims the secret is gravenstein apples and dumping a can of Mountain Dew over the whole works. “It is one of two delicious unhealthy things I make,” she told me.  “I never use mock whipped cream except for that pretzel jello salad, it doesn’t work with real whipped cream.”  I know, I’ve made it too. Ah, let us all praise decadent desserts.

DSC07082 (Copy)This gallery has a piano player every year. I missed all the choral groups on the street that played Christmas Carols.

DSC07090 (Copy)The Brew Pub had a good rock band and people were dancing, listening and having fun.

DSC07089 (Copy)At the tea shop? Bonanza!  Cookies and tea. I stayed and talked to the owner and was surprised to be reminded she has had the tea shop for 10 years. Businesses change hands, close, and each year you miss another one.  I often remember the business that was in the spot before. Beautiful Christmas trees in the shops were enjoyable.  I’ve off loaded a gob of ornaments, I don’t lavishly decorate, nor bake cookies now that Doug does a better job of it.  Hmm!  Maybe this year I’ll indulge.

DSC07071 (Copy)Though I was late, and I didn’t make it to the West end of Main St. I had a terrific time along with an unusual dinner.

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P1010997 (Copy)Daughter-in-law Laurie, greeting guests coming to my 75th birthday party. At some point, I think maybe birthdays should be forgotten, but 75 is a milestone of sorts.

P1020006 (Copy)My son Ken meets and greets our  old friends and relatives.

P1020022 (Copy)And then for awhile there was a whole lot of huggin’ goin’ on.P1020104 (Copy).

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P1020051 (Copy)The littlest cousin and the biggest cousin.

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P1020026 (Copy)Since this was an Oktoberfest birthday combo, Laurie got me into a hat.P1020016 (Copy)We all adore Abbie and especially like to try on her hair. She let me borrow it for a few seconds so I could feel young again.

P1020033 (Copy)The wine flowed-

P1020124 (Copy)A taste of what’s to come, passed around. Yum.

P1020151 (Copy)Ninety year old Bill Foster told everyone that he asked the man upstairs to take a couple strokes off his golf game, but he misunderstood and gave him a stroke instead. A lesson in never losing your sense of humor. His wife June is 88 but looks 65.

P1020085 (Copy)My favorite and long time quilting buddy, Kendra.

P1020031 (Copy)I think brother Stew is trying to convince brother Mason to grow a mustache.

P1020082 (Copy)Long time friend, Paul Moller from Calaveras Community TV.

P1020136 (Copy)Jim borrowed Abbie’s air for a mustache-

P1020193 (Copy)-but, then she put him through all of the props.

Anthony,Norma & Abbie

Anthony,Norma & Abbie. Abbie is an organizer like her mom who took all the pictures of my party.

P1020173 (Copy)Then they put me on the hot seat. I said no gifts.

P1020182 (Copy)Mostly jokes, lovely cards and fun.

Tom and Eleanor

Tom and Eleanor. All too soon it was time to call it a day. And, the end of a year.

For more photos, click the link:


A good time was had by all!

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It has been long between blogs. I find when I’m busy, I’m really an activist at heart and am inspired to rant about the current incomprehensible political situation, which Jim dislikes.  I have not been traveling!  So I rant. Jim reminded me this morning it has been a year to the day (yesterday) since I left the motorhome and took up the business of building a new house and all that transpires both expected and unexpected.

I got news of the awful Butte Fire from that distance, chagrined that my friend Deborah Mullen,  a co-worker at the Calaveras Enterprise, was burned out. A devastating experience.

Today, after clearing through pounds of mail, I gathered clothing, shoes, tables, chairs, jackets, and stuff you think people will need in the aftermath of a complete loss of everything of a normal household. Deborah posted a picture on FB  of herself and Husband Steve; “We have each other,” she said. Always one to look on the bright side.

After connecting with several recovery, resource sights, it became very clear that the stuff I gathered was not what is needed right now. It is more on the order, of paper plates, paper towels, face soap, q-tips, wash cloths,  canned foods, powdered milk, peanut butter, fresh vegetables, flashlights, lanterns, batteries, ice chests, water carriers and so on. So, tomorrow, I’ll assemble a different set of household goods,and make my way to Mountain Ranch, then Valley Springs where daughter-in-law Laurie is holding much of my important paperwork taken at my request from my house during the voluntary evacuation order. I’ll start carrying my camera again, if I can find it.

My last day in Oregon, I went to a bridge repair meeting and met some neighbors from the private road we share, many of whom,  I’d never met previously.

I also invited 12 people to a wine and nibble about 4 p.m. Saturday,  before my expected leave on Sunday morning. I thought some of the neighbors might be curious about what my place looked like after watching the slow progress from the outside over eight months of building it. Four people showed up, three from one family. All but  four answered with some enthusiasm, suggesting they’d be glad to come.

I thoroughly enjoyed those that came.  I’m not a novice at entertaining guests, but I’ve never been so royally stood up in my life, and it makes me chuckle that I’ve had that experience at this time in my life. If I were a young bride, I’d have been hurt. Not one person bothered to tell me they could not or would not come. I thought it was strange but those that came,  more than made up for those that did not.

It has been fun furnishing a new house, with nearly all second-hand items and attempting to keep it neat and not over clutter it with stuff as I am wont to do.  I’ll eventually get pictures hung and curtains up and take photos; my goal to hopefully find this page a bit more often.






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I missed most of the Christmas events I usually attend so I was determined to get to my Elks Club Open House. The food was excellent.

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The bar was suitably busy. The bartender is a member volunteer, and he had his hands full.

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Everyone seemed happy and full of Christmas spirit. The guy with the smile is just recently engaged to be married. His fiance is not in the picture.

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Our club is lucky to have Lynn, a piano player who always provides music for every event, every dinner. Any club would be lucky to have a guy like him.  A fairly new member revealed her exceptional voice and sang beautifully.

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Because I travel so much, I forget peoples names. I recognize faces and people who have been welcoming and nice to me.

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Our club is very active and you look around and figure, someone put a lot of time and effort into decorating our hall.

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And, while I forget names, I never forget my sponsor, he goes by the honiker “Skip Ahoy”. Also an officer of the club. He and his wife contribute a great amount of time and effort to Elks, and I admire them both.

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My table mate is also a newer member and an officer. He used to be a computer tech. He said “I got tired of fixing people’s computer problems, so now I teach at Columbia College and show people how to fix their own.”  His wife and daughter left early. He stayed for the clean-up.

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It had been awhile since I drove over the river to Tuolumne County.  The reservoir is shockingly low, down below the foundation attachment to the bridge.

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Visible is the straight line of the old road that took the driver to a small bridge over the river then the road climbed back up to the other side. The canyon was flooded by Melones Dam under protest from the locals who liked their wild and scenic river. I enjoyed the twisty road and the canyon, and most of all river rafting. Those things are gone, but the reservoir certainly provided valuable water to communities below us with water they wouldn’t have had.

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The tops of once live trees stick up above the surface of the water and the whole canyon is now unsafe for boating. We do complain about the rain because it is wet and cold, but we don’t complain too hard. We need that rain for the snow pack and hope we have a normal year.

Today, I’m planning to hunker down and get some Christmas cards out. I know-it is last minute but this has been one of the busiest times at home, with friends in need, and more on my plate than normal. We are promised a non-rain day, with some clouds and a bit of sun. Nice.

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My long time friend, Paul Moeller, and I had lunch yesterday at a place we like in Murphys. He is soon headed for Thousand Oaks to be with his girl friend for twelve days,  and I’m just arriving home after two months. So, we seized the day and put aside my mail and his project of carpeting his deck and zapped to town.

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Certainly, it is about sharing food, but more about sharing time. Being on the road has changed my lifestyle, so I always try to get together with old friends as much as I can when I’m home, even if it means dropping everything and obeying the rule, “people first”…

The world is a mess globally, but in your own small community you can find peace and sanity through family and friends.

My friend Jan came by and offered to teach me a rain dance, but I declined. Been there done that. I am thankful for the rain but I don’t like dancing in the mud.

Traveling can make you dizzy in a way. We drove from Hoh rain forest where the average rainfall is over 200 inches per year to California where we are in a deep drought. Earth, if we treat it right, is a grand place to live but carries death and destruction without intent, and surprises.  In Calama, a town in the Atacama Desert of Chile, records show, that it has never rained. Can you believe it?

Today, I will drive Jim to Palo Alto to have his pre-op exam on his eye, and a yearly check-up. Then back to Murphys. Much to do in the first week home.


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