Posts Tagged With: kids



Jim left my place on Monday. The weather here has been pretty cold for a weather wimp.

dsc08840-copyHe waved goodbye and struck out for southern climes.  He reached Palm Desert yesterday and they’ve had a cold spell with some gusty wind.  You just can’t predict the weather. I’m chuckling a bit at his expense.


Every year I head downtown Murphys for their open house held the first Friday in December.  This year I went early because the Mountain Melody was putting on a concert at 4:00. TILT. I had the wrong date, the Black Bart Players Theatre was locked with a sign: Concert 4:00 Saturday. I’ll be attending a memorial service and won’t make it. With time on my hands, I took some pictures. Somehow,  an outdoor decorated tree doesn’t look right during the daytime. Now, with a little snow… My mid-west roots are showing. I miss a white Christmas.


I poked around some of the stores, admiring the tree trimmings for sale. I used to make a point of buying one new ornament each year. I have over 2000 ornaments, so I’ve quit that. A ridiculous problem for rat packers. Guilty.


I ran into some friends, but did I take a picture of Lynette, Ginger and Roger, Suki, Eleanor, Richard or the Gilmores?  No, I was too busy yaking. But I did take a picture of this cute baby with her daddy bursting with pride. He was just glowing.


I thought I’d have dinner as the restaurants were opening up. They were overwhelmed with long lines or reservations to get anything to eat. Finally, it got dark enough for the Christmas Parade. But, the streets were mobbed, everything is surreal from the camera lens.


Everything goes by in a blur. But, I had to include this picture because my kids attended Bret Harte High. This pick-up load of football players was rocking the truck back and forth so forcefully with their weight, it tested the shocks on the truck. I had never seen anything like it. Such fun. Both my sons played football for Bret Harte.


The lighted floats and entries were really nice. Even with a clear shot through the crowd, by the time your flash can focus, you still get a blur.


The young kids were enjoying the parade and that is what parades are all about. Enjoyment, not photography. It was cold. I left early. And on the way to the parking lot I  got a decent shot of these draft horses.


And this parade entrant getting its fancy gear removed. Aha! Now I know how to photograph a parade. At the beginning, before they get moving. Or, at the end. I returned home and ate cookies and ice cream for dinner.

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I think we licked the plates clean.

Toni Moore is my cousin by marriage. Her husband of 26 years, Commander James Moore of the Sheriff’s Department (deceased) is my first cousin. Our fathers were brothers.  But, our relationship goes deeper than that. I attended High School with Toni and introduced her to Jim. While visiting the archive, I discovered she was planning a family reunion and she asked me to join them. The afternoon of the Archive meeting, March 16th, I went with her to Costco to shop. Toni is handicapped and can’t drive. On the 17th, it was St. Patrick’s Day, she took me out to dinner for corned beef and cabbage. I think we licked the plates clean.

The humor in those eyes.

Her oldest son is Kurt Moore. He and my son Ken are close in age. We raised our kids together, often camping since no one had any money in those days. We all lived on tight budgets.

Todd Moore.

Her middle son, Todd, was closest to my son Doug’s age, and the two of them were pals growing up. Toni’s youngest son, Barry recently died and everyone is still trying to heal from loss. Todd lives nearby and is indispensable, taking Toni to her appointments, shopping and helping Todd keep up the place. He has one daughter, Briana, and I somehow failed to get a picture of her and her boyfriend.

Kurt's youngest-Teddy and Alex with Gramma Toni.

The relationships get complicated for me to keep straight. Kurt’s youngest children Teddy and Alex, with Gramma Toni are the reason for the reunion. They live on the East coast with their mother and visit twice a year. They normally come for Easter vacation and this year came early. So, Toni planned an early Easter.

Always smiling, Leslie Nolan

Always smiling, Leslie Nolan, is Bob Moore’s partner, who is a brother to Jim.  He doesn’t like having his picture taken and ruins your picture, if he has a chance to.  You have to get one surreptitiously.

Ted Moore with Uncle Bob.

Here he is with his nephew, Teddy.

Greetings as people arrive for the day.

Kurt’s oldest daughter, Sandy arrived with her husband Josh.  Kurt’s son, John is serving in the Army and couldn’t attend.

Great grandpa Kurt knows how to handle little boys.

Now, this is Grandpa Kurt, hauling Sandy’s two newest members of the family over his shoulder into the back yard. He knows a little about how to handle young boys. They are Caleb and Jacob ages six and four, recently adopted.

DSC07919 (Copy)It rained off and on all day, but no one melted. The kids played bean bag toss. Emma, Sandy’s daughter teamed with Teddy and Alexandria, Sandy’s half-brother and sister, and her father Josh.

Emma gets a big jump closer because she is the shortest and youngest in the game. Brother Teddy doesn't mind.

Emma gets a big jump closer because she is the shortest and youngest in the game. Cousin works as well as any moniker, and “cousin” Teddy doesn’t mind.

Caleb is trying to figure out how to get up in the tree holding an egg.

As the day went on, the kids turned to hunting for treasure. Caleb is trying to figure out how to get up in the tree holding an egg.

An egg hiding in plain site-up high.

An egg hiding in plain sight, up high, gives the older kids a shot at the eggs. Some contain money, some contain candy or little toys.

Heavy competition comes with a smile.

Heavy competition comes with a smile as Bob and Josh pair up with…

Todd partnered with Uncle Bob Moore, Kurt partnered with son-in-law Josh Shack

…Todd and Kurt.

Bob Moore, Josh Shack

Looks like Josh nailed it. The rules are much like horseshoes.

Emma with a full bag.

The kids enjoyed their treasures. Emma, in Easter finery, with a full bag.

A green chick that is special.

Jacob enjoyed a green chick that is special because it has a squeaker inside.

Caleb with his new rubber Easter chick.

Caleb liked his rubber Easter chick, too.

Emma looking sweet 16 instead of 12 with frosting pink lipstick.

After dinner, everyone enjoyed dessert. Emma looking sweet 16 instead of 12 with frosting pink lipstick.

Alexandria kissable in blue-she is a freshman in High School

Alexandria, kissable in blue, is a freshman in High School.

Emma with her frosting lipstick plants one on cousin Alexandria

Emma with her frosting lipstick plants one on cousin Alexandria.

Kids get the treatment. Photo by Caleb.

Caleb wanted to try my camera. A quick learner, he took a bunch of pictures and did quite well.


Picture by Caleb.

This picture by Caleb is a tad blurry. But, not bad for a six year old’s first time with a sizable camera.

Picture by Caleb

This one was my favorite, where he caught his little brother taking pictures with my phone.  Maybe photography in his future, but without a doubt, a good time was had by all. HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE.



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DSC05105 (Copy)I spent two nights in the Bay Area while I visited the Northern California Spine Institute. I’m fortunate to have friends and relatives who give me “hotel” space to keep my appointments. My friend Joy Kish and I met when my husband and I moved into our first house in Fremont when my oldest son was 8 months old. As our children grew in number and size, we, with other neighbors formed a baby-sitting co-op using a point system. Members took care of each others’ children with no costs. The secretary who kept the books changed from month to month, so that each family shared in the work to keeping it going. I had foster children when we formed the co-op and the county rules were such that you could only have adults care for your foster children. The co-op allowed us an affordable way to step out, or get to a doctor’s appointment without having to cart three kids to the doctor’s office for one kid’s appointment.  Joy and I share a lot of memories of raising our kids and our kids still have some contact in their 50’s.  In a sense we are like extended family. We had dinner out at Chilis restaurant and enjoyed a couple of margaritas.

While home, I’m contemplating blogging every other day since I don’t have much to say and I have plenty to do. A reader commented on a blog I did on Blaine, County Montana and I went back and read the blog and found it interesting. I am sometimes surprised at how much I’ve learned about this country during my travels with Jim and may re-blog some of them. Ciao.

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I left off yesterday at the horticulture area of the fair. They had interesting plants.

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Dish gardens are so popular with people living in apartments and small places. This one has a little rattlesnake in the garden.

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Anybody can be a successful gardener in miniature. They are really fun.

Through out the horticultural exhibit, was a collection of chickens taking multiple forms, but that is another blog.

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Kids crowded around this slice of a honey bee’s nest where you could see the colony at work just like those popular ant farms of days gone by. Classes in bee keeping were offered to locals for signing up. I’d like to do it.

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we moved on to the rabbit and chicken pens. A friendly bunny sits obediently on the hand of its owner.

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I’ve never seen a bunny as beautiful as this one. I wish I’d gotten a better picture of it. She moved every time I snapped the picture. They’re all adorable.

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A hen with interesting coloring, breathing out of her mouth as though suffering from heat. Feathers on her feet. None of the cages explained what type of chicken they are.

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I once had a huge rooster with a combination of feathers the color of this little banty, and the hen above, plus some turquoise. The kids named him Fat King Crow and he was such a beauty. I didn’t see anything close to his coloring. I  looked for silver hamburgs, a type of chicken that I raised at one time.

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The roosters got into a crowing duel. The colorful combs are comparatively a bit different from one another.

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A coloring book perfect rooster comb.

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A handsome fellow with his orange cowl.

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I had a hard time to relate to this blob of down feathers as a chicken.

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Pigeon fanciers love their pigeons. The owner offered to lift the cage so I could take its picture.

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I’m sure I could easily bore you to death with chickens and birds, so here is the last shot of  three ducks of unknown breed.

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They may not have posted the various breeds of their animals and birds, but one of the nicest things I’ve ever seen at a fair, and something that should be at every fair, is a wash station. They have one to two sinks on each side of a four sided structure. Here you can wash up, fill your water bottle and attach a hose if necessary. The sink on the opposite side of this clean-up station also has a drinking fountain. Fantastic!

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I was tempted to try my hand at shooting. I was a crack shot at one time.

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But, then, what would I do if I happened to win something.

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More my speed now.

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As the fair got busier, it was hard to find a place to sit. We found a concrete wall in the shade right next to this stand advertising elephant ears. The kid above grabs a pre-measured hunk of dough and mashes it about a little, and then runs it through that old washing machine wringer. A woman sitting next to us said these were invented here in the north west.

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Then he dunked it in boiling hot oil for a couple of minutes.

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He drains it for a few seconds. Lays it on the white paper, butters it and sprinkles it liberally with cinnamon and sugar.

elephant ears

Ah, at last. The perfect junk food, rich and greasy and delicious. For 6.50, enough for two people. How can you go wrong? And right next to a wash station. Hallelujah. DSC08867 (Copy)

We walked away after resting our feet and whoa! Walk On Water was full of kids. We were back to the spot where we came in. We spent four hours walking around. It was a great fair, not too packed with people. Lots of interesting stuff in the commercial building. We did get to the beeves, and the bulls. But not back to those turkey drumsticks. It was just time to go home.

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So we did.





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Norma, Jose and the kids missed the family & friends reunion, but we both were able to squeeze in an afternoon for a bit of berry picking and barbeque Sunday last.

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Jose was scheduled to work, but decided he needed the day off more than the work. He commented on how quiet and peaceful it is here, especially when we walked up the canyon and got into the berry patch. We couldn’t have asked for better weather. Six year old Abbie got something picky caught in her sandals. Help dad!


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The berries were fat and plentiful and early this year.

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Doug and Jose did most of the picking and we put a quart of berries in my freezer, and another in Jose’s ice chest.

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Anthony agreed that berries and ice cream is delicious.

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Little miss Abbie had a  good time with some hair ornaments that were headed to the Good Will. She has the most beautiful, lush hair you’ve ever seen. Of course, I’m jealous since I inherited my father’s thin strands instead of my mother’s beautiful tresses.

It was nice to take an afternoon away from a far too busy schedule.  I’m still fielding work progress on the Oregon property. Yesterday, I did a final program on the Quyle Kiln’s 60th Anniversary for Public Access Television. Today, I’ll finish a written piece for Ceramics Magazine. I finished my inventory for insurance, a massive photo project, that took five days to complete between refining the watering system to withstand the water reduction requirements of the drought. (I always take on projects instead of saying no.) And, finally, I can think about what I’m going to pack to return to the Motor Home. I’m looking forward to being back on the road.

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I’ve been accused of hosting this family reunion  just to get my yard in shape. Doug came up and painted the deck and rebuilt the horseshoe pit and the new chicken coop. The coop came about because daughter Virginia is moving to Australia with her family for a semester. I inherited the chickens from her.

Ken removed trash, went to the dump, did some weed eating, moved heavy tables and umbrellas off the deck and into the yard.  His boys, helped out by bagging excess leaves, and myriad other routine but neglected maintenance. It was a massive effort because—I blame Jim— I travel so much I have little time for yard work. I had trees overhanging the house, foot deep leaves, little repairs, my orchard unfertilized and mostly unwatered. Aarrgh!

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The first to arrive for our big soiree was my recently widowed cousin, Gary, from Southern Cal. He came on Wed. July 2nd, so I told him I’m not cooking. He took me to an Italian restaurant and since Italy was on the wall, he said we could pretend we went to Italy. We were very close as kids.  On Thursday, I put him to work painting benches.

Hey, Mom? I don't have paws.

Friday Afternoon, Kristanne and Austin arrived, hamming it up. She has a newer car and a new license plate reflecting her dog rescue volunteer project.  The license plate holder reads, “All my children have paws.”   Austin looks a bit skeptical about that.

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Bev and Ted arrived later, and set up their tent as usual.

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Tyler, their youngest, got the job of stomping all the plastic bottles to make room in the recycle containers for the stuff to come.

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Cedric & Virginia were the last to arrive on Friday. We have a measure grid on the wall, and Owen was proud to tell me he is taller than his dad. They were jet-lagged, having just returned at 3:00 a.m. from New York where some of Cedric’s family lives. We spent the evening playing a new dice game, called Left, Right, Center. Great for all ages. When it got dark, everyone moved inside and we played one of the kids favorite games, Black Magic. Since we celebrate on Saturday, the only celebration of the official Independence Day was the hanging of the flag.

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Saturday morning, Virginia and Kristanne took their traditional morning walk at 5:00, and did 8 miles. By afternoon, jet-lag caught up with Virginia and she slept for two hours in a chair.

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Daniel and Owen had dish duty Friday night. In the morning, it was Theo and Austin’s turn. Because of the water shortage, no dishwasher was used. The dishwasher is used as a drain board.

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Laurie and I worked on some salads to go with the barbecue.

Helping Doug cut veggies for the shish ke bab

Kristanne helped Doug cut veggies for the skewers while they discussed favorite tunes.

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Alec works and attends college in So. Cal. He flew into Sacramento, and Cathy picked him up and brought him to Murphys. The boys inflated all the tubes for the flume.

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Abbie loved feeding snacks to the chickens. DSC07057 (Copy)

Niece, Rena came directly from FLorida to the reunion, her first time. Her boyfriend Chris, suffered some jet-lag too and took a long snooze, too.  Before the big feast, we headed for the flume. We waited for people who said they were coming to show up, and didn’t. But, it is late in the day, I’ll finish this blog tomorrow. I was having too much fun to take thorough pictures, so, there are big gaps in our event.






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