Posts Tagged With: surprises



It is a lazy, wet Saturday and I didn’t open up my front drapes until about 9:30. There, on my door mat was a beautiful bouquet of flowers. The card said, Too The Best Mom, with a rather unintelligible message. But the address was to a house I haven’t lived in for 18 years. I thought, who calls me Mom but doesn’t know where I live? Hmmm!


And, it is Halloween time and this bouquet is in a beautiful glass pumpkin. But, Halloween is a time for tricks and treats and maybe there is a bit of trickery going on here. I decide to call the company that delivered the flowers. She told me, “Our truck broke down on Pennsylvania Gulch Rd. in the middle of the road. A couple came walking by as the tow truck was hooking onto our truck and the driver, with bouquet in hand, asked the couple if they knew me?  No, they didn’t but they walk by the Hanging Tree Rd. address and they offered to deliver the flowers for him. Hmmm!

I call the folks who live at the Hanging Tree Rd. address and they said no one had delivered flowers to them. Aha! The Plot thickens. The people who claimed they didn’t know me obviously knew where I lived. I’ve called the neighbors and no one will own up to delivering me this beautiful Halloween Pumpkin filled with flowers. I’ll eventually find out who sent them and I’ll enjoy them in the meantime. But, since I love a good mystery, double thanks to whoever you are.

And, since I haven’t blogged in quite some time, I will play catch up.  I had a surprise visit from my friend Maril:


We like the Firewood Restaurant in Murphys. Maril loves their fish tacos.


I’m a button collector, and Maril and I tooled around town and acted like tourists, which I love to do now and then. We came across this button festooned jacket collar, but I have too many clothes. I wouldn’t buy it.  I might try decorating a similar jacket.


Calaveras Community Television has purchased the property under the Paul Moeller Studio. (Paul is our founder and it was so named by the County to honor Paul.)  Pam Quyle and I walked the property and found the boundaries that encompass a gold mine.  We have a heritage tree above it also. Just look at those roots.


It’s kind of fun to have a goldmine on your property. But, this one panned out long ago and has no gold. We’ve arranged to have it “fenced” off with wrought iron stakes, (rebar) every four inches apart so no living creature can ever get caught in it. Yet, it allows water to flow through to the creek below.

And, CCTV will be changing hands with a group, under our name, who will have many hands to do fund-raising and support the studio. The only constant is change.


I saw this kid, zooming through a clothing department and stopped to see what he was wearing?


He calls them “Wheelies”. It reminds me of that movie, Back To The Future, as in what will they think of next? Truth to tell, I love it. innovation, surprises, life is good! Happy Halloween.


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I’ve been absent this page for weeks and I’m still engaged in time consuming commitments. Much of it has to do with the building project in Oregon and some time out for friends and appointments, and downsizing here at home, before heading back on the road with Jim. Downsizing my email was also on the list. I’ve got at least three months of emails unanswered or waiting to be deleted. Aha! Light at the end of the tunnel. I ran across this email that I received from a friend and thought it worth blogging. It is called The Magic Bank Account:

The author is unknown. It was found in the billfold of Coach Paul Bear Bryant, Alabama after he died in 1982.

Imagine, a magic bank account that you had won; the prize in a contest:  Each morning, your bank would deposit $86,400 in your private account for your use. However, this prize has a set of rules:

#1. Everything that you didn’t spend during each day would be taken away from you.

#2. You may not simply transfer money into another account.

#3. You may only spend it.

#4. Each morning upon awakening, the bank opens your account with another $86,400 for that day.

#5. The bank can end the game at any time and say “game over”. It can close the account without warning and you will not receive a new one.

What would YOU personally do?  You would buy anything and everything you wanted, right?

Not only for yourself, but for all the people you
love and care for. Even for people you don’t know, because you couldn’t
possibly spend it all on yourself, right?

You would try to spend every
penny, and use it all, because you knew it would be replenished in the
morning, right?

Shocked ???

Each of us is already a winner
of this *PRIZE*. We just can’t seem to see it.

The PRIZE is

1. Each morning we awaken to
receive 86,400 seconds as a gift of life.

2. And when we go to sleep at
night, any remaining time is Not credited to us.

3. What we haven’t used up that
day is forever lost.

4. Yesterday is forever

5. Each morning the account is
refilled, but the bank can dissolve your account at any time WITHOUT

SO, what will YOU do with your
86,400 seconds?

 Those seconds are worth so much
more than the same amount in dollars.  Think about it and remember to
enjoy every second of your life, because time races by so much quicker than
you think.



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Leaving the Cousineau’s farm, a quick hug with Bernice before she went to work. Warm good-byes to Marie and Mark. We left with a mixture of reluctance and joy at the great memories we forged and excitement to be back on the road again, looking for what’s around the bend. We headed for Iron Mountain and Kingsford, another place I lived and where my grandmother Lydia Moore Kraus lived before she died. Her funeral  was the first time I had ever been to one.

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From Karen Halderson Bruchman we learned my other best pal, Judy Gedvick Orler lived in Quinnesec. I love the name Quinnesec, and  Keewenaw, Ispeming, and so many other Native American names that dot the Upper P. And, of course, I love Pasty. We had a brochure like this one on our dashboard and bingo, there it was in Quinnesec which is on the way to Iron Mountain.

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We pulled in and enjoyed an early lunch. I can honestly say, this was the very best pasty we’ve tasted so far.  Moist, enough meat, flaky crust. Scrumptious. We bought two extras for the freezer and if there had been more room, I’d have filled it up with pasty.  A full one pounder for $4.24. How can you beat that?

Since Karen gave us rudimentary information from memory about Judy’s whereabouts, her married name, Orler. She lived on a street that sounded like Maple but wasn’t, probably Mapes?  I asked to borrow a phone book at the Pasty Oven but they didn’t have one. At lunch, Jim whipped out the computer and checked Google Earth. No maple or mapes, but he found a street a short distance from the The Pasty Oven called Marpe.  We drove up Marpe St. about a half block when I spotted a guy outside working near his garage. I walked up and asked him if he knew the Orler family, I was looking for Judy Orler a childhood school friend.

“The woman across the street is a Judy, about your age. I don’t know her last name, though.”

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And, it was the right Judy from Longfellow School in Foster City. She didn’t remember me but I remembered her and Karen with such great fondness. No one knows how meaningful a childhood friendship can be or what affect a person you meet along the way will have on you or you on them.  She and Karen would periodically come to mind and I would think about my school days, and wish that someday I could see them again. I would  wonder what happened to them and what their lives were like. Serendipity twice. It was a full circle for me of pleasant surprises, and I am so grateful that on this trip to Michigan I found them both. I really believe that memories light up our lives.

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When you get to a venerable age, surprises are not too common. Its fun to surprise someone, and to be on the receiving end can be very special. And it happens more around the holidays it seems. 

It was a busy day. The kids painted cookies, played games and worked puzzles.

In our family, only the kids get gifts. They look a little weird under our funky little tree.

And then the surprise.
Good friends, Norma and Jose Tapia sent us over a full chili verde dinner for our whole gang. I don’t know how Norma, who cooked this wonderful feast,  knew that my favorite Mexican food is chili verde. Her home made chili verde is to die for. She sent the chili, the rice, her fresh refried beans, like nothing I’d ever tasted before; And, the tortillas and jamaica, a hisbiscus flower drink that is typical of her families traditions. Oh, my. We were in food heaven.

You can’t imagine the flavors and the oohhs and aahhs. Then, when we were all practically comatose from eating too much,, my daughter picked up the camera and caught the stragglers at the table:  (click link for video.)


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