Clark Erin Patricia at Espanol – Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017

Clark Erin and Patricia are about to enjoy a good Italian dinner at Español restaurant on Folsom Blvd.

We ate out again tonight enjoying good minestrone, great salad, delicious bread, along with our entrees, capped off with vanilla or spumoni ice cream and coffee or tea. Erin and Clark had gone to Weiner Schnitzel for lunch, so when I told Erin we were going to dinner, she said she wasn’t going to go and just wanted to sleep. When I told Patricia that Erin wasn’t going, Patricia sighed in disappointment. Erin heard Patricia, and changed her mind, and went with us.

Tomorrow is our last day of bridge … 2 sessions. Then Patricia leaves on Thursday. it has been fun. I had suggested that Patricia stay longer this year to avoid the Denver weather, but Sacramento has been COLD … too cold to take a walk. Just checked and my phone says that the high today was 52. But, the wind and humidity make it feel much colder than that.


Erin Patricia Marie Clark at Cafe Bernardo – Mon. Jan. 16, 2017

Tonight we met a bridge friend, Marie, for dinner at Cafe Bernardo in the Pavilions Shopping Center. Conversation was lively with Erin actively participating. Erin had not met Marie before, but had seen photos of her, and liked Marie instantly. Marie was very patient at trying to figure out what Erin was saying.


Paco & Tommy – Sat. Jan. 14, 2017

This photo was taken last night when Paco and Tommy were eating out in Traverse City with their Haas grandparents, Mike and Judy.

Paco saw his orthopedist yesterday who said the shoulder was healing nicely. The doctor cleared Paco to bowl, but not to ski. Paco was bummed to have to wait a couple of weeks before he can resume skiing.

Erin is really enjoying having her aunt Patricia to talk to. When Erin hears our voices , she comes to the kitchen.


Lunch with Aunt Joan in Vacaville – Wed. Jan. 11,2017

Today we met Joan, Ralph, and Patricia at Fenton’s Creamery in Vacaville, and brought Patricia back to Sacramento with us.

Last night when the rain was pouring down, Erin didn’t plan to go with us. But, fortunately, today was bright and sunny. And, Erin was bright snd sunny, too. She spoke in long sentences, and conversed easily.

Aunt Joan and Erin

Ralph Patricia, Joan,Barb, Clark, Erin

We had shoved all of the dishes to one side to take the other photos. So, Clark wanted his picture taken with the dishes.

All but Ralph had crab sandwiches. Ralph had a chocolate shake for lunch.


Barb Clara Denise Patricia – Monterey – Sun. Jan. 8, 2017

Clark and I arrived home in the pouring rain this afternoon about 4 pm. Erin was by herself, but very cheerful. Colleen left yesterday morning to return to Boulder. In the afternoon Shannon came and took Erin to meet Vivian in Davis. They saw a movie and visited with Vivian afterwards.Then Brandon came and spent Saturday night with Erin. So, she seem to have been well-cared for.

When we left Monterey, the rain was pretty light for the first hour. But, then it really poured for the next hour to Alamo (south of Walnut Creek) where we dropped Patricia off to visit with my sister, Joan, for 3 days. Joan and husband Ralph are in their new home in Alamo which was formerly their daughter Janet’s house. Joan served us a hearty soup lunch. Then we left about 2 pm concerned about the weather. My brother Jim and Beate had been invited to lunch, but decided not to risk the slippery roads. We did see 2 spinouts on our way home, but fortunately, no flooding. I drove the Alamo to Sacramento segment, and I was very glad when it was over.

The photo below is of our bridge team for Friday and Sat. There is a glioblastoma connection. About 3 years ago we played with Denise and another partner of hers on a team. When Denise got home she was researching her cousin’s son’s doctor, Dr. Lallana, because her cousin’s son had been recently diagnosed with a brain tumor. When Denise googled Dr. Lallana, she was referred to this blog, and found a recent post of a picture of Patricia and me with our siblings. We had not discussed that our relatives had brain tumors, so it was quite a coincidence.  See the blog, Tumor world and bridge world get linked – Sept. 6, 2013

Then, the next tournament, Denise brought a new partner, Clara, to join our team. It turns out that Clara’s mother was one of the only other 2 women in my Physics classes at Berkeley 60 years ago. And her mother had been to my family’s house for dinner a couple of times. Small world.

Clara and Denise are a lot of fun. Clara is a go-getter and made dinner reservations for us at 2 restaurants we had not been to before in our 13 years of going to Monterey. One of the restaurants was the Sandbar & Grill. I had the sand dabs. They were to die for…. the best fish that I have had in a long time.

Denise is holding the 7NT card and Clara is holding the Redouble card. When you play tournament bridge, you do not verbalize your bids. Instead you make your bid with cards from a bidding box.


A Different Kind of Dr’s Visit: Erin meets “Dr. Tom” at Wildwood

Greetings, News-of-Erin followers. Colleen here. Mom, Clark, and Patricia are off playing bridge in Monterey (and probably barely enjoying their lovely if potentially flooding surroundings due to the almost constant bridgery they engage in). So I’ve been honoring the annual tradition of hanging with Erin in Sacramento to start the year.

Since last night was my last night in rainy Sacramento before heading home to snowy Boulder, we went to a newish restaurant near Mom’s house—Wildwood in the Pavillions. It’s a gorgeously designed place with a very friendly staff and, more importantly, a section of the bar that’s wheelchair accessible.

While there, enjoying delicious cocktails, oysters, and a really great Caesar salad (that Erin inhaled most of while I was in the bathroom; how long was I gone?), we met local celebrity doctor, “Dr Tom” Hopkins of local news fame, who has a charming barside manner and can handle conversations about aphasia with aphasia with ease. Erin wanted to make sure I posted this picture:


Heading home to the boys and the Gutierrez’s dance party in Denver! Happy 2017.

Erin Paco Tommy at Beto’s – Wed. Dec. 28, 2016

This morning Clark and I snuck away and played some bridge for the first time in 6 days. Then Chris (Shannon’s husband) brought Erin and the boys home around 4. They all seemed to have had a good time, but were very tired.

Erin wanted to go to a little taqueria called Beto’s for dinner. At 6:15pm Clark got called in to play more bridge, so he did not join us. Tommy didn’t like his nachos because he likes them with black beans. These had refried beans. I thought they were excellent and ate a lot of them after eating my chile relleno. Paco’s beef burrito was huge. But, he thought that a burrito should have beans. This one had lots of guacamole and lettuce.

After dinner Erin wanted to stop at CVS. We got the wheelchair out of the car, and were all set to go into the store, when I realized I must have left my purse at Beto’s. So, I left Erin and the boys to shop at CVS, and went back to the restaurant, about a 7-8 minute drive. They had my purse! So, 15 min later I was back at CVS, and Erin was just checking out.

I had bought an ugly sweater cookie kit a couple of weeks ago, and finally tonight we had time to decorate the cookies. Erin was too tired after our dinner excursion, and Paco wasn’t interested, so Tommy and I did the decorating. Tommy did the upper two. I loved the one he created with the tree, so I used green when I was trying to finish up the decorating.

Tommy is going to eat his tree cookie on the plane tomorrow. Steve comes about 11 to pick them up for the trip back to Traverse City. I leave about 9am to pick up my sister Patricia at the airport, and we will head directly to bridge if her plane is on time. Clark will be here to see the boys off.