Paco and Tommy Celebrating with Tiramisu – Tues. Sept. 14, 2017

I just received this message and picture from Steve: “Not fresh, but having some of Erin’s favorite dessert to celebrate her birthday.”

Earlier Steve wrote:
“The boys are both happy to be back in school. Paco and Tommy both love Math. (Note: Glad to read that the Math genes have trickled down!) Paco is nuts about drumming. He took jazz and marching band drum lessons over the summer and plays all the time (It is as noisy as it sounds).

“His shoulder seems fine. We have a follow up appointment with the surgeon (in Grand Rapids) on March 4. They will take an X-ray at that time.

“He isn’t in any pain at all. He is under doctor’s orders to skip gym class and not lift more that 8 lbs, but he thinks he is ready to do everything already.

There will be regular X-rays every few months for a while, but hopefully those won’t require trips to Grand Rapids.”

What a cute picture! Thanks, Steve.

Happy Birthday Dear Erin – Thurs. Sept. 14, 2017

Erin would have been 46 today.

When Erin was born they told me that she weighed 7 lb 0 oz. Then when we went to leave the hospital 3 days later, they said there must have been a mistake in her birth weight because she now weighed 7 lb 7 oz. They had not been able to get her to drink sugar water and nursing babies lose weight, not gain. So, the discharge nurse figured that Erin must have weighed 8 lb 0 oz at birth, and she officially changed the birth weight.

The picture below with sister-in-law Lisa was taken a year ago as Erin celebrated her 45th at Brandon and Lisa’s.

Miss you my baby daughter,

Beckett’s 8th Birthday Party – Sun. Sept. 10, 2017

Beckett was 8 years old on Friday and he celebrated his birthday today at the Granite Arch Climbing Center in Rancho Cordova.

Clever cake made by a school principal acquaintance of Lisa’s.

Beckett , being the birthday boy was the first to climb the wall.

At the top of the wall was a box of tootsie rolls located behind those gray rocks on the left. Beck was allowed one tootsie roll per climb. He made repeated climbs over the period of an hour and thus got multiple tootsie rolls.

Lisa and Brandon light the candles. Cousin Mia looks on. There were 4 cousins and 4 neighborhood children enjoying the celebration.

Beck ponders blowing out those 8 candles.

He did it!

Cutting the cake was not easy, but Lisa did a good job. Lisa’s cousin Lori looks on while Mia, Lori’s daughter, watches, too.

Traveling from Southern California to attend the party were Kellie, Beck’s natural half-sister, and her mom Kim, Beck’s birth mother. Also looking on is Patty, Lisa’s aunt. Lisa’s mom, Joleen, is enjoying the cake. Both of Beck’s grandmother’s have sisters named Patricia.

Kellie, Beck’s half-sister, is a realtor in Orange County.

Erin was Beckett’s godmother. Erin was undergoing radiation at the time and I remember Beck’s baptism as one of the 2 times I ever saw Erin wear her wig.


Italian Meals – Wed. Sept. 6, 2017

Last night we went to Biba restaurant thanks to nephew Ken and wife Anne who gave us a gift certificate in memory of Erin, saying that we should enjoy a nice night out on the town. We waited until Patricia was in town to share the experience with us.

Every time I took a couple of sips of water, the water boy was there to refill my glass.
The waitress asked Patricia if she would like some grated parmesan on her spaghetti. She grated it right at the table. I asked for some for my polenta and she told me it was an abomination (I think because I was also having salmon). When I was there about 15 years ago and I asked for parmesan for my fish pasta, they told me then that you are not supposed to mix fish and cheese, but they would fulfill my request.

Then for dessert we shared a tiramisu which was to die for. I haven’t eaten sugar since the first of the year. But, I decided to take a bite, then two, then three. On the menu it is written tirami-Sù. It is Italian for “pick me up”. It is a little pick me up for the afternoon. I read on the Biba website that they get their desserts from Bella Bru. Bella Bru Bakery did the tiramisu wedding cake for Erin’s wedding.

As we were leaving, Patricia and I went to the ladies’ room . When we came out, Biba was touseling Clark’s “beautiful hair”. I had heard that poor Biba is losing it. She didn’t make sense when she spoke to us.

Earlier in the afternoon we had gone to visit my bridge friend Madelynn whose sister Patti was visiting. Patricia and I enjoyed seeing Madelynn’s lush patio. Mad certainly has a green thumb.

Then today my friend Joanne in Lodi took us for lunch to the newly remodeled Pietro’s in Lodi. The servings were so plentiful that Patricia and I both brought home leftovers for dinner. They have a beautiful vegetable garden of tomatoes and peppers in their patio.Here are Joanne, Clark, and Patricia at Pietro’s:

After lunch at Pietro’s we went back to Joanne’s house for dessert and lots more conversation. Thanks, Joanne!

Happy 59th Anniversary, Joan and Ralph! That’s pretty amazing. I don’t know of any other family members who have come close to that many years.


Paco and Tommy Back to School – Tues. Sept. 5, 2017

Today was the first day of school in Traverse City, MI.

Paco and Tommy are ready with their backpacks.

Even with Tommy standing on a chair, he doesn’t reach Paco’s height.

Steve says that Paco is 5’7”. Paco is entering 8th grade and Tommy is entering 3rd.

Colleen made the following addition to yesterday’s blog about The Indigo Girls:
PS from Colleen: My cousin Kathy Brown just reminded me that she and Erin and I had seen Indigo Girls somewhere indoors (also in Berkeley, but details are fuzzy). Zellerbach Hall, maybe? Her husband, Lloyd had gotten us last minute tickets. I’m pretty sure there was singing along that night.


Indigo Girls – Sun. Sept. 3, 2017

Colleen made the following post to Facebook today:

Deke got up before me yesterday (!) and searched out Indigo Girls tickets for last night’s show at Chautauqua Auditorium before I woke up. They were wonderful just like the last I saw them—probably 20 years ago with my sister (and Shannon?) at the Greek in Berkeley. Fun to see (and hear) a whole new generation of young (like we were) women singing along. Between them and the Gipsy Kings earlier in the week, we’ve been shedding some tears of awe and nostalgia in that venue. #bestboyfriend


My comment was:
Barbara Wheeler My generation calls it the Greek Ampitheatre. An article in today’s paper referred to The Greek, the first time I had ever heard the term. Now I have heard it twice in one day.

Colleen Wheeler And you’re a Cal alum from Oakland, Mom! I remember having to learn to call it “the Greek” some 20 years ago, so as to not sound like a Sacramentan.
Colleen Wheeler Also it was a week of Erin-associated music (Gipsy Kings and Indigo Girls at her wedding!)

My niece, made the following comment:
Janet Smith Keeter I remember Erin’s wedding ceremony and the Indigo Girl song that was sung by the cousins – Power of Two. Erin had asked me to play the guitar to accompany the cousins but it turns out the music is for 2 guitarists. It got complicated!


PS from Colleen: My cousin Kathy Brown just reminded me that she and Erin and I had seen Indigo Girls somewhere indoors (also in Berkeley, but details are fuzzy). Zellerbach Hall, maybe? Her husband, Lloyd had gotten us last minute tickets. I’m pretty sure there was singing along that night.

SF 49er Interference -Sat. Sept. 2, 3017

On Thursday the SF 49ers were having a preseason game against the San Diego Chargers at Levi’s stadium which is located about a block from our hotel. We received all sorts of warnings about not leaving the hotel than day because there would be traffic congestion. They regulated the traffic trying to park in the hotel parking lot and the convention center parking lot adjacent to the hotel. Bridge players had to show their convention card in order to park.

The hotel restaurants were jammed. Tasman Blvd where the light rail runs was closed to automobile traffic for the day. Brother Bob left to go home and took a taxi to the train rather than trying to go by light rail which is located just outside the hotel. Hotel guests were offered tickets for $20, but I don’t know of any bridge players who took advantage of the offer.

Here are Patricia and Clark in front of a 49er display in the hotel lobby:

And here is a view of Levi’s stadium from the 7th floor of the Hyatt:

I guess my idea of architectural beauty doesn’t include this stadium. The sun shines on those seats on the East side of the stadium and I understand fans leave those seats seeking shade.