The Grumblies

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A Day of Water Safety

While Charlie was at the pool today with his Boy Scout Troop working on the Lifesaving badge, Ruth and I were taking a Sea Kayaking class in the estuary learning how to stroke safely and how to do two types of rescues, self and with a partner.  Charlie is exhausted, Ruth is exhausted, I am exhausted but also exhilarated!  I had a wonderful time! Our rescuing of each other went very smoothly, but I dunked myself two extra times when trying to self rescue.  Luckily, the weather was wonderful-- sun, not too hot,  and little wind.   Charlie will finish up the badge at the next meeting on Wednesday with swimming rescues, Ruth and I are now qualified to take Sea Kayaking II; I am looking forward to it after practicing the techniques we learned today for about 6 months :-)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

A New Chapter (for a friend)

Today, I got to take my very dear friend and her daughter to the BART station today on their way to China to bring home a new sister! I get to go pick up all three of them on the 26th. Ginger accompanied them and all their luggage on the train, as she was going that way anyway, and Ruth will come with me to pick them up since she is the closest in age to the new sister. This has been a (I was going to say a long road, but it's been very short as far as adoptions go) franticly quick preparation for this daughter. I am very greatful to Heavenly Father for all the different miraculous ways he brings families together!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Last weekend Bruce and I got away for a vacation in exotic Benicia! Bruce's tug has two home ports, San Francisco, pier 17 and the Benica Industrial dock in Benicia, so he knows the area quite well. We stayed one night in a new motel and one night in the historic Union Hotel in downtown Benicia. (cost about the same, accomodations about the same in general, everything was a bit larger in the modern motel, both came with breakfast). We went to the Friends of the library book sale (Bruce is a friend of the library. The sale had a great selection of books, very reasonabe prices and many helpful volunteers), the Historic Military cemetary (some very old graves, military, civilian, and even a few prisones of war), the Benicia Historical Museum housed in the Historic Camel Barn complex (there was a short military experiment to use camels for conveyance in the desert southwest, the experiment was cancelled due to the Civil War and the camels were brought to Benicia to be sold at public auction in 1864, so for one month, there were camels in the camel barn in Benicia!). Benicia was named for Vallejo's wife Francisca (many middle names) Benicia Vallejo. First named Francisca, when Yerba Buena changed it's name to San Francisco, they decided to change the name to Benicia to avoid confusion. Sra. Vallejo bore 16 children, 10 of whom lived to adulthood, and I made note of quote from Sr. Vallejo's journal: "The family is the only thing which keeps up society. Childhood has the right to joy." We spent two hours plus in the museum and only got through less than half. I got up the pony express days, then we decided to come back another time and see the rest. The museum is very well done -- I would recommend a visit if you like historical museums. We also visited several garage sales, and lastly the Historic First State Capitol Building in downtown Benicia. The state constitution was written in Monterey in tents and Benicia, San Jose and Saramento all started vying to be the capitol. Benicia finished it's building first and was the state capitol for about a year (1853-4), and remains the oldest capitol building as the only original part of the Sacramento capitol is from 1860. It was very interesting to see the small clerks and copy rooms and the large meeting rooms for the Senate (downstairs) and the Assembly (upstairs) with the raised and railed paltform for the speakers. It was built with locally made bricks because they didn't want to wait for bricks to be shipped from the east. Did you know that Mt. Diablo was named for a vision of the devil that a Spanish Father (not Serra, I can't remember his name at the moment (Haro?))had while in reverent comtemplation of the valley below? He was tempted to have the church leave so the Spanish could "inherit" the land. He did not heed the devil's temptation and now we know why it is called Mt. Diablo. There is a painting of this vision in the Assembly room upstairs. We really enjoyed our weekend getaway to lovely Benicia!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

pneumonia =(

Hello All, I have had pneumonia for the last 2 months or so, and it's all a blur. I am very nearly back to my old self now and am really happy about it!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ginger's First Date

For a couple of years now, Ginger's best friend Georgia has been bugging Ginger about the double date they were going to go on the moment Ginger turned 16. This has been a point of stress for quite a while--who to go with?!! It was with great relief 3 weeks ago that Ginger announced that she had solved the problem "I'll just go with Alex! He moved back just in time!" [Alex and Ginger were great friends before they even realised that one was a girl and the other was a boy. Four years ago Alex's family was stationed by the Coast Guard in Oregon, and great plans were made for a trip up north or at least constant pen-palling, neither of which ever happened. Luckily, about a month ago, they got stationed back to Alameda, just in time for The Date.] Alex is a very thoughtful and well-mannered young man; both sets of parents fully approve. In case you were wondering the date went very well; they all went to a nice restaurant for dinner, then to a movie, then back to Georgia's house for a birthday cake. Whew, that's over with ...

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

What's New?

We kept busy this summer with Cub Scout Daycamp, Girl Scout Daycamp, ballet camp, Liahona Girls' Camp, piano lessons and two weeks of doing nothing. We got cable, faster internet and new phone numbers. This fall we went back to school, with Charlie and Esther starting at a brand new charter school modeled on the one the older girls go to (yay!). We are riding our bikes a lot and Mom and Ida are enjoying time together wihle everyone else is at school. Bruce is keeping busy on tugs and ferries and just qualified to work on the Rocket Boat! ["the San Francisco Bay's premier water attraction"; stop by for a free ride anytime Bruce is working] This is the second week of school and we are getting back in the swing of school, classes, lessons, scouts, etc. Don't forget, we love you!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Late Spring Update

Just to update the update:
The spring recital went very well, I was impressed by the choreography, costumes, and performances. Ginger's spring concert went well and was a very enjoyable evening. She has a screening at a film festival at the real theatre here in town tonight and (this is impressive if you know Ginger) made arrangements to have a haircut and get a new dress shirt a few days ahead of time! Charlie has earned his Wolf and is well on his way to his 4th arrow point. Bruce graciously stayed home with the younger 3 while Vivian accompanied the older 3 to a girl scout camping weekend; it rained a lot and some troops had a rough time with mud, but we had a great time! Ginger and Erin are hero(ines) to the troop across the road for helping set up tents in the dark and rain; they had never been camping before. Kudos to them, too, for not giving up and leaving early in spite of soaked sleeping bags, etc! And Ginger found a new troop she can join after hers disbands (the others are all graduating and leaving for college), Yay! Bruce just finished an extra week off, in which he acquired 2 new dressers, a bunk bed, a set of shelves, a desk and 2 computers all alongside the road or at great yard sale prices. Needless to say, that was the easy part. Next came major furniture moving in and out. It was like moving without changing addresses. The kids all now have more age appropriate rooms without rickety furniture and we did a major spring cleaning, too. Esther and Ida are dwarfed by their twin sized bunk bed--they can each fit easily in 1/4 of their matresses! It is cute to tuck them in at one corner and by the next morning they have moved to a different quadrant. We are all well and hope you are too!