Will at play

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Christmas Tree 2015

Happy Holidays

Boxing Day-December 26, 2015

Outstanding Christmas season this year. Started out with Aly coming home on December 12. We had rain and storms, Oysters Rockefeller and Fondue at home. Office holidays were lovely with parties, niceties, gifts
exchanges, etc. People wishing each other Merry Christmas, and Happy holidays. On Christmas Eve, they gave us 2 hours. I finished Christmas shopping so did Aly & Dick. I went to the Christmas pageant at St. Augustine's. I am glad that I did, it was very special. Aly and I finished trimming the tree, what a beautiful tree. Christmas morning, we had our traditional breakfast and opened presents. I made a cheese omelet, perfecto. Aly stayed up until 5 am wrapping presents. She has a gift for that.
Dick got all of his kitchen gourmet cooking gadgets. Aly made pumpkin pies for the celebration at Mom's in San Jose. We brought the Ham and everyone else contributed food and drink for the feast. Bob, Kitty and family set up the back room beautifully so that we could all eat together in one room. We all seemed to arrive at Mom's at about 3 pm. I drove down, Aly drove home. We snacked, opened presents, had dinner and dessert. There were 26 of us, 4 generations of Dixon's. We said grace Toasted Mom and Mom toasted the family. Youngest kids 2-ish, going up from there. I knew that there would be announcements. Molly expecting a boy in JUne. Monique expecting a girl in March. So Dill and Finn will have a little brother and Jeremiah will have a little sister soon. We thought of and missed those not with us-Dad, Mike, Will.

When we left, we were greeted with a large, bright full moon. It was largest moon around the Christmas Holiday in years.

Noteworthy events leading up to Christmas this last week in the Dickens' family.

1. New partition in back room, so we have a sun eating /great room and an office cum exercise room cum den. It is great!
2. Dick backed in to the garage door on Tuesday. It was replaced on Wednesday, we lucked out.
3. Aly spent a couple of nights with Jess.

Tomorrow off to Tampa to spend the week with Rob, his new girlfriend, Finley, Dylan & Kyle for New Year's.

2015 was a good year, looking forward to 2016

Happy New Year!

January 2, 2016

Dick and my trip canceled-2 flights so we had a stay-cation. Discovered 3 new places to eat. The Firehouse in Old Sac, the Source in Granite Bay for Tapas & the Egg in Auburn for breakfast & lunch. I took long walks with Sloane & Millie, worked a bit as well. Have the Christmas tree on, it is so warm inside and cozy. Cold outside. We all had colds this past week, over them now.

We skyped with the Family staying at Bonita Springs on New Year's Eve. Except where the boys ganged up on Aly and she called and wanted to come home. Rob later apologized. We got to meet Rob's girlfriend, Laura. They partied at the Hyatt Regency with Aly & Kyle spending the night there. Today is Aly's spa day and the rest are at the dog races.

Dick is fixing a lamb roast in his new Sous Vita, it cooks for 9 hours. He vacuum sealed the meal in his new vacuum sealer. It should be good. This is his replacement for a slow cooker.

Now off to do do some shopping.

Monday, September 7, 2015

California to Victoria, BC 2015

We took our road trip to Victoria, BC in our "new" 2005 Lincoln Town car with a really new 2015 radio/navigation system. It was a great trip. We began by driving to Alturas, Ca. Then through Eastern Oregon, visiting friends in Portland then to The San Juan Islands staying with friends. Then to Victoria, BC. Teas, etc.
Here are some details:
Road Trip July 26- August 12, 2015
California, Oregon, Washingtom, British Columbia
July 26 Day 1

Left 10 am ca 65-70-299 Chico, Paradise, rock Creek where Dixon Haley Dixon played in the seventies, lake Almanor bonus dog friendly resort right on water, lunch at Carol's Lake Almanor. Arrive Alturas 8:30pm. Dinner Antonio's- shared pizza and salad. Stayed Niles Motel 1908' Dick has to climb 2 flights of stairs, I had to lug luggage up 3 trips. Check in at bar people taking shots. Last trip to Alturas

July 27 Day 2

Rise 4:45 am J, Dick 7 am
Breakfast Jerry's, Lakeview, Oregon
Beautiful country, long and easy drive, I drove mostly
John Day from Lakeview 209.3 miles, 3 hr 42 min
John Day to La Grande about 4 hours
Dinner ten Depot
Stayed at Best Western with amenities including indoor pool and spa
Reminisced about trips passed, national parks visited, kids, etcetera
Watched 2 episodes of Vera
Stayed at Best Western

July 28 Day 3

Rise 5:30 am J, Dick 7 am
LaGrande to Joseph-2.5 hours via Walla Walla
Breakfast fruit and nuts in room
Lunch deli picnic at a beautiful city park in park at WWW
Drove by Whitman
Nice time in pool and hot tub before leaving
Stopped by UEO
Reminisced kids, Bob moved to WW when he was a senior, Gerald went to Whitman for a year
Watched 4 episodes of Harry on Acorn, bed late
Stayed at Eagle Lodge in Enterprise, a former Best Western

July 29 Day 4

Rise 7:50 am
Breakfast in room, pool and spa, off to Hood River at 11 am, deli lunch from Safeway to eat on the road.
Joseph to Hood River 4.5 hours, I drove for first 2.5 hours, we stopped at rest area, not very nice, temperature 94 degrees, deli lunch horrible. Dick drove to Hood River along the Columbia River Gorge. That part was nice. Here at the Comfort Inn now talking to Rob.
Off to dinner, 7:30 pm
Dinner at a very nice place on the Hood River

July 30 Day 5

Hood River to Portland, Ron and Shirley Jamptgaard lunch at Biscuit visit Portland N.
Drove to Bill and Susan Cole's house in Portland S.
Lovely home, slept very soundly
Shrimp snacks
Steak and Orzo and Kale for dinner - delicious
Hot 100 plus

July 31 Day 6

Rise 8:00 am
English muffins and coffee for breakfast
9:30 off to Japanese gardens and Rose gardens
Ate lunch at Manzana Rotisserie Grill at Lake Oswego then St. Honore for pastries
Tonight Salmon dinner
Wonderful dinner
Hot 100 plus

August 1 Day 7

Pinch punch first day of the month
Walked Lillie with Sue
Off to Whidbey Island
Dick talked, talked, talked with Bill before leaving left at about 10 am
Took us 4.5 hours, I drove
New GPS in radio fantastic, it took us around all traffic jams in Olympia/Tumwater, Tacoma and Seattle.
Took the Whidbey Island Ferry to the Island
Checked in at the Acorn, small, clean hotel, perfumey odor almost gagged you. Shopped for a Light dinner, ate at Whidbey Island State Park overlooking the water.
Back to hotel, easy wifi access and HDMI connection. Watched Taggert on Netflix.

August 2 Day 8

On the ferry to Friday Harbor, it takes an hour and 5 minutes. It took us about 30 minutes to get to the ferry at Anacortes. Again our whiz of a GPS, Stella, took us via the back and quick way through a beautiful state park with lush trees and forest, then through a seaside community of nice homes then to the ferry. Arrive at john and Emily's after meeting John at the Ferry terminal. Funny story, John was looking for a pink Lincoln Towncar. We connected he was waiting on foot. I had to pull over and run back to connect. Waiting to follow him, we got separated. Met up again on Spring St. Trunk open was the cue. They have a cute house suits them with a separate guest quarters and bath. Had their 5 pm tradition of cocktails g&t for John, wine and cheese and iced tea for Dick. For supper, Em made a nice chicken with lime and herbs, salad and rolls with chutney and freshly home made raspberry Jam. A buck came so close to the dining room. Bed time at 9:30 pm. Restless night sleep.

August 3 Day 9

Wheaties peaches and blackberries for breakfast. Blackberries freshly picked with Emily on our morning walk. Visited Pig War American Camp south of the island at San Juan National Historic Park. Saw a grey fox, a black fox and deer. Lunch at Ernie's at the airport. Napped in afternoon. Lavendar farm in the afternoon. Off to Rothe Harbor. Dinner at McMillan's North Island Resort, lovely area. John, Em, and I had lamb chops, Dick had prime rib. Dick and I shared Creme Brûlée. Off to John's hanger to see Plane RV and the Chipmunk which is a world war 2 RAF training which replaced the Gypsy Moth. Bed at 9:30. Restful night.

August 4 Day 10

Waffle's and fruit. Hung out and read, lunch sandwiches, off to Lavendar farm twice. Dick took a nice nap. 5 pm cocktails, supper was quiche, salad, green beans, rolls, ice cream for dessert. Emily is an excellent cook. Bed 9:30 pm. Restful night.

August 5 Day 11 Friday Harbor to Sydney to Victoria

Breakfast - fruit with toast. Walk with Emily. Now on ferry to Sydney and then off to Victoria. Arrived Victoria, checked in, had lunch-very good. Pool with Dick, snacks in room for me, Dick went to 16th floor for meal included, upon his return, watched a couple of Acorn shows.

August 6 day 12 Victoria

Finished John's Souls on a Walk a beautiful life story of his and Gene's life until her death after 16 years with Alzheimer's. He talked about finding a relationship with another woman. He put it out in the universe and was matched with Emily. What an excellent match. Had breakfast upstairs on 16th floor included with hotel via points and our level of customer. Walked for hours. Wharf, Chinatown, etc. Returned at noon, paid Alison's tuition and rent. Walked to lunch at Nautical Nellie's with Dick, good lunch ate outside across from harbor. Victoria is my favorite city in North America.

August 7, 2015 day 13 Victoria

Breakfast on 16th floor. Left for 10 am Head massage appointment. It was good, he worked me over with moderate pressure, oils and aroma therapy. Reaction to oils on should 5 or 6 bumps like bites or hives or? Hair greasy when left. Back at hotel, swam with Dick in the pool, arthritis work out. Showered in pool area. 2 pm left for tea by taxi to Abzahki Gardens. Late afternoon walk to St. Annes's Convent and surrounding area.

August 8, 2015 day 14 Victoria

Drove out to Butchart Gardens, walked in the morning, arrived at about 9:30 am. Dick walked all over the gardens, the Sunken, Rose, etc. Lovely tea in the tea garden, excellent! Too much, stuffed. Came back to hotel via a nice round a bout drive via U Victoria, nice campus reminds me of Sonoma State. Back at the hotel, watched New series Scott and Bailey, excellent. Went down to dinner, cheese/meat did not enjoy. Dick had a nice nap yesterday afternoon.

August 9, 2015 day 15 Victoria to Port Angeles, WA to Astoria, OR

Woke up at 3 am after a dream about Aly and Em, had trouble going back to sleep. Got back to sleep at about 4:30 ish, slept until 7:45 am, finished packing and getting ready, down to the car with a cart, guess what forgot Dick's cane. Back up via desk to get a key then the cane then off to the Coho ferry in Victoria, convenient down the street from hotel. Hotel cost 140k points and $206 for four nights, very excellent indeed. Waited 90 minutes at ferry terminal to be processed through US Customs and loaded on the boat. The boat has no elevator is 60 years old and Dick had to climb stairs. We split a turkey sandwich used up the rest of e lemons and limes, can't take then in to US. Dick's overall impression of hotel is A-, Victoria B-. Cost and points reasonable room comfortable and Dick liked the pool. It is 11:55 am, we will arrive Port Angeles at about 12:10 pm, back in the USA. Stayed at the Hampton Inn on the water, great!

August 10, 2015 day 16 Astoria to Coos Bay, OR

Long drive to Coos Bay along the coast, beautiful country. Arrived at Red Lion Coos bay, dated, chair in room scary, covered it with towels, Dick went to bed early. Room ok, restful night, woke up at 8, breakfast at Red Lion, included, best so far. Long drive from Coos Bay to Benbow Inn, CA. More beautiful country. I drove 3 hours, Dick drove 2 hours.

August 11, 2015 day 17 Coos Bay to Benbow, CA

Long drive. Benbow FANTASTIC!! Changed rooms to 119 cottage, OMG. Antiques in room, bathroom best yet. Michael helped get us checked in and escorted to room by Mika. What a lovely location and cottage on the Eel River, dinner at 7:15 in the dining room, breakfast at 8 on the terrace. Then off to Lincoln via Leggit and Yuba City. About 4.5 hours. Agree with Dick, less long drives and longer stay so next road trip. We stayed for a total of 9 days with in Portland, San Juan Island and Vistoria another 9 days, a night here and there.

August 12, 2015 day 18 Benbow to home

Monday, May 11, 2015

Robert and Finley's Visit April 2015

Last week, son Robert and Finley visited. We had a wonderful time. They arrived late Saturday night. On Sunday, we played Bocce Ball and Tennis in the afternoon. We all pitched in to make a delicious lamb roast dinner. Dick prepared the roast, Aly made Yorkshire pudding, Rob and Finley made the veggies, I made the potatoes.

On Monday, Aly had school and work. In the afternoon, we took a hike at Hidden Hills Regional park in Lincoln. In the evening,the guys went into the hot tub. On Tuesday, Aly had school and worked, the rest of us went to Point Reyes National Seashore, had a picnic and took walks on the trails. It was sunny and very windy at the coast, a beautiful day! We found a sheltered area at Drake's Bay for our picnic. Inland at the visitor's center, we walked the earthquake trail, it was nice and warm. The drive there and back home was great. Northern California is such pretty country, with fields of rice, tomatoes, wheat and hay, orchards of almonds, peaches, walnuts, etc., the foothills, the mountains and the coast. The transition of the terrain from green to brown.

On Wednesday, we had a nice breakfast at home. After Aly got home, Rob, Finley and Aly went to Grass Valley in the afternoon and hiked, we met for dinner at Bootlegger's in Auburn. I had the best turkey lettuce wraps. On Thursday, Finley, Aly, Rob and Dick went to the Nugget grocer to get ice cream for milk shakes using the old milk shake maker, it still works.

Friday, was the big trip to Yosemite for Rob, Aly & Finley via Latrobe Road and Highway 49 stopping at Sutter Creek and Groveland to name a few places then to the park and hiking up to Vernal Falls and grabbing a beer at the Ahwanee. Quick visit on Saturday morning and then Rob and Finley left to go back home to Cary, North Carolina.

Oh, the left over roast was made into cottage and shepherd's pies, Dick combined it with the leftover steak that Rob barbecued on Monday night. In the evenings, we visited and watched a series on Acorn called "The Accused" and "Murder in Paradise"! I think Finley is hooked!

A wonderful week had by all!!

Mother's Day 2015

Mother's Day, woke up, called Mom to wish her a happy Mother's Day, she was going to Brunch at Sheila's. Sent Christine and Sheila texts with well wishes. Got a text from Aly. Dick was not going to go to church, he was tired. He decided to go anyway. I really enjoyed the service. We then took a drive to Salt Pond beach and beyond on the south west side of the island. Salt Pond beach is fantastic with places to swim and snorkel. The water felt so good. There are no resorts, hotels or restaurants there to speak of. I am looking forward to going back on Tuesday with a picnic lunch to hang out, swim and snorkel. It is about 20 miles or so from us.
When we got back, we changed, went to the pool relaxed and did 12 laps. Dick did all 12 in a row. At the end, his oxygen level was 98 percent and the swelling in his ankles and calves was gone.
We are now back in the villa. Dick is making a salad for dinner with fresh onions that we bought at the farmer's market yesterday.
Last night, we had a wonderful dinner at Gaylord's Plantation. Excellent service and atmosphere. The food was good too! Tomorrow planning on going to the gym and pool, then dinner at the Bull Shed.
Thank you, Dick, for the Mother's Day card and the wonderful day. Mother's Day is/can be difficult for me. I am glad that I did not have to go to church by myself or be alone today.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Will and Aly's Lava Rock, Kalapaki Beach, Kauai

For many years, Aly and Will spent hours playing here, creating a ride as the waves would carry them from a small section of the rock to and from the water and sand.

May 9, 2015 Kauai, Hawaii

Sitting here in the middle of the night, it is now 5:24 am, I have been reading, catching up on the news, thinking and writing for about one hour.
The predictable sound of the waves outside is soothing.
The essence of Will abound. The memories of all those years running out to the beach to greet the early morning. Playing in the water and on the rocks
from beach to pool all day long. Since the age of 4, Will loved Kalapaki Beach in Kauai. The memories, the sounds, smell of the ocean breezes embrace me like a gentle hug from Will. I still can't believe that he is gone, taken from us in such a cruel and horrifying way.
Will and Aly, brother and sister, loving every moment together at this garden paradise, playing, running, laughing, happy, the best place on Earth! Tired, in the afternoon, they would come back to the Villa, eat and rest. The next day, returning to the same.
Now Dick and I are here, alone, with each other, with our memories and looking to the future. We are blessed with our family. Aly is doing very well this semester at Sierra College and working, part time, as a care giver, we are happy to have her home this year. She will go back to Auburn University in the fall majoring in Quantitative Economics. Son, Rob and Granddaughter, Finley visited last week from Raleigh, North Carolina. Dick is finalizing travel plans for the rest of the year. At which time, we will be with the rest of our grandchildren, Dylan, Kyle and Ryleigh, now all in their teens in middle school, high school and college.
Dawn is breaking, it is cloudy with a gentle breeze. Aloha for now, blessings and peace.