Revamped Backyard & entry stairs

backyard      IMG_20160620_184612983     IMG_20160627_195417084   Look Mom, no grass!  

AND…. Aunt Bernie’s artwork finally up on the walls.

IMG_20160715_164636927_HDR     IMG_20160715_164752508

IMG_20160714_215220943_HDR    IMG_20160714_215243291

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Back in the heat. And Back from Orange

Yesterday, it hit over 100 degrees here in Sacramento.  It looks like we are back to our “normal” weather this year.  After 5 or 6 years of really mild temperatures, Last winter we had an average rainfall and now we are back to the 100 degree summer.

We spent last weekend in southern California.  Eloise sang in the Presbyterian Youth Coir when she was in Jr and Sr High school.  They had their 50th reunion of the beginning of the PYC at the Church in Orange.  When I heard of the reunion, I knew that we had to go.  At the time, I was pretty burned out regarding church.  I figured that I had 40 years of church credit, so I wasn’t attending any.  However, I used to go with Eloise’s family to the 1st Presbyterian Church of Orange for any and all holidays.  Larry Ball put on a Christmas and Easter program that was astounding!  The unveiling of the shroud,  The angel in White… many visuals that were accented by the choir and the brass and the strings….  awesome!  Anyway, we made the trip over Memorial Day weekend.

I played hokey on Friday, so we left Friday morning at around 5am.  It made for a nice drive and with very little traffic, we slid into Orange around 2:20pm.  We met up with Eloise’s sister CynDee and (Husband) Neil, for lunch at Polly’s Pies.  This was Dads favorite place to eat (Dutch apple pie of course), although this was a different location.  CynDee and Neil had flown in to John Wayne Airport that morning and were staying at Neil’s Mom’s house in Costa Mesa.

While we were in Orange, we got to visit the “Main Place”.  It used to be called Fashion Square and was where Jeannine worked at Bullocks as their China and Silver Manager/Buyer.  It is quite upscale and had but 1 vacant spot in the whole mall!  We had plans to see South Coast Plaza, but never had the time.  Neil and I had breakfast and visited 2 gun shops in Orange while waiting for the girls at choir practice.

Saturday afternoon we got to spend with Aunt Bernice!  It was the most awesome lunch possible.  When we got back to her condo, we got a tour of her condo and her artwork.  She graciously gifted us with a bunch of art!  Unbelievable!  You will have to come see us after we get it all mounted on our walls.

Saturday evening, we were the guests of Lynn and Ray Weeda for dinner and stayed up until 1am talking to them, their guests and, of course, Sue Sheppard Allen.  Sue was Eloise’s closest high school friend and was in our wedding party.  We had a wonderful time and want to thank Ray and Lynn again for their hospitality.

Sunday, of course, was the performance of the PYC.  It was definitely the highlight of the service.  Larry Ball directed the choir for a couple of songs after the service and they were ovation worthy.   We then had the reunion lunch at the church.

Sunday afternoon, we met Bob Florin and his new bride Joanna at the Orange Mining Company for lunch.  Score 1 for Bob, she’s a peach.  I can’t believe that they’ve been married for 4 years and this is the first time that we’ve met her.  I’ve known Bob since 3rd grade.  We hunted and fished and chased girls and blew up CB radios and fixed radios and fixed up trucks and cars and really ran around together for many years.  I makes me smile to see how blessed he is with Joanna.

We left Orange on Monday morning and got home early afternoon.  We had time to rest up and acclimate to the new 100 degree Sacramento.  Boy is it hot here!

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Tribute to James Hartsuiker (April 6, 1918 – April 24, 2008)

As a NCO in the 1st Medical Battalion, Dad participated in the following:

The division departed New York Port of Embarkation on 1 August 1942, arrived in Beaminster in south-west England about a week later, and departed 22 October 1942 for the combat amphibious assault of North Africa.

As part of II Corps, the division landed in Oran, Algeria on 8 November 1942 as part of Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of French North Africa. The 1st Division commander was Major General Terry de la Mesa Allen and Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. as deputy division commander. Elements then took part in combat at Maktar, Tebourba, Medjez el Bab, the Battle of the Kasserine Pass (where American forces were pushed back), and Gafsa. It then led the allied assault in brutal fighting at El Guettar, Béja, and Mateur. The 1st Infantry Division was in combat in the North African Campaign from 21 January 1943 – 9 May 1943, helping secure Tunisia.

Into the Jaws of Death: A Coast Guard-manned LCVP from the USS Samuel Chase disembarks Company E, 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment assaulting Omaha Beach on the morning of 6 June 1944.

In July 1943, the division took part in Operation Husky invading Sicily still under the command of Major General Allen. Lieutenant General George S. Patton specifically requested the division as part of his forces for the invasion of Sicily.[citation needed] It was assigned to the II Corps. In Sicily the 1st saw heavy action when making amphibious landings opposed by Italian and German tanks at the Amphibious Battle of Gela. The 1st then moved up through the center of Sicily, slogging it out through the mountains along with the 45th Infantry Division. In these mountains, the division saw some of the heaviest fighting in the entire Sicilian campaign at the Battle of Troina; some units losing more than half their strength in assaulting the mountain town. On 7 August 1943, command was assumed by Major General Clarence R. Huebner.

When that campaign was over, the division returned to England 5 November 1943 to prepare for the eventual Normandy invasion. The First Infantry Division and one regimental combat team from the 29th Infantry Division comprised the first wave of troops that assaulted German Army defenses on Omaha Beach on D-Day. The division had to run 300 yards to get to the bluffs, with some of the division’s units suffering 30 percent casualties in the first hour of the assault and secured Formigny and Caumont in the beachhead by the end of the day. The division followed up the Saint-Lô break-through with an attack on Marigny, 27 July 1944, and then drove across France in a continuous offensive, reaching the German border at Aachen in September. The division laid siege to Aachen, taking the city after a direct assault on 21 October 1944. The First then attacked east of Aachen through the Hurtgen Forest, driving to the Rur, and was moved to a rear area 7 December 1944 for refitting and rest following 6 months of combat. When the German Wacht Am Rhein offensive (commonly called the Battle of the Bulge) was launched on 16 December 1944, the division was quickly moved to the Ardennes front. Fighting continuously from 17 December 1944 to 28 January 1945, the division helped to blunt and reverse the German offensive. Thereupon, the division attacked and again breached the Siegfried Line, fought across the Rur, 23 February 1945, and drove on to the Rhine, crossing at the Remagen bridgehead, 15–16 March. The division broke out of the bridgehead, took part in the encirclement of the Ruhr Pocket, captured Paderborn, pushed through the Harz Mountains, and was in Czechoslovakia, fighting at Kinsperk, Sangerberg, and Mnichov when the war in Europe ended.

Thanks to All that have served!

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New Years in Arizona.

Eloise and I finally got to spend the Christmas holiday together again.  She is no longer working “retail”, so the 7 day work week from Thanksgiving to New Years is over.  Thank you very much!

We had Adam, Nicole, Amanda, Eloise Renee and Anna-Gail for Christmas.  On the 26th, We drove to Arizona to check out the weather and area around Prescott.  We stayed in Prescott Valley.  The hotel was about half way between Prescott and Prescott Valley.  Great Hotel with a wonderful view.  The second day we were there, it snowed.  I guess that it snows every year there, but not very much.  We witnessed about 2 inches.  The next day the snow wasn’t a problem, but the ice was.  Highway 40 was closed from Kingman to Williams for a day as the bridges were frozen and the area didn’t have enough trucks to clear it for that day.  It was beautiful.  We checked out some of the area around the “Quad Cities”.  Without a lot more time, we didn’t see as much as we wished, but we visited residential, commercial and, of course, shopping in the region.

On the 30th, we drove back to Larry house for my birthday.  Our granddaughters were there.  Adam drove down from Las Vegas, where he was visiting Nicole’s Dad for the days between Christmas and New Years Day.  Amanda couldn’t make it as she is working the “retail” store shift.  That evening, we drove back to our hotel and continued our vacation.  I will monitor the area throughout the winter this year, but so far it looks good…………….

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Adam in San Francisco (and why I love that city)

We drove the granddaughters to SF to celebrate Adam’s birthday.  Adam wanted to take the girls ice skating in Union Square.  Amanda couldn’t go as she had to work.  We arrived at Adam’s apt in Redwood City, loaded Him and Nichole and drove into the heart of the city.

After circling Union Square twice, we dropped Adam, Nichole, Eloise Renee and Anna-Gail off to make sure that they got into the correct session.  Eloise and I then spent 90 minutes trying to find a parking structure that wasn’t full.  Needless to say, neither of us were in the best of moods when we walked the trek from the parking structure to Union Square.

When we arrived at the Square, we were greeted by 3 completely hairless, nude (except for a sock, yes 1 sock, “strategically placed”) men.  It was really cold, so they were really small socks…..  This, of course, really set off Eloise as there were many children there!  It also happened to be “Santa-Con” day.  Every nut in Northern California rented a Santa suit and converged on San Francisco. There were the ugliest Santas as well as the sexiest Santas imaginable in attendance.  Union Square at Christmas season is always crowded, but it was jam packed.  The ice rink is heavily regulated in attendance though, so we got some good pictures of the 4 of them skating.  One of which is a picture of Nichole inadvertently sitting down…..

After the skating session, we had lunch at Nick’s Bar & Grill.  There, the girls got to see the real Santa having lunch.  Since Nick’s is on the opposite side of the Square, we were privileged to traverse the crowd back to the other side and uphill to where we parked.  The nudes must have frozen their socks off, as they were no longer in attendance.

After arriving at Adam’s, I took a tour of his place.  Eloise is his roommate during the week as her territory encompasses the south bay as well as San Francisco.  After visiting for awhile, we drove to Martin’s West, the restaurant where Adam used to work.  Martin’s is a Scotch/Irish themed gastro pub, operated in a historic building in downtown Redwood City.  After celebrating Adam’s birthday at dessert, we dropped Adam and Nichole back at his apartment and made the 2 hours trip back home.  They granddaughters slept on the trip home, but Eloise and I were exhausted.

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And, once again, it’s Eloise Renee’s birthday!  At 9, Eloise has entered the birthday dinner stage.  So I asked her out on a dinner date.  She would get to pick any restaurant and any entre and desert.  She said yes, and picked the Delta King on the Sacramento River.

We had reservations at 6:30, which gave us time to dine leisurely before the dinner crowd got there.  Eloise thought about the shrimp, but finally settled on the pasta with garlic butter.  I had a New York steak.  We sat at a window table looking over the river.  Right after our main dinner, directly across the river, the River Cat Stadium gave us a 15 minute firework display!  After our desert of sherbet with birthday candle, we walked Old Town Sacramento.  We would have stayed out longer, but breaking in heels and earrings makes for a big evening at 9.


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New, new. Same old……

Okay, Eloise is now back as a sales rep. She is an area rep for 2nd Step Reps.  That is what she loves and is really good at. The bad news is that her territory is the San Francisco peninsula. A long commute. Over 100 miles to her closest account.  Better news is that Adam just moved into a 2 bed, 2 bath apartment. He lives in Redwood City, which is in the center of Eloise’s territory!  They are now 1/2 week room mates. Truly a blessing for both. Adam gets a great room mate and help with the outrageous rent they get in the bay area, and Eloise gets a comfortable, safe, permanent place to stay at a cheaper rate than the going hotel rate!  She still works 1 day a week for now.

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