Friday, October 24, 2008

October isn't too scary!

Let the destruction begin!

Once again we had some of the wardies over to watch general conference. It was a great weekend full of inspiring messages and the requisite cinnamon rolls.

Here's Zoe with Auntie Courtney and her mommy and daddy in her pumpkin outfit. She is so darn cute. I can't wait to see her Halloween's a surprise.

Homecoming is today and tomorrow, woohoo...then it will be over for another year! Next post ought to show some improvement to the house. Grandma Van Dusen is still in the hospital and improving, albeit slowly. I visited Grandpa Van Dusen at the Alzheimer's home on Monday, it was a discouraging visit, he had no idea who I was. Maybe next time he'll be better. Grandma Forester has been in Utah for a week, she went up for Twink's shower. She's having a great time staying with Aunt Ruth and visiting friends and family. John and I are plugging along, trying to stay one step ahead of the contractors. The world is pretty crazy these days, between this insane presidential race, the state of the economy and Prop 8 one could get pretty discouraged. But there is hope and it comes by way of faith in our Savior and His loving example. After all is said and done, I am so grateful to live in this day and time and see God's hand in my life. I know He lives.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Goodbye September

I am so glad I had September but I am so glad to see it go!

Here are the things I am glad to see go:
My mom having a near death experience.
The start of school.
The first dance of the school year.
3 Friday night football games I had to work at.
The Damien football game. (Catholic High School fans are not Christian!)
The aftermath of having a wedding at your home.
My mom moving far too many things to my already bursting at the seams house.
Moving my mom out of her apartment.
Crazy parent week at work.
Slacker student month at work.

Here are the things that made it worth living through:
My mom having a near death experience and living to tell about it.
One month of work is finished.
One dance is over.
We don't play Damien again until 2011.
Rachel is married to an awesome man.
We were able to pare down my mom's s belongings to a manageable amount...
The next move will be easy.
The crazy parents give you the best stories to tell your friends.
Slacker students need mothering...and I'm good at that.
Going to New York for our 33rd anniversary and my 53rd birthday...seeing 3 plays (Mary Poppins, Patti Lapone in Gypsy, Young Frankenstein), 3 public art waterfalls, eating tomato soup at Sarabeths, attending the Manhattan Temple, watching BYU beat the pants off UCLA, having room service (for my first time ever), relaxing, walking, shopped at Macy's and had a great Reuben sandwich.
Having a picnic with baby Drew.
And last but not least...Baby Zoe's blessing.

As I look back at the month I can't help but see how the good times always outweigh the bad and that most experiences turn out for the best. Now if I can just remember that when I'm going through the worst of it so I will be able to show more gratitude for all the lords blessings. October looks lets get on with it!

Saturday, August 30, 2008


I know I should be posting my August entry on Rachel and Jorge's wedding, but I don't have the pictures yet, sooooo, I will rant about the presidential race, sans photos. Last year I withdrew membership in the republican party and jumped up on the undecided fence. While I don't know and understand nearly as much as I should about the final two viable candidates, John McCain put a nail in his coffin for me yesterday with his VP pick. I'm sure she is a nice lady...but John McCain is well down the dementia/old age is hazardous to your health road and his best choice to lead the country is a former beauty queen who's current job is the equivalent to being the mayor Memphis. Come on!!! I'm not stupid! I know he did this to increase his odds of winning, not to increase our security as a nation...but it begs the question, is this what a statesman does for the country he promises to protect? John McCain and the rest of your republican cronies are pathetic...give us women and anyone else who values equality some credit...this isn't a game you win or's our future and more importantly the future of our children and grandchildren. Wake up!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Finally...the Debut!

So Miss Zoe long last. This sweet angel doesn't stand a chance of not being spoiled. So, she was born on Friday (7/11...grandpa's little "slurpee") and we just can't get enough of her! Weighing in at 6 pounds 10 ounces and 19 inches long...with a debut time of 10:32 pm. Trying to be polite and wait our turn to hold far no one has been a challenge We are using our best kindergarten manners, but at any moment all could change. Needless to say, Grandma and Grandpa Forester are pleased as can be with their first official granddaughter...and the aunts and uncles are just as excited. Tyler and Leah are doing great...Leah said last night that she's ready to do it again and I'm holding her to it! Tyler is walking about 3 feet off the ground...he is so happy....and Leah is just so content and peaceful...Zoe couldn't have asked for better parents. Heavenly Father won't have to worry too much over this one...her parents are the best! I'll be breif with this post as the photos should speak for themselves.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

School's Out For Summer

Well, the blessed day has finally arrived...the end of the school year and the end of work for the summer. I have to say, the count down to today has been outstanding. It started on June 9th with a trip to Disneyland (a work responsibility) that just happened to coincide with Drew's birthday. What made it even better was the fact that Courtney, Cameron (is he an official member of the family yet?) Rachel, Alicia and Drew were all there. We had a great you can see by going to Drew and Alicia's they got to my pictures before I did!

Following graduation preparations on Thursday 6/12 I hopped a flight to Oakland to stay with Courtney and together travel up to Napa Valley on Saturday morning to stay with John. John is working on an Adam Sandler film, "Bedtime Stories" in Calistoga. Courtney worked on Friday so I had a leisurely day that consisted of a citrus/pecan scone from Jay's...around the corner from her apartment and then continued up the street to Nancy's for a manicure and a pedicure. Am I boring you yet? Walking around Alameda is so charming, it reminds me of the walks "up-town" in Coronado with my Uncle Hoyt when I was young. We would always start at the bakery on Orange Avenue and usually get a few groceries at the market. Unlce Hoyt would always wear a hat and a jacket with a collared shirt. Whenever he passed anyone on the sidewalk he would tip his hat and say Good Day. (He also always had lifesavers in his pocket! Isn't there a commercial about that?) That afternoon Courtney came home and we went to Berkeley where she had a work meeting at the Cal campus. While she was in her meeting I visited another of my favorite places..."Games of Berkeley". I could hang out there for hours. From there I did a little baby shopping...I had to! After all, a good grandma knows her I'm doing my due diligence. Later we went to the Crate and Barrel gotta do what you gotta do! That evening Courtney and Cameron's softball team had a double header to determine the league championship. They won the first game handily...the second game was not quite as good. The other team came with a vengeance and played as if their very souls would be damned to hell if they did not win. So...they won...good for them, their souls are safe.

The trip to Napa to see John was fantastic. For a non drinker, Napa has a lot to offer. The views are pastoral and soothing. The architechture as diverse as one could imagine with a scenic vista at every glance. These people have money and they know how to spend it well! John was filming in a castle that a man had built for $38 million. Around the back of the castle is a lake...with his wine cellar under it for temperature control.

Not to mention the food...we dined at The Farm, a beautiful relaxing resort just off the main highway. The food was all we hoped for, innovative, seasonal, fresh and done to perfection. I wish I had taken pictures of all our dishes...they were so lovely...I think we were too excited to taste everything and didn't think about it. At any is yet another picture of Courtney and Cameron mugging for the camera.

On Saturday we visited the di Rosa Preserve, (peacocks freely stalk the visitors there) a quirky, off the beaten path estate owned by a quirky off the beaten path art collector/winery owner/bon vivant/eccentric. The estate boasts a beautiful main residence, art gallery, various outbuildings, a lake complete with a "tropical" island and a sculpture meadow...and everywhere you look there is art...not everybody's art, but art none the less. Rene di Rosa is an amazing collector and it was so fun to see his collection. As I close, I will include 2 what I will call tribute a tribute to Cameron's tie collection and finally a tribute to John's long lost finger which apparently is now an art piece! TTFN I will return shortly with what I hope will be baby news! Let the countdown begin...23 days and counting.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

In the merry merry month of May

A lot of things happen in May in my world. First is Mother's Day. My mother's day is always wonderful and this year was no exception. John planned dinner and Rachel and Jorge did most of the preparation...and by the way, the baked potatoes that Jorge prepared were the best ever...I don't know why but he sure had the touch. In addition to them, G and G Van Dusen came, also Alicia, Drew, Tyler and Leah. G4 went to Bill and Kathy's for dinner. I received some beautiful gifts...a hydrangea in a cool pot from Drew and Alicia, Lovely garden gloves from Courtney and hand-painted plates (with home mede bread and strawberry jam) from Tyler, Leah and Zoe...yes, our granddaughter will be named Zoe, a beautiful necklace from Rachel and a colorful handmade wallet made in Guatemala from Jorge and his mother. The day before Mother's Day John and I (and the Mori's) went to the Palm Bike store in LA to pick out a bicycle for me. (my gift from John) It was a hard decision but I was able to try a few out and decided on an Electra beach cruiser style olive and orange 3 speed bike...with a basket. They didn't have one in stock so I am anxiously waiting for its arrival. Thanks everyone for making my mother's day so wonderful.

Another May happening is the departure of the college students that attend our ward. Each year some go home to return in the fall and others graduate or go on adventurous semesters abroad. This year it feels like more are leaving than usual and I'm very sad. Though I'm thrilled for their new adventures I will truly miss them. They have enriched my life in so many ways and have been tremendous examples to me...I love them all very much and hope the best for them. If any of you are reading this, please don't lose touch with us...we're excited to see all you do.

May is a crunch month at work and so far it hasn't disappointed. The frantic parent calls have begun, the slacker seniors are actually starting to worry, and the countdown to graduation has started. I must admit, this is my favorite time of the work year...I like the chaos.

Finally, I took a vacation day today and went with my girl friends to the Pasadena Showcase Design House...10,500 square feet of extreme opulence and was great. I don't think any of their ideas will transfer to my home...but you never know...I'll keep you posted.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Friday Night Likes

For those of you who know me well, it comes as no surprise that to relax at the end of a busy work week I like to cook. Unfortunatley, I had to work tonight so cooking went out the window. So, tonight G4 and I went to work together. She watched a high school CIF playoff volleyball game and I worked the gate. Not a bad gig and G4 felt like she had a big night out. I came home and read Niles comment about the bean soup and realized which soup he meant. Therefore, Niles, this recipe posting will fulfill my Friday night cooking need and hopefully, your Saturday night eating need, a win win solution. I give you...Black Bean Soup Enjoy, it's one of my favorites.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Black Bean Soup

Recipe By : Dave Lieberman
Serving Size : 8 Preparation Time: 0:20
Categories : Soups & Stews

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
10 slices bacon (preferably hickory smoked) -- finely chopped
2 medium onions -- chopped
6 cloves garlic -- pressed
1 14 1/2 oz canned chicken broth
1 1/2 cups canned chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp Worchestershire Sauce
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp chili powder
4 15 1/2 oz canned black beans -- drained
salt and pepper -- to taste
1 bunch cilantro
1/2 lime -- juiced

Saute bacon and onions till onion is translucent.
Add garlic and heat through.
Add the broth, tomatoes, ketchup, Worchestershire, and chili powder.
Stir in the beans, turn the heat to high and bring to a boil.
Gently cook about 10 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper.

Pick the stems from the cilantro, wash leaves and shake dry.
Coarsley chop the cilantro and stir into soup.
Stir in the lime juice.
Serve with garnish

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NOTES : May also be served with thinly sliced green onions, sour cream and grated cheddar cheese.
Can be kicked up with jalapenos, tabasco and any other sweat inducing hot sauce.

I close with this picture of Jorge and Rachel. I feel like I need to have a picture with each post so I looked through my pictures to find one that would be interesting. I chose Jorge, Rachel's fiancee. Most of you have probably not met here he is. We love Jorge and can't wait for him to be an official part of our family. He's a talented photographer and artist and soon to be graduate of the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Hopefully, I will be posting some of his work here soon. Jorge is great, and he cheerfully tolerates the crazy that is the Forester household.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

It's a start...

So, after talking to my niece, Brecken this morning I decided to do (based on her encouragment) what I've been too embarrassed to do until now...create a blog. My children all have blogs and I love to read them because it is a little glimpse into their world that I don't always see. So, with that in mind, I'm hoping they will enjoy catching little views of my world...and not be too embarrassed or worse...bored! Additionally, I want our extended family to be able to keep up on the comings and goings of the grandmas and grandpas.
That said...this last week I took a vacation day and loaded G4 and GV (Grandma Forester and Grandma Van Dusen) into the Prius and headed to the flower fields in Carlsbad. When the Forester grandparents lived on Lynoak Drive in Claremont, they had a beautiful pepper tree in the center of the front lawn. Around the base of the tree grandma Forester planted ranunculus every year. They were amazing...or as Courtney would say "lovely." As a side note, Grandpa Forester would keep the pepper tree pruned. I remember watching him do this one day and was astounded at the skill and artistic eye he employed as he did this. I never looked at the tree the same again. I still drive by on occaision and mourn the loss of his talent...when I learn more about blogging I will post some pictures of the old Lynoak house.
Back to the ranunculus. There are acres and acres of ranunculus on this hillside overlooking the Pacific ocean that are grown for their seeds/tubers. They come in a variety of happy colors and are a prolific ball of thousands of petals. A sight for we flower worshipers. The day turned out to be cold and drizzley, unlike the 90 degree weather the day before, but we were undeterred and took in all the sights and smells with gusto. Much to GV's joy there was a Rose Walk of Fame garden full of award winning roses, interspersed with test roses awaiting acceptance into some sort of "Rose Establishment Hierarchy." We basked in the beauty until our eyes were full and could take nothing more! We stopped across the street and ate a delicious lunch at King's Fish House and headed north to Claremont. On our trip home G4 assured us that all her bodily functions were working properly and we made a lovely pit stop at the Home Depot and the Arco station in Fallbrook...I love Fallbrook...a post for another day.

So there you have it, my 1st blog post. Hopefully I will improve with time and experience. Feel free to offer advice...positive please. Until next time...I'm off to Prom! TTFN