Sunday, April 25, 2010

California Flowers and Birds

California is known for the poppy, so I was very excited to see lots of poppies in bloom. The pinkish flower looked like a mum. There were so many of them and several colors. We saw many beautiful flowers on the drive. After going to the NARSA meeting Saturday, we visited a botanical garden. It was a pretty nice garden, and they were having a plant sale. They had sold out of the poppy seeds, so I bought some poppy plants. We packed them in a box and carried them home on the plane. I haven't gotten them planted yet, but I hope to grow some poppies.
When we visited Turkey, I picked seeds from the 4 oclocks that were potted up in store fronts. I can't really remember which 4 oclocks came from Turkey, my sister, Ann, or Josh's Grandmother's, or were store bought. But I love having "borrowed" plants and plants that have a special memory.

California Journal

Ron and I traveled to California for a business trip. We flew into Oakland, drove to Sacremento for a factory tour of a new vendor, then drove back to San Franscisco to the Golden Gate Bridge. Then drove down south along Highway 1. This is a trip that most people take a week or two to drive and enjoy the scenery. Because of our work schedule, we had two days, which was reduced to only 1 1/2 days because of the plant tour.

The Golden Gate Bridge

We finally got to the bridge about noon, we skipped by San Franscico. We really need to go back to visit San Franscisco, I hear it is a great place to spend some time. We drove until 5 pm. I was really tired and didn't know where the next town might be. We stopped at Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz is a college, surfer town. This turned out to be not the best choice. The hotel was nice, the wharf was a nice little walk from the hotel. The dinner was nice enough. But the next morning, Ron woke up with a pretty bad stomach problem. He is sure he had food posioning. He will not be eating fish for quite some time.

The Sun Rise on the Pacific Coast! I wanted a hotel with a view of the sunset, well this town is in the Monterry Bay, on a little pennisula, so we actually had a view of the sunrise instead. That was a little confusing geographically.

The surfers stayed out until the sun went down and were headed back out when the sun was coming up.

The next morning, we headed out again. I quickly found out what was south of Santa Cruz.
Strawberry fields, artichoke fields, lettuce fields! I didn't stop and take pictures, but we could see the big beautiful strawberries from the highway. 
The town of Carmel and plenty of other really nice towns followed. Carmel is the town of Clint Eastwood. We should have stayed in Carmel. Ron really wished we would have stayed anywhere but where we were.
And such beautiful scenery. The town of Big Sur has some small hotels, and a thick forest of trees.

I don't know the difference between the seals and the sea lions, or mayb
e sea otters, but we first saw the mama and baby, then these beachs of beached seals, seal lions or whatever.
There were hundreds of them, just laying out resting!
We considered seeing the Hearst Castle. It sits high on the mountain top, overlooking the Pacific. It looks amazing, but it was getting late. There are a couple of lovely resort towns following this part of the drive, but we had to get on to our next meeing town, Rialto.
We flew into Oakland Wednesday night, drove to Scaremento that night, spent Thursday touring the plant, then driving until 5 pm. Friday, we woke up at 7:30 am and drove until 8 pm.
That is too much driving for one day.

By the way, if you want to drive down the Pacific Coast Highway, you might want to plan on doing that in the next few years. The highway is being washed down the mountains. There were several locations being rebuilt due to the rock slides.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Violet's Birthday

Violet Anne Tripp will turn 2 on Wednesday, April 14! What a busy 2 years. I still remember so vividly Andrea calling me and telling me her water had broke, which actually happened on April 13.
This time of year brings so many emotions to my family.My brother, my parents only boy, died on April 1, 1953. My Dad died on March 29, 1986. Even though I wasn't born when my brother died, his life and death had an impact on my life. I have three sisters that I love so much. But I always missed having a brother. In 1986, when I was expecting Amanda, my Dad died unexpectedly.
We also have birthdays to celebrate during this time of year. Ron's birthday is March 30. And of course, the most beautiful holiday, Easter happens during this season. We can celebrate the gift of a risen Savior! The flowers are blooming, the birds are singing praises. It is such a beautiful time of year. The saddness of the loss are tempered by the celebrations of birth and the new life offered by the sacrafice of Jesus.
2008 comes along and my daughter is expecting a baby girl and my mother is in hospice care. Early in the morning of April 13, 2008, my mother passes. I had sat with her the previous night, watching the sun come up, not expeccting her to live another day. I think she was waiting for her girls to arrive from out of town. Ann drove in from Baton Rouge and stayed with her the last night. My mother passed away early in the morning.
My sisters and I meet at the funeral home to make the final arrangements, and Andrea calls and tells me her water has broken, she is heading to the hospital.
At first, I thought, OK, that is fine, the baby is ready, a little early, but not too bad. Then I have this panic attack, my granddaughter will be born on the day my mother passed away. My panic overtakes me in a burst of tears, fear, saddness, exhaustion, all of these emotions come pouring out.
We rushed to the hosptial expecdting to meet Violet Anne soon, knowing and praying that all will be well. And telling myself that it is perfectly acceptable for my granddaughter to have the same birthday as the death day of my mother.
Well, God in his wisdom, gave Andrea this unbelievably long labor! 33 hours!! And her dear doctor let her labor for 33 hours. No one should labor that long. And no grandmother that has been at hospice for 3 days should spend 33 hours waiting to meet a grandbaby. But it was such a sweet special time. Violet's extended family came from out of town and out of state due to the circumstances. We camped out in the waiting room with three children, Veronika, Jackson and Tucker all waiting to meet Veronika's newest little sister.
So Violet has her own day, April 14, as her birthday.
We get to celebrate Violet's birthday, enjoying the sweet girl that she is. Beautiful blue eyes, sometimes she is shy, sometimes she smiles at strangers, sharing a little happiness with them. She calls me "Dodo", instead of Dodi, and she says it so sweetly. Violet Anne is named after my sister, Violet Ann. They share a beautiful name with my grandmother, Violet Blossom.
What a wonderful God that blesses us with new life! Violet is a  blessed little girl! And we are blessed to have this little girl in our life!
Happy Birthday Violet!