Thursday, January 28, 2010


First off, if you notice I have updated the heading. This blog began all about weddings. But I have expanded to other areas of my life: teaching, cooking, what ever is happening with me. So the updated heading.

No weddings Wednesday, I was feeling yucky, so I didn't go in.

But Tuesday I was at school with the first graders. It had rained for almost two weeks and the kids were bonkers. The teachers were getting on each other's nerves, and no one wanted to be there. But we were.

I worked one on one with half the class on reading. Some with the booklet everyone was reading( more about that later), and some with extra help. Little K behaved well during our session. And again he asked if he could read another book. He has come so far. He WANTS to read. Ms. H and I are doing our jobs.

The booklet they all read was a story about an opossum. It told a little about what she ate, being nocturnal, being frightened by a dog and playing 'possum, and her babies. One little girl told me her fish would play possum, "he keeps floating on his side". All I could think was her fish kept dying and the parents were replacing them. I was wrong, she said when she tapped on the glass he would start swimming around. Still, seems strange.

I read the class Jack and the Beanstalk. The illustrations were incredibly beautiful and detailed. And sorry, I don't remember the illustrator's name. The giant ogre was disgusting ugly and scary, his wife was ugly, lots of images for the children to look at. As I read it to them, it struck me what a scary story this is. Little boys killed and ground into flour, Jack and his mother hungry, Jack being chased by the giant ogre, and Jack kills the giant ogre. And we make Jack the hero, yet he is a thief and a killer.

There is nothing PC about this book. It is wrong in so many ways. Who cares, they loved it, and so do I.

Monday, January 25, 2010


As the title says, I have no endings:

Today was busy. I did 7 weddings, maybe more. I lost count. There were also some Spanish ones, M does those.

At least 99% of my weddings were true love matches. I had brides in long white satin dresses, white cocktail dresses, lovely white and black outfits. The couples were so in love. They held each other after the ceremony, they laughed and cried. There was lots of love in the room each wedding. Except . . .

The awful wedding: The bride turned 18 last week. She still had braces on her teeth. He was a year or so older. Lots of family attending. I called their names and the bride and groom came from different areas of the lobby. We went into the wedding room, they each went to different pew, he on the left side of the room, she went to the right side of the room. This is not a happy couple.

He obviously adored her. She was shaky and scared. He supported her physically. He looked at her with loving eyes. She just looked scared. He held her, he tried to take care of her. She just stood there. When I pronounced them, they didn't kiss. He held her and she just stood there. After they had the paper work done, she left with her family. He came downstairs later with a couple of his friends. Staff and I think she is pregnant, ( looked it but that isn't always a fact)It felt like a forced wedding. Who knows.

As I said, I have no endings.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


This weekend Marty and I tested another recipe for Cook's Illustrated. It is a spinach salad with fennel and apple. And I just realized tonight we didn't take any pictures.

The recipe called for baby spinach, golden delicious apples cut into match sticks, the bulb of fennel sliced very thinly. There also are fennel fronds, shallots, lemon zest, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, olive oil. Everything is chopped or used to make the dressing.

Let me make it clear I am not fond of fennel. I dislike the taste of licorice. And spinach does not like me. I like it but often it makes me sick. Don't ask. So this was not a salad I really wanted to try. I told Marty to go on and make it ( he loves everything in it, and has no "problems") For the record I had no problems this time with the spinach.

This salad is great. All the flavors meld beautifully. The fennel does not dominate as it often does. It is crisp, tangy, and yummy. The recipe says it is for 6. Marty and I halved it and there was still plenty for 6.

We will make this again. I would post the recipe, but we agreed not to share it. Until it is perfected and used in the magazine we can't share it on this blog. Of course, if you ask I might email you.

Friday, January 22, 2010


My niece writes a blog also, TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY. It is about her family and work.With 5 children she has a lot to write. Her son, Kiel, plays college basketball, and last I heard the team is ranked #10. Check out this picture of Kiel dunking. And that was not the only dunk. Go Kiel!

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Since Sunday the Bay Area has had awful awful storms. Torrential rains, hail, thunder and lightening, winds above gale force and gusts at hurricane level. Being out was miserable and dangerous. And it seemed we had to be out everyday.

Wednesday at breakfast (we don't really eat breakfast, we do juice, pills, and coffee) I told Marty I didn't want to go do weddings. I would have to walk in the rain from the parking garage and I would be a wet soggy mess. But I would go because I had made the commitment. Sweet Marty said he would take me and come back for me. I told him no one would show up on such an awful day. We went.

I sat and read for almost two hours. I was bored and sleepy. And then I had three couples to marry. There was a break in the weather and we had people.

Every one was dressed for the weather. No thin white dresses in sight.

The first couple was from Bhoutan. They didn't speak much English, but understood it very well. We picked a short ceremony where I did most of the talking. That way they didn't have the stress of trying to speak a second language. They were sweet and in love. And very happy when it was all over.

One couple had their little boy with them. He was so cute on the elevator (which has railings on each side). He insisted that his parents and the witness hold onto the railings while it was moving. And then he gave me a look to check if I held on, I did. When we went back down to the lobby, there were others on the elevator. He told all of them to hold on also. And those three men did.

Another couple was really interesting. They were in their early thirties and had been together 12 years. As we waited for the Marriage Desk Clerk to come in and witness the ceremony, we talked. They told me they had been through a lot of ups and downs. They had been pushed to go on and marry. But it never felt right until now. They talked about how marriage is a hard lifetime commitment. They understood that marriage is not a 50/50 deal. That many days it is 90/10. They were well grounded and knew what they were doing. I wish all my couples had their maturity.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Today we checked out all the lovely food in the South Hall. This was our favorite, PIG! Hams, salami, sausage, hams, hams. Everyone country has ham like the South's Country ham. Spain wins hands down as the best with their Jamon Serrano. This was a little taste of heaven, Booth after booth was slicing it, the whole leg including the hoof. No, the hoof was not served. Do I have pictures of all these wonderful hams, no. Nor do I have any pictures of the wonderful pates or the bacon flavored salt. Why, I was too busy sampling the goodness. But the pictures are in color this time.

Italy had more booths than any other group. Hams, pates, cheeses, salamis, other wonderful meats.

Crowd scene. We walked forever, Marty is getting us water,
California had some incredible cheeses. Booth after booth.

Wisconsin cheese.

Next to pig, the butter booths were the best. They acted as palate cleansers.

More cheese.

This was oh so wonderful. Foie Gras and duck salami.

Marty having citrus tea. There were some really different teas to taste.

Truffle booth. The huge one is not real. Yes that is Marty's arm, we didn't notice each other. Oh, no samples here. Or at the saffron booth or the caviar booth.

The chef is airbrushing a chocolate sculpture. Check out the finished one to the right.

Oh, Canada. The Mountie had to learn to ride a horse for parades. That is the only time he rides. Canada had a large group of booths also.

Marty, Janet, and the Mountie.

We have had a lovely two days of sampling some of the best foods in the world. There is no way these pictures can give you the feeling, aroma, and the wonderful tastes we have experienced. This is two of our favorite days of the year.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Today we went into San Francisco for the Fancy Food Show. There are 2000 vendors of food and food related products: Candy, meat, baskets, oils, wine and spirits, cheese, dips, spreads, chips, bread, and on and on. This is a little of what we saw over 5 1/2 hours in the North Hall. Tomorrow we go back to see the South Hall.
Marty gave me his old digital camera. I used it for the first time today. Do you like the arty black and white pictures? I know so little about the camera I didn't realize it was on black and white. Tomorrow, with luck, color. But I do like the black and white, dramatic.
Remember to click on the pictures to enlarge them.
The Entrance
Vanilla bean booth

Marty and a crowd scene

These ladies presented an oil with a pump that is non aerosol. So a very low calorie green product. There were different flavors of oils. You use it instead of lot of oil or bacon grease in my case. There may be other uses, I missed part of their presentation. If I remember correctly the woman on the right is Sherene Costanzo, founder. Very impressive product.

Best boxed prepared soup ever. We tried a couple of them, I loved the wild mushroom soup: rice noodles, mixture of mushrooms, rich broth. The mushrooms smelled like you had just sliced them and thrown them into the broth. It was outstanding!

Not a great picture. This is Silver Moon, ice cream. I had the vanilla Bourbon ice cream. Of course I did. What else would a Southern Belle pick? I asked where I could buy it in Oakland. And the first store listed, The Village Market. Yeah! It is 90 seconds from my house, all downhill.

Marty waiting in line at Stubbs for brisket and sausage. The sauce and meat was really, really good. The lines were very long. People know this product and will wait for it.

Doesn't she have a wonderful smile? Her product of sauces were great.

Johnny's French Dip sauce, Caesar dressing and many other products. We all use this and it is one to continue using. They are sending Marty and me some samples. I can't wait.

Tomorrow we will attack this hall, the South Hall.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Monday and Wednesday were not real busy. I did 4 or 5 each day. There were some really sweet couples. Also there were some that were difficult to do, and there were the thin white dresses.

Difficult to do for a couple of reasons.

The crying baby wedding. For nearly an half an hour we could hear a baby screaming in the lobby. This was constant screaming, I don't know how the child could breathe at the same time. Lucky me they were there to get married. As the paper work was being done the mother whipped out a boob and tried to feed the baby. The clerk was offended. She is a mother and all for breast feeding, but we all agreed a blanket over the shoulder would be more appropriate. The baby screamed through the ceremony. No one seemed to do anything. No bouncing the baby, no burping her, no walking with her. They then went downstairs and sat about 20 minutes with the child still screaming.

The underage groom: If the bride or groom is younger than 18, a judge must give permission for the marriage. The groom was 10 months short of 18, the bride was 22. They had the court order allowing him to marry. She was in a beautiful traditional sari, he had on baggy pants and a backwards baseball cap. Traditional California boy. Can you say arranged marriage?

The first white dress was stunning. It was a long tulle sheath, seed pearl spaghetti straps, with a handkerchief hem. There were several beautiful lace pieces scattered on it. There was an under skirt to the knees, which was too sheer not to have a slip under it. This lovely vision of a woman had on a white thong.

Second white dress: This was a huge wedding group. Everyone was dressed up. We had a bouquet, boutonnieres, we had corsages. The groom had on a white suit with pale blue trim ( to match the bride's fingernails). We had a best man and a maid of honor. As Daddy walked the bride in, the crowd hummed the wedding march. They were a happy excited group. And the bride? Short gathered dress of chiffon, spaghetti straps, white underskirt, white thong.

Now for the rant. Do these people not have mirrors? Is this a new look that I am too old to appreciate? The clerks are much younger than I am, and the thongs offend them. Buy a slip, I am sure Macy's still sells them.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Today at school was different. They have begun a science program that will involve planting a garden, learning the nutrition values of the foods, and I think eating new foods. Because of this the children had a short lesson in our classroom and then were pulled out in small groups all morning.

During centers one table was making a "If I had a dream" project. They wrote a dream for the world on a sort of human figure. Looks more like a gingerbread boy. They color it, add yarn and other things to make hair, eyes, etc. Then cut it out and glue to a piece of construction paper. I am checking them and notice J has glued yellow yarn between his figure's legs. It hangs from the crotch to the feet. I am afraid to ask what the hell, so I clue Ms H in. She checks it out, you're gonna love this one, J says he is peeing.

Just to make it a busier day, there was also a musical program put on by the K-3 grades. This went on for ever. Each class sang more than one song, some as many as three. They were cute and I am sure they sounded cute. But there was one huge problem. The music teacher seemed to think it was all about her. She wore a head set microphone, and it was turned all the way up. Consequently the children could rarely be heard. I couldn't believe her. She should have been leading them, not singing at the top of her lungs.

Between all these interruptions we did get some one on one work done. My two little boys, K and A, who really struggle to read, were working hard today. No crying, no fussing, no I can't read. A would tell me, "I don't know that word." And then we would sound it out together. But joy of joys, after struggling through the little book he looked up at me and asked, "Can I read another one?" Yes you can, and he sailed through it. It was a step harder, but he really read the book, even with expression.

As I was signing out in the office, I was introduced to K's mother, and I told her how hard he had worked today. She hugged me.

All in all, a lovely day.

Monday, January 11, 2010


Today we got up really early, for us. Marty has jury duty and had to leave by 7:30. Most days we aren't up by 7:30. Anyway, I planned to get back in the bed and sleep another hour. Then I would start my day again.

Marty is not even out of the driveway and I am in the bed. I close my eyes and start to relax. Then I heard it beep, beep, beep, beep, beep and on and on, it sounds like our alarm clock but it's a truck backing up. Another truck, beep, beep, beep beep, beep, beep. Annoying, isn't it? Then the sawing began and the hammering, and the grinding, and the pounding with lots of loud voices yelling over all the noise. I had forgotten. Across the street and two doors up, remodeling going on.

If I am asleep I don't hear this noise. But trying to go back to sleep didn't work. After 15 minutes I gave up. Now that I am up and dressed I am real sleepy. I hope I stay awake while doing weddings this afternoon.

Friday, January 8, 2010


Today I went out to re program everything on my car. After the great battery death and computer crash all memory was lost. They downloaded updates, that changed how some of the system worked. JOY. I began with the phone, that was the easy one, wrong. It would not recognize my blue tooth. I tried and tried for 15 minutes, nothing. I am ready to cry. So I quit and moved on.

I set the mirrors, steering wheel, and all the buttons on the seat. Then I moved on to the radios, weather, ( ignored it) FM and AM that took much longer than I remembered. I put in only a couple of stations. I couldn't remember what else I had had set up. Then I moved to the satellite radio. We have moved into hell. Nothing would work like it did a year ago. Finally I put the directions down and started punching buttons. I figured it out and put in my favorite 10 stations. Yeah, I have 10 presets. Now back to the phone.

I read the directions again, I follow them. Things are not lighting up to be punched. Over and over I punch update and other things. No Blue tooth found. I go get Marty after another 30 minutes. He tries, it doesn't recognize his phone either. This does not make sense, last time when we got in the car the first time it said blue tooth found. No punching buttons, it just did it on both our phones. I am furious, they have not fixed my stupid car. I call my service rep, got voicemail, and said I am on the way. And I expect them to fix this right now. They only work by appointments. I know I will have to make a scene.

I pull in and my rep is getting out of the car next to me. Talk about a double take. He came over and I unloaded. He tried and couldn't get the blue tooth to work. So he took the car into the shop. He came back, no problem, I hadn't clicked on the right lines. Well they didn't light up when I tried and when Marty tried, WHY? He doesn't know, he will get Mike his phone guru.

Fifteen minutes late Mike gets in the car. He shows me what to do, I said I did that IT DID NOT WORK, IT DID NOT LIGHT UP BELOW WHEN WE CLICKED ON IT. He said he was sorry, he didn't see it when it wasn't working. He then showed me how to put in contacts, that I had been told I couldn't do. I had put in every contact manually before the crash. Now I point and they download. So there was one good thing out of this nightmare.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Tuesday I got in my car, pushed the start button, and CLICK. I tried again, CLICK, and the clock went backward, the wipers tried and stopped. It wouldn't start, I was going to be late to work at school. I called the school and said can't get there. I called Tel aid and they said roadside assistance would call in 15 minutes. And they did. They told me when they would arrive. They jumped the battery. Well and good. Why did the battery die? The car had less than 8000 miles on it. It has been driven regularly. Nothing had been left on. No reason to die. The tech said I needed to take the car in to see why the battery drained.

I drove to the Mercedes dealer, they would work me in. On the way I found out the audio is out: no radio, no GPS, no Cd's, no phone. If they had to order parts they would call me and it would be Thursday before they could work on it. Otherwise, they would call me and I would have the car mid afternoon Wednesday. They gave me a loaner, a Camry. Right no Mercedes were left. This was a basic car. It was dirty, I had to wash the windshield before I could see in order to leave the dealership. It did not fit my body. It was too low, the seat back was wrong. It hurt my back and knees. I hate this crappy dirty car. I will say it is a zippy little car.

Wednesday afternoon no call by 4:00. I got home at 4:45, a message from Mercedes. The car would be ready at 9:30 on Thursday. I left a message, I couldn't get there until 11:00.

Thursday I arrive at 11:05. I asked the service advisor again, why did the battery die? He didn't know. He went to ask the tech. (that would be what used to be a mechanic) After a 10 minute wait, he found out that the satellite radio froze in the on position. And that drained the battery. That doesn't fly. Why didn't I HEAR the radio when I got out of the car? It was not on when I got out Monday night. Any way, he told me he would bring the car around. 10 minutes later he walks up and says sheepishly the radio still doesn't work. They will be a few minutes more. After I have been there an hour. He tells me they are on hold with tech support. I should go home in the crappy loaner and he will call me at 2:00. At 3:00 no phone call I call him. I left a voice mail. At 4:00 I call again, still just voicemail. At 5:00 I call and finally get the human. My car is ready and they are bringing it to me. Around 6:00 I finally got my car.

Everything must be re programed: seat, mirrors, radio, lights, satellite radio, GPS. phone. Who knows what else I will be doing all day Friday to get my car back to normal.

My car has less than 8000 miles on it. It is only a little over a year old. I should feel safe and confident when I get in it. Not any longer. My trust has been shattered.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Yesterday I arrived at the county building close to 1:00. Two licenses were waiting for the next available person. Great happiness I was there to do the weddings. I looked at the invoice sheet and the attached receipt was different, and there was a sworn statement stapled to it also. What's up? Well, now instead of license and wedding as line items, things must be itemized, plus the certified copy has gone up to $16. The dumbest law/rule is if the bride and groom wish to receive a certified copy (which we always included in the wedding package), they must swear they are authorized to receive a copy of the marriage license. Think about that, the couple getting married have to sign a statement under threat of perjury, that they have the right to their own license.

These little changes slowed down the clerk considerably. She was slow as Christmas before, now she was slow and she kept making mistakes. I married the two waiting couples. When I came down from the second wedding, she was still working on the same license from two weddings back. And she hadn't recorded the first one I did. This is a very simple process and takes 2 minutes. Then she messed it up and she had to reprint and we all resigned. I apologized to the first couple and they were so happy to be married that they were fine with the delay.

The second couple I married were from Kenya, young and oh so in love. I was worried about her English and they assured me she understood, just wasn't confident in speaking it. The bride did fine with her I do and her vows. She was very quiet before and during the ceremony. When I pronounced them she jumped up on the groom, wrapped her legs around his waist, and planted a huge kiss on him. As we left the room, he swooped her up into his arms and carried her to the elevator. Jubilant is the perfect word for this couple. They were amazed how quickly getting the license and wedding went. They said in Kenya things are much slower. Just the license could takes 6 weeks or more, and then weeks for the wedding. And if you wanted a copy of the license, who knows. When we got downstairs to record the marriage and to get the certified copy was when I found out the clerk was so far behind. When I told the couple it could take 20 minutes or more to get the copy, they laughed. They then said, "Not six weeks like Kenya."

Then I sat for 2 1/2 hours, nothing. At 4:00 I went out to see if I could leave, or were couples waiting. Yes they were waiting, 5 couples. One I knew had been there 30 minutes. Since I hadn't gotten a license I thought they were another language wedding, No, they were just waiting on the slow clerk. One of the leads came out and helped process licenses. I did the 5 weddings. When I finished the last one and came downstairs at 5;15, the building was close to empty. Most of the clerks had gone home. Me the volunteer, I left 45 minutes after the building closed.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Marty and I have had a fairly normal weekend, for the first time in weeks. He made glass Saturday and I did laundry and ironed a hundred shirts. Well, maybe 9 shirts and one pair of Dockers.

It was a weekend of emails and phone calls. Family news was sent/told to us. Our nephew and his wife are pregnant again. And they possibly will be transferred in the last part of the pregnancy. If this move happens they will be at Travis Air Force Base. We are thrilled they will be that close to us for many reasons. We will have them close, and they are a fun couple. Also my brother and his lovely wife will be out here as often as possible. Nothing like grand kids to get them on a plane. If this all comes together, Christmas dinner at my house this year.

Marty and I did our Sunday thing and went to the movies. We had lunch there, hot dogs, coke, and popcorn. It just doesn't get any better. We saw Sherlock Holmes. It was fun, tense, and intelligent. I missed parts of it because of the violence and the gross stuff (dead rats, dead frogs, etc., lots of blood,). Yes, I watched parts of it with my hands over my face. Marty and I were pleased that all the mysteries of the "magic" were explained. I know this was filmed with the thought of a franchise. That's OK with us. We would go see Robert Downey, Jr. read the phone book. Bring on the sequels.

Friday, January 1, 2010


We had a quiet evening at home. Marty tested a recipe for the Test Kitchen. We were invited to a party. I ached, my bones and joints hurt like hell. So we stayed home. We watched a movie ON DEMAND and then the Ball Drop from Time Square. We drank Prosecco, which I love, as we watched the New Year in.

I may have to write ABC and tell them Dick Clark is now officially scary. I am sorry he had a stroke. I am glad he is better. But he can not be understood when he speaks. He can't seem to control his hands and it is just all very uncomfortable to watch. I kept waiting for something awful to happen. Marty and I think he owns the show, so he keeps performing. It is just really uncomfortable when he is on.

To all of you, a very Happy New Year. It has to be better than 2009.