Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Last Wednesday I continued to help train Clerk Y. They wanted him to observe and at some point that afternoon to perform his first ceremony.  Y observed the first wedding I did.  It was a couple in their 20's.  The groom was really nervous and kept forgetting he was to repeat the vows I gave him.  The most memorable thing at this wedding was a 3 or 4 month baby who had a high Mohawk.  Who does that to a baby?

After that Y and I talked about if he was ready to do a ceremony.  He said he was.  When they brought us a license, I let him do everything.  I did not recheck the license, he was on his own.  Of course I was in the Wedding Room for moral support.   He did a great job.  He asked all the right questions, made the room his, and made everyone comfortable.  He had a good speaking voice (found out later he had taken public speaking courses).  Y graduated with honors.

Y lucked out and had the most interesting wedding of the day.  The bride was slender, busty, and blonde.  She wore a lined white lace dress.  The dress was short with a flirty semicircle skirt.  The bride wore white high heel sandals.  The groom looked as if he pulled a dress shirt and Dockers out of the dryer and threw them on.  The bride was really lovely looking and then she opened her mouth.  Her voice was not sultry, was not even adult sounding.  She sounded as if she were 4 years old.  The little girl voice just did not fit her, she was not a little girl.

As Y began the ceremony the couple kissed.  I thought awwww, how sweet.  Then after every sentence they kissed and kissed.  Yep not a little girl.  This was a woman and her man who needed to get a room.

Monday, July 29, 2013



The United States Military is important to me.  My husband was in the Kentucky Air National Guard, my Papa Jack was in the Air Force, my brother was career Air Force, and Nephew Tres is career Air Force.  Lots of friends and family served in the military.  They and millions others have kept our country safe.  Below is a way to thank our military with a day of free services.  The website is for the whole country.  The press release below the link is from my dentist, Dr. Patil and is for the San Francisco Bay Area.  More businesses are needed around the country and more of our military active and retired need to know about this event.  Please share this, talk it up, and if you have a business, participate.  Put this on Facebook, email the link to friends, spread the word. 

Check out Freedom Day USA information here. 


 Contact: Angela Vroom at (925)689-2585

Giving Our Military A DAY OF FREE
Thursday, September 12, 2013

What would it be like to miss your child’s first birthday, their first steps or their high school graduation? What if you could not talk with your spouse or family for weeks at a time? What if you didn’t know if a family member was safe? For most of us these situations are rare, however, for those in our military and their family members they are part of their daily life.

“Our men and women of our Armed Forces make great personal sacrifices in order to secure and protect our freedoms,” said Dr. Robert Martino, founder of the Freedom Day USA event. “Their families have endured hardships and some have given all they have so that we may live in peace-free to pursue our dreams. Let’s join together to say “Thank You” for their sacrifices and for our freedom, by giving them a Day of Free!”

On September 12, 2013 businesses across the United States will join in Freedom Day USA, a national Thank You Movement for the members of our military and their immediate families, along with Veterans. Each business participant is providing a thank you gift, in the form of free services, goods, discounts, and various other offers. Locally, Dr. Julita Patil and team are presenting free dental cleanings, exams, and xrays  to those who serve our country. A complete list of local participating businesses and the services they are providing can be found on

To learn more about this National Thank You Movement or to sign your business up as a participant for future events, you can visit  or the event’s Facebook page at  The services provided to our country by these ladies and gentlemen are very much appreciated.    


Freedom Day USA 

As a way to show our appreciation for those who protect our freedom, Dr.Julita Patil and team are offering a day of FREE DENTAL CLEANINGS, EXAMS AND XRAYS FOR ACTIVE MILITARY, VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILIES. 

By appointment only. Must bring military I.D.

Dr. Julita Patil
 2991 Treat Blvd., Suite H Concord, California 94518
(925) 689-2585 

Friday, July 26, 2013


Banks are the most annoying, non user friendly corporations in the world.  They use our money and hold it and won't let us use it.  They take forever to solve problems.  They  have not come into the electronic age. They hide behind automated phone systems so you will give up on calling them.  Some of them won't even let people buy change for a business.

Today I am trying to finish setting up my new computer. < SIDEBAR:  I did not want a new one, too expensive.  But no one seemed to be able to keep my old one working. >   I have screamed and cursed for a couple of days with all the new security nonsense that requires incredibly long passwords and codes.  But I am getting close to being done.  Today I was going to be brave and sync my IPhone to the new computer. That has not gone well at all.

I connected to ITunes to sync and a box came up.  Your bank information does not match your debit card. What? We changed the address in December. I know we did because we get mail from US Bank. I put in the card number, security code, and expiration date again, and again. Marty said he would try.  Nope, won't take it.  I was putting up laundry so I wouldn't punch a hole in the wall, Marty called US Bank.

Ten minutes of punching in numbers and getting the same spiel with no hope of a human, finally he gets someone.  We both tell him the problem, I give all the info again  He can't change the address. Talk about low man on the totem pole.  He can only answer the phone it sounds like. He must get a supervisor. Marty has an appointment and leaves me with the mess.  Yes it is my mess to fix, but I don't want to.  I want Marty to fix it.  Again I give all the info to an unfriendly . . . well I didn't like her attitude.  She won't change the address because I can not remember our old zip code. (We have moved at least 11 times since we married. My brain erases all info when we move, numbers are hard for me to remember.  I can't clutter my brain with old info.)  Finally I give her a couple of zips and one matches.

She will now change the address/phone number. And she says, by doing this change all info on our account will be updated.  (This just hit me, hope that doesn't mess up Marty.  We have different phone numbers.) Didn't work before so I don't really believe her.  Then the kicker, I can't use my card for at least 24 hours. Really, the address takes that long to crawl from her computer to the Bank's big important control center?

I just called Marty to update him.  He is going to stop where we set up our account between his appointments and find out what is going on.  This is the same bank that took 4 days to clear a check we deposited from our investment account.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Weddings and Training

Wednesday they asked me to help train one of the staff, Clerk Y.  He had not been sworn yet as a Marriage Commissioner, he had just observed a couple of weddings.  I showed him how to check a license, and most importantly to ask is everyone here.  He was not as cocky as some I have helped to train, he brought a legal pad and wrote down my pearls of wisdom.

We had several types of weddings: same sex, hetero sex, bored with this, three sentences, and a double.  Y was lucky to see so many types of people that come through the Marriage Factory.  You need to be prepared for anything.

One wedding was two men who were in gorgeous suits.  The wedding was sweet, emotional, had lots and lots of guests.  But I have a question readers, what is up with leaving the brand tag stitched on the left sleeve and not picking out the stitching on the vent in the back of the coat?  Lots of men do this and to me it just looks wrong. It is a new fad?  Marty says they plan to take the suits back after the wedding.  What do you think?

The double wedding was interesting, couple 1 was 2 women and couple 2 was 2 men.  Neither couple had a witness, so they were each others witnesses.  I start telling them about the types of ceremony and both couples stop me cold.  They want the shortest ceremony there is, no fluff just do a quick legal ceremony.  And they do not want any pictures.  There is no need for any of that stuff.  With great reluctance I did the three sentence ceremony as a double wedding.  No kisses after the ceremony and they were ready to go.

Y commented on the difference in the feel in the room of the double wedding and the other weddings we had done.  He wanted more romance too.  But not our call, the couple gets the wedding they want.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Today Marty and I met with my surgeon.  He showed us the final pathology report.  BENIGN! No surprises as he said.  I cried and Marty cried.  Such relief for both of us.  I am really OK.  I beat the family odds.  I am cancer free and there is no increased risk for cancer. 

Everyone, join us in our Happy Dance.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


I live in a very quiet neighborhood.  We do have one noisy motorcycle that roars up the street twice a day. Then he has to slam to a halt as he hits the speed bumps.  That makes me laugh.  But as I said very quiet.  Lights are out up and down the street by 10:00.  Most nights Marty and I are the only ones up making noise.  There is one little problem, car alarms.

The same alarms go off nearly every day/night. We can hear alarms going off several blocks away, and we hear the ones on our street. We have seen people sitting in their cars and they set off the alarms several times the same night.  People set off the alarms getting into their cars.  I don't understand that. You click unlock and the alarm turns off.   Some are quickly turned off, but some go on and on and on.  One neighbor sets her alarm off multiple times while she is washing the car.  How the hell do you do that?

We are lucky that usually these alarms don't get set off late at night or early morning.  But it is annoying.  If it were different cars, that would be forgivable.  But every time you get in your car, you set off the alarm?  That just makes you look stupid.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

July 1, 2013 Weddings

As promised two weeks ago, weddings on the first full day of same sex marriages.  As I mentioned  few people could get to us to be married because of the BART strike and the gridlock traffic.  We had many volunteers and few customers.  I married two couples and those two made the trouble of getting there all worthwhile for me.

Couple 1:  Two grooms who had missed the window to marry in 2008.  They had a wedding planned. family and friends invited, and then Prop 8 shut down same sex marriages.  They were not going to miss the opportunity to be equal again.  These lovely men had been together for 20 years and had a 4 year old son.  One groom's parents were the witnesses.  It was a really emotional lovely ceremony.  Not a dry eye in the Wedding Room, not even me. 

Couple 2:  Two women who wanted me to use the word spouse.  When I picked them up one of them asked if she had to use her legal name in the ceremony, and I said, " No.  You can be called Pumpkin if you want . . .  and you can call me Adorable."  OK, I was just silly, but they loved it.  I didn't call her Pumpkin, although her witness did.  Let's say her name was Elizabeth and she wanted to be called Beth.  They first wanted to just have the three legal sentences.  Being me, I gave reasons why they might regret that.  I suggested the Long Term Relationship ceremony that says "you have already created marriage in your hearts . . ."  They loved that and that is what I used.  Again this was an emotional ceremony.  I took them into the Marriage Desk office to get their certified copy of the license, congratulated them and started back downstairs.  As I went out the door they both yelled, "Thank you, Adorable, and you are!"  I love being a Marriage Commissioner.

Wednesday I plan to be back to doing marriage ceremonies.  I am hoping the discomfort and tiredness I am having after surgery will be gone by then.  I miss the weddings.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Surgery is over!

First off, all is well.  The surgeon found no surprises!  The final lab report will come back within the next week.

Yesterday began at 4:45 as we dressed and drove to the hospital.  I was sent up to

I registered and was taken back for the procedure.  They let Marty come to the little waiting room with the good overstuffed chairs.  They even let him use his phone in a prohibited area.
Every woman's nightmare, the mammogram machine.  Thankfully for this procedure it is not cranked down all the way, just enough for the breast to be unmovable.

The wire went in the first try.  When they said don't move or we have to try again, I was very very still.  Evidently not everyone is. Incredible team for this procedure.

Then the wheel chair ride to pre op.  Why I suddenly wasn't allowed to walk I don't know. First all the clothes off and the lovely bulky paper gown on.

Isn't this a charming look?  I am a largish woman, and this bulky gown adds 25 pounds.
Lots of wires, needles, tubes. They are ready for any emergency.
Yes, I am telling Marty "DO NOT PUT THIS ON FACEBOOK!"  Of course he posted it. If I hadn't been tethered to an IV I would have ripped the camera out of his hands.  I look like I weigh 300 pounds here. And check out my tiny head.  Not my best look.  But look how handsome our son Erik is.  He rode his bike from work a couple of times to check on me. For you Corbin folks, he looks all Triplett when with Tripletts.  But with Appel men, all Appel.  The best of both worlds.
Guests are allowed in pre op.  It is another way to keep the patient calm.  I was sorta calm.  I was not tracking well, and when my surgeon came to check on me I asked him who he was.  A friend told me it was if I was already on the happy juice, yet I hadn't had anything.  I just was babbling so I couldn't think.  My family and friends kept laughing at me.
The care I received and the kindness to me and to Marty was wonderful.  Kaiser Permanente is a wonderful company to have for your health needs.  Thank you everyone on my surgical team. 
For some reason the comment section is not working.  So for Sue, the paw print on the gown is for the manufacturer  Bair Paws. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Tuesday, July 9, this is it

I check into the hospital at 6:45 A.M.PDT tomorrow.  I am really ticked at the early check in.  It is supposed to be an afternoon surgery.  That all got changed and I was bitchily told if that doesn't suit cancel and reschedule.  Of course that wasn't an option.  So we will leave the house at 5:45.  That will make me really rested before surgery. I go to bed at midnight. They won't need an anesthetic, I'll just fall asleep on my own.

At 8:30 the wire goes into the breast.  This will aid the surgeon in finding the tumor.  And the surgery is at 11:30.  So far I am fairly calm, the Margarita is helping.  Tomorrow I am sure I will be a nervous wreck.  I have had too many surgeries and they never get easier. 

I hope you will keep Marty, me, and the surgical team in your prayers, good thoughts.  When my head clears from the anesthetic, I will update. 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Would have been a rant

When I began blogging, I planned to write about weddings, school, and to rant.  I have a temper and sometimes I need to express it.  Writing seemed a safe way to tell people off.  Nobody was going to read the stuff I wrote.  Well it seems I do have readers.  Many readers don't sign up as followers or comment.  How do I know they read my blog, they LIKE me on Facebook, they tell me in person, or they tell Marty.  You all, that cuts down on my rants against idiots you may know.

This morning I was in tears over a very hurtful omission.  I blasted an email to the one in charge.  I was ready to tell all on Facebook and my blog.  Then I thought, no  I know too many people that would hurt. I know who screwed up and not the first time.  Sadly not for the last time either.  Why should I be surprised?  Still it was hurtful and I will not forgive or forget.

So having nice readers makes me be nicer on my blog.  Damn, I was all fired up to cuss and everything.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Visit Part 2

The heat wave continued, each day a little hotter.  Ann and Henry were such good sports and acted as if the heat was no big deal.  They kept saying but there is no humidity.  That is true, hot here is a little better than hot in the South.  But past 90, humidity does not factor in, hot is hot.

Tuesday we stayed home and read.  Marty worked during the morning and made it home for lunch.  I had cooked a spiral ham and we had sandwiches.  Miss Ann asked if she could have some of the leftover pulled pork instead.  We let her.

For supper we went to Sizzler for the Endless Salad Bar.  We are talking 50 items, such as Tacos, Nachos, three kinds of soup, spinach salad, Cesar salad,  pastas, seafood salad, corn and peas salad, and lots and lots of other salads.  Oh did I mention ice cream sundaes and banana pudding? Endless means finish your plate and a clean plate appears for another trip to the Salad Bar. They made no money on us. Best value for $10.99 ever.  

Wednesday Marty fixed breakfast,  we all got cleaned up and then we went out.  Where to you ask?  The San Leandro Library.  I checked out books to entertain me next week as I recuperate after my surgery.  The rest of them picked out 5 DVDs for us to watch that night and the next day.  

We came home and started watching a movie.  One hour and 40 minutes in, it stopped.  Marty worked and worked, it would not progress.  Great disappointment, it was a really good movie.  For dinner we met Erik and Jennifer at a Thai restaurant.  I was a little nervous eating there, the Health Department certificate was Conditional Pass.  The food was good and no one got sick, so all is well. 

On the Fourth of July we still had record heat.  Marty again fixed us breakfast and we had a lazy day.  We all napped, read, and played on our computers.  Marty made a tomatillo sauce that was excellent. I put out the guacamole and chips.  Marty also made Margaritas to go with the theme of the snacks.  We had an all American dinner, hamburgers.  Then the movie marathon began.   The last movie was so depressing we had to watch some recorded shows to perk us back up.

This morning we left for the airport at 7:00 in the fog.  Ann and Henry were going home.  They got to enjoy our cool weather for such a short time.  Yesterday dead air and hot as hell.  Today we have fog and wind.  That would be Bay Area weather.

We had such a fun time.  I love to have them visit.  They go with the flow, and this time that was really important.  Record breaking heat, a 1 bedroom apartment with 1 bath, no extra space to store their belongings, a blow up bed, just a few things my guests had to put up with.  Oh and the BART strike which limited some of the places we could have taken them.

As I have said, it was a great week.  Lots of laughing, remembering, great food and wine, and some new experiences together.  Can't wait for them to come back again. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Family Visit

My brother Henry Hall (Hank to the rest of the world) and his wife Ann arrived from Kentucky Saturday afternoon.  I love to have them visit.  We have so much fun and wine.  What follows is a little view into our fun so far.

We have eaten really well.

Marty gathering spices for the rub for pulled pork.

Rolling the pork butts in the spices.  Then they were wrapped in the plastic and set for a while.  Then they are slow cooked for nearly 24 hours.

The cooked meat being pulled, my job.  It was so yummy.
The weather is awful, record breaking heat.  We decide to go wine tasting and vodka tasting, cause we all know alcohol is so cooling, not. 
We head for Alameda an island city that will be cooler.  Also where the distillery and tasting rooms are.  First we taste at St. George Spirits.   We tasted lots of their products.

This is a flavor infused vodka, Buddha's hand.  Really yummy.
This is Absinthe which for close to a 100 years was banned in the USA.  It had a very bad reputation, addictive, could kill you, all kinds of bad stuff.  Not true.  It pours clear has a nice flavor, not my favorite though.  Then staff poured again and added ice . . .
it thickens and has a chemical change.  Very fun.
He then said he was going to pour their Bourbon and he was scared to have 4 Kentuckians taste.  He knew we expected more than the average public.

This is just a little fuzzy.  It is as if the camera knew how I was seeing the world at that point.  I am not a heavy drinker and a good tasting can give me a buzz.  We all 4 were amazed with how excellent this Bourbon is.  Marty compared it to Knob Creek.  For non Bourbon drinkers that is a high end Bourbon.
Then we were off to the wine tastings room.  First stop Rock Wall.  They have some nice wines and a beautiful facility.  We had a good time tasting and then had some appetizers sans alcohol so we could legally drive to the next tasting room.

This is what we saw as we were eating:  San Francisco and on the right the port of Oakland.  A huge container ship was coming in to be unloaded as another one was going out to sea.  From here we went to another wine tasting room.  Then home for grilled tritip.
Monday I went in to the Marriage Factory.  It was the first full day of being able to do same sex marriages.  They needed extra help.  Well they wasn't true.  BART (our major transportation system in the Bay Area) went out on strike.  The highways were at gridlock.  A normal drive of 45 minutes was taking 2 1/2 hours or more.  People could not get to us to be married.  ( Marty knows ways to get there that the rest of the world doesn't know) I was there but few were there to be married.  Disappointing for me, but things don't always go as planned.

This is Joe our guest blogger.  All dressed up and very little business.  He wants you to know that is not a clip on bow tie.  I saw him tie it.  It is real.  We told him he really looks distinguished.  He did more weddings than I did.  He speaks Spanish so does double duty. 
I was there from 8:10 until a little after 2:00 and only did 2 weddings ( recap another blog).  Marty, Henry, and Ann picked me up and we went to an Oakland institution.
Fenton's.   Can you say Hot Fudge Sundae?  This is a small.
Henry Hall is savoring the flavor.  We loved loved the sundaes. 


We are eating very well, went out for Vietnamese last night, wonderful!  Then some chocolate and wine.  Today the adventure continues, as does the heat wave.  At least at night the Bay breeze come in and we sleep under a blanket.  Stay tuned.