Thursday, November 15, 2018

Mother’s Day 2018

I do not know how to start this blog. Heidi, Bill, Neal and Paul made my Mother’s day very special. My son Steven called from England. Rodmond came a week later to celebrate his Birthday and Mother’s Day. Walter forgot about his Mother, not intentionally I am sure. Now it is the end of June and it’s time I put up a new blog, it has been over a year!

It has been a chaotic time since Mother's Day. Heidi and Bill lost their home as the owner decided he had to sell. Heidi managed the house for 20 years. It has an apartment upstairs. Dealing with tenants and the upkeep of this beachfront home was a high maintenance job. We all loved that house. Over the 20 years and before that, one Holland or another lived in that house. I even rented the apartment upstairs at one point and lived there for almost 3 years. The water view was tremendous. At the time, I worked at the Santa Cruz Dream Inn as Director of Food & Beverage.

Now I live in Sonoma County, I have been here for 20 years. Hard to believe. My town is in the middle of wineries hills with a lake 12 miles from here. The Pacific Ocean is about 20 miles away. It all is easy to visit, especially when you get house guests from Europe and across the nation. Over the years my apartment has evolved with updates. Needless to say, I love where I live. My neighbors and land lady are rare finds.

One son, Neal, lives in town. He bought himself a one- bedroom trailer home. Rents are so high he decided why not own something you can afford? And voila, he did it. The rest of the gang is scattered over California, the country and the UK.

Rod visits every two to three months, so does Heidi and Bill. I never am alone to long to get lonely. Friends and I entertain each other. As you all know, cooking is my thing but I have to say that over the last two years it has become more of chore instead of fun. Health issues get the best of me when I am to long standing in the kitchen, chopping and cooking. Clean up is the worst. I guess at almost 83 one can expect that, ha, ha.

August 20, 2018

This computer frustrates me. I want to put the date in bold and it won’t let me do that or I can’t figure it out, it is so annoying. In the meantime I had a Birthday - so did Heidi and Neal. July 29th Kurt passed on 19 years ago, and August 23 is approaching: it will be 42 years since I became a widow. Raising my seven children was no picnic but we all made it through those unsettling first few years. My children became adults and took their lives into their own hands. Marriages, grandkids, divorces and death are all part of the big picture.

 Living in California is scary right now, wildfires all around us and no telling where it will hit next. I am grateful to live here and being safe so far is good. Last year we were on evacuation alert, this year the fires are further up north and down in Southern California. Climate change has a lot to do with the weather pattern all over the world. We the people need to be more aware and vigilant to turn this around. The fire infernos remind me of World War II and it is not a good reminder. All this creates anxiety and a lot of sadness. So many homeless people and now we need to add all the families who lost their home in those fires. All we can do is have faith that we all will survive. My family in Germany, including me, did. I never thought I would see such devastation again.

Today is August 23: it is full of good and sad memories. I have to think of a closing for this blog and add a heartwarming recipe and pictures of the way we were.

Well as of today November 15th I am still struggling with an ending. I do want to thank all the First Responders who are now in Butte County and down in Southern California. Keep praying for a lot of rain.


Cheesy Mushroom Bread Pudding

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
10 ounces packaged cremini mushrooms sliced
2 cloves of garlic, pressed
1 teaspoon fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried (not powdered)
Salt and pepper to taste
6 large eggs
2 cups milk
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
½ baguette, cut into ½ inch cubes
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350*

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are browned, 8 to 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk 2 tablespoons parmesan, and salt to taste. Stir in the bread cubes and let soak for 10 minutes.  
Stir in the mushroom mixture and the mozzarella. Transfer to a greased 1/ ½ quart baking dish; sprinkle the remaining parmesan on top. 
Bake until golden, about 45 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Makes 4 servings

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