On Death and Life

Per previous post, I was in Modesto, CA this weekend… the reason for my delayed Photo Phriday was that my sister and I went up to Modesto for my Aunt’s service.
We opted to go up on Thursday night (flying into San Jose) and spent the night with my Aunt Mary K and Uncle Bill. Cousin Jay flew in from New Jersey so the Simpson side of the family was well represented.

JUNE 11, 1921 – FEB. 18, 2008 Betty was a native of St. Paul, Minnesota and a resident of Modesto, age 86. She was interested in art and was an Artist herself, she was an avid reader and loved to travel. She is survived by her husband, Raidesel Vargas of Modesto; and her son, John Vargas of Sparks, Nevada. She was predeceased by her children, Nancy Lynn Vargas and Jeffrey L. Vargas. Visitation will be held from 3:00 P.M. – 6:00 P.M. Friday, Feb. 22 with Services, same day, 4:00 P.M., at McHenry Chapel-Franklin & Downs. Private committal at San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery. Remembrances may be made to Salvation Army, P.O. Box 1663, Modesto, CA 95353. www.modbee.com/obituaries
Published in the Modesto Bee on 2/21/2008.

I’m so glad we went up for the service, and that we were able to spend the day with my Uncle Ray– who’s nearly 90 and still as handsome as ever!! We used to visit them frequently, but it’s been a while. I even forgot that Uncle Ray and Aunt Betty were my godparents, until Uncle Ray told me that he and Betty wanted to adopt my sister and I after my mom passed way. The picture here was taken in front of their house in San Jose. I’m the sceptical blond in the front row.

They moved to Modesto 8 years ago! I had never seen this new house they bought (and you won’t either, I forgot my camera!) They turned one bedroom into a studio so my Aunt Betty could paint. I walked through the halls of my Aunt Betty’s house admiring her paintings and I came across a Family Photo wall. I recognized my Grandma and Granddad (Betty’s brother and sister-in-law), my great grandmother Simpson (Betty’s mother) and a photo I have never seen of my Great Great Grandparents Jay Ferris and his wife (name unknown at this moment).

As I stood there at the wall looking at pictures a woman came behind me and said, “La Familia.”

“Mi familia!” I said, turning to look at this dark haired, dark eyed woman a little older than me.

“Mi familia” she said.

“I guess we’re related then!” I learned that she calls my uncle Ray, “Uncle Red” because his name is Reidesel. She pointed out her mama, abuela, bisabuela los primos…. tio Red y su hermanos…

I came home with a tamale recipe that upon closer inspection calls for 12 pounds of meat. The Vargas family is much larger than the Simpsons!

Pray it forward

If you’re like me you go through the routine of your day. Maybe you start out with a latte at your favorite gourmet coffee stop on your way to work. Maybe you get ticked off at the guy who cut you off or the woman who is going too slow. In the fast lane.
You go to work. You have lunch with friends, run some errands on the way home, cook dinner, tinker around on the computer a bit then go to bed.
You start the whole thing over the next day.

And maybe somewhere in the routine of the day you come across a post on a blog by a woman who asks the question:

….what you would do if you had only 12 months left to live. What would be really important for you, the things that mean so much, that you would regret if you didn’t do them and left this planet soon….


As you read further you discover that this young woman, young mother, who’s name Jen is similar to your own but she has only one ‘n’, is asking the question because she has an agressive form of colon cancer.

Maybe that gets you to thinking about what really IS important.

You wonder what WOULD you do. Or maybe you just DO.

Not even for Obama

I got all excited about Obama and signed up for the email list. They send a lot of emails. That I delete. Usually without reading. This one caught my eye, however, because of the subject line

Come to Texas for Barack

So I read:

Barack Obama LogoDear Friend,

My name is Mitch Stewart, and I’m the Texas Field Director for the Obama campaign.

Barack’s won the last eight primaries and caucuses decisively, and we’re heading into the next set of contests with a lot of momentum. But the race for the Democratic nomination is still extremely close.

The March 4th primary in Texas is the single biggest remaining contest, and we need supporters across the country to get involved.

Sign up to take a trip to Texas before March 4th and help Get Out The Vote for Barack

With all due respect to my good friend Julie, and her fine family whom I have met and who graciously hosted me in Winnsboro, Texas… can I just say, I am NOT a fan of Texas. I won’t be going. Not even for Obama.

Y’all feel free to sign up and go to Texas. It’s a lovely place with big trucks and guns and oil and republicans…. Obama is surely going to need the support.

Twofer Tuesday

A follow up to Monday’s post about the passport, and today’s second post. This Twofer Tuesday may be another new feature of my blog.
Or not.
We’ll see.

Anyway, I let my passport lapse. I had kept an up-to-date passport for many years. And I used it. But the last few years I have not done much travel. In fact, I think the last time I left the country with my passport was 1993 when I went to Argentina as part of a Group Study Exchange Program sponsored by Rotary International. (That’s where I met Martjavascript:void(0)
Publish Postin aka Eebie

Anyway, my passport expired and I had no travel plans, so I didn’t bother updating it.

However, since new law sort of went into effect regarding travel to Mexico I realized I couldn’t even leave to head down to Rosarito for Lobster lunch!

So last Saturday I went down to the post office (I had to have an appointment) and applied for my passport. For details on how to apply for a passport, or to find a post office or other facility near you, check out the Passport office online.

And even though the passport office says it will take 4-6 weeks to process, I got mine in 9 days. And I didn’t expedite it!

So, I can only conclude that They want me outta here! or the post office guy likes me (he is kinda cute, I think I may have some more packages to mail)

…. what would you do? book a flight outta here? or go mail a package?

Google Girl Strikes Again

At work I’m known as Google girl. Well, I’ve found a new google tool, Google Gadgets. Lots of fun ones, like:


and my personal fave: