2004 News

What a year! Whew! 2004 was a very busy and mildly chaotic year for us, but stressful as it was at times, worth every minute. Bob and I bought a new home, organized our wedding and honeymoon, participated in lots of recreational and family activites and of course, worked full-time jobs (haven't won the lottery yet!).

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Winter, 2004

Day trippin'

Montgomery Woods, Ukiah, CA

2004 started out with plans to put Bob's house on the market and look for a home to call our own. A lot of our evenings and weekends were devoted to sprucing up the place for sale - caulking, painting, etc. We did take time out though to enjoy the mild winter weather and sunshine by taking day trips. One was to go hiking in Montgomery Woods (home of the world's tallest Redwood tree, though unmarked), pictured left. I find it so peaceful, quiet and somewhat mystical to be surrounded by these trees that have stood for generations.

Lake Mendocino Inlet, Ukiah, CA

Other day trips included kayaking the inlet to Lake Mendocino. I'm not a class 5 rapids kind of kayaker, I prefer to just meander, take in the scenery and relax. Though I do enjoy an occassional adrenaline rush. I began heading upstream for my 'adrenaline run', aiming for the final destination, through a natural channel created by the boulders.

Lake Mendocino Inlet, Ukiah, CA - Beginning the adrenaline run Lake Mendocino Inlet, Ukiah, CA - The final destination!

Late winter to early spring is best for this run as the water is deeper and faster due to mountain runoff. So far, it's about as daring as I get. We don't have standard, hard shell kayaks, but inflatables made by Stearns. Though very durable, sharp edges need to be looked out for.

I prepared for my approach, notice the extraordinary form. Word to the wise, from the now wiser: It's best to keep your feet IN the boat! Something about the stability factor. Oh, at that's not an illusion, the tip of my kayak is under the water. I successfully completed my run (though I did come VERY close to tipping) . Once finished, I promptly returned my borrowed share of the river.

Lake Mendocino Inlet, Ukiah, CA - The approach Lake Mendocino Inlet, Ukiah, CA - Another successful run!

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Disc golf

Low Gap Disc Golf Course - Hole# 1

Of course it is rare for us to be too busy, or the weather too bad, to take in our ritual pair of weekend rounds of disc golf. Disc golf is played on the same premise of regular golf, only instead of using clubs to hit a ball into a hole, it is played with discs (similar to frisbees) thrown towards a basket. I've certainly improved over the years, going from scoring 'girly-par' (one extra shot per hole), to scoring the standard 3 strokes per hole. I'm nowhere near going pro though! I average about 15-over-par, which I aim to improve over 2005. My local claim to fame is being one of the few women to ace a hole (aka hole-in-one) at Low Gap park, one of our local disc golf courses. The game's a lot of fun, challenging and you meet some great people. And it's good exercise with lots of walking/hiking over varied terrain. The hiking comes into play with those shots that go awry!

Low Gap park disc golf course - view from the 7th hole

Low Gap park also has some spectacular views of the Ukiah valley from up on the course. At left is the view from the 7th hole. We are lucky to live in an area in which there are many courses to play - Low Gap Park, Mendocino Community College, and Lake Mendocino in Ukiah, Highland Springs Reservoir in Lakeport, the KOA campground in Willits - just to name a few. For a list courses near you, go to PDGA's (Pro Disc Golf Association) course directory.

Low Gap Disc Golf Course - Teeing off Hole# 7 Low Gap Disc Golf Course - Putting on Hole# 13

Pictured are some the views from Low Gap's course. I'm teeing of of Hole# 7. This is one of the few holes I've birdied (or shot a 2 on a par 3 hole). You might be able to make out the red disc about halfway up the hill with the basket above it. Bob and I were joined by some other Low Gap regulars, Rich and Tim, as we make our putts on Hole# 13.

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Spring, 2004

Finding our dream home

Our new home - the entryway as we first saw it

In the spring, when we were ready to meet with our realtor, Beverly Sanders. We not only found our dream home on our first stop with her, we discovered that it was possible for us to become not only new homeowners, but keep Bob's house and become landlords as well! At right, is the entry as we first saw it. Beverly said I wasn't in the entry 10 seconds and she knew I had to have this house. And so the myriad of meetings with realtors, lenders, etc. began in earnest.

Our new home

Everything went very smoothly and we took ownership of our new home around Mother's Day. We were very fortunate to be able to continue to live in the 'old' house and do some prep on the 'new' house before moving in. We painted the interior, had the carpets cleaned and had hardwood floor installed in the dining/family room.

We converted the family room into our billards room. It made quite the contrast between the before and after.

The family room - before The family room - after

The yards are beautiful and a challenge at the same time. Bob and I are, admittedly, not blessed with green thumbs. The backyard is home to six fruit trees of which we had no idea of how to care for. When the 'crops came in', I re-learned how to can in a hurry! We've already signed up for an agriculture course at the local community college to learn how to prune them properly. Luckily, I enjoy yard work, but it can be a bit overwhelming at times.

The backyard The backyard and rear deck

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Home of the Oakland A's - Network Associates Coliseum The Oakland A's - warming up before a game

Spring and summer also means baseball. Bob and I took in 4 or 5 weekends of Friday-Saturday or Saturday-Sunday Oakland A's games at the Network Associates Coliseum through a portion of a season ticket holder's package. Though we didn't make the playoffs this year, we still had a great time rooting for the home team.

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Summer, 2004

Our wedding

Bob and I were just getting settled into the new house when the last minute planning for our wedding hit full force. We had about six weeks between our official move-in date and our wedding. Talk about feeling like you've bitten off more than you can chew! Thanks to good planning and wonderful help, everything went flawlessly.

Our wedding was held at the local Hampton Inn in Ukiah on July 10th with lots of family and friends in attendance. One of the highlights included having some of Bob's online racing buddies from Central California and Colorado - rather, our extended family - join us for the week. We were able to spend the last few days prior to the big day visiting and relaxing with them. Visit our online wedding album here.

The Best Man, Bride, Groom and Maid-of-Honor

Pictured are our Best Man, Ross; myself and my hubby, Bob; and our Maid-of-Honor, Helen.

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Jill takes her shot at bocce Bob studying his next bocce shot

During mid-summer, we participated in a Bocce league, playing at Hopland's Brutocao SchoolHouse Plaza. Our team was made up of ourselves, Mike and Jill G., and Mike and Susan S.. Thanks to Mike S.'s invitation, we had a great time! Bob and I were neophytes to the Italian game, but picked it up in no time. It was a great way to spend a summer evening and we enjoyed the time visiting with Bob's fellow Lions Club members and their wives. For more info on the game of bocce and court locations, go to www.ibocce.com.

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Autumn, 2004


The flags proudly waving in the breeze

Autumn of course brings to mind one thing - football! The two of us took another trip to the Coliseum to take in the Oakland Raiders vs. the San Diego Chargers in November. Though it was not to be one of our few victories, we still had a good time taking in the atmosphere and tailgating prior to the game. As you can see, Raiders fans are groomed young!

Jerry Porter makes a catch Raiders fans are groomed young

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Into the holiday season

Bob and Noni on Thanksgiving, 2004

November is also the beginning of the holiday season. This year, we joined Bob's family for Thanksgiving. It was a nice day filled with laughter, stories, great food and of course - football! At left, Bob and Noni pose for the camera.

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Honeymoon cruisin'

Rainbow over the Caribbean Sea

Since we had taken vacation time for the week before and after the wedding, we had decided to postpone our honeymoon until December and escape the dreary, Northern California skies to head to the Bahamas. The balmy 75-85 degree weather was just what the doctor ordered. We had a fabulous time. For more info and pictures from our cruise, click here.

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We returned from the Bahamas, tanned and rested, to celebrate an early Christmas with Bob's family. Bob's sister, Katy, wasn't able to travel over the holiday, so we gathered when she was able to fly in from Colorado. Pat (Bob's mom) and Bob pose for a holiday photo, while Hattie administers holiday kisses and Jacks searches for the ever-elusive crumb.

Pat, Bob and Hattie pose for a holiday photo Sam, proud of himself - he found his present!

For December 25th, we geared up to host our families. This time, both sets of parents were present, along with Bob's grandmother, 'Noni'. More laughter, more stories, lots and lots of food, and of course - football! Our cat, Samson, was feeling pretty proud of himself that he found his present - or maybe that look is attributed to the catnip that's inside!

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