2008 News

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New website layout unveiled

Back in 2004, I developed an interest in website design. My husband, Bob, had a personal website BobBeltrami.com and I was intrigued by the idea of posting my own online. So, with his tutoring, I began piggy-backing on his website as www.Trish.BobBeltrami.com (now defunct).

Web design - generation 1

I'd envisioned creating a sand dune background with old, weathered signs as navigation buttons. Due to my very limited knowledge, it didn't come to fruition as I'd hoped.

Web design - generation 3

The next generation moved to old English-styled scrollwork signs as page title banners and navigation aids. However, I soon learned all these images took a lot of time to create, maintain and to download when my website was accessed.

Web design - generation 4

After taking a web design class in the fall of 2005, I graduated to hosting my own domain, TrishBeltrami.com. In early 2006, another layout was introduced. Gone were the cumbersome signs and instead were neat and simple button images and a filmstrip of pertinent photos for each page's banner. During this time, I learned to validate my XHTML and CSS coding to 3WC's standards. These standards ensure proper coding language use with Internet browsers.

Web design - generation 5

Ever eager to expand my knowledge and to further personalize my website, I began converting to the current layout. TrishBeltrami.com is a primarily narrated photo montage, so the cameras as navigation button enhancements, the filmstrip banners and the background image of negatives help convey that and tie it all together. It also required a lot of new coding tricks to learn!

I plan on taking another web design course this summer, along with a program scripting class. Who knows what layout may be conceived of next!

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Relish Culinary class with John Ash

From the Earth to the Table - by John Ash

On Sunday, April 20th, I attended my second culinary class from Relish Culinary School. This event was titled, 'Shrimp Around the World' and was taught by Chef John Ash. John's menu included a New World Shrimp Cocktail, Malaysian Coconut Curry Soup with Shrimp, and Shrimp with Pear Vinegar Cream and Braised Spinach. His dessert for the four-course lunch wasn't shrimp-based, but the Orange Crepes with a Ginger Custard Sauce was so good it had to be sinful!

Relish's new premises (14 Matheson Street, Healdsburg) were a perfect setting for the intimate demostration class. With only 14 class members, we were able to really speak with John and delve more into his background and insprations. And we certainly dove into his scrumptious plates of food!

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New patio project - part 1

In our continuing quest to rid ourselves of the monumental amount of lawn in our front and back yards (and thus lowering our watering bills and irrigation nightmares!), Bob and I embarked on another landscaping project in late April. First we decided on a paver patio concept design. This was followed by the removal of approximately 350 square feet of lawn. Next will come the leveling of the area and the laying of the pavers to create our new patio.

Bob clearing patio area of grass Cleared area

The area is nearly always shaded in the spring and summer by the centered plum tree. We envision shrubbery along the fence line and lots of potted plants to fill it in. Our hope is that it goes from an unused portion of the yard to one where we can sit back and enjoy the rest of the landscape.

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Relay For Life community kickoff - Willits

Survivors' quilt

May 3rd found about six of our Relay for Life volunteers in Willits to continue to kick off the event. We raised more money for the American Cancer Society and spoke to a number of passers-by about the Relay. We also met more cancer survivors and asked them to add their signatures to the Cancer Survivor Quilt (pictured).

Our Relay for Life event covers a large geographical area - Inland Mendocino County, whereas most Relays are held per town. Inland Mendocino County includes the Anderson Valley corridor, Hopland, Ukiah, Redwood and Potter Valleys and Willits. All these communities are supported by our local American Cancer Society.

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21st Annual Mendocino Mustangs car show

Gina - our 2005 Mustang GT

The following weekend, on May 10th, we took Gina (our 2005 Mustang GT) for her annual trek to the local Mustang show, held in the Pear Tree shopping center in Ukiah. The event is an annual fundraiser for the Mendocino Mustangs car club and showcases only Mustangs - from the 1960's to current.

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Mother's Day

Mother's day dessert

Both my parents and my in-laws were able to join us for lunch on Mother's Day and enjoy our almost-completed patio (see below for more on that project). We treated them to light, but elegant fare consisting of champagne with strawberries, crab and artichoke bruschetta, grilled wild Alaskan salmon, grilled asparagus, corn and cucumber and tomato salad (menu to come soon - check the menus and recipes pages). Last, but not least, we had strawberries and chocolate mousse for dessert (pictured left).

The ladies protested that it was too much, but when you appreciate them as much as I do, it's a labor of love and worth ever ounce of effort.

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Patio project - finished!

Patio under construction

In our spare time, Bob and I continued to work on the new patio. Scores of wheelbarrow trips from the driveway to the backyard and hundreds of pavers later, we finally completed the project in mid-May. To see the completed work and peruse the details, visit the patio photo album.

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Vacation to Colorado

Pikes Peak from Garden of the Gods

During the last week of May, Bob and I traveled to Colorado Springs, Colorado, to do some sightseeing and visit with our Colorado members of MountainWest Motorsports, our online racing team. Joinus on our vacation by visiting the Colorado photo album

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Long-lost friend found!

Many, many moons ago (in the early 90's), I frequented a neighborhood bar in Santa Rosa called Anthony's. And there is where I met Starla. We became fast friends, and looking a lot alike in those days, convinced many of the regular patrons that we were sisters.

Life stepped in - I got married and Starla moved to Arizona - and we lost touch. About 5 years ago, I saw an article in the local newspaper highlighting ladies moving back into the work force with the help of a company in Petaluma and Starla was pictured along with the article. But alas, I still was unable to track her down.

Trish and Starla

Fast forward to 2008. Surfing Classmates.com, I did a search for Starla as I occasionally do - and found her! Not knowing if her account allowed her to receive emails, I sent her one, hopeful I would get a reply. Within a few days, I heard back from her. She was back in Santa Rosa and we made arrangements to meet for lunch.

On May 29th, Starla and I saw each other again for the first time in twelve years. We lunched and we shopped. It was as if we'd seen each other just yesterday, we clicked again as if not a moment had passed. I'm so thankful my 'sis' is back in my life!

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Saying good-bye to Sam

We met at the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter when I was in my early twenties. He was big, strong and handsome two-year-old. Over the next 17 years, my 'Love-Bug' and I would share a very special relationship until he passed away from natural causes at age 19 on June 8th.


Sam was the epitome of the brute kitty on the block, and in his younger days, visited the veternarian's office many times after proving his alpha-male status to another neighborhood cat. During those times, Sammers and I developed two rituals. The first occurred during his many cat fights. I would simply have to say, 'OK, Sam, he's had enough. Let him go.'. At that, Sam would cease fighting, look back at the other cat as if to say, 'I'd kick your butt, but my mommy's calling me.', and saunter my way.

The second was during our rides to the vet. Sam never rode in a cat carrier - he was too big at 19 pounds - so he rode on my lap. It didn't take too many scrapes for him to make the connection that a car ride usually meant the vet and freedom from the pain of his various wounds. He'd be bleeding or have an infection from hidden wounds, and he'd be purring as we drove to the animal hospital.

Sam and Skittles Sam and the BBQ grate Sam napping in the backyard

When we moved from Santa Rosa to Ukiah in 2003, Sam left his bruising ways behind and settled nicely into retirement, concentrating on eating and sleeping. I began working from home, so the Bug and I had many hours of quality time together. His favorite napping place became the desktop between my body and the keyboard as I sat at the computer. I'd bend down to give him a kiss on the head, he'd return the love with a lick on my forehead.

Sam's tongue was a huge part of his life. He used it to exert his alpha-male status over the other three cats by licking their heads, give us kisses (maybe alpha-male over us as well?), and when the opportunity presented itself, to clean off the BBQ grate.

Sam waking from a nap on his 'binkie' Another go at the BBQ grate One of my last shots of Sam

Sam-cat was a unique personality, atypical of the normal aloof cat behaviors. He would show his content with head-rubs, kneading biscuits with his huge paws, and when really happy, by drooling. I'm going to miss the love nuggles. I'm going to miss you, Love-Bug.

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Relay For Life - Inland Mendocino County

Relay For Life - Inland Mendocino County

Inland Mendocino County's 11th annual Relay for Life was held the weekend of June 21-22 at Eagle Peak Middle School in Redwood Valley. As always, the event itself was a huge success and allowed our community to Celebrate our cancer survivors, Remember those we've lost to the disease and pledge to Fight Back! in the year to come against cancer.

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Relay For Life - Healdsburg

Relay For Life - Healdsburg

Coincidentally, the city of Healdsburg was holding their Relay for Life event the same weekend as Inland Mendocino County's. Though I was Event Chair for Inland Mendocino's event, I was also a team member of the HHS Class of '87's team in Healdsburg. I was lucky enough to be able to travel down during the early afternoon and spend time with my class/teammates all while supporting a worthy cause.

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Northern California wildfires

Sunrise during wildfires

The weekend of June 21-22 would become notable for a reason provided by Mother Nature. A thunderstorm storm of historical proportions sparked 131 fires in Mendocino County. In the coming weeks, the Ukiah Valley was filled with smoke and ash. Our sunrises were reminiscent of a blood orange rising from the horizon.

When the fires were 100% contained in mid-July, they had burned over 54,000 acres. Thanks to over 1900 fire personnel, only 1 outbuilding and 1 residence was lost. A grateful THANK YOU goes out to all those who put their lives on the line in our safety's name.

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