2009 News

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Oakland Athletics game

Oakland Athletic Mark Ellis at bat

Bob and I caught our first baseball game of the season on July 1st. Our boys played a good game, winning over the Detroit Tigers 5-1 and taking 2 out of 3 games in the series.

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More chores at "home"

Mom's rose bushes

My mom was diagnosed with heart trouble in the spring and I've been trying to get down to Windsor once a week or so to help out with the chores that she can no longer do. One chore is to deadhead the rose bushes - not an easy task when there's nearly 50 plants! It's a lot of work, but they're so beautiful when in full bloom.

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And more chores at "home"

Our rental

Working as a consultant didn't pan out as the effects of the poor economy trickled down and failed to allow my client to provide the necessary hours to keep me afloat and leaving me, once again, essentially unemployed. The timing, however, was very convenient as it allowed me the time necessary to spruce up our rental house for new tenants. I spent the better part of July painting the interior, while Bob refinished the hardwood floors.

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HHS mini-reunion

HHS classmates - Sarah Bowers, Paul Downing, Teena King, Trish Kuba, Rich Brown, Sammy Lara

Our July mini-reunion was a BYOB&B (Bring Your Own Basket & Blanket) picnic at Lake Sonoma (Warm Springs Recreation Area). Half a dozen of us enjoyed sitting under the shade trees, enjoying a quiet summer afternoon reminiscing and catching up. At least it quiet until the water fight broke out among the kids!

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Southern California baseball

San Diego Padres

Bob and I, in our quest to visit each Major League Baseball stadium, traveled to Southern California to catch three games in three days at the end of July - the San Diego Padres, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Los Angeles Dodgers. We crammed in not only the games, but visits to Disneyland, Hollywood and the Santa Monica pier into our visit. Check out the photo album here.

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A night at the fair

Ferris Wheel Bombers' race

A warm summer evening in August and a small town fair equaled another night at the racetrack. We were able to catch the Bombers' series and a special event - trailer races. Each contestant has a trailer - of sorts - attached to their vehicle. The last man still running, and with their trailer intact, wins. It's a combination of a lap race and a demolition derby. Utter and complete mayhem guaranteed!

Trailer races Trailer races

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Back to work!

With the rental work now completed, I had to really put my efforts back into job-hunting. Unemployment benefits only go so far!

I returned to Savings Bank of Mendocino County with my pride swallowed and my tail tucked between my legs to inquire if the job they had offered me back in April (which I had turned down) was still open. It wasn't, but another Information Technology position was. On August 10th, I began my next career as a Technical Support Specialist.

Savings Bank of Mendocino County logo

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Mouth of the Navarro river

Bob and I realized we aren't taking out the kayaks as much as we used to, so we journeyed through Anderson Valley and drove along the Navarro river looking for spots to put in. Mid-August's water levels are terribly low and the options were slim. We do, however, have some ideas for putting in for next spring.

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Goodbye Mom

Four generations - 1970

Shirley Dee Kuba (nee Kendall) November 15, 1948 - August 29, 2009

Mom battled through many illnesses throughout her life. Born a preemie, she suffered eye problems due to the over-abundance of oxygen in her incubator. Later, when pregnant with my younger sister, she was diagnosed with kidney failure and endured 8 years of dialysis before receiving a kidney transplant it 1992.

The Kuba family - 1976 The Kuba family - 1992

Prior to the transplant, Mom had been warned to make the most of every day. She took that to heart and relished living life, knowing she might not see her daughters graduate from high school, get married, or have children.

Mom and I on my wedding day - 2004 Mom on the Golden Gate Bridge - 2006

She grabbed life the reins even more tightly after receiving the "Gift of Life". She did see us graduate, get married (one of us twice) and spent as much time as she could spoiling her two grandsons.

Mom volunteered with the Donate Life California program and was a member of the Kiwanis club of Windsor, serving as their secretary until her death. She was also able to travel, taking cruises to the Panama Canal, Hawaii and Alaska.

Going for the gusto!

But years of dialysis and anti-rejection drugs had taken their toll on her body and she was diagnosed with congestive heart failure in the spring of 2009. She wasn't afraid to die and she didn't want friends and family to remember her by her illnesses, but by the life she was able to enjoy. She considered the 27 extra years she was given with the transplant a gift and was so grateful. She taught me so much about not giving up, about making the most of every day and taking time to savor the little things in life.

Goodbye, Mom. I love you.

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Fabulous Flashback car show

Chrome glory

Another Autumn, another Fabulous Flashback Car Show hosted by the Early Iron of Ukiah car club. I always wanted to have a '57 Chevy Bel Air. In fact, it was the only car model I ever built. Just something about all that chrome...

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Getting a jump on my 40th

The girls...

I wanted to do something unexpected to celebrate my upcoming 40th birthday, so I contacted some friends and told them we were going to take a kid-free, significant other-free day to go to Great America. So Elizabeth, myself, Kelli, Gisele, Sarah, Kristine and Teena loaded up the cars and headed out!

Waiting for the tram Drop Zone Sarah and Patrick

The park was not crowded in the least and we were able to take in rides without much of a wait for any of them. We even managed to ride the Demon roller coaster twice in about 10 minutes! Riding it twice wasn't a question of if we were going to or not. Mom and I had talked about this trip and she made me promise that I would ride the Demon once for her.

The Demon The Grizzly

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Goin' back to the farm

Aerial view of the farm - July, 1999

It's not often you get the chance to go "home" again. I spent a lot of my childhood at my grandparents' home in Sebastopol. My dad had been driving by and noticed it was for sale. After contacting the realtor, she was gracious enough to allow us to come out a take a look.

The back of the house has had some remodeling done to the garage, but all-in-all, it wasn't very different from what I remembered. Grandma's contact paper shelf liners were still in the kitchen where I learned to cook and the Gravenstein apple trees from where her famous pies came from still grow out back.

The house now The Gravenstein trees are still there

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