2010 News

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Mom remembered on Rose Parade float

Every January 1st, one of the most well-known parades is televised - Pasadena's Tournament of Roses Parade. 2010's theme winner was a float presented by DonateLife.org of which California has a chapter. Their float, " New Life Rises ", was built with each rose honoring and remembering a transplant donor or recipient.

DonateLife.org's Rose Parade float

Mom was honored by the Golden State Donor Services volunteer group, who support donor families through the donation process and of which she was a member. The video is of Mom's rose being dedicated and placed on the float.

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Bob's photos displayed at SBMC

Bob's photo display at Savings Bank of Mendocino County

Neither Bob, nor I, claim to be professional photographers, but Bob gets a lot of favorable comments on his photos. So much so that he was asked by Savings Bank of Mendocino County to put together a montage for display in the main branch. All his scenes were of various parts of Mendocino County, from Lake Mendocino to the vineyards and redwoods to the Pacific Ocean coastline. The overall photo doesn't do them justice, so I advise you to check out Bob's photos individually here.

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More leaves on the family tree

On January 20th, I received the first email from Ulf Haase inquiring about the Kuba-Pallasch family tree. I wasn't able to provide him much more information than was already posted on my website, but he on the other hand, was a wealth of information for me!

Ulf Haase and his family

To summarize the family ties, Ulf is the great-nephew of one of my paternal great-grandmothers, Olga Pallasch Kuba. His grandfather, Wilhelm, was Olga's brother...a brother that we didn't know of! Not only did Ulf make the connection for us, he provided many family details. Olga's biography page and the Pallasch family tree have been updated to include some of the family story. I cannot thank Ulf enough for bringing another part of my great-grandmother to life.

As I say on my family tree pages, "It is the sole purpose of each genealogy page is to share the information I have with others. I have only included my direct lines, though I do have additional information on other branches. Some of my personal lines are rather extensive. Should you see a name that fills in a "leaf" on your tree, please feel free to contact me." A number of people have emailed and shared familial connections or inquired about possible links to other parts of my family trees, so their purpose is fulfilled.

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The "Bear" of Low Gap park

Last summer, when we first realized the shaggy dog was a stray and was calling Low Gap park home, I recall thinking, "If the opportunity ever arises, that dog is coming home with me.". We weren't actively looking for a dog, let alone one so large, but the thought persisted anyway. I'd call him the bear of Low Gap park when we would make reference to him in conversation with other park regulars.

Months went by and we frequently saw the dog as we arrived for our weekend disc golf games. Its habit seemed to be to stay close to the tennis courts where kind-hearted folks had begun leaving bowls of dog food and fresh water. However, no one could approach the woolly animal. I'd talk to him, try to approach, but never tried to catch him forcibly. I knew if he was ever to consent to going home with someone, he'd first have to trust them.

Then the first of a string of strong storms rolled in during the month of January. It was cold, wet and windy for days on end. He started to come closer as we gathered with our buddies for our game and one Sunday morning, he allowed me to pet him. He then proceeded to follow our group to the first tee of the disc golf course, hanging out near the dog park.

Bear just moments after arriving at his new home

After two holes and realizing he was keeping his distance, but also keeping an eye on us, I made the connection that this was my opportunity. I wasn't really looking forward to a round of golf in the pouring rain anyway! I abandoned my game and headed back to the parking lot, talking to the "bear" and encouraging him to follow. He allowed me to continue petting him, but Bob and I hadn't brought an appropriate vehicle to try to entice him into. I reluctantly left to pick up my Jeep, some dog food and a collar, all the while knowing that I might not get another chance.

Bear looking for reassurance

I returned and was quickly greeted by the dog. I gave him food, which he ate within a foot of the open tailgate, and he even halfway jumped in, supporting himself on the edge with his hind legs still on the ground. But by the end of the guys' golf round, I still hadn't accomplished my goal - to get the dog into my truck. Again, I left, hoping I'd be able to make another attempt.

At home, I couldn't get the dog off my mind, I had to try again. So back into the weather and back to the park I went. Despite the conditions, there were still a number of regulars visiting the park. Most mentioned they were familiar with the dog, noted they had fed him and tried to capture him as well, but without success. All wished me luck, particularly the folks up the road whose chickens he had been catching. Two-and-one-half hours later, we were both soaked when the "bear" decided to take a chance and put his trust in me. I had stepped away from the Jeep momentarily, and when I turned back around, he had jumped in the back. I made a quick phone home to let Bob know we were coming home. As of January 24th, 2010, our dog, Bear, doesn't live at the park anymore.

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Super Bowl party

Kristi, Glenda, myself and Bob during Super Bowl

The NFL season starts with, "Are you ready for some football?". It ends for most with a huge bash for the Super Bowl. Our hosts, the Hills, were no exception.

They opened their home for their annual Super Bowl party to their regular group of 10 or so. It's been a tradition with these folks for nearly two decades. We're not talking just the chips and salsa snack table, but a sit-down gumbo dinner for 15! They go all out! This year, the "kids" - Kristi, Glenda, myself and Bob - were invited as well. We had a great time and I hope we'll be able to continue the tradition for years to come.

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Out for a Monday drive

Rainbows in the sprinklers

February 15th was a holiday for Bob and I so we took a drive through the Ukiah valley. In the early Spring-like weather, the mustard that grows among the vineyards was in full bloom.

We're so lucky to call this area home. Just another reminder of how fortunate we are to live in such natural beauty.

Mustard flowers Vineyards of mustard

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In memory of Mom

Gift of Life rose

We expanded our rose collection, adding the "Gift of Life" rose which we planted in remembrance of Mom. This rose was bred to honor families who donate their loved ones organs and tissues at the time of their death. One such family gave the "Gift of Life" to my mom in 1982. That gift gave Mom 27 wonderful years of life that she most likely would not have had without her kidney transplant. I'm thankful every day that we had those extra time with her because of someone's thoughtfulness in their own time of need.

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Mardi Gras Ukiah-style

Bob and Al at Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras in Ukiah is synonymous with the annual fundraiser for St. Mary's Catholic school. It should be considering this was the 41st annual event! It is widely attended by the community, no matter what their faith.

The theme was "A Weekend at the Olympics".

The Mardi Gras Olympic curling team

We enjoyed dinner and a great auction with friends while taking in the transformation of Carl Purdy Hall at the fairgrounds into a Winter wonderland and celebration of the Olympics. Volunteers got into the spirit to support Olympic events - including dressing as the U.S. curling team. I know that curling doesn't have a lot of following in America, but I'm pretty sure they don't use curling irons!

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Ice Bowl disc golf tournament

Another February, another Ice Bowl! The motto-ed, "No Wimps, No Whiners", Ice Bowl disc golf tournaments are held all over the nation to raise monies and donations for local food banks.

The gang - Benj, Trish, Trey, Tim, Brent and Ryan - readying for the tournament

This was our 2nd tourney and the whole gang - Benj, myself, Trey, Tim and Bob (not pictured) - signed up to participate and were joined by our two newbies, Brent and Ryan.

1st place

Unlike last year, I actually had a competitor in the Advanced Women's class. I won the category and am now the two-time Advanced Women's Ice Bowl champion. I scored a 14-over par in the tournament, but had scored a 6-over in the earlier morning round we had played. I guess I choked under pressure! Either way, it was enough to defend my title.

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In memory of my second Mom

Mother's Rose

I was blessed to have a mother-in-law whom I adored. In Pat's memory, our rose garden now includes "Mothers rose". Both my mom and my mother-in-law had rose gardens and it seemed fitting to remember them both with special roses in our own. My mom, Dee, with the "Gift of Life" rose and my mother-in-law, Pat, with the "Mothers rose". Losing them both last fall within 7 weeks of each other was devastating. Now, with these roses, I can remember them both, and the beauty they brought into my life, with each blooming.

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Bear's a celebrity!

After Bear joined the Beltrami family in January, we placed this poster around Low Gap park. We knew a number of people had looked out for him and that he would be missed. What we didn't know, is to what extent.

Bear's I found a home! poster

On March 21st, an article, "Just Another Dog Story", (written by Karen Rifkin) ran in the Ukiah Daily Journal, the local newspaper. In her commentary, Karen recounts her interactions with Bear while he lived at Low Gap and her relief in knowing that he had found a good home.

Since the article ran, we've been met at the park at our normal disc golf meeting hour numerous times by concerned folks who wanted to share their thanks and gratitude that we rescued him and made him a member of our family. What a great addition he's been!

Givin' lovin's to the mommy Going for the peanut buter in the kong

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