Monday, May 31, 2010

Three decades plus six

And on my wedding day, my Dad said it would never last. Oh yeah! Well, OK, so Alan and I had only known each other for six weeks! But we proved to Dad that we could make it last - wish he was still around to know that we are still married! On May 25, Alan and I celebrated 36 years of wedded bliss. So what did we do? We visited a winery and got drunk, well I did - Alan said he didn't. I'm not sure about that, because he was really happy buying those nice bottles of wine. For our birthday gifts, Andrew and Mike gave us a private wine tasting at the Leonesse Cellars in Temecula. The tasting included speciality cheeses and chocolates served with seven excellent wines with a really cute guy who presented the wines. To know more about the winery go to:

Read this!

I am currently reading a wonderful book, a novel - who knew? It's called "The Help," by Kathryn Stockett. So that I don't have to reinvent the wheel here is what Publishers Weekly writes: "...set during the civil rights movement in Jackson, Miss., where black women were trusted to raise white children but not to polish the household silver. Eugenia Skeeter Phelan is just home from college in 1962, and, anxious to become a writer, is advised to hone her chops by writing about what disturbs you. The budding social activist begins to collect the stories of the black women on whom the country club sets relies and mistrusts enlisting the help of Aibileen, a maid who's raised 17 children, and Aibileen's best friend Minny, who's found herself unemployed more than a few times after mouthing off to her white employers. The book Skeeter puts together based on their stories is scathing and shocking, bringing pride and hope to the black community, while giving Skeeter the courage to break down her personal boundaries and pursue her dreams." Fabulous read!

Southern California Word Weavers

During the summer months I am holding a memoir writing class. It's held on Tuesday evenings from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Pain du Monde, a coffee shop on the corner of Niguel Road and Ritz Carlton Drive on Pacific Coast Highway, Dana Point (near the Ritz-Carlton). When it's cold, we meet inside, otherwise we sit outside. On alternate Tuesdays everyone reads their work and we critique, on the other Tuesdays I teach you how to write the story of your life. I also take home everyone's work so that I can further edit and proofread, returning material the following week. Please feel free to join us. The cost is $10 each Tuesday. If you have any questions about our group and want to join us, just e-mail me at

Our next writing prompt is: "All the other kids had... but I didn't."

At the movies

This past week I have seen two really great movies: "Letters from Juliet," and "Sex and the City 2," (much better and way more hilarious than the first one). Don't miss them - fabulous entertainment. You won't believe it when you see the fabulous Liza Minnelli kick up her heels in a song and dance, in the "Sex and the City" movie - wonderful! Warning: These are chick flicks, so you might want to leave the male at home. However, I heard the gays loved it. For movie times and theater, go to

Monday, May 24, 2010

There's a doctor in the house

Congratulations to our son-in-law, Michael Jason Virata, who graduated on May 23 from San Diego State University and UCSD with a Ph.D. in biology.

“Dr. Mike” as he is now known in the family or as his brother Marc says, “We only need to call him that in public,” also has two master’s degrees. We are so proud of Mike. Now we can say, “Our son married a doctor.”

We are also pleased that Dr. Mike is gainfully employed and has a new car!

Photos of Michael's graduation:
(1) Michael with his parents, brother, niece, aunt and uncle and his husband Andrew
(2) Michael looking cool on stage
(3) Ben, Andrew and I holding what we may never have – a Ph.D. diploma - but then life is uncertain and always an adventure
(4) Michael and Andrew, so happy now that Michael no longer has to study every evening, weekend, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day….

(5) Michael showing his true colors

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Remembering Laurel Burch

Darrolyn and I have for years shared the joy in shopping for and wearing the designs of Laurel Burch. We love the colorful art; it makes us smile. Last year when we learned that Laurel Burch had passed away, we dressed in the artist’s finery - shirts, socks, purses, earrings, scarves - and had our own memory service while having lunch. We also sent condolences to her family. This year they asked that those who had sent notes to the family, to please this year honor their mother’s spirit by sending photos wearing her designs. They would post them on Mother’s Day on their web site. So Alan took a photo of Darrolyn and I wearing our Laurel Burch stash and we sent it in. We are on the web site, quite a ways into the slide show. Anyway above is the photo we sent in.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Magical Mother's Day

As in the past four plus decades, last Mother’s Day I wondered and I wondered if I would ever hear the voice of my oldest child. Would I ever meet her, touch her, hold her? Would she want to meet me? How would her siblings react in knowing that they had an older sister? This Mother’s Day I don’t have to wonder, the Universe has taken care of everything and our reunion has been whole, complete and perfect.

Today I received a card in the mail, a Mother’s Day card, from Marilyn. I feel so blessed that I know her and that I have held her, my beautiful daughter. Her wonderful three brothers and sister are also over the moon to know and love her. I am so grateful for the support of my children. Our family circle is now complete. This is a different Mother’s Day for me – one with an abundance of thanksgiving; I am finally at peace.

One of many favorite memories this past year is the time when all of us were sitting around the family room talking and Juli said, “Can you believe it, in this group of five kids, there have been three fathers.” I almost croaked, so embarrassing. Then Marilyn piped up and said, “I just want to know who my father is.” Such ungrateful children, but I love them all equally and fully. This is the perfect Mother’s Day weekend!

For all you mom’s out there, on Mother’s Day celebrate, kick back and take it easy. And just think in another 364 days, you’ll get to do it again. (I stole this from Hallmark.) Happy Mom's Day!