Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Hike

Some months ago, a very dear friend and famous COHS personality (COBOS) stopped by to visit while on her book signing tour. I took her for one of my favorite hikes in the hills above where I live. I figured this would be a quick hike and I would not bring a back pack therefore I would not need hiking boots. During the descent on the Eagles Nest Trail it was pretty steep and I gave Cobos tips on how to handle the steep grade.

We are about 3/4's the way down and the phone rings. I stop to answer it. The grade is very steep, and the ground is covered with Eucalyptus leaves and bark making it very slippery. I'm holding the phone and the water bottle and decide to switch hands. Keep in mind that I am standing still, I'm not hiking. All of a sudden, my left foot takes off sliding down the hill. Unfortunately, the right foot tried to stay behind, but ended up twisting over itself and getting crushed as I feel down full force on top of myself. The snapping and popping that I heard was not all bark and branches. I know call this infamous site "Bears Landing".

I ended up with a severely sprained ankle and a very sore Achilles heel. See the picture?

I was on crutches for months. Today I decided it was time to take back the trail. This time I wore proper hiking boots (smart), but went hiking alone (not smart) and used a walking stick (smart). It was just me, the fog and the cows. It was a great hike.

I finished the hike, my wife Carmen picked me up. We went over the Lakeridge Athletic Club for a shower (needed), and soak in the Jacuzzi and another shower. It was very relaxing, the trail is mine!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

New Year's Resolution 2010

Here are my resolutions for 2010:

Play in the COHS alumni waterpolo game.

Seeing more COHS friends.

Keep another 5-10 pounds off.

Get more active: Hiking or swimming.

Get more active: Helping other people.

Improve our financial situation (reduce debt)

Canning: Trade with more people that can; add to what I make: salsa, speghetti sauce, soup. Add to methods of canning such as freezing and using wax

Be More Green - this is way to general so I want to accomplish some of the following:

Plant a tree

Plant more vegetables: tomatoes, onions and garlic, ginger, herbs

Increase the number of LED lights in use.

Better composting

Let fruit we grow go to waste.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas Everyone

This year has had its up and down moments. We lost Tia (aunt) Leone just after she landed here to visit us from Peru. She worked hard all her life and was a very special member of our family.

The economy has been very tough for many and we are no exception, but my sister Becky bought a house in Hayward near Castro Valley. It even has a view of the bay.

Carmen got to accompany me on a business trip to Washington DC and had a wonderful time. We got to visit Amelia and her folks Sally and David Ames. Back home Lila broke her foot.

June arrived and Lila got her AA. It was a very proud moment for all of us. At this stage in her life, it seems like she has been in school forever.

The West Coast Bears had a family renuion at Nancy and Marks House/Winery in Sutter Creek. It was really nice. They produce a great wine. The weather was California beautiful and we got to spend time with family that we had not seen in quite some time.

I ended up going to Niagra Falls for work. The falls are spectacular, but I also enjoyed going to the Anchor bar, where Buffalo Wings were invented.

Carmen and I enjoyed a number of concerts: Van Morrison, Rod Stewart, Creedance Clearwater Revisited. Love that classic rock. During my work, I also got to see Kool & the Gang.

I went to Las Vegas to attend the opening of World Series of Poker. I got to spend time with our nephew Carlos who happened to be there with the airforce. Lila flew in the next day and we got to meet many of the famous poker players that we enjoy watching on TV. We also saw the Beatles Love show at the Mirage. What an amazing experience.

Ceci has been with the same boyfriend for over 4 years now. She is attending college studying to be a nurse. She is working at an animal care clinic and now we have four dogs. Four dogs. I never imagined that we would have four dogs. Did I mention that I have four dogs. We love Ceci despite having four dogs.

I had the privileged of officiating at the weddings of two dear couples: Gabriel and Melanie and Carl and Laurenne. It was a great honor and I wish them all many happy years.

I have always considered myself a swimmer and this year I experienced one of the great swimming experiences of my life. My friend Susie Norris invited me to go swimming at Hearst Castle. It is an amazing pool. No chlorine, perfect temperature not to mention how beautiful it is. Her husband and I were the only ones to be able to swim the length of the pool under water without coming up for air.

I had gone 25 years or more not seeing any of the people I went to school with, but this year I ended up in Southern California more than usual and held a series of lunches where I got to spend time with the people I grew up with. These events were very special to me. The highlight was the Chater Oak High School Alumni Waterpolo Match; something I will never forget.

There were two major visits of family from Peru. The first was very sad with the passing of Tia Leone. The second was in December and revolved around Edgardo's 90th birthday. Edgardo is Carmen's dad, and he doesn't look anywhere near 90. We are very fortunate that our children have grown up with their grandparents.

Our nephew Carlos Left for Korea where he will be stationed for one year, followed by three years in Okinowa. We hope to be able to visit him at least once. He will visit us once a year.

While the economy really sucked this year, our family has never been closer. We are grateful for all of our friends and family that have touched our lives. We wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

The Bears

P.S. We choose this method of sending Christmas Cards as what will likely be our last "Green" act of the year.

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

We usually set up the Christmas Tree and put up the Christmas lights in early December. This year we had family from Peru and while we (Ceci and her boy friend) put up the lights outside, there was not enough room to put up the tree.

About a week ago, everyone returned to Peru, but now both girls are working and school and it is almost to find a time when everyone was home together, so I finally decorated the tree. I used the Red and White LED lights as shown in the picture above.

Ceci got home and let it be known that she did not think very much of the Red and White lights. I get in the car and head on over to the Home Depot, but they only had White LED lights. As I was starting to leave the parking lot, I noticed Big Lots and decided to give it a try. I got their last four boxes of colored LED lights and you can see the difference in the picture of the tree below.

One thing I really like about the tree is that I did not use our standard ornaments. Instead most are one of a kind, or hand made ornaments. One of my favorites is the Bear ornaments made by hand by COBOS. There is one for each of the four Bears: Carmen, Lila, Ceci and me.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ed's Christmas/Birthday List

Here is my second annual Christmas/Birthday Wish List:

A Big Hug
Solar Garden Lights
Hat with built in solar powered fan
Kit that converts the top of the toilet into a sink
Rain barrel
2 Varieties of Blueberry Shrubs
Tesla Electric Car
World Peace