Saturday, January 31, 2009

I Can't Wrap My Head Around It . . .

The days pass so quickly and I am overwhelmed when I look around the house and know I MUST get rid of almost everything within the next year and a half. I know we will do it, but it's painful and scary and impossible at the moment. After nearly 39 years together and all the homes we've enjoyed this one ends up being the last one. My friend told me tonight when she looked in my craft closet, "you can't move, look at all this stuff. Where will you put it?" And I just don't know. See - I don't intend on giving up my crafting hobbies at all, and I need all that 'stuff'. And I'll miss our lovely veggie garden so much, not to mention all the bulbs, bushes and flowers. My roses, oh my lovely roses. Oh - and the fruit trees that have provided shade, beauty and delicious fruits. I think I am beginning the mourning phase of the great loss that not living here will bring. I know we can be happy anywhere we are as long as we're together, but that's not the point. This home has sheltered so many people. Not just our family and grandchildren, but friends and acquaintances. Famous folks and regular every day people. I truly regret that it has become a burden to us now. I can only pray a nice family will be able to move here and have lots of fun with their children and grandchildren, just like us. Did I mention I'll miss George? Oh, you don't know him. He's our very fine and well-mannered ghost. I named him George years ago until I found out who he was. He is Marceline Eyraud, the man who built this home for his family more than a hundred years ago. He was born in 1869 in France. He came to the United States in the 1880's knowing the wine producing business. He didn't become a vintner though, he opened two large saloons in the old old city of Los Angeles, near 7th and Alameda. He and his wife built this house for their family and enjoyed it until they passed away in the 1940's. Their influence is all throughout this house. From the fabulous French kitchen to the spacious third floor great room. Mrs. Eyraud was a very religious woman, a devout Catholic. She had all the cupboards in the house built with a cross motif in each one. When we first moved here the children named the linen closets on the mezzanine 'the confessional'. They are crafted to look like the doors on a confessional, this theme is repeated in the big kitchen and the butler's pantry. I have felt the influence of this remarkable, strong and valiant woman who crossed the pond to rear her children in the greatest country in all the world. Her two youngest daughters lived together here until their deaths. The other children all moved out and built their own homes. There are no living descendants of the Eyraud family that are known. I have researched them all and have not found any. I truly wish some of them were still around. I'd have lots of questions for them. Perhaps in another time and place we will join with them and discuss "our home".

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Eli's Blessing Day

When we are young we are so busy being parents we forget to take in the blessings of family on a daily basis. I really believe that's why we're allowed to be grand parents and great-grandparents.

As I watched Tony bless and name Eli (our sixth great-grandchild) descriptive words of the moment failed me, because my heart was full to bursting.

That was November 3, 2008. Two months have passed and I've been able to put things more in perspective. At the time I was very ill and was to have had major surgery that very weekend, but because we had scheduled the blessing for that weekend I had to postpone it - not that I was excited about having the surgery either, but because that was the only day everyone in the family could come for the blessing.

The ceremony at church was beautiful and the words Tony spoke over the baby were unforgetable. The Spirit was so strong. After church we all went to our home for a post-blessing family dinner. I had prepared ham (a HUGE one), potato, macaroni and green salads. And Elisa had provided the cake, which was gorgeous. I'll try and post pictures of the food later. We had invited some very special, important people to our family and were enjoying ourselves immensely, catching up on everyone's life, when through the front door came our daughter Audrey and her daughters Jackie and Joscelyn and Jackie's two small boys (two of our great-grandchildren). You could have knocked everyone in the house over with a feather. We had not seen Audrey for 16 years. Jackie and found me on the internet via Classmates.com. She said she was looking for anyone who knew her mother in high school. I answered her back and told her I was her grandmother and had been looking for them for years. Then I told our daughter, Elisa that I had found Audrey - and she came to California from Utah to bring Lauren back to USC for the school year. Then Elisa and Lauren went out to Valencia and found Audrey and told her about the upcoming blessing and that we wanted them to come. And they did. We had a wonderful re-union and I cannot tell you how grateful I am for the internet and for Classmates.com! Hopefully we will remain connected from now on. I will never take my children for granted again. When I think that after my surgery I came close to leaving this old world then I am so dedicated to keeping my family together from now on. May God bless us all in that effort.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Vargas Family November 2, 2008

Monday, January 5, 2009

Seasonal Calendar

Here's a great calendar so you'll know what to buy in what months of the year. You can access the way cool web site with all this kind of info on it by clicking on the word 'Seasonal' above. --Susan

Seasonal Sales Calendar 2009

January - New Years, Chinese New Year, Super Bowl Sales, Harmons Case Lot
Grocery Sales – Turkey, apples, grapefruit, oranges, and pears, breakfast cereal, canned chili, soups, dry bouillon, prepared meals, teriyaki and soy sauce, oriental noodles
Seasonal Sales – Winter clothing & accessories, winter boots & shoes, white sales, Christmas clearance, furniture, computers, storage containers, organizers, shelf organizers, planners, filing cabinets, CDs and DVDs, cookware, treadmills and other exercise equipment

February - Valentine's & President's Day Sales, Case Lot Sales (checking on dates)
Grocery Sales – Post Valentine’s Day candy, apples, grapefruit, oranges, pears, breakfast cereal, canned chili, Case lot sales (canned soups, fruit, vegetables, beans, meats, stew, honey, jelly, mac & cheese, Spam, hand grain mill, etc.), eggs, ham, paper products
Seasonal Sales – Winter coats, furniture, mattresses, snow blowers, digital cameras, DVD players, humidifiers

March - National Frozen Food Month
Grocery Sales – National Frozen Food Month (frozen vegetables, meats, breakfast items, and TV dinners)
Seasonal Sales – Spring cleaning supplies, garden supplies, spring clothing & shoes, luggage, infant clothing, winter sports clearance, computers, TV's

April - National Garden Month, Easter
Grocery Sales – Eggs, ham, marshmallows, broccoli, and cauliflower
Seasonal Sales – Spring clothing, men’s suits/ties, Easter dresses, paint, digital cameras

May - Cinco De Mayo, Mother's Day, Memorial Day
Grocery Sales – Hamburgers, hot dogs, ribs, buns, asparagus, pineapple, BBQ sauce, ketchup, mustard, frozen veggies, baked beans, paper goods, olives, taco sauce, enchilada sauce
Seasonal Sales – Athletic shoes & clothes, tires, home maintenance, white sales, women’s undergarments, sunscreens, bug spray, cordless phones

June - National Safety Month, Father's Day
Grocery Sales – Bottled water, dairy products, tomatoes, croutons, salad dressing, Gatorade powder, lemonade powder
Seasonal Sales – Summer clothing, dresses, summer sports gear, men's clothing, refrigerators, fabrics, building materials (wood for food storage shelves), computers, canning supplies, insect repellent, sunscreen

July - Canning Month, 4th of July
Grocery Sales – Bottled water, ketchup, BBQ sauce, steak sauce, mustard, croutons, salad dressing, mayonnaise, pickles, relish, hot dogs, ground beef, Jell-O, beef steaks, chicken, paper supplies, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, corn, cherries, squash, watermelons, cantaloupes, tomatoes, plums, peaches, and nectarines, Gatorade powder, lemonade powder
Seasonal Sales – Summer clothing clearance, shoes, camping equipment, hiking boots, used cars, air conditioners, fuel oil, summer sports equipment, carpet, radios, summer sports equipment, craft supplies, computers

August - Back to School Sales
Grocery Sales – Squash, green peppers, salad fixings, berries, apples, melons, peaches, apricots, and fresh fish, juice
Seasonal Sales – Camping equipment, barbecues, patio supplies, school supplies, new car clearance, lawn mowers, sprinklers, yard tools, school clothes, back to school, swim suits, computers

September - National Emergency Preparedness Month & Case Lot Sales
Grocery Sales – Case lot sales (canned soups, fruit, vegetables, beans, meats, stew, honey, jelly, mac. & cheese, Spam, Ravioli's, Spaghettios, hand grain mill, etc.), apples, broccoli, cauliflower, school snacks, Capri suns, fruit snacks, cereal, peanut butter/jelly, bottled spaghetti sauce
Seasonal Sales – Camping equipment, gas grills, gardening supplies clearance, bicycles, car parts, children’s clothes

October - National Fire Prevention Month, Halloween
Grocery Sales – Vegetable and other oils, canned pumpkins, cranberries, grapes, oranges, sweet potatoes, and yams, instant potatoes, stuffing, canned cranberries, marshmallows, ice cream, pie shells, whipped cream, crackers, candy making supplies, nuts, choc. chips, frozen pizza, corn syrup, soup mixes
Seasonal Sales – Gas grills, winter coats, school clothes clearance, hosiery, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, fire escape ladders, glow sticks

November - Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Sales
Grocery Sales – canned cranberries, canned pumpkin, stuffing, olives, whipping cream, cool whip, frozen vegetables, fresh cranberries (freeze for later), cream cheese, chicken broth, turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, yams, and post-Halloween bags of candy, condensed milk, cake mix, frosting, brownie mix, cooking spray, pie filling
Seasonal Sales – Coats, boots, gloves, quilts, blankets, heating devices, baby blankets, water heaters, appliances, men’s/boy’s suits, Thanksgiving week sales

December - Christmas Sales
Grocery Sales – Candy making supplies, flour, sugar, nuts, choc. chips, oranges, apples, and grapefruit, broth, soups, party foods, baking cocoa, hot cocoa, pasta, vanilla & other extracts, cream of tartar, cooking spray
Seasonal Sales – Winter coats, toys, gift items, bikes, new cars, quilts & blankets, electronics, small appliances, after Christmas sales, gift wrap, candles, cold medicine, thermometer, toothbrushes, batteries, vitamins

(updated 12/31/08)

Friday, January 2, 2009


I'm so happy to see 2009 come. 2008 was not very nice to our family, so we really need a break. My health went bad, Miguel lost his job, the stock market crashed and took a lot of our money with it. Housing prices fell to an all-time low, which is going to make it so hard to sell our home this coming year or 2010. We will sell it, but certainly not for what we could have gotten, and needed to buy another home outright. And I know all things happen to us for good reasons so I accept it all, yet with reservations because of all our retirement plans. All in all I don't think 2009 could be worse, and hoping it's so much better. I most heartily wish the best for all of you in 2009 in every way.

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