Today in My History

2001:  Mid-Night Musings
2002:  Take 2 Aspirin and Call Me in 6 Months
2003:  The "E" Word
2004:  I Dreamed I Went Shopping
2005 The Grace of a Gazelle

2006:  Too Big for Your Britches
2007: Just Passing Through Again
2008:  Don't Rain on My Shower
2009:  Among My Souvenirs
2010:  Stunned
2011:  Over the Top
Recipe for Decluttering
2013: And It All Worked Out
2014:  Sunday Stealing
2015: 19

Bitter Hack
Updated: 2/23
"The Happy Armenians"

Books Read in 2016
 Updated: 2/21
Our Souls at Night"

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New Kiva loan (Doreen from Kenya)


The Philosophy of Juice & Crackers

The story of Delicate Pooh

The story of the Pinata Group

Who IS this Gilbert person anyway?

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24 February 2016

We planned to have meals with 2 of our daughters today.

Lunch was with Sonia, our Brasilian daughter.  Sonia was one of the early foreigners we had stay with us, in about 1981.  She did not come through any program but came because a friend of ours who had lived with us for 6 weeks, gave her our phone number in case she needed help while traveling in the United States.  As it happened, she ran out of money in Oakland, and was having problems with her traveling companions, so she called me, in tears, because she had nowhere else to turn.

I brought her to Davis and she moved in with us, then happened to meet Charlie one night at a bar and soon after moved from our house to his. They lived together for several weeks until her return to Brasil. She and Charlie had great plans to remain close, but as time passed, they lost contact with each other.

Many years later, Sonia contacted me about a trip she was making to the US on business. She hadn’t heard from Charlie in a couple of years, and had no plans to contact him, but wanted to visit us. We were going to be out of town the day she was scheduled to arrive, but I made arrangements for her to get into the house, if she could get herself to Davis. Then, on a whim, I called Charlie and said, “I don’t know if you want to know this, but Sonia is arriving on Saturday and has no way to get to Davis...”

There was a long silence and then he said “What’s her flight information?”

When we arrived back home again, there was no indication that Sonia had been there. We didn’t hear from her for a week, and when she called, she had been with Charlie. Six months later, I was the matron of honor at their wedding. And now they have Denise and Daniel both of whom are adults. In 2000 we attended the ceremony where Sonia became a U.S. citizen.

They now live in Napa, where Sonia is an artist and is trying to start a business selling her delicious gluten-free pizzas.  We don't see each other nearly enough, I realized, as we enjoyed getting caught up over sushi. 

Dinner was at the restaurant of our Mexican daughter, Marie.  We went with Ned and Marta to celebrate Marie's birthday, my birthday and Walt's upcoming birthday.

Unfortunately, she and Ned got their dates crossed and we were there on the only day she wasn't going to be there as she was at a wine tasting in San Francisco, but we had a delicious dinner anyway.

The circumstances surrounding Marie's coming to us were pretty weird. Walt and I had gone to a show at a theatre in Davis, and sitting in front of us were some friends who had just returned form Mexico. David is a physician who volunteered time down there each year as part of a program put together by a local minister and his wife.

They talked about how their trip had gone and said that they had met this girl whom the minister and his wife thought had great
potential, but she needed to get out of Mexico to be educated. As she had dual citizenship (her father, who had died when she was young, was American), there would be no visa problem, but they needed to find a home for her to live. As they knew I placed foreign students with American families, they asked if I had any suggestions of people they might call to see if they would like to host Marie for a year.

Never one to be able to say no, I immediately said "we'll take her."

Most of our students had been male, which was fine because they could share a bedroom with the four boys. On the rare occasions when we'd had women live with us, they slept in the living room. We'd never had someone live in the living room for a whole year. And I'm sure Marie never dreamed she'd be sleeping on a hide-a-bed for a year.

The short version is that she came and we got along very well. She had some adjustment difficulties but after the first few months, she blossomed. The potential that she displayed in Mexico was very apparent. This was a girl who was intelligent, a hard worker, and she was going to make something of herself. She graduated from Davis High School and worked in a crepe restaurant most of the time she was here.

I can't remember now all the things she did, but she graduated from Sacramento State College with a major in business. She was chosen to go to Peru on a special international business program. She worked for some part of the state government for awhile on some sort of special deal. She wrote a book, I believe. It seemed that everything she touched turned to gold -- and not just out of luck; because she has a good head on her shoulders, knows what she wants, and is willing to work for it.

She married Mannie, a man from India, and shortly after their marriage they opened a restaurant in Elk Grove, south of Sacramento.. It's called Todo un Poco ("all in pieces") and was designed to be a two-part restaurant--one side was the "fine dining" Mexican restaurant and the other side was a more casual pizza parlor. It never quite divided up the way she originally anticipated, but they've had incredible success and it has been named best restaurant in Sacramento by one newspaper, one of the top 10 restaurants in the area by Sacramento Magazine
. Marie, was "citizen of the year" in Elk Grove a few years back. She's done a lot of community work especially concerning diversity in the Elk Grove community.

I just love the very unusual paintings by a local artist with whom they became friends which decorate this restaurant.  Many based on a "day of the dead" theme have skeletons somehow resembling Marie and/or her husband.

We were sorry to miss seeing  Marie (but she called and I talked with her).  However, I was happy to have my favorite Todo un Poco dish, Punjabi pizza, which is made with cauliflower, potatoes and Indian spices.  When we went to the restaurant before it was opened, Mannie made 3 pizzas for us, two traditional and the Punjabi, which became my favorite.

I am so proud of both of our "daughters" and what they have made of their lives, and happy that I could spend today with both of them...well, kinda.  Next time we'll get the dates right with Marie!


The "Day of the Dead" version of the bar sits on the wall opposite the bar itself.


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