Mild Temperatures Due for Christmas in Southern California

Don’t hate us here in California. I have just read that a major cold front will be assaulting much of the country over the next few days, making holiday travel perilous. We here in Southern California, on the other hand, will be experiencing low 70s temperatures with partly cloudy skies. Christmas Day is forecasted to…

5-Star Recipe: Stuffed Shells with Spinach and Ricotta Cheese

This is a wonderful, foolproof recipe that is fancy enough to be served for Christmas lunch or dinner with a green salad and garlic bread. This is a favorite in our family and my kids (and now grandkids) request it for holidays and birthdays. The good news is that it can be made ahead. It…

The Grrrr of Last Minute Gift-Giving

Last-minute Christmas shopping is not all that much fun. Unfortunately, it’s December 19th so last minute is my only real option. I have been perusing Amazon and have a limited selection due to my procrastination. I would, after all, like to have some gifts to offer on Christmas Day, not some vague date in January….

Back and Forth from Ojai to LA

We returned to LA this morning after leaving hastily last Monday night at 10:30 for Ojai upon hearing that Liz had gone to the hospital to have her baby. I joined Ron and her on Tuesday morning at Ventura’s Community Memorial Hospital and left in the wee hours of Wednesday morning after Ethan’s birth. I…

Family Visit to Meet Little Ethan at the Orange Grove

Today, Auntie Rachael and Andrew as well as the Pacheco-Beaty family came to the orange grove to see their new little nephew and/or cousin. Ethan. Luna, Nico, and Lyla all needed to hold Ethan and were happy to finally meet the newest addition to the family. Ethan seemed amenable to being passed around and pretty…

Ready for Bed Long Before Bedtime

This week of baby anticipation, baby coaxing, and baby arrival has finally caught up with me. It’s 8:30 and I’ve been ready for bed for at least an hour. I was reading a short story in the Alaska Quarterly – a very good short story that I was really enjoying – and woke up with…

Ethan Comes Home

Liz and Ron are in the car in Ventura bringing baby Ethan to his new home in Ojai. It’s 8:35 pm so it’s dark here and quite chilly. I suspect there will be a quick dash from their car to their cozy little place. 2 hours later. Yes, Ethan is now with his mommy and…

Welcome to Ethan Arthur Betty

Liz and Ron welcomed little Ethan into the world at 12:13 am this morning. I was lucky enough to be present for the labor and birth of my fourth grandchild. Mom and Ethan are both healthy. Liz was an absolute champ during the labor and delivery, and Ron was right there offering love and support….

Nightly Prayers When I Was Growing Up

When I was a little girl, my mother came every night into my room before bedtime so we could say our prayers. She would sit on the edge of my twin bed and I would be lying under the covers with my head on my pillow. “Our Father, who art in heaven,” she would start…

A Visit to South Pasadena

This afternoon, Ray and I visited Sarah, Gregorio, Luna, Nico, and Lyla in South Pasadena. We ate, talked, laughed, and decorated turkey cookies for Christmas (or should that have been for Thanksgiving?). We also discussed the imminent arrival of Luna, Nico, and Lyla’s little cousin, who is due tomorrow or Tuesday. I also played catch,…