Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Trip Notes and Brownies

We seem to be very busy trying to get ready to leave on our trip a week from today. I am wanting to be completely ready to go two days before the day we leave. Today I am trying to get my clothes ready. We both want to travel with just enough to get by. We will have to do laundry about once a week while we are gone, but I'm sure we can do that wherever we are. There are so many things to do at the last minute. We are very fortunate that our neighbor across the street is going to take care of our house while we are gone. She does this for a living, so she will be very careful and caring. We will have her take in our mail, check everything in the house and outside. We are going to pay her for her services, even though she would have done it for free. It will be nice not to worry about the house while we are gone. Six weeks is a long time!!

Our weekend was pretty busy. I made brownies to take to one of our friends that we visit each month (visiting teaching). I love to bake, but am getting so slow at it because I have to sit down so often. My time standing keeps getting less and less, and now it is about five minutes. I can walk a bit longer than that because it is much easier for me to walk than to stand. My brownies are pretty darned good if I do say so myself, and I will post the recipe at the end of this blog, if I remember. They are easy but delicious. By the way, I NEVER use mixes but I do like to bake things that are easy to put together.

After our V.T. I got my hair cut again. It grows so slowly, and I guess I am fortunate for that, but the last time I got it cut, my regular gal was on vacation, so had to use another one and unfortunately, she cut it so short and it was all choppy. It looked awful because it stuck out in many places. Honestly, I thought it would never grow out long enough to cut it right before we were to leave. As it was, it was almost 12 weeks, and it was still pretty short. Alma, my regular girl, mostly trimmed it and tried to correct it, but now it looks pretty normal again, thank heavens.

Sunday we didn't do anything but go to church, come home and rest. Our new schedule starts in September (our Stake President's idea, since he thinks we ought to make the change when school starts, instead of at the beginning of the year) and we will be going to church from 1:00 in the afternoon until 4:00! I really hate this schedule, but we have three wards meeeting in our chapel, so have to take our turn.

Yesterday was a pretty crazy day! We went shopping in the morning because we needed to get Dick some new clothes for going to church. His are all so tight because neither of us has been able to lose the weight we gained over the holidays. Goodness knows we have tried and we will lose a few, but then something happens to get us off track........celebration dinners out, having company, dinner invitations, or just too much candy on "chocolate Sundays". At any rate, we bought him a new suit and also a sport jacket, so at least he will look decent. I also bought two pairs of sandals. I can't wear a closed toe because my right big toe hurts when I try. I lost the nail a few weeks ago, and it takes about a year for the nail to grow back. It is okay in the summer, but I am not sure how I will make out when the weather gets cold on our trip. I'll just have to freeze, I guess. About two o'clock in the afternoon I got a call from my daughter, Nikki, telling me that Kristin (my darling little Sullivan's mom) had preeclampsia and the doctor's were going to induce her, a little over three weeks early. She had terrible stomach cramps and was throwing up way too much. We were both upset, but I was about to go crazy with worry. We had company coming for dinner that night, and I was so grateful our friends, Jim and Verna were coming because it helped so much to keep my brain occupied. They had missed the celebration of President Monson's birthday concert on BYU TV and we had taped it, so we watched it again and that helped too as we did enjoy it the second time. It was such an excellent concert. Later that night, Nikki called to say they had decided to wait and see how Kristin was today. Nikki had already made plans to catch the earliest flight out, plus she is a school teacher and I suppose they had a substitute in place, but I suppose she managed to undo all that as she didn't want to leave until they actually did induce her. She called me just a little while ago from her school and told me they were going to induce her within the hour so I guess she is in labor right now. I do feel so sorry for her as she doesn't handle pain too well, and had to have an epidural for Sullivan. I had to be induced when I had my first with Sue. I had all my babies naturally because I CAN stand a lot of pain, but I will have to say, that birth with Sue was so super painful. I thought it would last forever. The last three were a piece of cake in comparison. We are both praying mightily that all will go well for her and the baby.

I think I am about to the end, and guess what? I remembered to post the recipe so here it is:

Grandma Robbins' Chocolate Brownies: (This can easily be mixed by hand)

1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cups flour
6 tablespoons margarine or butter (1 cube +2 tablespoons)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Mix sugar and cocoa in small bowl. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Stir in flour. Add margarine or butter and mix well. turn into buttered 8X8 pan and bake @ 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes (check with toothpick)
You can sprinkle with powdered sugar but I prefer to ice it with the following:

Great chocolate icing:

1/2 cube plus 1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons cocoa
1/4 cup milk
Cook these three ingredients over low heat until it comes to a boil, stirring so that it doesn't stick. Pour this mixture over 2 cups powdered sugar that has been sifted into a bowl. Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1/2 chopped walnuts. If too thick, thin with milk or hot water, just a teaspoon at a time until right consistancy for spreading. If too thin, add a spoonful of powdered sugar until perfect for spreading. Pour over cake and spread evenly. Yum!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Here we are at the beautiful shower for us hosted by our Stake Patriarch in Chatsworth, CA.

And here we are in the Relief Society Room right after we were married by my Bishop.

Where did I get all that hair? It looks so dark too; I never had dark hair. My daughter Nancy and her husband Charles were to give us wedding pictures for our present. Charles owns expensive cameras and was going to really make a lot of pics for us. When he went to develop them, he found they were all ruined. Light somehow got into the camera and none of them were any good. I was absolutely sick because we had wanted to hire a professional photographer, but he talked us into letting him do it. It was a very small wedding, only family and a few good friends. I had to ask those that were there for copies of any snapshots they had taken, and I did receive a few, but none of them were very good, I'm sad to say. No formal shots at all. I cried a few bitter tears over the situation, but have tried to get over it. I wonder if I ever will.

It seems like our weekends are full with interesting events lately. This last weekend was no exception. Last Saturday we celebrated our 40th anniversary by going out to dinner with our long time friends, Dick and Lee Child. Dick Child was our Bishop when Dick finally decided to join our church and the two of them were our close friends even before Dick joined the church. We went to the Red Lobster. Our whole town has been waiting for quite a few weeks for the franchise to come to Palm Desert, and finally it opened a few weeks ago. For a long time there were lines outside waiting to get in. We still had to wait quite a while even now, though we went early. We had a very nice dinner, and it was a four-course meal which included dessert. We all ordered key lime pie, except for Dick C. All he ever wants for dessert is something chocolate, so he ordered a brownie with ice cream. I had baked a cake earlier that day so that we could stop at home and have dessert after dinner. We usually do that when we go out. I love to bake so it usually worked out that way. We did have a whole cake left over, but I had plans for it.

The next day was our anniversary, August 12. Dick did his usual church thing, leaving the house at 8:00 a.m. It was my Sunday to go to R.S. as I like to go at least once a month. I just can't sit through the whole three hours. Dick came home after Sacrament meeting and picked me up for R. S., and after that was over I had an appointment with the Bishop to get my Temple Recommend renewed. After that we came home, cut the cake in half, and took it with us to visit Irene in her assisted living place. Irene Stewart is a lovely woman who played the organ in church for us for many years. She is also one of the people Dick and I visit and home teach each month. She has been quite ill and had to stop living in her home as her daughter, who lived with her, got married and she couldn't live alone. She has had a heck of a time going to the hospital for a couple of lengthy stays and also a couple of rehab places before finally getting released to live in this lovely home with four other ladies and three very lovely caretakers. She really loves it there. It will be her 88th birthday on Thursday, so we took the cake so that everyone there could have it for dinner and an early birthday celebration. We didn't stay too long, but went home to call all of our children and most of our grandchildren to thank them for a wonderful video they had made for us for our anniversary. They all made special videos, some of them sang songs, one wrote us a lovely poem which she recited, and many just expressed their love for us in touching ways. I must admit that I cried through the whole thing, but I did have a couple of laughs too. All in all, it was just a wonderful tribute. They had all sent their videos to our grandson, Jordan, who just graduated this year from NYU and who still lives in New York. He majored in film and I must say, he did a great job putting all the little videos into one large one. What a great time we had watching and listening to that precious video. Even the great grandchildren were a part of it.

Yesterday we went shopping. There were a few things I wanted to get at Walmart and poor Dick had to walk, while I got to ride in one of their electric carts. I felt so sorry for him because we had a heck of a time trying to find practically everything we finally did buy. He never did find the right size battery for our flashlight. It is one of those really big ones, and I thought Walmart had just about anything a person would want. He walked all over that huge store. We were there for two hours and only bought about five things. He was one tired guy, and we still had one stop to make at Costco. I wanted to get a couple of their big Danish pastries. They are almost as good as Dick's, and I love to have a half one for breakfast every day, (one of my bad habits). It seemed so strange to just buy that one thing because practically every time we go shopping there, we come home with a huge cart full of stuff. We are trying not to buy anthing we can't actually eat before we leave. Can you imagine? We are leaving on our six weeks trip in just two weeks from today. We will be leaving early Tuesday morning and I doubt that you will see a post from me that night. I'm sure we will be pretty tired as we are driving straight through to Salt Lake, although we will stop in Saratoga Springs to stay with our 98 year old friend, Connie Server, for a couple of nights. That is just about an hour on this side of Salt Lake, but we have so many friends that live in that area that we want to see. I am going to have to make a list of everyone we want to see in the Salt Lake area or I'm afraid I will forget someone. My memory is getting worse every day, I'm afraid.

It's not quite 9:30 p.m., and I am getting sleepy. I never go to bed before midnight but for some reason I am really tired tonight. I certainly haven't done much today. It was truly a rest day for me but Dick did laundry all morning it seems. I am so fortunate that he does that for me. He has done it for years, even when I was feeling fit as a fiddle!! I can't even remember when he took over that job but all I can say is that I am really grateful as I hate it!

So, I'm off to my chair for a little bit of R&R. Dick is home watching television. How fun for me!
'Til next time.....................love to all.....................

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Great Weekend

Last week was an enjoyable one, I must say. The beginning started out slowly, but the weekend was VERY busy. On Friday, our friends, Bonnie Nelson and Rosemary Oblock brought lunch over and stayed to eat it with us. Was it ever good! They brought four HUGE salads from Costco and Bonnie made a wonderful lemon pie. It was all soooo good but of course I ate too much. Believe it or not, we ate the last of the salad tonight! I can tell you that we didn't eat much dinner Friday night.

Saturday night we went to Tony Roma's with our friends, Dick and Lee Child to celebrate my Dick's birthday. Actually, Dick's birthday in July 29, but Saturday night was the first time we could get together. It is a tradition from way back to celebrate the guys' birthdays together. We always go to Tony Roma's for baby back ribs. They are just so good. They stopped at our house after for dessert and we finished off the last of the lemon pie.

Sunday was a very special day too. We spent the afternoon at the Pikes house with Jim and Sue. I mentioned sometime ago that we had a celebrity that moved into our ward. His name is Jim Pike and he was the guy that started the well known singing group "The Lettermen" way back when.
I always loved the Lettermen. I actually loved the fifties when so many men's groups became popular. I had personal experience with the Four Preps as the baritone in that group, Glen Larson was in our ward when my first husband and I lived in Westwood Ward. He and Bruce Belland, another of the Preps used to come over to our house when we lived on LaCienega Blvd to play badminton in our back yard badminton court.

I didn't know until Sunday that Jim once sang and performed with the Four Preps too. When Jim's voice went away after singing with the Lettermen for so long during their really successful years, he had to quit singing for ten years. It then returned and he spent a few years with the Four Preps. This was after Glen had left the group.

It's amazing how many people we both know. He moved into Wilshire Ward a few years after we left and knew so many of the same people there. One of the ones we both knew was Janie Tompson, who wrote and directed many musicals that were presented in Wilshire Ward. This was before she joined the faculty at Brigham Young University. I was in some of those musicals, and so was Jim.

It was such fun to reminisce about those great old days. Jim is now very active in a new group he formed. They call it "Reunion". The other guys in the group are his brother, Gary Pike and Ric de Azevido. They are really good too!! I have three of their cds. They gave me another one with just Jim doing solos that he did when he was with The Lettermen. Boy, is it ever good!! He sounds a lot like Sinatra, and his sweet wife Sue kids him about that.

I really like Sue too. She is a counselor in our Relief Society. She used to be a R,S.teacher and she was a great teacher too!! Altogether, they are a wonderful addition to our ward. Jim used to be a counselor in our High Priest Group but they just recently reorganized it as our former Leader moved away. We still don't have a replacement as the man they called to that position bought a house in another ward. I swear our ward is getting smaller and smaller.

We didn't even get home until after 5:00. Time really goes by fast when you are having fun. They left the next morning for Big Bear and won't be back for a couple of weeks, and then we will be on our way, so we won't see them until we get back, which will be in October, but as soon as we do, we are going to get together with them again. We have so much in common that I think we will become good social friends. Dick and Jim are the same age and I am nine years older than Dick and Sue is nine years younger than Jim.

Dick is at his bishopric meeting at the church and I would really like to post a few pictures of Jim with his groups but of course, I probably will get it all messed up. I'm just hoping I can get them onto this blog at all. We'll see.

An album The Lettermen made after they had been around for a little while.

This is one The Lettermen made when they were still a pretty new group

This is a picture I had Dick take off the very first album The Lettermen made with Capitol Records. Jim is the handsome one on the left.

This is a picture of the three of them, Jim, Gary and Ric on their Reunion CD. Jim is the one with the white hair.....he looks like this now.