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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Hesperia In December

One of my friends from band asked if her son (also in the band) could take our pictures to add to his portfolio for his photography business. I'm glad they guys in my family cooperated, and the weather cooperated, and the timing was really touchy, but we got it done! I am really pleased with the results! Bradley and Ruben did a fantastic job! Thanks, guys!! Photo compliments of B&R Photography, Bradley Weathers 909.786.9981

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Rain In My Town

Hesperia has made the news because of the flooding. I think this is day #3 of constant rain. Our home is next to a water retention basin which is now full, and the mallards are loving it! The desert can sure use the rain, but the rain does not soak in, and it just runs off and creates a mess. The dam at Silverwood Lake has been releasing the overflow. The streets from Apple Valley to Oak Hills are just covered with mud since the rain forces the dirt into the roads, the only way to pass some roads is to drive in the middle of the road. The sound of rain is so soothing, it calms the soul when indoors. Check this out, this is not far from my home. I drive the route to and from work.

All over California, storms are in progress!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Jazz Time

Hello friends and family, near and far, here are three videos from Troy's winter concert Thursday night.
This stuff is so good, I could listen all day and not get bored. The trumpet Troy has for jazz playing is an old Bach that we purchased from my friends Malinda and Karl. They live in Oregon, and Karl had this trumpet in an old case in the bottom on the closet, not being played. Their daughter plays up-right bass. Troy and I have polished the trumpet, but it still looks old. But the sound...! I hope you enjoy.

The clarinet player, Amber, and her sister made these cookies for the winter concert. She's in the jazz band, but in the front row, so I didn't get her in the video. Listen close and you can hear her.

(Listen for the baby sound after the band matches their keys, just before the song starts.)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Cranberry Bliss Bar

Happy Wednesday, ya'll!! Today I discovered Starbuck's Cranberry Bliss Bar. I thought this would be appropriate for breakfast, amidst this very busy week. A little treat to myself (and since I still have $ on my Starbucks gift card). I debated between this and a Tall Caramel Brulee, then I remembered I still had a K-cup coffee at my desk, so I opted for bliss! My first bite, I found a crystallized ginger morsel along with the cream-cheese frosting. That was a nice surprise! My second bite was tasty cake and cranberries. Pretty good, but got me thinking if my sister and I could make it better. On the third bite, I found a forbidden food...white chocolate! Chocolate is a no-no food for me (doctor's order's) but I did not have any adverse effects today. I learned that this tasty treat has 310 calories, which doesn't really matter to me because I don't count calories. I Googled (yes - that really is a verb now!) 'Cranberry Bliss Bar' and I stumbled across this:
I wonder what it would be like in cupcake form? I do believe I will need to experiment this weekend!
So, another day, a different Starbucks, and that brings me to the end of another day. I'm thankful for the beautiful sunset I viewed while driving home from work today. As for the bliss bar, it was bliss! I've added it to my list of my favorite things, along with Trans-Siberian Orchestra. I have the Christmas Attic album in my car, and it's fun to hear old Christmas songs set to new music, and hear new music altogether. Tomorrow is the band winter concert, (another one of my favorite things!) and I've heard there'll be visions of dancing sugarplums!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Stories Are Gifts To Share

The end of another week, ahhhh! And another booster-related, long-standing, banking chore completed! I'm thankful for the cooperation of volunteers who often look to me for direction. Like it or not, I am a leader (I usually like it, except for when things don't go as smoothly as I'd planned in my head!). As always, the weekly and monthly booster-tasks are also done. I am really looking forward to the band concert next week, and then after that I plan to take 3+ weeks from this 'second job' of booster treasurer. Here's a story: Dashing around town Thursday night, I noticed what I could do in 42 and a half minutes. I went to the booster vp's house to get a check signed and picked up her See's candy order (and I turned down the wrong street, so I had a 4 minute detour!); then I dashed to the grocery store with signed check to pick up the scrip cards for the fundraiser (where I ran into the parents of one of the former band members); then I dashed home again, jiggity-jig! These two locations are in the opposite direction of each other, and with the holiday season here, there's lots of people on the roads and in the grocery store. There's always a wait at the store because the manager is the only one who has access to the scrip cards, and they have to scan them through the register and take the check and zip my driver's license through the card-reader thingy. So, in 42 and a half minutes, I thought I did pretty good for getting all that done! The pre-quel to this story is my second job started earlier, when after work (well, and after going to Costco for 4 things) I met up with the director and his family at Sadie's Starbucks to pick up the majority of the See's candy forms and money. While there, I tried a tall Caramel Brulee, decaf. I got there first, and when the director and family walked in, the Starbucks barrista already knew what they wanted, and by the time they reached the counter, their drinks were waiting for them! Talk about service! That's something that happens in a small town. And this leads me to the next story, my name on my Starbucks cup. She got it right this time. I guess because I don't often go into Starbucks (and only when I have a gift card!), my name is usually mis-spelled. When I am asked for my name, I say "Bev", and once it was written as Bevan (ok, that's a cool name, I could take that), another time it was "Bez", and another time that I don't remember what it was, but it wasn't Bev. At work over the phone, I also introduce myself as Bev, but customers call me Beth (uderstandably) or if I say Beverly, the customer thinks I said Debra-Lee (another very cool name). If I were to change my name it would be Bevan Debra-Lee. Mark told me the new energy efficient cars are also named Bev. There's also a liquor warehouse store called BevMo, so I had to get a discount card because it has my name on it. And I will keep my name, Bev, Beverly, Mom, and all the cute little names Mark calls me--there's a new one every day (peanut brittle, patootie, muffin, sweet-potato). But booster-treasurer? Sure, you can call me that, but only for 5 more months!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


1) Make up your mind to be happy. Learn to find pleasure in simple things.
2) Make the best of your circumstances. No one has everything, and everyone has something of sorrow intermingled with gladness of life. The trick is to make the laughter outweigh the tears.
3) Don't take yourself too seriously. Don't think that somehow you should be protected from misfortune that befalls other people.
4) You can't please everybody. Don't let criticism worry you.
5) Don't let your neighbor set your standards. Be yourself.
6) Do the things you enjoy doing but stay out of debt.
7) Never borrow trouble. Imaginary things are harder to bear than real ones.
8) Since hate poisons the soul, do not cherish jealousy. Avoid people who make you unhappy.
9) Have many interests. If you can't travel, read about new places.
10) Don't hold postmortems. Don't spend your time brooding over sorrows or mistakes. Don't be one who never gets over things.
11)  Do what you can for those less fortunate than yourself.
12) Keep busy at something. A busy person never has time to be unhappy.

Today a co-worker said to me, "Hey, Bev, that's a beautiful smile. It makes me at ease." And at our office, there's lots to be tense about. These few words made me smile today and I thank God for giving me many things to smile about. Thank you, Arla, for forwarding me these 12 rules.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas-time Already?or Always?

In the past, I've been very slow to embrace the change of seasons, especially the onset of winter. This year, I had my "pity-party" early, around Labor Day, when my husband tried to decorate our home with fall decorations. I asked him to wait and he laughed, then I told him I was serious. He put away the decorations. The following weekend I told him I was ready now, he could go ahead. He loves decorating, and does a pretty good job of it, on a tight budget. My favorite time of year is summer, when I can swim and spend the long evenings outdoors. Winter has certainly set in, and it's been cold and windy here, even had frost and ice once or twice. There's been snow very low in the foothills and on the mountains, but none at our house, yet. I am looking forward to it, however, because it brings the neighbors out and everyone seems to show a Christmas spirit. Last time it snowed, I wondered how nice it would be for us to have the Christmas spirit all throughout the year, instead of only during the winter. I guess that could go on my list of things to do, starting with me. Times past, I have used the "winter-blues" excuse to procrastinate about the gift-shopping, but this year is record-breaking! I even beat Mark... I have already picked out, purchased and wrapped two gifts! I've also made plans to have a family photo taken (the three men I live with very much dislike the "family photo shoot" and the last time we did one was summer 2009 when at my parents re-commitment ceremony).
I'm feeling good, getting into the groove of winter-time and Christmas!!

Snowy scene from December 2008

Gus, not liking the bow!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Yesterday I heard two pieces of bad news, devastating to the families involved, two different friends of mine, in two different losses. I heard about these losses within 15 minutes of each, and I was still teary-eyed when I cried about the second. The first, a family suffered a miscarriage of their 5th child, 4 months into the pregnancy. We already knew he was a boy, their second boy. The family was just thrilled with the prospect of a new addition to their family. I was thrilled because they were all thrilled...but I also couldn't picture me attempting that. The mom is the same age as I am. I'm so sad for their loss, and I know they will move forward and accept God's plan because they seem to be a God-fearing, praying family. The second bit of news also involved a pregnancy, and that piece of it is good news, a new baby boy born early, weighing about 4 pounds. The mom suffered an aneurysm, I don't know the details, she was sick, her mom took her to the hospital, the baby was delivered, and then that young mother departed this life. This young woman's brother graduated high-school with my oldest son, and her sister is currently a senior at the same high school where my youngest is a junior. The heartbreak my friend and co-worker must be feeling is far beyond anything I can understand, but the sweetness of  God's grace can help them through. I will be praying for them all. Today I am thankful for all the blessings God has given, but also for the reminder that the God who gives all the blessings, is able to take away, and it is not for me to understand the reasons why, but when I trust in Him and believe that He is in control, I can have peace.
***Update, here is a photo of my friend's daughter's hand and baby's hand. So touching.***

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My favorite coffee mug

My favorite coffee mug. I have many mugs, some have special meaning because of who gave them to me, or where I bought them. This one is currently my favorite. My friend Nicci gave it to me a few years ago. When this mug is not in the right place, hanging on it's hook under the kitchen cabinet, I nearly panic until it is found! Silly, right?! Sometimes it is these little things that help me get centered. I really enjoy my morning cup of coffee, and since I went de-caf almost 2 years ago, I find simple pleasures in trying flavored creamers. Most recently, I have been using Pumpkin Spice creamer, and yesterday Mark bought me Sugar & Spice, and Gingerbread Latte!! I like them all!!
If ever I have a dog again, it would be Toto.

Dear Dorothy: Hate Oz, took the shoes, Find your own way home! Toto

The perfect cup of coffee.

Empenadas and Panama

There are a few people from Costa Rica who work in my office, and often we talk about the food from their country. I wanted to make empenadas, which I learned are also a food of Panama, where my brother is working now. One weekend I made this meal, and as often happens, Travis' friend Steve came over. I don't know how he knows, but on the rare occasions that I cook, he seems to be here, which I am happy about because he likes to eat whatever I cook. Travis does too! I'm happy when people like what I cook!
chicken filling


 Here is the final dish, served with chayotes, black beans, fried plantains, rice and tomatoes, and dipping sauce made with sour cream, lime juice and chili powder. I really enjoy creating a colorful meal, trying new things, and spending time in the kitchen... that is when I have the luxury of time. I don't like to be pressured or in a hurry, in fact when I am in a hurry I just cannot seem to cook. Today, I am so thankful for my husband, who is so efficient with time and a wonderful cook. He gets home from work before me, so he usually makes dinner during the week, and I try to cook on the weekends. We use the crock-pot, too, and hopefully someday the boys will cook for us. That's my next project!  And, who knows, maybe - just maybe, we can actually travel to Panama to visit Ricardo, and have empenadas in Panama!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Last-minute Roadtrip!

In the motorhome, KFC in Chino Valley, AZ.

In the parking lot at KFC I saw this school bus. I snapped a photo, and the kids inside started yelling. I didn't know there were kids inside. Why were they inside a dark bus? Bagdad...,  a tiny town somewhere in Arizona.

Wade and Wyatt, our great-nephews.

Great-Auntie Fern and Wyatt.

First-Thanksgiving Saturday before Thanksgiving!

Bev, Wyatt and Fern.

Mark and the blue tunnel.

Maggie? Sadie?

Nolan, Troy and Jordan.

Clint, the camera bandit, caught in the act!

Happy Birthday, Justin and Travis!

Nolan, Travis, Troy, Jordan, Justin, Clint, Jarred
Jenna, Jessica, Jennifer Wade, Tammy and Wyatt.

Travis- Guitar man.

Mike, Marissa, Mark, Bev, John, Fern

A couple of long-haired hippies.

Marissa, Wade and Mike


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Been a band booster too long?

50 Signs You've Been In Band Too Long

Hilarious truisms that every band geek loves!

When you hear music and start marking time. 
When you walk behind someone and you're in step with them. 
When you try to guess the tempo of your favorite song.
When all your friends are in the band. 
When you don't mind changing clothes on a bus. 
When you point out key changes and dynamics while listening to the radio. 
When you've put more miles on the pit equipment than you have your car. 
When you like wearing your uniform. 
When people ask you about your social life and you say "Oh, you mean my trumpet?."
When you consider your drill book a fashion accessory. 
When it's fun to play the show backwards. 
When you practice your instrument more than you talk to your dog.
When being mauled by a drum is a normal part of life. 
When people worry when they see you without your instrument.
When you're eligible for free dinner points at the local fast food restaurants.
When band camp is fun. 
When you knock on peoples doors with the opening cadence. 
When someone says the word "Set" and you automatically put your head up.
When you remember flats and sharps more easily than your name. 
When you dress the lunch line, and urge others to do the same. 
When you can show up to practice in your pajamas and dripping wet hair and no one notices. 
When slides feel normal. 
When your instrument has a name and you give it a birthday party.
When you remember your instrument's birthday and forget your mom's. 
When making a line is the biggest accomplishment of your day. 
When jazz running no longer reminds you of ballet. 
When "armed guard" means a girl with a pole instead of a guy with a gun.
When you have more clothes in your band locker than in your closet. 
When your uniform can get up and walk to you. When black feathers become a fashion "do". 
When you see your section more than your family. 
When everyone wants to beat the other football team...and you want to beat the other band. 
When you dream about fund raising. When you think evening practices should last longer.
When you accidentally call your band director "Dad". 
When you can sight-read. When you can put on your uniform in less than 10 minutes. 
When reeds taste good. When fund-raising food becomes part of your daily diet. 
When you think your plume is alive. When marking time is your favorite form of exercise. 
When you have a neck strap/harness tan line. 
When you subconsciously start practicing with a pencil. 
When numbers past 8 aren't important. 
When you're more opinionated about your school's band than President Obama.
When you roll-step through the cafeteria so you don't spill your lunch.
When you'd rather practice than read the list. When letters past G aren't important. 
When playing in the rain is fun.
When you chew your food in rhythm.

How I know I've Been a Band Booster Too Long (besides the fact that I understand all of the above and I was never 'in' band))

1) I posted this note.
2) I watch marching band videos on youtube.
3) I feel guilty leaving the band room without at least one extra kid to drive home.
4) I blog about the marching band...and post pics.
5) I've decorated my bathroom in band gear/photos/musical decorations. wow, I think I might have a problem.

Awards ceremony at San G. A noble finish, band in 3rd place, but scores in division 3A were highest of ALL divisions 1A thru 5A. It was a very close call. Percussion took 2nd, Pageantry 3rd.


One last road show.

Exciting!!! almost field time!

Trumpets at San G warming up. That's Troy in the black stocking cap playing his horn.

Mr. S, Dave, Nathan, Sarah, Kassie, Bradley, Rudy, StevO, Bradley, Ashley, Christian (Seniors 2011 in a goofy pose).

Drumline...warming up at San G. Not so much wind during warm ups, but it picked  up during performance.

Pit and drumline warming up.

Shakos, plumes and jackets warming up. 

One of the many reasons I love living in Southern California, the beautiful sunsets. I was amazed again at the majesty of the Master Artist.

Almost to the field...for the final competition of this season. (Troy and Bradley).