Tag Archives: Alexandra

Day 293: Victoria

24 Jan

Victoria and my daughter have been friends since they were in grade school. They were similar in several ways:  they had red hair and freckles, they loved to make art projects, and they were smart and liked to do well in school. Now they are young women who are smart, beautiful, funny, and caring.  When I see them together, I feel optimistic about  the future of the planet.

One day when she was about 5, Victoria came to our house to play.  As dinnertime approached, Alexandra asked Victoria to eat with us.  She said that she needed to ask permission first, so she called home and then reported that her Mom had said it was okay.  After dinner, her Mom, Karen, came to pick Victoria up. She shared that when Victoria had called her she had said, “Mom they’re having macaroni and cheese for dinner… and it didn’t come out of a box.  It’s a casserole!”  I was honored to have been held in such high esteem by a small child.

Tomorrow Victoria will turn 23 years old, so tonight I brought a Chocolate Cream Pie to her house.  I thought it might be nice to start her birthday celebration a bit early since tomorrow’s schedule sounded like it was already pretty full. However, at the time I delivered the pie, I forgot to say this:  “Dear Victoria, may the coming year bring you all the joy and happiness you deserve. Happy, Happy Birthday!”

“Some people make your laugh a little louder, your smile a little brighter, and your life a little better.”— Unknown



Day 239: Mel

1 Dec

My daughter saw a message on Facebook last night from a friend. He mentioned that his Dad had recently had some health challenges and asked his friends to keep his Dad in their thoughts and prayers. After she read the message, Alexandra asked if I would please bring a quiche to her friend’s Dad.

Of course the answer was yes… and that is why this morning I gathered together ingredients to make a quiche for Mel and his wife. They included beautiful crimini mushrooms, sharp cheddar cheese, spinach and onions. In what seemed like no time at all, the quiche was in the oven and in less than an hour, it was done.

Once it was cool, I walked up to Mel’s house and since he was not at home, I left the quiche on a chair on his porch. Later, I called and spoke with Mel’s wife and explained who I was and told her that I was the one who left the quiche. She told me that Mel was doing well and thanked me for the gift. I can’t help but think it was such an easy way to let them both know that we were thinking of them and sending good wishes their way.

Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver. Barbara De Angelis

Day 231: My Birthday… and a pie for my family

23 Nov

At 5:14 in the morning on this day many years ago I entered this world. My Dad tells me that he was not at the hospital because my Mom had arrived around noon the day before and they sent him home after a while. In those days, fathers did not get to spend hours helping their wives through childbirth (I wonder if there are some men that think that those were the days to have been a parent…)

Today I thought I would make a pie with my daughter Alexandra and gift it to my family… for they have been so supportive of this pie making journey… and haven’t tasted but one or two of them. Alexandra videotaped us as we put together the “pie of the day” a Pecan Pumpkin creation that I’ve only made once before. You can see the video here.

And that’s all there is for tonight… I send you all my very best wishes for a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends. Until tomorrow…

Day 191: Ramiro and Beatriz

14 Oct

We met Ramiro and Beatriz Padilla from El Tapatio Mexican Restaurant more than ten years ago. Our family would go to their restaurant after skiing on Sundays at Mt. Ashland. We liked the atmosphere, the friendly service, and the fact that El Tapatio was family owned. It became a sort of ritual for us and we enjoyed being among the “regular” customers.

Over time, Ramiro and his family have become more and more involved in our community: Ramiro is an active member of the Ashland Rotary Club, the Padilla family organizes a huge entry in the Fourth of July parade every year, complete with participants outfitted in traditional Mexican dress and caballeros on horseback, and El Tapatio has donated food to such activities as the Ashland Schools Foundation calling nights and the Ashland High School Senior All Night.

Since it had been a while since we visited El Tapatio, and several years since all four of us (me, Emile, Alexandra and Coco) had the chance to go together, Alexandra offered to treat us all to dinner tonight. It was fun to sip Margaritas, listen to the guitar music and share a family dinner.

Tonight I brought Ramiro and Beatriz an Apple Pie to congratulate them on the birth of their baby daughter, Beatriz, and also to thank them for always making us feel like part of the family.

Day 170: Friends

23 Sep

As you know, my daughter Alexandra came home a few days ago. Since then, we have had a wonderful time catching up and just enjoying her presence. It is in some ways as if she was never gone, but of course she was, and I am so happy to have her here again.

In the past few days, Alex has had the chance to connect with a few friends that she hasn’t seen in several years. One of those friends is Kerry, a woman that my daughter used to work with at a retail shop and also at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. They maintained a bond across the many miles that separated them – and that is a testament to their friendship.

In comparison, there are a number of people who were unable to keep in touch and that says a lot as well. As a parent, I am so grateful to those friends who have made the effort to stay connected because I know how much it meant to Alex.

Perhaps it’s the Mama Bear in me, but I still find myself wanting to hug the people that are kind to my children and wanting to shield them from the rest of the world. Does that protectiveness ever go away I wonder?

This afternoon I made Black and Blue Berry Lattice topped pie for Kerry. It is a delicious (if I do say so!) way of saying thank you for being such a good friend.

Day 167: Irene

20 Sep

Today is the day I have been looking forward to for some time now. It is the day that my daughter arrives from Copenhagen after being gone for two years! We visited with her last spring and then again last winter but she has not been home for so long and we are very excited to see her.

When I thought of the pie for the day, of course I thought of presenting my daughter with a pie at the airport. However, I know that she has been eating differently and I did not want to make her a pie that she could not eat. So then I thought, since I will be at the airport, I should give a pie to a TSA employee. But they would probably take it and then throw it away… and that would not be good.

On to Plan B (or is it C?) Tuesday is Lucky Number Day at Bi-Mart stores, and so today I thought I would honor a Bi-Mart employee who has been a cheerful representative of Bi-Mart for many years: Irene. While I could not tell you a lot about Irene, what I do know is plenty: she hails from Ireland and she loves to tell jokes. Why did the Irishman only put 239 beans in his chili? Because he didn’t want it to be 240 (two-farty).

Here’s a lovely illustration of Irene’s character: A year or so ago I was at Bi-Mart behind a woman who had a child with cerebral palsy. The boy was in a stroller and we were on Irene’s checkout line. When it was their turn to be waited on, Irene turned her full attention on that boy and he was so happy to be acknowledged. His Mom said that the reason that they visited the store was so that her son could visit with Irene. It was wonderful to see the animated exchange between those two – and I greatly appreciated Irene’s consideration of that boy.

For a while Irene was featured in a local paper with her joke of the week (or was it month?) Then came the fateful day when Irene shared a joke that some considered too risque. And that was the end of Irene’s joke sharing. Just like that, it was over. And all because of a silly parrot joke.

Today I presented Irene with an Apple, Walnut, and Raisin Pie. She’s been an integral part of our community and I want to thank her for all that she does to make us feel welcome everyday.

Day 153: Bill “Gabe” Gabriel

6 Sep

About five years ago, Bill Gabriel was my daughter Alexandra’s journalism teacher. It was at that time that Bill helped a group of students revive the Rogue News at Ashland High. It was an incredible experience for my daughter and Bill was instrumental in making it an invaluable learning opportunity as well. As I see it, Bill was able to help his students achieve success because he believed in them. And having someone believe in you can make all the difference in the world.

Bill gave my daughter the chance to do something that she wanted to do (write/lead) and he challenged her to do it well. Alexandra was co-editor of the paper that year, and while she had Bill to encourage and support her along the way, she still had to do the work. And work she did. This evening she told me that “Gabe was by far the best teacher that I had at Ashland High. He didn’t treat us as if we were seventeen. He treated us as adults.”

There are many other students that feel the same way. How do I know? Well, one indication is the number of ball caps that Bill has on his wall. They bear the names of the universities that “his kids” (former students) have attended and there are far too many caps on the wall to count.

Today when I delivered a Marionberry pie to Bill he told me that when he “graduates” (read retires) from high school in a few years, he wants to take some time to try his hand at cooking. However, Bill doesn’t want to be a working chef; he just wants to “take some classes” at the Culinary Institute of America near St. Helena, CA. Not exactly what I would call an easy retirement, but hopefully it will be one that is both tasty and enjoyable. Bon Apetit!