Happy Birthday Mom!


Mom in Monaco

Today is my mother’s eightieth birthday. What’s more amazing than the sheer number of years she’s lived are the drastic events my mom’s lived through—World War II for instance. When she speaks of the black bread and food rationing during those years, I am astounded.

My mother’s an incredible woman. She was born of Portuguese parents in Georgetown, Guyana and grew up in that city. She knew tragedy early in life. At the age of nine, her two eldest brothers drowned on the same day. Her parents were poor immigrants and struggled to keep her in school, yet she graduated high school. She met my father at the tender age of eighteen, and they were married less than a year later.

That doesn’t sound significant, but my mother married a mixed-race man in 1955 (against her parent’s wishes). In those days, the population of the Caribbean, Guyana included, was strictly segregated—albeit voluntarily.

She went on to give birth to one girl (me) and three sons. Today she is chairwoman of a Caribbean conglomerate, and, at the age of eighty, still goes to work each and every single day. She has eight grandchildren (who she totally dotes on), three nieces, and one nephew.

When my father died 23 years ago, my mom was the glue that held the family together. In the Caribbean, it was unheard of for a ‘woman’ to take the reins of a large company, and many expected that the business my parents founded would fall into bankruptcy. No way. My mother refused to let that happen. She’s stubborn like bull and told the bankers holding our loans to go where the sun don’t shine.

You may have gathered that I’m proud of her. You bet.

Mom and I didn’t have much of a relationship until after my dad died (I was daddy’s little girl—totally). But, then my mother and I did a twenty-eight day road trip through Monaco, France, and Spain, and we bonded. I love you mom and wish you many, many more birthdays.

All my love always,


Brunch in Los Altos


Los Altos, Rick’s Cafe

Traveling has to be one of my  favorite hobbies, topped only by spending time with family and friends, and having great meals. The wonderful thing about traveling is that I can combine three of my faves into one.

The Viking and I spent three wonderful days with my wayward son, his amazing and gorgeous girlfriend, and some of his roommates,  co-workers, and friends. Last night our son and his girl took us out for dinner to a fantastic Jordanian restaurant located on historic Murphy Street in Sunnyvale (their new home as of next week). What a wonderful evening! Our son’s new ‘babe’ totally won us over. Smart as whip, pretty, diligent, ambitious, and she adores my wayward one. The latter’s all that’s important to me, but the rest—the equivalent of a kazillion dollar signing bonus! (sheesh, you have to forgive me—my son’s a recruiter, and I’m starting to think in his lingo).

Yesterday, we said farewell to our son and his girl, and I did not tear up in front of him-an accomplishment I’m entirely proud of even if it means I’m a total suck. We had brunch in Los Altos at Rick’s Cafe, and then headed down to Santa Cruz. Here are some photos:




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Have a marvelous Monday!



Google & The Wayward One!

Yesterday, I got to hug my middle son, the ‘wayward one’, (the oldest is  the ‘big lug’ and the baby is the ‘young ‘un’) for the first time in five months. Now, I know I’m lucky. Many moms don’t see their kids for years, but we’ve always lived, even after they moved out, within regular Sunday dinner family barbeque’s distance, so the last two years have been a huge adjustment for me. At any rate, the wayward one works for Google, and we were treated to a tour of his new facility, and managed to meet his boss and  many of his teammates.

‘Googlers’, as they refer to themselves, have to be the luckiest and happiest employees on the planet. Everything’s provided for them. I’m convinced they’ve spoiled my son for working anywhere else. Not bad for the son nicknamed the ‘wayward one’ for  his rebellious inclinations. Hurrah for the rebels – they teach us to break the rules and make new ones!

Here are some pics:


Flavored waters at the gym - lavender was delish

Flavored waters at the gym – lavender was delish


Look closely – it’s the mobile building & this is all made of dinky cars!


My favorite place – Google employees can take free cooking classes from world class chefs – OMG I’m so jealous!


The Sushi Bar in the one of 32 free restaurants on the Google campus. All are featured in foodie mags frequently. This one’s full service.


Closeup of the sushi bar. Did I mention Googlers are encouraged to take food home? My son’s so spoiled.


The Coffee & Tea Lab run in conjunction with Starbucks. It’s a real lab where they test responses to different concoctions. Amazing.


One of the many parks & outside areas on the Google campus. Love the big chairs!


Google’s Test Kitchen offers cooking classes to all employee free of charge, and all are taught by certified chefs! Sigh…drooling here.




Birthday Thanks!

My sincere thanks to everyone for their good wishes yesterday on my birthday. It turned out to be a wonderful day. First there were the birthday flowers:

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After a leisurely cup of coffee, the dh and I took Ricky (the best present ever!) for a walk.

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Then my girlfriend, Tamarind, and her husband treated the two of us and my two sons (the wayward one’s in California) to brunch at Oceans 2000. Yummy stone crabs, oysters, and a whole bunch of other seafood plus champers. Even though it was rainy and grim (which made it the perfect temperature here in South Florida) the misted ocean, and the rolling waves made for an incredible setting. How can anyone go wrong with a combination of a perfect view, friends and family, and fabulous food?

Here’s a pick of the antique cake dish Tamarind gave me (I collect, according to the dh, ‘useless pink glass’):

Cake with Ricky card


And I can’t possibly mention or post a pic of the dh’s gifts…*wicked grin*.
Sigh, the only downside was that birthday number edging closer to the ‘big one.’
Have a magnificent Monday!


Father’s Day

oscar mayer bacon gift boxYesterday was Father’s Day. It’s been 20 years since my dad passed and there are many difficult days to face each year, but Father’s Day is a particularly poignant one.

I am an anal planner. Twenty years ago, I had this ‘thing’ about cards. I loved picking the exact ‘right’ card for the moment and would spend hours in various drug stores perusing the ‘occasion’ cards. Many times I would find ‘the’ right one like ten times all at once. Twenty-one years ago, I found two perfect Father’s Day cards and bought both. I gave one to my father that year and, as usual, cooked him a fabulous brunch—his favorite Father’s Day gift. I saved the other card for the following year.

Yeah, you guessed it—I never got to give him that card. To this day, I’ve never been able to throw it in the trash. Every year since my dad died, I take out that ‘perfect’ card the day before Father’s Day. I read it and cannot help but cry.

It’s a secret ritual because my husband is an amazing father and I never want to detract from his Father’s Day. So, yesterday we did the macho grilled steak routine and, as part of our ritual since my dad left us, we toasted him as well as the dh.

For all of you who are lucky enough to have living fathers—enjoy every minute.

Happy Monday!