Friday, January 20, 2006

The Gator has pancreatitis and I'm not feeling so good myelf.

We're home from a flying trip to Fresno to see the sicko Mr. B in his recovery from rotavirus. He's doing fine and scarfing up the formula and Cheerios and anything his Mom can shovel in fast enough.

During the course of the illness, he managed to infect his Mom, so we held her hand while she wasn't well and then we came home.....

To our seven year old Miniature Schnauzer Annabel (aka "Gator" short for the Annigator,pictured at right in her sexy marabou collar that Sarah got her for Christmas), who was acting puny and not eating. Swell. A trip to Dr. Patrick and a blood test later, the Gate has been diagnosed with pancreatitis. She is taking a course of antibiotics to prevent secondary infections and pretty much laying around in quilts and sleeping.

That doesn't present a problem for us, having contracted the dreaded rotavirus from our beloved Mr. B., we are pretty much laying low, not eating ourselves. Helluva way to celebrate our Tenth Wedding Anniversary! Not only that, I was scheduled to fly to Ontario, CA with my friend Kathy B to attend the Road to California quilt show through Sunday. After pickup at the Sacramento Airport hubby was going to take me up to Lake Tahoe for a few days. That is still under consideration, but not looking too good at this point. Does this stink, or what?

I'm sure we'll all feel better tomorrow, but right now we are all ready to go to bed without our supper (except Ace, of course).

Friday, January 13, 2006

Poor Mr. B.!

The world's most adorable child, Mr. B., has been stricken this week by the dreaded rotavirus. The poor little guy has been sick for a couple of days with the usual rotavirus symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea) and his Mommy thought maybe he had a touch of food poisoning.

After a four hour visit to Kaiser on Wednesday for IV rehydration and another visit Thursday, he was no better this morning and had the old heave-ho all over Mommy and his Grammie, who was up helping out.

They admitted him this afternoon for stabilization and IV fluids until his poor little gut calms down.

Nana and Pop are worrying from afar and hoping this mess will be over soon.

We love you all and are thinking of you.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Its Billy / Willie Day

Today, January 11th is what we call Billy/Willie Day in honor of Mike's father Bill who passed away on this day and my mother Wilma (Willie) who was born on this day.

William Leroy Andrews was born March 10, 1928 in Waukena, CA to Roy and Hazel Andrews. He was the second child and first son. A talented athlete, he was the star of Corcoran High School for two years before the family moved to Visalia and then became a star athlete at Visalia Union High School. After High School, he entered the Navy and after his discharge married his sweetheart Daisy Pryor in 1950. He was called back into the Navy during the Korean War. He worked for Pacific Telephone, advancing from lineman to supervisor to chief engineer, and in his spare time, loved to have a good time and watch sports on TV. He had two children, Chris and Mike and three grandchildren, Sarah Andrews, Scott Andrews and Stephen Day. He is pictured at the right with Stephen who is days old and this picture was taken several days before his untimely death of a heart attack on January 11, 1984 at the age of 55.

Wilma Aileen Jones was born on January 11, 1920 in Sparks, Nevada to Everett and Emma Jones. She was their only child. Mom was the belle of Sparks High School and her sorority at the University of Nevada where she joined the newspaper staff as a requirement of her sorority. She immediately fell for the editor, my father John Brackett (pictured with her at the right, 1986) and thus began a romance that lasted until her death of emphysema on March 31, 1993. They had three daughters, Jonelle, Jan and Jo and seven grandchildren, John, Mindy, Rachel, Kate, Daniel, Jessica and Rachel. Willie lived to meet one of her great-grandchildren, Cristina. Mom could usually be found with a pair of knitting needles in her hand and we all enjoyed the bounty of her talents.

So, on this day we drink a toast to our
parents--they certainly would approve of that!

Thursday, January 05, 2006


To daughter Kate and hubby Steve on their fifth anniversary!
Kate and Steve, pictured above at Steve's graduation from Redwood High School in 1995, shortly after they began dating. They were introduced by mutual friend Lauren.

In 2000, Kate and Steve received their Bachelor's Degrees, he in engineering from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and she in psychology from Fresno State. Kate continued on to pursue a Masters Degree in Social Work and Steve got a job so he could prepare for his licensing as a Civil Engineer.

On January 6, 2001, they married at the First Christian Church in Visalia, CA with a reception following at the Sons of Italy Hall. A good time was had by all and Kate got to dance with both of her grandfathers that day.

Life has moved on for the Cates family in a big way, most especially with the addition of their finest member (sorry K & S) last February.

On February 17, 2004 at 12:02 am, the family was enlarged with the addition of Benjamin. They are a sweet family.

So from my heart to yours, Kate and Steve:

With many more to come!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Rest in Peace

To the victims of the Sago Mine disaster, I say God bless you and rest in peace. My sympathies are with your families and friends, whose lives are forever impacted by nature's folly.

Pictured at the right is my grandfather Antone Giovanni Brachet holding my father John Brackett. Since my father was born in July 1914, this picture is probably from 1915.

Tony and the family, which consisted of my grandmother Aurelia, my Dad and his siblings lived in Manhattan, Nevada where Tony worked as a gold miner in the White Caps Mine. As a teen, my father also worked in the mine.

On May 29, 1933, the mine alarm sounded signaling an accident-- Tony had been electrocuted when his miner's lamp hit an overhead wire.

Life changed forever for the Brackett family that day. My grandmother, also an Italian immigrant, was left with five children, Louis, 22; John, 18; Blanche, 13; Tony, 12 and Madaline, 8, and a thousand dollars in debt (in the height of the depression!)

My grandmother, by reputation, was a fabulous cook so she rolled up her sleeves and took in boarders for meals to supplement the small widow's benefit she was given. In four years' time, she was able to move the family to Reno and purchase a house on Lake Street for $4,000 cash (where the Ramada Inn now sits). In Reno, she rented out parts of her home and also served meals to boarders to support herself until her death in 1945 at the age of 58.

I never knew either of my father's parents, but they live on in family stories and treasured recipes. The watch chain my grandfather wears in this photo was given to my son on his first birthday by his Poppi, my father.

I hope that the families of the Sago miners will treasure their family memories and stories so that the miners may live on for the children and grandchildren they will never know.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year!!

I wish I'd written this.

Kat in Ohio, one of my online quilting buddies (and quilter of the famous Acorn quilt), shared it with our group. It is from Quilt University's newsletter and sums up my feelings quite nicely.


Happy New Year! What is it about January 1 that makes us look back and resolve to do things better? Differently? As children, we picture life as a linear progression. Finish school, find a job, get married, have children. Somewhere in there, we expect to start living happily ever after.

It turns out that life is not a straight line. We change houses, spouses, friends, cities, jobs. Whole industries disappear as technology changes and we end up on paths that didn't even exist when we were young.

As we get older, we reach what we thought was the end of the path and realize there is a lot more to come. The little things of life have a funny way of becoming the turning points to big changes. We make dozens of decisions every day and never have a clue which one could be life altering.

Along the way, we hit bumps and potholes and it sometimes seems we are in a dense fog and not sure which road to take. Then there are those wonderful moments where you find yourself at the top of a hill and you can see for miles, with roads branching off in a hundred directions. Everything seems possible. You can have a lot of fun taking those side roads.

On this eve of 2006, I am resolutely ignoring my bad habits, the pounds I wish I could lose and all those unquilted tops in my closet. My only resolution is to keep turning corners and see what happens next.


To the left, a portion of the Fannie B. Shaw Prosperity Quilt: "Prosperity is Just Around the Corner" from the Dallas Museum of Art. Ms. Shaw's quilt was commentary on President Herbert Hoover's promises during the depression.