A Full House

Christmas Eve is always a special event.  I can start by mentioning that we had attendance of about 64 people. Also, this was the first Christmas in a very long time that all nine Antinori siblings and their families were able to attend at the same time. I can also explain each course and the many kinds of fish dishes. But I’ll let the attached menu speak for itself. The menu, by the way, was a great idea of Margaret’s to slow down the pace and take the worry out of missing your favorite dish. Not sure if it slowed anything down much.

Having all her children here was a true present for my mother-in-law, Betty. We made sure we took lots of photos of the different groups. Her children, the daughters,
the sons, the siblings, the granddaughters, the grandsons, the grandchildren,
LKR (Little Kids Rule) and even the in laws!

The young children happily played together and made sure to keep asking “When is Santa coming?” At a strategic time in between courses, Santa joyfully bounded down the stairs with his big sack of presents assisted by his elves. This year he chose the teen set of cousins for his helpers. This too cool group were so happy to be together. Santa and elves rapped, sang songs, danced and passed out presents.  The little kids ripped open wrap, jumped for joy and the crowd cheered. Betsy read a beautiful sentiment that Nonna had written expressing her love and reminding us of the true meaning of Christmas.

Every year, we foolishly think there is a chance there may be a shortage of food. The weeks prior to this event there were several funny emails going back and forth with talk of traveling fish, last minute additions and quantities being adjusted. News brief: we had enough food. Actually, I don’t think a ridiculous amount but it would have been difficult to go home hungry. Ok, well, we did have dinner food at the dessert table, but still.

But, most important to keep in mind, after the songs are all sung, the last fish is presented, dessert disappears, and the final dish is washed, is how truly blessed we are to be together and to celebrate with such a grand tradition. Thank you all, for this undoubtably is a concerted effort. It is an honor to host Christmas Eve in our home. It truly was a house full…of love.

Have a joyful New Year filled with health, wealth and happiness,

Here, in no particular order, are photos:

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Happy Thanksgiving


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We Thank You For Your Service

Paul Carey is currently serving in Afghanistan.

Paul Carey is currently serving in Afghanistan.

 Paul's helicopter s on route to Afghanistan that safely delivered he and fellow soldiers to their base.

 Paul’s helicopter on route to Afghanistan that safely delivered he and fellow soldiers to their base in Ghazni, Afghanistan.

I asked Kate to give us an update on how Paul is doing. Here it is:

He is doing well.  He is at a base in Ghazni, Afghanistan and serves as the Orthopaedic surgeon on a forward surgical team.  His job is to take care of American and coalition troops with broken bones from combat related trauma. He says it’s a good team of people and the food is not so bad – he never complains about anything! It’s hard to be apart, but it gives Paul peace knowing the kids and I have the best support system here in Goshen.  I don’t know what I’d do without Jane and John and my parents.  They have been the biggest help.

When Paul returns at the end of March, he will resume his job at Ft. Drum caring for the soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division.  We will move up to Carthage, NY and FINALLY settle in to one place for a while.

We are both appreciative of the love, support and prayers from our family!!

Paul, we are amazed at your many accomplishments. Know that you and your fellow soldiers are in our hearts and prayers for a successful mission and safe return.

Here is Paul’s address:

CPT Paul Carey
TF 28th Med FSE
FOB Ghazni, AFG
APO AE, 09364

Paul's helicopter s on route to Afghanistan that safely delivered he and fellow soldiers to their base.

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14,16, 25, 50, 60…

 …a mathematical equation, I don’t think so. Tony and Cindy hosted a wonderful luncheon on Sunday for the October birthdays. Mark 14 and Michele 16 both on the 22nd, Charlie was 25 on the 21st, I cleared 50 on the 9th, and Uncle Paul on top at 60 on the 19th.  Missing from the party and also sharing an October birthdate were little Michael Carey 2 on the 4th, Josemine Carey was 27 on the 5th and Luke Antinori 16 on the 25th. 

Tony and Cindy put out a terrific spread. There was a delicious minestrone, grilled chicken & steak, hamburgers, potatoes, vegetables and salad, lasagna, Nonna’s zucchini quiche, and Loanna made eggplant and stuffed jalapeno.  Never a shortage of desserts, there were lots of cake, pies, and cookies.

Thank you Tony and Cindy for being gracious hosts. 

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God Bless AJ

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Anthony John was baptized this past Sunday, October 12.  Adorable little AJ quietly took in the ceremony while proud parents Shavon and Anthony, God parents Dan and Kaitlyn and the congregation of friends and family looked on. He wore his cousin Mason’s baptism outfit.  During the ceremony Shavon held the 65-year-old Antinori baptism gown under AJ.  Cindy relayed to me that 65 years ago Uncle Charlie wore this outfit, 32 years ago her son Anthony wore the baptism gown and now Aj had the gown underneath him during the christening.  The gown is very small so in order for any baby to wear it they would have had to be baptized between 3 weeks to two months. Aj is close to 4 months and the outfit was too small for him to wear it.

We celebrated later at La Havana 59 in Moonachie for a delicious Cuban meal. We enjoyed a slide show of photos of AJ and early photos of Shavon and Anthony.
Shavon passed on the photos to share.

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It’s a Boy!

james antonio

James Antonio
September 27, 2013
8 lb 8.5 oz

Congratulations to Joe and Lena on the birth of their new baby boy. James Antonio joins big brother Johnny. Joe says mom and baby are doing great. They are grateful to have love and support from family and friends and much help from Lena’s mom Teresa and welcome visits from Aunt Betsy.

joe lena johnn johnny and james

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Here are some photos from David and Josemine’s east coast wedding celebration. Thank you Debbi for taking great pictures.

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Catching up

September has a sneaky way of coming up fast on you.  August was a busy month. We tied up the summer beach season with a grand 65th birthday party for my brother-in-law Charlie. The party was a lot of fun and the weather was perfect. Summer ended quick for me because I started my new job the last week in August. Although I’ve been very busy I feel blessed to be busy with all good things.

Here are some photos from Charlie’s party:

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We shifted gears this past weekend and went up to Goshen to celebrate the east coast wedding celebration of Drs. David and Josemine Carey for those of us who couldn’t attend their wedding in California this past May. Like Jane & John’s 40th anniversary party it was also held at Delancey’s. We had a nice time catching up with everyone and enjoyed the opportunity to spend more time with the Careys and their friends.  David and Josemine played a artfully done video that captured the day of their wedding and individual photo montages of the couple set to a mixed set of songs. I didn’t have my camera that night and I’m hoping to post some photos from Debbi when I get them.
Till then…


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CAB Day 9, Over and Out

Here is Betsy’s last entry:

Today was a major housekeeping day.  The most notable mention is that James finished his gd Animal Farm homework.  He and I also toured around getting footage for his art homework, about country life v city life.  Paul Jr. and he had a photo op wood splitting session.  I was hoping for some actual wood splitting.  Mich finished her homework assignment too, and is now moving onto some pleasure reading.  She made some white chocolate mint truffles this morning.  Delicious. Look for those in Sea Girt.  Uncle Paul had to work late, so our farewell dinner was just the 4 of us.  Steak, potatoes, green beans and crudite from the farm veggies. No dessert!  We may make some cookies later, after our final swim.  I am trying to throw some things in a bag for my time there, and clean out the frig, etc.  We leave for the airport tomorrow morning early, so this is goodbye.

They are the most beautiful people.  We had a great time.  Thanks again to their parents for the privilege of having them at CAB.  Keep having fun people.  Kisses and slams from all of us.  CAB 2013 is off the road.

Well, CAB is over and it was another great one. Looking forward to seeing them when they get here.  I like to post CAB entries here ( sorry for one out of order ) so there is a running account for the campers or others who are interested can enjoy.

On the agenda for this weekend is a celebration for brother-in-law Charlie’s 65th birthday, hopefully some beach time as well.

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CAB Day 7 & 8

If it’s Tuesday it must be Hearst Castle.  Dawn Patrol (me and James) got breakfast first, and then Mich joined us.  The Hilton did a pretty nice spread.

The castle is about 3 hours from Santa Cruz.  Luckily, the Dale kids are very efficient travelers.  James spends a little time looking out the window, then he hits the snack sack, then he sleeps.  When we wakes up, at the end of the ride, he says one of two things.  Either, “I have to pee,” or, “I’m hungry.”  Seriously.  Mich’s style is a little different.  She first makes sure I know where I’m going.  Then she starts her assigned reading.   She’s available to chat, or for any navigational needs.  She’ll also sing along with the radio with me.   We passed through lots of agriculture on the way, and they were harvesting like crazy.  Prices were insane.  Avocados were 7 for $1 and artichokes an incredible 12 for $1.  We discussed how little of our food money goes to the farmers, but also considered that the distribution of the stuff is essential; the farmer needs that system. James did some filming for his art homework.  He called it “good b roll.”  That’s a movie making term. 

We arrived at the castle visitor center in time to, what else, get lunch.  The Hearst family still runs cattle on the land, and they serve the meat in the cafe.  James partook of a bbq beef sandwich.  Not bad.  We couldn’t tell that it was Hearst beef though.  Next up was an IMAX movie.  Those are always fun.  Then we boarded the bus for the actual Castle, along with the League of Nations.  The Hearsts called that site on the ranch “the enchanted hill” and it is.  The castle is spectacular.  The kids kept saying how much their Dad would like the place.  We got to see the main public rooms, which are full of treasures:  tapestries, sculptures, interiors from all over Europe, like old Italian ceilings and ornate carved wood from churches.  Then we checked out the gardens and the Neptune pool.  The colonnade around the pool has Roman columns from the 1st to 4th century.  There are security people everywhere, who scold you if you touch anything.  But in a nice way.  The whole place is considered a museum.  We were well behaved.  We were.

We spent about 4 hours at the Castle in total.  So, understandably, we were hungry.  We stopped for dinner alongside California highway 1 and San Simeon Bay (which is really blue!).  We were underwhelmed.  I explained that we are a tough group, since we have pretty high food standards.  James even criticized the plating of the food.  Oh boy. But, we ate.  Then we stopped in the next town for ice cream, and there were so many restaurants that looked 100 times better than the one we stopped at.  That hurt. 

However, things got much better as we headed inland to our hotel for the night.  The Pacific was behind us, with the sun setting, all orange and pink.  Ahead of us was the rising full moon, gigantic because it was low on the horizon, in a purple sky.  We stopped at the top the the mountain, and James filmed the whole thing.  It was magical.  I will always remember that moment.  I will also remember that both kids peed in that spot.  James has been doing his part to road side fire danger by peeing at every turn.  Last night’s  hotel also had a pool, and there was a brief swim before we pulled out the cards.  Unfortunately, Mich got a stomach ache, cutting the game short.  She eventually lost her dinner.  But then she felt much better and slept well.  As did James and I.

This morning we packed up and drove 4 hours home, stopping only for  fruit at a roadside stand, and lunch.

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CAB Day 6

Just arrived home from our most excellent road trip.  The kids are ensconced on the sofa with Tommy Boy, some non-educational programming.   

Let me see…I’ll start with Monday: we took off, stopping first at the local WildFlour Bakery for bread and to tour their garden.  They’re growing hops, which are going to stink up the whole town in the fall.  I know that from Germany.  

We headed straight to The Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz (www.mysteryspot.com/‎).  Smartypants say it’s all an optical illusion, but we campers were pretty awed and puzzled (a common feeling for us).  It’s an area “where the laws of physics do not apply.”  We had to wait for our tour, so we whiled away the time with some rowdy games of golf, with genuine Mystery Spot playing cards.  This was the start of being among mostly foreigners.  Lots of languages other than English being spoken.  Good for us, since we tend to say whatever we thing, especially while playing cards; a happy coincidence when nearby people don’t speak English (or at least not as their mother tongue – they’ll think that they just don’t get the nuances of our witticisms).  We ate nachos, hotdogs and what they called a grilled chicken sandwich (me); they use the term loosely.  Our tour guide was a font of bad puns and jokes.  We loved them.  

Next stop was The Seymour Marine Center, sort of a mini Monterey Bay Aquarium.  We got to touch a swell shark (it swells up to scare/frustrate predators), saw a ginormous blue whale skeleton, and strolled, safely, along the very very edge of the bluffs on Monterey Bay.   The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk was waiting for us, so we made our way further down the coast.  AB does her research, so we knew that all rides were $1 after 5.  Oh yeah.  Plus, hotdogs, cotton candy and fountain sodas.  Fat city!  It was a beautiful night, a ticket line opened as we stepped up to the counter, and we were off to the races.  To start, we took the sky ski lift thing, that traverses the whole Boardwalk, so you can get an overview.  The kids talked me into doing the water logjam ride.  “We won’t get that wet.”  Right.  Then the Giant Dipper beckoned, an historic landmark wood roller coaster.  I like new things when my life is involved.  The kids went on first, as I ate way too much kettle corn (full price item), and they swore that it’s not too bad.  So, then we all went on.  I really didn’t enjoy it.  Mich stole the outrageously-priced official ride photo with her IPhone.  She is clever, and somehow I didn’t feel like it was all that wrong.  Loose morals at CAB.  You can see for yourselves, kinda, how much “fun” I had.  

CAB Coaster

After that, James went on some crazy ride with centrifugal force and dropping bottoms and almost upside down spins.  Other rides happened, along with arcade games.  We encountered a woman who needed repeated and long explanations about how the water pistol blowing up the balloon race worked.  That was weird.  Michele won anyway, and very graciously gave her stuffed toy to the stupid woman’s grandson (poor kid).  They didn’t know what hit them!  Then we ate.  Not hotdogs, sadly, but there were healthier options at the teriyaki chicken stand.  Don’t worry, we got plenty of cotton candy.  As the sun slipped into the Pacific, we headed to our hotel.  We got right into the rooftop pool and hot tub, under the stars.  James was working on his dive, and was assisted by a dude with a major tattoo (“Only God can judge me” around his neck.  We think that’s not completely true, but we waited till he was gone to discuss.  Tattoo notwithstanding, he was a nice guy).  Mich swam laps.  I didn’t.  To end the night, we got a little more card playing in, with the TV on.  

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CAB Day 4

Yeah, I know, it’s out of order.

Another hot sunny day in Sonoma County.

The big news is that the fly trap spit out the first swimmer.
Online we learned that if the bug is too big, and the leaves can’t
close completely, that’s a problem. We were actually concerned
about the swimmer’s legs that were sticking out the whole time,
rightly so, it turns out. The second swimmer will be ejected soon,
as those leaves are also starting to open. We perched the plant
outside with us all afternoon, and then in the freaking compost
pile, which is swarming with flies, but no luck. The third “trap”
is still empty. James, nevertheless, is observing twice a day,
measuring the leaves’ opening width (using Metric measurements,
very scientific) and making notes. We also brainstormed about his
art homework (a film about country life vs city life), and he got a
start writing up his Animal Farm homework. Poor kid, there was
steam coming our of his ears when he was doing that, as I prepped
dinner. He then said, “I think I’ll take a break,” went upstairs
and fell asleep. Missed dinner. I will go to bed now, since he’s
going to be up crazy early. Mich still hates The Things They
Carried, but she’s struggling along. She says it’s a great sleep

We had a power start to the day, with breakfast at the best place
in the county. Eggs, sausage, polenta, pancetta, toast and jam,
fruit, mochas. We wiped it all out. Paul Jr. headed home, to  dress for work, and the campers and I went to the Laguna Fest (www.lagunafarm.com/laguna-fest/) .
Paul asked us to attend the “Cannabis as Medicine” session, and
the kids wanted to check out Shepherd Bliss’ talk, since he’s an
old friend from CAB (and a secret crush of a former counselor), but
we didn’t do either. We were busy tromping around the creek,
learning about cheese making, sampling chocolates, and visiting the
clothes and book swap. Mich scored 2 great dresses and a flannel
shirt there (they’re in the washer now) and we each got a delicious
melon from the farmer. We also had ice pops: apple cider, peach/
ginger and cucumber/melon/lemon. The last flavor was the best. As
we began to make our way home James noticed a “spider” on my back,
and then another on my sleeve. Except they weren’t spiders, they
were ticks. Aunt Rose, cover your eyes. We all began patting
ourselves all over, massaging our scalps, checking for the little
buggers. We put our hands down our pants in public. Which is
fine. By the time we were done, i had pulled 9 ticks off myself;
another record set at CAB. Mich had none, but she was the
itchiest. James claims he had one, from a very private area, but
we can’t confirm that. And we don’t want to try.

So, we got home. Hit the pool. Lounged in the hot tub. Tried to
feed our fly trap. Snacked. James and I prepped our sweet corn
ice cream custard. Uncle Paul made it home. Dinner, sparkling
conversation, and here I am.

Tomorrow should be pretty chill. I did finally connect with my
blackberry source. We’re on for noon. He says there’s a bumper
crop this year (my heart leapt) but they weren’t quite ripe (it
sunk), since our weather has been cool. But that was a few days
ago, and we’ve had sunny hot days since, so fingers crossed. Uncle
Paul, or the Kenyan, as we call him, has a 16 mile run planned.

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CAB Day 5

More stories from camp…

Here is a photo sent from camp. Betsy says they are sitting in a boat in the creek. She is holding  a delicious melon.

Here is a great self shot of the counselor and campers sitting in a boat in the creek. Betsy says she is holding a delicious melon.

James was up early, as feared.  He slammed down some cereal and we  were rolling.  Out on the driveway by 7 a.m. with Juneau, getting  major acrobatic hops.  Sadly, the Go Pro wasn’t charged (dang) so we  couldn’t film.  Btw, Joe and Paul Jr. covet the thing.  What is it  about guys and gadgets?  I reminded James that Animal Farm should get  written up, and he disappeared for an hour to play video games I  think.  But, he did manage to get a good start on the thing later.  He  actually had a tick on his neck this morning.  It hadn’t bitten him  yet, and he was super cool about it.  Then we found one outside, and  had the idea to feed it to the flytrap, who we now call V Rex.  The  leaves shut tight.  You should all get a Venus flytrap.  It is a party.

Mich and Paul Jr. joined us for breakfast.  Popovers, muffins, fruit, Mom’s zucchini thing, coffee.  Mich churned the corn custard into ice  cream. 

At noon, we were off to our blackberry patch in nearby Freestone.  As  we pulled up, our host Eric was trimming the long nasty scratchy  blackberry vines so we’d have better picking.  That’s service.  The  patch was as good as I’d heard, covered in berries.  We picked 6  baskets full, and hope to go back on Thursday for more.  It is a very  satisfying activity.  We made a sauce for the ice cream and an upside  down cake out of them.  We also ate a bunch.  Eric has three beautiful  horses too, who we got to feed and pet.  Also, a 150 year old horse-drawn buggy, with the fringe on top.  “Chicks and ducks and geese  better scurry.”  Kate, you know the tune!  After that, we tasted some  of his homemade red wine applesauce.  Delicious.  Then out came some  vanilla ice cream from a local dairy.  Definitely a successful outing. 

Back at home, we all jumped into the pool.  Uncle Paul made it home,  covered in sweat but having completed his 16 miles.  We didn’t see him  for a few hours.  Johnny and his people showed up.  General hilarity ensued.  Johnny likes the hot tub.  We ate dinner, and our berry creations for dessert.  The sweet corn ice cream tasted a lot like  sweet corn.  Weird. Cold, sweet corn.  Not really.  The sauce was killer, though. Cake was good too.

 Tomorrow we travel to Santa Cruz and then to the Hearst Castle.  You  will not hear from me until we return home on Wednesday.  But you can be sure we’ll be having fun and wishing you were all with us.


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CAB Day 2 and half of 3

Sorry for the radio silence.  I meant to warn you that we were hitting the road, but time became tight.  So, here’s the story:

James and I awoke 6ish yesterday morning, because we’re the Dawn Patrol.  He downed a bowl of cereal, and we got right back into Animal Farm.  He is such a good read-aloud reader.  That book is harrowing, by the way.  After a bit, we knew we had to head into the kitchen for some Martinez party prep.  What a team we are!  We made apple pie, chocolate banana pudding (layers of homemade chocolate pudding, bananas and chocolate cookies, topped with whipped cream), soft pretzels (a recipe form Vince’s visit) and chicken taco meat.  We left the meat here for Paul Jr., as sustenance, and took all the rest with us.  On our way to get Mich in SF, we stopped at the farm and got our farm share, and also back at California Carnivores and got a fly trap.  We really liked the $60 ones, but settled for a $15 one.  More money for candy and rides at the boardwalk.  Life lessons.  Progress into the city was good.  We picked up Mich and met her fancy friend and friend’s mom, and then thought, “Easy peasy, we’re on our way to Martinez.”  But, it was not to be.  No, it was not.  We sat in traffic in the financial district, trying to get onto the Bay Bridge, with a bunch of other unfortunates for at least an hour.  Lights turned green and then red again repeatedly without our moving an inch.  Dire conditions.  At times we blocked the box, just a little; I was desperate to get every inch, without someone trying to weasel their way in, which happens people.  Actually, someone did want to do that, but my campers told me to be strong and not give an inch, even though the people were rocking a car seat, as though they had a crying baby.  Which I kinda believed, but then the NYC kids pointed out that was probably a scam.  Busted!  We became very hungry and ate all the pretzels.  Finally, we got on the freaking bridge, and were moving.  A big thank you shout out to the car pool lane.

We made it to Martinez finally and things got better rapidly.  Smiling faces of Joe and Johnny greeted us.  The kids got reacquainted while Joe prepped supper – salmon, gnocchi (Trader Joe, really good), salad.  Mich and I cut up tons of delicious fruit (credit for feeding the campers something fresh please).  Fortune was with us, because the Chavez Careys were in the midst of a fruit fly infestation (weird, right?), and we happened to have a fly trap that needed feeding.  What are the odds?  Crazy.  Dessert did not disappoint.  Lena made it home just as we were eating dinner, which made everyone happy.  Dessert did not disappoint.  After Johnny bedtime processing, and lots of good night kisses, we played a round of Apples to Apples.  Okay, I won.  Big deal.  Stop, seriously.  Then it was lights out.  James on the sofa, me on the aerobed, and Mich in the bed in Johnny’s room.  But, without Johnny, because he woke up and had to decamp to his parents’ room.  Leaving Mich in the bedroom with a door.  This set the stage for history to be made.  She slept until 8:30 this morning.  No one has seen that much sleep in that house for the last 2 years!  

Day 3 dawned.  Joe and Johnny and I were Dawn Patrol.  James joined us.  You know what Mich was up to.  The Chavez Careys did their morning work routine, and we fooled around.  By this time Johnny was totally into James, and had him jumping through any hoop he wanted.  Mostly having to do with the “windy” – that’s a fan to the uninitiated.  James taught him some dance moves, including  “the Jamesy” from back in the day.  Good times.  We ate several rounds of breakfast, and once Mich was roused, we headed to the park.  The place was jumping, which isn’t normally to Johnny’s liking, but since he had his homies he was cool, and we all had lots of hot fun.  It was already about 85 at 10 a.m.  Once we were as sweaty as possible, we headed home.  Oh yeah, we stopped at the bakery on the way to the park for muffins and croissants.  Also, acorn bread, what sign I’ve been eyeing for years, and finally decided to stop in.  A let down, to be honest.  Oh well.  We also said hello and goodbye to many trains, including a long freight train with lots of containers from China on it.  At home we hydrated and played until Johnny’s nanny, Anabelle, got there.  Then we high tailed it out of there.  Quick In N Out stop on the way home for lunch.  At this writing, the kids are out by the pool with Paul Jr.  Mich found her summer reading book on our shelf, and is cracking it.  James is trying to lure some larger flies into his trap.  

More later…

News Flash: We caught a bug in the pool, one of the hated “swimmers”, stunned it,  and fed it to the fly trap.  That thing snapped shut!  Pretty cool.  Science homework underway!

Also, sorry for the cut and paste error in the last post, re dessert.  
Note to self: sometimes it’s better not to edit things.

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CAB Day 1 closes

Heavy marine layer (that’s fog) greeted me on the drive to the airport.  I almost rear ended a manure truck that was coming onto the road from a ranch with no lights on that I could see.  Can’t help it: that would have been a shitty start to CAB.  Buh dump bump.  But, I didn’t and I made it in time.  Loaded up the campers and headed to Japantown.  We blew right past the Peace Plaza and headed inside to eat.  Priorities.  We slurped large bowls of noodles and joked that you get a free facial with each meal.  The broth was flying!   Michy’s friend lives very near there, so we were able to walk, up a steep hill, to her house and drop Mich there.  James and I then found our way back to the car, and over the bridge.  James, it turns out, is also a crack navigator.  The ride to the bridge was a serious up and over – epic San Francisco hill.  The street signs warned “sharp crest” and they didn’t joke.  I would not want to drive a manual transmission car, well, anywhere, but really not in that city.

James has got summer homework (what the what?) and we planned to stop at a local nursery called California Carnivores to purchase a Venus flytrap plant as part of his science work.  After the first U turn of camp (more to come), we found the place, closed on Wednesdays.  We will return tomorrow.  James schooled me on turkey burgers, and we stopped at the market and got ingredients, which we whipped up for dinner.  We went Asian, with ginger, garlic, soy and cilantro.  Not too bad.  During dinner prep James read to me from Animal Farm – more summer homework.  We’re about halfway through that puppy.

We picked some apples this afternoon too, which will be turned into a pie tomorrow.  Of course, we played with the dogs.  I familiarized James with the wood splitting that needs doing.  An aunt can hope.

Tomorrow we’ll hang here until we split to pick up Mich at 4 in the city, and then head over to Martinez for a sleepover party at Johnny’s.  Those kids know how to have a good time.  Dave and Josemine are not able to make it tomorrow, sadly.

Uncle Paul made our hotel reservations (thank you), so I am going ahead with tour reservations for the Castle and the Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz.

Stay tuned…

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Camp Aunt Betsy 2013 Commences

Summer is flying by. It’s time again for Camp Aunt Betsy.
Here is her first report:

It’s that time again kids.  It’s a classic CAB this year, with just the original campers, Mich and JZ.  We’re calling it:


Everyone stop right now and say a small prayer to the automotive gods.  We will be killing a fatted calf and burning the best portions on the driveway, pouring a Coke into a chasm somewhere – whatever it takes to keep the Volvo running.

That said, we’re heading to the beach town of Santa Cruz (old beach boardwalk/surfing town) and then all the way down the coast (well, not ALL the way) to the Hearst Castle.

Beforehand we will chill a little in San Fran (Mich with a friend from her stint in the Dominican Republic – yeah, the kid’s got the life) and maybe even an overnight at Johnny C’s crib.  It was just 2 years ago that he made a guest appearance for CAB.  Now he’s a magnificent young man, with a bilingual vocabulary.  Most of the words are food related, which proves that he’s one of us.  Uncle Paul is really trying to teach him to say “mouth feel.”  Don’t tell Joe and Lena.

But I digress.

Here in Bodega, I’m working on access to what’s been billed as a world-class blackberry patch.  So far I haven’t made actual contact.  This qualifies as stress for a CAB counselor.  I will crack it though, have no fear.

Well, the kids are in the air, and I’ve got snack packs to assemble.  Just wanted to check in with you all.

Kisses and slams from CAB, AB

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Dean Kenneth McBride

Here is a beautiful tribute to Dean written by Jodi:

Dean Kenneth McBride
(1937-2003) Alamogordo, New Mexico

Dean K. McBride, 75, died at home on Friday, August 3. Dean was the only son of the late Frank K. and Alice (Lindquist) McBride. He was born in Ames, Iowa and raised in Willmar, Minnesota. Dean graduated from Willmar High School in 1956. He served in the Marine Corps, where he was stationed with the 3rdMarine Air Wing in Santa Ana, California from 1956-1959. Following his return from the service, he enrolled at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN. There he earned his BS in biology and social work in 1963. Dean met his wife, Mary (Mickey) Montague, at Gustavus, where they were both members of the choir. They were married in St. Peter in 1962.  Dean went on to get his MS in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1965. Dean spent most of his career at NDSU, where he was the Extension Entomologist for North Dakota from 1965 to 1993. Following retirement from his federal job, he was employed as an Entomologist/Associate from FMC from 1993 to 1997. Dean and Mickey lived in Fargo, North Dakota for forty years. They moved to Alamogordo, New Mexico in 2003 but continued to spend summers at the lake cabin on Big Sugarbush Lake in northern Minnesota. Dean was an active member of Messiah Lutheran Church in Fargo and Our Savior Lutheran Church in Alamogordo. Dean is survived by his wife, daughter Jodi and her husband Joseph Antinori, son, John Mc Bride, and his wife Ann, and three grandsons, Luke, Vincent, and Theodore Antinori.

Dad was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in March of 2011. He went to MD Anderson in Houston and they came up with a treatment plan that could be carried out in Alamogordo. The chemotherapy did a good job of prolonging his life. When he wasn’t sick from the chemo, he was able to engage in his favorite activities—singing in the church choir, reading, attending concerts and exercise class. He was even able to spend a month at the lake cabin last summer.

 In March the chemo was no longer effective in suppressing the cancer. He tried a round of radiation, but it didn’t work. At the beginning of July he went on Hospice. He died peacefully at home.

I’m thankful for the time I was able to spend with my parents the past two years. The love and care that my parents showed to one another during this time has been inspirational. I’m also grateful for all of the love and support I’ve gotten from the Antinori family. My dad was a great person and I will miss him dearly.

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Clambake 2013

The week of the 2013 Clambake was filled with highs, lows and…pizza.  To start off, Joe and Jodi and the boys were up from North Carolina for the week.  It’s always lots of fun when they are here. However, Jodi’s dad, Dean, had been gravely ill back home in New Mexico but Jodi made the trek for a needed break but kept in constant communication with her mom. Grace is always excited to see her cousins. Michele is having a very busy summer. This week she was away at Science camp at Brown University reportedly having a lot of fun. Also, a few weeks ago she was in Dominican Republic learning about dolphins. 

I came down to Sea Girt with Julia and Grace for a long weekend at the beginning of the week and came back again for the another long weekend at the end concluding with the Clambake. Al and Charlie joined us when they were able on the weekends. Debbi was also down for the week and Marilyn and Doug rented a house in Manasquan. Together with Cindy they stopped in Sea Girt for a meal or two and some activities. Kate was also present. She is in between leaving her old job in Philly and before the start of her new job at the Hyatt and living in a new apartment in NYC.

Joe and the kids were on a mission this trip. With the Antinori competitive spirit churning, they wanted to compare all the pizzas in the area including some of the known favorites to see what reins as the very best.  They tasted and charted all the aspects of a pie every day for lunch or dinner and I believe there was a day or two when they tested twice in one day. — Yeah, I know, but they don’t get real pizza in Burnsville. By the end of the week, Squan Tavern, Andy’s and Leggetts were in the finals.

The weather was great, with only one day of rain. The Camp was set at the beach every morning. Al wasn’t there during mid-week for his professional set up and I heard an umbrella went flying one day, but we always had a comfortable camp and never any high tide wipe outs. The water was cold, but refreshing if you got up the nerve to go in. I enjoyed my chats at the beach with the kids and got to know more about all the incredible things they are doing.

Midweek the gang went to the annual Fireman’s Fair in Manasquan. Mara, Doug, Debbi, Jodi and the boys had a lot of fun.  Another night the big kids took in a movie. Interestingly, we played very little Scrabble. I played one game with Jodi and Deb and Deb won. Hmmm.  Debbi engaged in her beading and helped Theo make a beautiful bracelet for his mom. Seriously, nice. It was blue and gray beads that matched Jodi’s eyes. Deb and I finally fit in a night of collaging. She makes beautiful cards that I am now inspired to make, also. The night before the Clambake while some of the gang went over to Manasquan to hang out with the Reuthers for what has been called “The Circle of Truth”, Deb, Julia, Luke and I kept it simple, but were riveted to a marathon of Breaking Bad on Netflix.

Other than pizza, we had some very healthy and delicious meals. Always a favorite, is Jim’s grilled chicken and sausage and perfectly seasoned strip steaks.  John Michael brought fantastic organic vegetables that we incorporated every night including delicious cole slaw that he made. Paul’s garden gave a steady supply of cucumbers and herbs. The corn this summer has been perfectly tender. Jim was concerned one night that there wasn’t enough food for our head count of 22. I came up with the idea of a crudite to snack on and pasta.  I worked fast to get the selected items prepared and plated. Jim and Joe joked that I made it in time to spare and I wouldn’t be Chopped. As always, there was a group effort in the kitchen, setting the table(s), and the clean up is a breeze when we work like a team. The star dessert, which caused a frenzy at the last Celebration Party, was Margaret’s Peach & Cherry Crisp. This time she made two. One for dessert for us the night before the clambake and another to serve at the end of the Clambake. That Crisp goes so fast I can’t seem to get a picture to show what it looks like.

Up early, Jodi and I ran a few of the mornings.  I just started running and she encouraged me to go with her. I was hesitant because her experience and long are intimidating. The Sea Girt 5k was coming up on the weekend and she was training for it. We ran the route of the 5K keeping a good pace and she gave me pointers on endurance.

Sadly, by the end of the week, Jodi got news that her dad passed away. Knowing this could be a possibility she was prepared as best as she could be. The 5K that she had trained for would have to wait, along with her final days and nights with us culminating with the Clambake.  Before leaving with a plane ticket she thought she would use the following week to go back to New Mexico, she convinced me to run the 5k in her place. I was hesitant but she really wanted me to run and didn’t seem to mind that I would be running under her name and forever altering her impressive record. ugh.

On Saturday, the day of the race, John Michael, Joe, Jim, Kate and David Rahner and his son James, David’s daughter Elizabeth’s boyfriend Anthony and I were ready to run. James and Theo who are usual standouts surprisingly decided not to run. The race was better than I expected, but longer than I imagined. Thank you Jodi for giving up your number and encouraging me to run. I was happy with my time but not happy it was now Jodi’s Sea Girt 5K 2013 time.

What a perfect day for a Clambake.  Sunday started out with the usual Bake prep. Al constructed the Pot.  Tent, table and chairs were arranged, coolers filled and the bar prepared. There was last-minute pick up of mozz, bread, the clams, mussels, shrimp and lobster. Badminton and bocci, a lemonade stand for the kids, and a cool bouncy gym that Matt and Allie brought for the kids were set up.  We had average attendance this year which consisted of a partial showing of Dales, Antinoris, Careys, all the Reuthers, and Ceceila Rahner and David and Doug and their families.  The food was nicely paced and delicious. For the third year in a row we fully appreciated the helpful servers that did prep, set up and clean up. For dessert we had ice cream cake, fruit and Margaret’s forever disappearing Crisp.

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Unfortunately, Julia, Grace and I had to go back home in the evening so we couldn’t stay for the final round of the Pizza-Off.  Apparently, after a lot of tasting and deciding, da dumm…Andy’s Pizza wins the prize as the best pizza around- according to this group. But hey, who’s better than us to taste some pizza.  Feel free to add your comments about the contest or results because I actually never had any of the pizza and missed the deciding round. Al and Charlie stayed over for the pizza results, more hanging out and another nice beach day on Monday.

It was a lot of fun and laughs mixed in with the sad news of Jodi’s dad’s passing. My sincere condolences to Jodi, Joe and the boys, her mom Mickey and her brother John and his wife Ann. Obit to follow

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One Big Celebration

Truthfully, it could be we just like to get together. This July we had a lot to celebrate. On Saturday, we formarlly celebrated Julia s graduation from Providence College, Nonna’s graduation from Seton Hall with her Masters and James receiving the sacrament of Confirmation. But there were other notable happenings as well. Ralph getting his Masters, Anthony and Shavon’s new baby Anthony John, Jane and Johns 40th anniversary, Margaret and Jim’s 22nd, Paul and Deb’s 32nd, Jim Dale’s 50th birthday.

Probably most important to note, brother-in-law Tony was able to come to the party after just coming home from the hospital where he had a very intense procedure to correct a problem with his eye. So glad to see him and that he is on the mend.

The day was hot, but thankfully not as hot as the heat wave we’ve been enduring this summer. Joe and Jodi and the kids arrived in time for the party and to stay in Sea Girt for the week. We ate, drank and enjoyed being together.
Thank you Debbi for more great pics.

Congratulations everyone.

Next on the agenda…The Clam Bake.

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A Carey Jubilee

was what it was all about at Delancey’s in Goshen this past Saturday night. Near and far the Careys, Antinoris and extended families and friends came together to celebrate Jane and John’s 40th wedding anniversary

We mingled and chatted about various Carey news, the kids, and other recent topics that are all a result of 40 years of this marriage. David and Josemine and Joe were here from California. Lena, expecting baby no. 2  stayed home with little Johnny.  David just graduated from residency and Josemine from medical school.  Paul finished his orthopedic residency in El Paso, Tx  and he and Kate and the three kids will be living back home with Kate’s family in Goshen temporarily until they move to his next station at Fort Drum in NY state and live in Watertown, NY.  It was great to see all the local and long distant Careys. It was also nice to see John’s family and friends who we don’t see very often and are so nice.

We had a delicious dinner and a very attentive wait staff to refresh our plates and bring our drinks. During dinner we continued our conversations with an occasional clink of a glass to initiate a wedding kiss. A touching slide show illuminating the past 40 years played for the captive crowd. Looking at the pictures of the young Carey boys I thought about how fast time goes by.

This was a special day for Jane and John beautifully planned by their children and wives. Thank you to Matt and Debbi for taking great pictures.

Congratulations, Jane & John, I wish you many more happy, healthy and bountiful years together.

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