Thursday, August 28, 2014

Still moving on

This last weekend we tackled the shelves in the hallway.  We found albums of pictures I knew we had  "somewhere" in the house.  I added them to the piles of old pictures that are taking up the space I thought was clear.  

This being Throwback Thursday here are a couple of fun images.  

My mom and dad were older when they had me, so some parts of our lives were really middle class 1950s and others, not so.  Obviously Christmas was taken seriously.  When you have one child and you've been working as a skilled laborer and one of the partners is a bit of whiz with numbers you can get an elaborate holiday.

Mom had been collecting Christmas things for nearly 20 years.  A lot of her china closet has items she collected at post-WWII prices.  We lived in a 600 square foot home, but doggone if she didn't have a place for her china and her porcelain from Japan and a 6 foot Christmas tree with blown glass ornaments from Germany.


On the other hand...

here I am in my coonskin hat with a bottle of booze.    

Do you wonder why?  I do, too.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Belated National Dog Day

Turns our yesterday was National Dog Day.  Here's the link to find out how you can celebrate/recognize the day at any time of the year -!celebrate/cee5

I've included lots of photos of our current dogs - and cat, but came across these while sorting photos.  Hope you enjoy them.

1969 - in front of the family home in East LA.  
Michael is cool 'cuz he's rolling and Michelle is cool 'cuz she's looking classy - if a bit scraggly.  
I'm cool 'cuz you can see my knees.  

Our dining room.  
Please note window by sweater.  It was very handy for passing food from the kitchen to the dining room.  

This charmer is Agapita.  She was named after dad, who hated the name Agapito.  
He loved her.  She loved us.
It was a win/win situation.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Thanks, Bella

There are a lot of reasons why I celebrate Women's Equality Day.  Most basic reason is that I value equity and equality.  

In 1971, "at the behest of Bella Abzug",  National Women's Equality Day was established. 
Here's a link to the full text -

Powerful stuff.  It's easy for me to embrace this intellectually and philosophically.  

Seeing these images of my grand daughters makes it practical and real.

I want their dreams and their realities to be filled with choices with the fewest limitations possible.

And for them to grow up to be people who are wise and just.

Lalo Alcaraz

Monday, August 25, 2014

Four months in

We met our new puppy four months ago.

We brought her home and named her Lali.

Lali decided it was an okay place to be and 
Larry figured what the heck.

Last week Lali crept under the covers of our bed - all on her own.

It's her home, isn't it?

Friday, August 22, 2014

It's Official

Thomas Balch Elliott Papers, Huntington Library 

Pasadena: Unexpected Roots

October 1, 2014
Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.

Independent scholar Roberta H. Martinez shares an intimate look at Pasadena's earliest days as reflected in the romance, marriage, and work of writers Arturo Bandini and Helen Elliott Bandini; melding the legacies of 
Old California and a changing sensibility to women's identity and roles: connections with the Valley Hunt Club, 
Greene and Greene architecture, Charles Lummis and even a connection with the Manhattan Project.

Ahmanson Room, Brody Botanical Center
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
San Marino, CA  91108

The event is free; seating is limited.  Register online -
or call 800-838-3006

Thursday, August 21, 2014

It is organizing that has brought me to reflection

Discovering lots about my folks.  I suspect actually I'm rediscovering things that they had shared with me but that I had, in my youthful way, found too boring to listen to or too narrow of experience to understand what they meant.  

You know the whole idea that you need to have a cultural context, something that you have experienced or read about, that would help give you an idea of what the person experienced when the story took place.  

It's one thing to talk about walking in high heels, quite another thing to walk from an event to the car in heels that are high.  Choosing to speak in Spanglish, depending on who you're hanging out with...That sort of thing.

I'm finding the same is true when it comes to looking through my folks' papers.  I've heard the stories, even seen some of the pictures.  But now I better understand aspects of their lives that were unique to each of them.  

Most recent (re)-discovery were some papers that I had previously filed.  Running from this obligation to that obligation it's so easy to not note how all the papers and images work together to tell the story.  

Since I'm the only one who has touched my dad's papers I know that I had placed the cert he, and everyone else on the S.S Admiral Hugh Rodman, received when the International Dateline was crossed.  I had heard of his being on the pitching boat as they went to the Philippine's.  Here in color was a cert that acknowledged his crossing the International Dateline.  Complete with artwork that a young soldier would have enjoyed viewing.

 I also didn't remember placing his discharge cert from the CCCs in the file box.   But there it was.

I knew that my dad had worked on the road to Mt. Whitney (14,505 ft.).  Here was the certificate told me a bit more about how he got to be there and how he was measured by those in charge.  It also reflected attitudes towards ethnicity and race.  And, to what would have been my dad's consternation the noting, in black and white, his height.  He claimed to be 5'6".  

My Cousin Delia sent me this image of our dads.  As I recall my dad was home on leave.  

They reaffirm things I knew about him; that I learned as I heard all those stories.   My Uncle Tony was a dad and wasn't drafted, my dad was a thirty- something single man when he was drafted.  Different lives, different roads to travel; figuratively and literally.

Pete R. Martinez, Tony Martinez

Back I go to the docs.  I'll try to learn a bit less and file a bit more.  It would be good to have dinner at the table again.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Egads and glorioski

Last weekend was jam-packed!

It actually began on Thursday (Friday vigil?).

I helped work the registration table for Third District Supervisorial candidate, Sheila Kuehl.  The Board of Supervisors has a huge, long-lasting impact on our region, so I think it's beneficial to support those who view it as such and who have shown by their experience that they can be collaborative and effective when they serve as elected officials.

I've heard her speak twice, in a more intimate setting like the event of Thursday, and both times she's been impressive in her candor and thoughtful approach to questions.  Her success in the State Legislature impressive.  She authored 171 bills that were signed into law.
I wish I could vote for her.

Friday was all about another woman whom I admire a bunch.  Dr. Cynthia D. Olivo, is now Associate Vice President, Student Affairs, Pasadena City College.  She is the first Latina to hold a position of such stature; a group of us put together a night of food and fun to honor her accomplishment.  To be honest it was an excuse for me to go into a cooking frenzy.  I'll be putting the last of the pans away in a bit.  Hmmm...back to Cynthia.  She's been a consistent source of support for the students in the past couple of years at PCC.  She has been overseeing the work that took place in 12 different departments at PCC.  Really looking forward to working with her again this academic year.

Friday was also the long distance celebration of our daughter and her husband's wedding anniversary.  Hard to believe that it's been 16 years - but it has.  It is a curious thing to see how one's children's lives unfold.  It is a joy to know that they still enjoy time with each other and their children.

Saturday wasn't all about James and me - although it could have been.  34 years ago we were married. We're already looking forward to 35.  

He is my life partner and good friend.  Whether we're goofing around after seeing an exhibit,

doing the dance of the dog leashes,

 or remembering times shared, like this moment in the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, Mexico City, Mexico, about 1996.

Saturday and Sunday were really focused on our son, Matthew and his move to a new place.  We celebrated this with his dear one, Maya.

Good stuff.