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My Journal

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This journal is basically some important events in my life. It may contain trips that I've taken, or things that I've done. Alot of the journal is stuff that I've done on the weekends with my husband, Bryan, and my daughter, Mandy. There are also a few other things in here as well. Go through the contents and click on the link of the story you want to read. Or just scroll after the contents and read them all!

Here is my past journal: Archieved Journal (Dates: 6/24/00 and from 4/19/01 to 7/4/01)


10/2/02 - Today was International Walk To School Day
10/1/02 - Girl Scout Information Night
9/26/02 - Mandy and I spend evening at library and Back to School Night.
*Rubber Stamping fun with Aric Mills (Rancho Cordova Library).
*Back to School Night.
9/21/02 - Had a dinner party for Bob and Kelly. It was a success!
9/18/02 - Bryan went to the hospital.
9/16/02 - Rachel had her kittens. 2 black and white, and a black one.
9/15/02 - Went on another cave adventure with my dad.
*Black Chasm Cavern
*Grinding Rock
*Sutter Gold Mine
9/14/02 - My Dad picked Bryan, Mandy, and I up for another trip.
9/11/02 - In Rememberence...I got this email today from my friend, Wayne, and wanted to share it.
9/06/02 - KC, our rat, passed away yesterday of old age, and we burried him today. RIP, KC!
9/05/02 - First day Mandy took the bus.
9/03/02 - Mandy started kindergarten today.
9/02/02 - Happy Labor Day!
9/01/02 - Bryan and I went on a cave adventure with my dad.
*California Caverns
*Mercer Caverns
*Ironstone Vineyards
8/31/02 - Bryan, Mandy, and I went to my dad's company picnic.
8/30/02 - My cat that I've had since childhood, Matilda, was put to sleep today. She was 12 years old. RIP, Tilly!
8/24/02 - Bryan, Mandy, and I went back to the state fair and had a blast!
8/18/02 - Bryan, Mandy, and I, went to Cal Expo and spent the day at Waterworld and the State Fair.
*Sate Fair

10/2/02 - Today was International Walk To School Day. How many of you participated in this International Event on this beautiful fall morning? We did!

We got up early this morning, got dressed, and ate breakfast. We left the house around 7:15am and headed toward the school. Mandy had a fit when we didn't go to her bus stop. I explained to her that we were walking to school today. I told her by walking, we aren't using up gas and causing polution. Of course, she didn't understand any of that.

When we got near the school, there was a teacher there stamping the hands of the kids that were participating. After Mandy got her hand stamped, she cheered up considerably.

When we arrived at the school, they had refreshments of donuts and coffee there waiting. I picked out a glazed donut and Mandy picked out a donut covered in chocolate and rainbow sprinkles. I filled out one of their surveys regarding safety, then we went outside so that Mandy could get counted on the board for participating.

We still had 2 1/2 hours before Mandy started class. I considered walking back to the house, but Mandy was already so tired from the walk to the school, I thought that it would be too much on her to make her walk back. So, we hung out at the park for 2 1/2 hours instead. I was so bored and it was pretty cold outside. I tried my best to entertain myself and play with Mandy.

Finally, it was 10:30am and we went back over to the school. We got there the same time her bus did, so she got to see some of her friends and she followed them over to the cafeteria. I explained to her driver that we participated in Walk to School Day, and that's why she wasn't on the bus. He said, "No problem, a lot of them did."

I went over to the cafeteria to see what she does in the mornings. Turns out, that she's been getting herself a free lunch in the morning, and I didn't know it. I asked the lady about it, and she said that they haven't got the forms back from the district, so they weren't sure who was supposed to be getting the lunches, and who wasn't. I told her as long as it's free, to go ahead and keep letting her have them, and to let me know when they can't give them to her anymore. She said she would.

I told Mandy that I was going to leave and go back home. She told me to leave, to stay there. I told her that I needed to get home, and she insisted that I stay. So I told her that I'd stay until she was done eating, then I would walk her to class, then I would go home. She seemed satisfied at this. So that's what I did.

The walk home was more refreshing then the walk there, because I didn't have Mandy crying the whole time and because it had warmed up a little and wasn't so cold. But overall, the whole trip was nice and I enjoyed participating in the international event.

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10/1/02 - Girl Scout Information Night - was held at a local school. I waited for Bryan to get home and we all walked over there together. A senior girlscout took Mandy to go play in the yard while we went to the meeting.

The meeting was basically to give information about Girl Scouts and the benefits of Girlscouts. It was also about what parents can expect from Girl Couts and ways that parents can help. They talked about what Girl Scouts is all about. The Council Information such as size, membership numbers, and properties. They also talked about the age levels of each level of girlscouts. Then they talked about Logistics. What is the cost, dues, time commitment, average troop size, and what activities are in a troop. They also talked about the fact that their aren't that many troops in our area and were trying to recruit leaders. I am seriously considering not only enrolling Amanda in Girls Scouts, but becoming a leader as well.

After the meeting, we got Amanda from the playyard. The girls said that was very good. Then we went home and ate dinner.

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9/26/02 - Mandy and I spend evening at library and back to school night.
Rubber Stamping fun with Aric Mills (Rancho Cordova Library). I got a flyer advertising this from her school and it looked like a lot fun so we decided to go. When we first got the library, we were a little early, so I decided to fill out a form to get Amanda a library card while I was there, but when I went to turn in the form, I realized that I didn't have my ID, so they said that I had to come back another day. I figured, oh, well, atleast it let me kill some time.

The rubber stamping show was really neat. They had about 10 tables set up with 10 or 20 stamps on each. They also had some markers available. He basically demonstrated some of the things you could do with the stamps, then turned the kids loose and let them make their own pictures. He even got some of the adults involved.

At first, I just started stamping stamps that I thought were interesting. Then I came across a really neat looking antique heart stamp and had an idea. I went and got another piece of paper and stamped a few hearts on it. As I walked around at the various different tables, I found more stamps with hearts on them and other items representing love. When I was finished, I had a paper that I made representing love and wrote "To: Daddy, I love you! Love: Mommy" on it. It turned out really cute.

Back to School Night - After the library, we rode the bike to the school for After School Night. The main presentation was held in the cafeteria. The principal introduced all of the teachers and some of the staff, then let the teachers go back to their rooms to prepare for the parents. The principal talked about other things going on at the school such as the PTA, the afterschool programs, the START program, and he talked a little about the new report cards. After he was done with his presentations, he invited the parents back to the classrooms.

When we got to the classroom, there was folders on the desks. I told Amanda to show me where she sat, and she did. Her teacher went over their schedule and curriculum, she talked a little about the report cards, told us what she expects out of the homework and the homework procedure, she talked about the scholastic book orders and the LAP reading incentive program. She also talked about stuff such as classroom maanagement, their monthly calendar and special events, uniforms, birthdays, attendance, and how parents can volunteer at the school.

After the classroom presentation, we browsed the tables and picked up some freebees such as a Cambel's Cookbook, and some used uniforms. Overall, it was a pretty good day.

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9/21/02 - Had a dinner party for Bob and Kelly. It was a success! We hadn't seen Bob and Kelly for a while. Bob is Bryan's best friend and Kelly is Bob's wife. We had tried to get together with them several times over the past few weeks, but something always came up that changed our plans. Finally, we arranged this get together to have dinner and wine, and we were determined not to cancel it.

Dinner was one of my specialties, Terriyaki Chicken. I had already learned how to do stuff with Chicken breasts that had marinaded in terriyaki sauce overnight. First, the stuff tastes great by itself, just grilled. One of my other Terriyaki Chicken ideas came from the carribian. I had a Terriyaki Chicken sandwich and it is Chicken that is marinaded in terriyaki sauce overnight, then grilled. You add a slice of jack cheese to it and put it on a hamburger bun with grilled onions, mayonaise, and lettuce. In the Carribian, they added a slice of grilled pinapple to it as well. But I'm not big on cooked fruit. This new Terriyaki Chicken idea came from a restaurant that we went to for Kelly's graduation, called The Peach Tree. It is chicken marinaded in terriyaki sauce overnight and grilled. I use the marinade to drizzle over the chicken as it's cooking. Meanwhile, I grill tomatoes and onions in lots of butter or margorine. I use about 2 parts onions to one part tomatoes. When the chicken is done, I dump the rest of the terriyaki sauce in with the onions, tomatoes, and butter, and let it simmer for a couple of minutes on low to make sure that it is cooked well, due to the raw meat in it. When it is done, you pour the onion, tomato, terriyaki mix over the chicken, and it turns out really good. I served this with Brocolli Oriental (a recipe from Better Homes and Gardens cookbook) and rice. The food was a huge success and everybody loved it.

We decided to eat outside on the back patio. We set the table with linen napkins cause I wanted everything to be somewhat fancy. With dinner, we served the wine that we had gotten from the winery on the trip with my dad. The Apple Wine went over very well. Everybody loved it. For dessert, we had a cheesecake that was put out by JELLO. Bryan had made it earlier that day and he was very proud of it. It was also very good.

After dinner, we all sat around and talked for a while. We showed off our Gem Mining treasures that we had gotten from the cave, and Mandy gave Kelly one of her crystals. I think it was a rasberry quartz. While we were talking and stuff, Kelly had noticed my jade plant and she liked it. I told her that I just had planted half a dozen pieces or so of it, and she was more then welcome to take one home. She picked out one of the biggest to take. I also gave her a piece of my Wandering Jew that had accidently broke off and told her to break it up and put it in water when she got home and it should root.

Overall, the dinner was a big success. Everybody enjoyed themselves, and everything turned out really great.

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9/18/02 - Bryan went to the hospital. Bryan usually gets home around 6:30pm when he gets a ride from work. His ride drops him off at a McDonalds by our house and Bryan rides his bike the rest of the way. When 7pm rolled around, I got worried and tried to call him on his cell phone. I didn't get an answer, this worried me more.

7:30pm came, then 7:45, finally, around 8pm, he called me. He was in the emergency room at UCD. I asked him what happened and he said that apparantly he got low and was passed out in front of McDonalds for a while. He said that he knew I would be worried, but they wouldn't let him call me till now. I just told him that I was thankful he was ok, and that I was going to try to find him a ride home.

I knew that we didn't have money for a cab and it's really hard to get a bus in that area that late at night. I went to my neighbors to possibly ask her if she could give me a ride down there to pick him up. I caught her just as she came home from work. She looked really tired. I told her what happened with Bryan, and she said that she had just gotten home from work and that she still had to cook dinner and help her son with his homework. I told her not to worry about it and that I'd find my own way somehow.

I decided to take the bus down there. I called back the emergency room and asked if I could talk to Bryan. The nurse wouldn't let me talk to him, so I asked her to tell him that I am going to take the bus down there and that I'll be there as soon as I could. I grabbed my bus book to try to figure out the best way to get there that late at night. The only thing I could see is to take Light Rail downtown then catch a bus that back tracked back to UCD. Even then, it wouldn't get me all the way there, and I'd have to walk a few blocks. But at least I'd get there.

I got on the bus and asked the driver what he thought would be the best way to get there. He had mentioned that I could take a bus from 65th St. I told him that all of those busses stop running around 7:30pm and at this point it was after 9pm. I mentioned my idea of taking one to Stockton and Broadway and then walking, and he said that's probably my best option. I told him what happened with Bryan and he said that he actually saw them at McDonalds around 7:30pm.

When we got to Light Rail, the driver asked me if I had a pass. I said, "Oh yeah, I forgot to pay you." And he said, "Don't worry about it," and handed me a daily pass. I looked at him confused. He said that I might wind up needing my money for a cab or something. I told him Thanks.

When I got to Stockton and Broadway, I started walking toward the hospital, or so I thought. I walked a few blocks and thought, "I should have at least seen the hospital by now." I kept seeing all these buildings that said Broadway Building on them and thought, "Don't tell me I'm still on Broadway." Turned out I was. I should have been on Stockton. I walked to the nearest light and dug out my book again to see if I could tell from the bus map, where I screwed up. As I was looking, a policeman rode by. He asked me what I was doing and I told him that I was trying to get to UCD and I just found out I made a wrong turn. He said, "Yeah, I thought you looked a little lost." He told me to wait there for a minute and that he might be able to get me a ride. He did give us a ride to the emergency room, and he gave Mandy a little badge sticker and kept reffering to her as "Deputy Amanda." I thought it was cute.

When I got inside the Emergency Room, I was looking around trying to figure out the procedure to see Bryan. Usually, there is a visitor's phone or something. I finally walked back to the triage nurse area and asked them. They reffered me back to the desk in the waiting room and told me to ask them. When I was at that desk the first time, there was no one at it. This time, there was a man there. I asked him if I could see a patient there named Bryan Dimig. He told me what area he was in and refered me to the phone on the wall by the payphones, and told me how to call it. When I called, they told me that he had already been released. I said, "then where would he be?" They said, "Either in the waiting room, or on his way home." I asked the security guard how I would go about paging someone. He told me, but said that the only area open right now was the Emergency Room. I tried it anyway. Then I realized, I could call him on his cellphone. I dug 50 cents out of my pocket and called him. I asked him where he was, and he said he was at lightrail. I told him that I was at the Emergency Room looking for him. He kind of told me how to head toward lightrail and that he'd meet me half way. He told me to get directions from the guard though to be sure.

I went back to talk to the guard. He refered me to the information desk. I wasn't too sure where the information desk was, and stopped to talk to a lady at the desk in the waiting room. She told me that I shouldn't be walking in that area that late at night and tried to get me to take the shuttle. I told her that I was trying to meet my husband half way. She said, "Then I don't know what to tell you?" I said, "Where's the information desk?" and she pointed down the hall. I went to talk to the guard there and he sent me back to the other door where the first guard was, and gave me some instructions. I was getting pretty frustrated at this point and went out the door in the direction I was told, or so I thought.

I was told that Light Rail was only a few blocks from the hospital and would take about 10 minutes. After walking about 10 blocks for more then 10 minutes, I got 47th St. I was trying to get to 39th St. I thought, "Wow, that seems to be more then a couple of blocks." I kept going. When I got the the next block, it was 48th St, and I realized that I had been going the wrong way.

I walked quickly back to the Emergency Room and looked around inside in hopes that Bryan would be there waiting for me. Then I went back outside and tried to go a different direction then before and wound up on a totally different street. I through my hands up in the air, then looked at my watch. I had realized that I had just missed the last train home. I dropped down on the curb and started crying. I didn't know what to do anymore, I had know idea where I was, or how to get home. Finally, I got back up and went back into the Emergency Room and called Bryan again. He asked me where I was, and just busted up crying again. I told him that I got lost. He asked me if I realized that we missed the last train, and I said I did. He said that we'd have to walk home, and it was like over 15 miles to get home. He told me not to move and that he'd come get me.

When I saw him, I was so glad. I threw my arms around him and didn't want to let him go. He said, "Now I know you love me," cause I went through all that hell for him. I left the house on a bus, not knowing if I would be able to make it home again, just to be with him.

We walked back to where lightrail is, in hopes that maybe there was a change of schedule or something and there just might be one more train. I think that it was more wishful thinking then anything. We really didn't want to walk home.

When we got there, there was a security guard there. Bryan thought maybe the guy might give us a lift. He told him our situation and the guy said that the last train had already gone by. He said that he couldn't give us a lift because he needed to wait for the last train going the other direction and then he had to close the stations. We said thanks anyway and started to walk.

We had been walking for quite a while when this truck passed us, then backed up. It was the security guard. He said that he could give us a ride, but he had to go by the Power Inn station first to lock it up. He said that he could take us as far as Butterfield station which is probably about a mile to mile and half from our house. We said that was great.

Bryan rode in the back of the truck and Mandy and I rode in the cab. After we got to Power Inn station and he locked it up, he pulled over and checked every light rail station after that to make sure that everything was ok. We finally arrived at Butterfield and he passed the station. I asked him what he was doing, and he said, "Didn't you say you needed to get to Bradshaw?" I said, "Yeah." And he said that he'd take us up to Bradshaw and we walked the rest of the way. Turned out that he was going to Butterfield anyway, to do another job. We thanked him alot because he saved us one hell of a walk and a lot of time. From the way we were going, we might not have made it home till morning. So we were realy greatful that he stopped.

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9/15/02 - Went on another cave adventure with my dad. We woke up this morning and had left over pizza for breakfast. I told Grandma about all the excitement the night before with the paramedics, and she admitted that she didn't hear any of it. She seemed kind of surprised, because "she hears everything."

I wanted to make sure that we got a chance to go by the graveyard to get some etchings off of Grandpa's grave. I wanted to do that on our last trip, but didn't have the materials. This time I managed to get some paper and a pencil to do the etchings with. The paper I found had a pretty flower border on it and it had Grandpa's name on it. It was sent to him as a "thank you" from the National Federation of the Blind. Grandpa used to always donate to all the different charities, and they used to send him some sort of gift, usually stationary of some sort, as a "thank you". The pencil I found, ironically, was also from the National Federation of the Blind. With this combination of paper and pencil, I managed to get a really nice etching of Grandpa's name and a design on his stone of mountains, sun, and a tree. It turned out really nice.

Black Chasm Cavern - The first place we went to was Black Chasm Cavern. Black Chasm is California's newest show cave, having opened in September of 2000. It is located just outside of Volcano, CA.

When we got there, we had some time to kill before the next tour, so we bought Mandy a bag of dirt so that she can go Gem Mining. Daddy helped her a little bit, but for the most part, she did most of it by herself. Daddy helped her pick out her finds. She got some really neat crystals. Then we dumped the rest of her rocks in with my rocks from the first trip so that we can look for smaller stuff later.

We went on the Landmark Tour. "This tour consists of a descent of about 60 feet, down five flights of stairs into the large Main Hall chamber. Well-lit stalactites, stalagmites, long helictites, draperies, flowstones, columns and giant keystone bridges lodged high in the walls can be seen. Visitors also view the clear mysterious lakes one hundred feet below, while learning about the rich history and geology of this spectacular landmark cavern as well as the surrounding countryside. The trail continues on further into the cavern, crossing a bridge above an 80-foot drop to the lake below. It continues to wind around the cavern walls, and ends in the Landmark Room which contains the most spectacular arrays of helictite crystals in the known cave system. In addition to these beautiful features, other natural wonders can be seen, like the crystalline flowstone which emerges in a wave from a hole in the ceiling. The tour includes information on the cavern development method and what to anticipate as further phases of the trail are opened for viewing."

Mandy was freaked out through the whole tour. She kept saying, "We need to get out of here," and she was two afraid to get close to the rail to get a glimpse of the lake. However, Dad, Bryan, and I, were very impressed with the cave. I think it is the best one that I have ever seen. I wish I had brought my camera!

Black Chasm Cavern's Official Website
*All statements in quotes are copied directly from the website.

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Grinding Rock - The next place we went to was Grinding Rock. "Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park is located in the Seirra Nevada foothills, eight miles east of Jackson. The park is nestled in a little valley 2,400 feet above sea level with open meadows, and a large valley oaks that once provided Native Americans with an ample supply of acorns. The 135-acre park preserves a great out-cropping of marbleized limbstone with 1,185 mortar holes - the largest collection of bedrock mortars anywhere in North America. The Chaw'se Regional Indian Museum features a variety of exhibits and an outstanding collection of Sierra Nevada Indian artifacts. A miwok village and roundhouse have been reconstructed in the middle of the valley."

We visited the museum and saw various exhibits of, basketry, feather, regalia, fewelry, arrow points and other tools. We learned that deer was the most important animal resource, and all parts were utilized. The meat was used for food, and clothing was made from the hide. Antlers, bones and hooves were used for tools and instruments, and the brain was used to tan the hide. I also learned that the hide was used for baby diapers. They used moss and cattails to fill the diapers to make them disposable. When the moss and cattails got soiled, then they replaced it with new moss and cattails. Another valuable resource was soap root. Root was not only used as soap, but also as baby powder, and it was also used to stun and catch fish. It's leaves were eaten fresh, and the bulb could be baked and eaten. The dried, figrous leaves were bundled and used as a brush. We also learned that abalone and other items used for jewlry, tools, etc., that were not native to this area, got here through trade with other tribes in other areas. The museum was very interesting, and the ranger was very informative and knowledgable.

We also saw the grinding stone itself. I was amazed at how big it was and how many holes were actually in it. We also saw the roundhouse and Bryan was amazed at the natural airconditioning flowing from it and said that we should build our house like that. Mandy was facinated with the bark houses and kept playing hide and seek in them.

The Native American Indians were very smart and used their resources wisely. If you are interested in the Native American history, Grinding Rock is something you should definately check out.

*All statements in quotes are copied directly from the brochure.
*I hope to soon include a whole history from the brochure. It was very informative.

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Sutter Gold Mine - Before going to the mine, we stopped to get a bite to eat. We stopped at a little dinner outside of Sutter Creek. After we ordered, we realized that they had a soup of the day menu, and decided that we wanted some soups. The soup of the day was vegetable. When the soup came, all three soups were at a different temparature, Bryan's being the coldest. Bryan also happened to find a tiny rock in his soup. We had quite the words and jokes to say about that place, but for the most part, the food was very good, despite the soup.

We got to the mine just before the last tour. We had a couple of minutes to spare before the tour though and decided to try our luck at gold panning. We were being watched by a professional, and he showed us some tips and secrets to it. After we were done panning and collected our gold, Bryan took another pan and tried to pan the sand that was already in the tray. He found the biggest chunk. It was bigger then any that was in the bag of sand that we actually bought.

The tour itself started by getting into a "Boss Buggy", a diesel ran jeep like thing that held many people. We "tagged in" which means that our guide puts his tag on a board with numbers on it, the board represents how many people are underground. Then we were off, down the hill to the mine. On our way, we were showed another mine that originally went broke because the owners mined in the wrong direction. Instead of going down, they should have went up. The trip into the mine was kind of neat. I've never traveled into a mine via any type of shuttle before. Amanda enjoyed it too!

Once into the mine, we were gathered into the safety room and were taught about all the different saftey techniques and equipment that they used during the mining days. One part that I found interesting is that they used canaries in the mines to test the air. When the canary would stop singing and would pass out, the miners knew that they only had about 20 minutes left of air and would search for another place with good air.

While touring the mine, we were shown all the types of equipment that they used to use back then, up the equipment used now. We were also shown the quartz vein that they were mining and where they stopped. The guide explained that they came to work one day and there was a party there for them to let them know that their work was over. They had no warnings in those days. We were also told how the miners used to try to steal gold from the mine through whatever means they could, including feeding it to donkey's then offering to take the donkey's dung home to fertilize their yards. Before fertilizing, they would mine the gold out of the dung. Pretty clever, but I wouldn't do it!

After the tour, we got back on the "Boss Buggy" and "tagged out." Over all, Sutter Gold Mine was a neat experience. But we were slightly disappointed with the tour. Two-thirds of the tour time was spent on the safety class, which was pretty informative, but we were hoping to see more of the mine.

Sutter Gold Mine's Official Website

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9/14/02 - My Dad picked Bryan, Mandy, and I up for another trip. Dad made plans with us to go on another trip. He showed up late this night in the truck. He called us when he got to Ralph's, which is where he parks when he comes to visit. We met him at the truck with our luggage. We put the luggage in the truck and then tried to decide where to eat dinner. I also reminded Dad that Mom wanted one of those Channel 3 Helicoptors, so he gave me the money for it and Bryan, Mandy, and I went to the store to get it.

When I got to the store, I realized that the darn thing needed batteries and he didn't give me enough money for the batteries. So I bought the hellicopter then went back to the truck and told him that it needed batteries. He told me that they probably had batteries at home. I told him that I seriously doubted it and anyway, I wanted to see it work, myself. He said that he wanted to get something to eat first.

We finally decided to eat at Mountain Mike's Pizza. We figured out what we wanted then were standing in line forever. I kept bugging Dad about the batteries as we were standing in line forever. Finally, after he was totally sure what everyone wanted and we ordered, he gave me the money to go get the batteries. I ran all the way to the store and back.

When I got back, they were already starting to eat. The pizza hadn't got there, but Bryan was starting on salad. I got myself a salad and a soda. Soon, the pizza got there. It was huge. We got the biggest one there was, cause we've all been known to put away a lot of pizza. For the most part, the pizza was pretty good, but the pepperoni was burnt a little on the edges. We had almost half of it left when we were done eating. I guess our eyes were bigger then our stomachs. We split what was left of the pizza between us, half for Dad to take to Mom's, and half for Bryan, Mandy, and I.

When we were riding to Stockton in the truck, Bryan had mentioned that that was his first time riding a big distance in a semi before. I reminded him about a halloween party that we went to a while back in Stockton, that we rode the truck to. He didn't really remember that. But he enjoyed the ride.

When we got to Stockton, it was pretty late to do anything, so we pretty much just went to bed. I think Bryan and I stayed up and watched a movie though, and he had a Roast Beef Sandwich. He slept through the movie.

Later, Bryan had an insulin reaction, first one in over 6 months that was bad enough that I had to call the paramedics out. I noticed that he was acting a little funny, and I asked him to test his blood sugar and when he got the kit, he was starting to pass out, so I went into the other room to get him a soda. By the time I got back, he was out, so I had to call the paramedics. I kept thinking that Grandma would wake up, but she slept through the whole thing. In the end, Bryan turned out to be ok and we got some good sleep to prepare for the next day.

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9/11/02 - In Rememberence...I got this email today from my friend, Wayne, and wanted to share it.
This is My Salute to The American's who have Fallen A Year ago This Day....... We Remember the Day, and We Salute the Unspoken Hero's.. they are in our Hearts and in our Minds.. Everytime I look at the Flag I See Americans, Helping American's and Have a Renounced Faith in the Flag and the USA.... They can't destroy Us. They Made Us Stronger.......... So I Salute Them!!!!!
so i Take This Moment Of Silence For The Fallen/Lost Lives Of Fellow Americans....

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9/5/02 - First day Mandy took the bus. We woke up in the morning and followed our normal morning routine of getting dressed, eating breakfast, etc., then we walked out the door and down to the school bus stop. At first Mandy was confused as to why we weren't taking the bike, but I explained to her that she was going to take the school bus, and that she was a big girl now so she could ride the bus all by herself.

I had talked to the morning bus driver the day before and felt totally comfortable with her going to school in the morning, but I wasn't sure about the afternoon. In the afternoon, she was going to be on a different bus, ran by a different company, and she was going to be with the older kids as well as the kindergartners. It worried me.

I rode my bike up to the school around 1pm to make sure that everything went ok. I wanted to make sure that she got to class ok. I also wanted to make sure that the teacher knew that Mandy was going to go home on the afternoon bus, and we worked out what bus she was to take and everything. I went to the office to make sure that I understood the procedures and to find out approximately what time the bus was supposed to arrive at the stop. From what I understood, is that the bus was supposed to leave the school at 2:30pm, and that they couldn't really give me a straight answer as to when it got to our stop. I also understood that if there is nobody there to pick her up, the driver is to take her back to the school and the parent is called to pick her up.

I left the house at 2:30pm to go pick Mandy up at the bus stop. 2:45 rolled around, and the bus still wasn't there. By 3:00, I was starting to get worried. Finally, at about 3:10, this lady came out of her house and asked me if I was waiting for the bus. I said that I was and she said that the bus had already came by. I asked her what time it came and she said 2:30. So I rushed back to the house thinking that I would come home to a message on my answering machine stating that Mandy was back at the school and that I had to come pick her up. Instead, I came home to Mandy in the hallway crying hysterically. She started crying, "Mommy, you lost me." I was upset and furious that the school did not follow their rules.

I called the school and told them what happened. I was pretty upset and angry. They referred me to the bus company that drops her off in the afternoon. The bus company said that they are not the ones, and tried to reffer me somewhere else. After getting reffered all over the place, I called back the school and talked to them again. The office manager at the school said that she'd handle it. Apparently, they figured it out and had words with the driver. From what I understand, is that he was a new driver and wasn't completely familiar with the procedure. I was thinking that it was the company's job to make sure he understood.

The next day, I had words with the driver myself. I wanted to make sure that he knew who I was and that she is not to be let off of the bus unless I was there. He appologized and told me that his company already talked to him about it. I figured that that was about the only thing I could do. After all, she wasn't hurt or anything. I don't want to think about what COULD have happened though.

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9/3/02 - Mandy started kindergarten today. We got up in the morning and got ready to go. I made Mandy a good breakfast. I let her have cereal and a waffle. I wanted to make sure that she had enough to eat on her first day of school.

We rode my bike to the school. Many sat in the child seat in the back. We got there with plenty of time to spare. I wanted to make sure that I had a little time to take at least one picture. The camera was still full from our cave trip, so I wasn't sure how many pictures I had, but I was hoping that I had at least one, and I did. I took a picture of her standing in front of the sign at her school.

We walked toward her classroom and the teacher came out. I introduced Mandy to her teacher. The teacher said that we still had a few minutes before class started, and she invited us out to the playground so Mandy could play a little.

I stayed through her whole first day of school. I wanted to make sure that she settled in ok. There class day is actually rather simple. Most of the time is spent reading to the kids. But there is also time spent on classwork, some play, and math stations. Mandy had a hard time paying attention some of the time, but for the most part she did pretty good for her first day of kindergarten.

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9/01/02 - Bryan and I went on a cave adventure with my dad. We went to 2 caves and a winery. We all had a lot of fun. Bryan's "joke" of the day was to run around with the camera and see how many shots he can get of me coming out of the bathroom. So we have several pictures of me coming out of one bathroom or another. I plan to include a link to those pictures soon.

Californa Caverns - This was the first cave we visited. "California Cavern located at Cave City in Calaveras County has been open to the public since 1850 and was California's first show cave. For 150 years, visitors have enjoyed the unique delicate beauty of the cavern's crystalline formations. Some speleothems, such as the beaded helictites found in the Middle Earth area are very rare. Others are so numerous as to be spectacular, such as the "Jungle Room's" array of stalactites."

There are three tours available; the "Trail of Lights family walking tour", the "2-hour Mammoth Cave Expedition", and the "4-hour Middle Earth Expedition." We went on the "Trail of Lights family walking tour." We saw quite an array of crystalline formations such as stalactites and stalagmites, flowstone, cave bacon, and angel wings. We also got the chance to squeeze through the narrow corridor to see the newly found "Jungle Room" which has quite an array of stalactites and soda straws.

A lot of California Caverns has been damaged due to vandalism. In the beginning of the tour, you can see where a lot of formations had been broken off and a lot of the formations are brown and dingy looking due to people touching them. But the "Jungle Room" has very little damage and is extremely breathtaking.

California Caverns is a great cave to explore if you are really into adventure. It's family tour is 60-80 minutes long and is very adventurous and natural. There is very little man made stuff inside, aside from the lighting. There are no manmade stairs and very few handrails due to the cave being mostly horizontal. It is definately worth the trip.

Pictures of California Caverns (coming soon)
California Caverns Official Website
*All statements in quotes are copied directly from the website.

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Mercer Caverns - I found Mercer Caverns to be a lot cleaner looking then California Caverns, but less natural looking. Part of what made it cleaner was due to the fact that they put clear plastic walls up to protect the formations that are close to the reach of the public, they also actually clean the formations from time to time with some sort of solution. I found that the clear plastic walls made the cave look less natural. Another thing that I was disappointed with, is that they have all their lighting on a computer system which also made the cave look less natural. They also have a stairway through the cave. I can see the reasoning behind the stairway is because the cave is a verticle cave with very little flat ground, so the stairway is neccesary to get from one level to the next.

"The cave was originally used by a prehistoric Indian Tribe called the Yokuts as a mortuary cave. They would bring bodies to the opening and let them roll down inside. Because such a site was sacred, no one was allowed to enter. The Yokuts were hunters and when the game was gone they moved camp. Slowly over the years, the entrance filled with dirt, leaves and rocks and was completely lost until the year of 1885, when it was rediscovered by a gold prospector named Walter J. Mercer."

The cave is world famous for rare Aragonite flos ferri. We saw this along with "Angel Wings", stalactites and stalagmites, and the "Cave Twins", or "Twin Dwarfs", which are the only formations in the Caverns which you are allowed to touch. We also saw "Draperies", "Simon's Thumb", "Soda Straws", and "Speleothems". We also so areas such as the "Fairies' Grotto", the "Gothic Chamber", the "Meat Market", and "Organ Loft".

I personally found the "Gothic Chamber" as one of the most facinating rooms of the cave. If you really use your immagination, you can see gothic looking faces in that room. It is also where you can see the "Blue Witch".

After exploring the cave, I did some Gem mining and found some pretty neat stuff, including a couple of really cool crystals, and a good size piece of Amazonite. I kept the additional small rocks that were left over after mining the dirt away so that I can look through them later and see what smaller gems I can find.

Mercer Caverns is a great cave to explore if you are really want to see the formations in their natural, untouched, form. It is also probably an easier cave to get around in, and you don't have to worry as much about hitting your head as you do in California Caverns. It is probably one of the best caverns for beginning cavern explorers.

Pictures of Mercer Caverns (coming soon)
Mercer Caverns Official Website
*All statements in quotes are copied directly from the website.

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Ironstone Vineyards - Ironstone Vineyards completed our cave trip. Ironstone Vineyards is located in Murphys California and is part of California's historic Sierra Foothills wine region.

The first thing we did is went into the Ironstone Heritage Museum and Gallery and saw the largest existing crystalline gold piece in the world, weighing 44 pounds. There we a lot of other interesting artifacts in the museum that displayed the rich history of gold and viticulture in the Sierra Foothills. There was a lot of old mining equipment and other pieces of gold and rocks containing gold. We also saw some fossilized items including some fossilized tortoise shells, fossilized dinosaur eggs, and even fossilized dinosaur dung. One display or item that I found really neat was an amethist rock containing little puter figurines of miners mining the rock. There were also some paintings of animals done on polished rocks that I found interesting.

After looking through the museum, we wandered around the gardens and looked at all the gorgeous scenery, plants, and flowers associated with wineries. We also saw the ampitheature with outside lawn seating. It was a pretty setting for a concert or other event.

Right before they closed, we visiting the tasting room and tasted several types of wine, including White Zinfidel, Apple, and Port. Our favorite being the White Zinfidel and Apple. We bought a bottle of each to bring home. The Apple is actually very rare and can only be bought at the Winery or some other place out of the country. It was very good and well worth the price we paid for it.

Overall, the whole trip was great and the winery was a perfect way to wind down a very exciting and exhausting day. Thanks, Dad, for taking us!

Pictures of Ironstone Vineyards (coming soon) Ironstone Vineyards Official Website Click here to go back to the top

8/31/02 - Bryan, Mandy, and I went to my dad's company picnic. It took place at Mickey's Grove Park in Stockton, CA. We had hamburger's, hotdogs, and chips for lunch. I got to say, "Hi!" to some of Dad's old trucking buddies that I knew and I got to meet some new ones. I also got to meet the boss's mother. Mandy and Bryan chased each other around the park and Mandy did a lot of playing by herself.

They had a face painter there that painted a dinosaur on mandy's leg. She also did some balloon animals for the kids. She made Mandy a really cool looking hat.

A little bit after lunch, they served cake. They had chocolate and carrot. I couldn't decide between the two, so I took one piece of each. So much for my diet! LOL. It was very good cake though.

We also played Bingo there. I was one of the first winners. I had my choice between a set of candles, or a throw blanket. At first, I was going to get the candles, because I love candles, but I realized that the throw blanket was of an eagle, and Mom loves eagles. I was going to give her the blanket, but she insisted that I keep it because I had already given her an eagle blanket. Mom won 3 bingo's. She got a movie video and 2 plants. She gave one of the plants to me.

Overall, it was a pretty nice picnic and we all had a great time.

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8/24/02 - Bryan, Mandy, and I went back to the state fair and had a blast! We got there about the same time as we did last time. Only this time it was a Saturday and it was much busier. We spent the whole day at the fair this time. We skipped Waterworld. We wanted to make sure that we got to see more stuff this time and we still didn't get to see it ALL.

I believe we started with the farm area. We checked out the Antique Engine Demonstrations and go to see all the different types of equipment that they used to use on farms. We also got to see some old tractors and such, as well as some other types of machines that pumped water for irrigation and a few that did other types of things. Their were also some old washing machines and other types of wash basins. It was all very interesting. Even Mandy was interested in some of it.

Next we checked out the Insect Pavillion. Mandy was really interested in it. We got to see lady bugs and grasshoppers. They had a butterfly display, and I showed Mandy how a catepillar turns into a butterfly. Their were also other types of bugs such as hissing cocroaches. They had a black widow there, and I explained to Mandy never go near those kinds of spiders. They also had a couple of different snakes, and some frogs. We got to see a gopher snake eat a mouse, but it's not like we haven't seen that before.

Then we walked through the Forestry exhibit and got to see all kinds of different pine trees and some other plants. At the end, was a little area where they had a cut log and you could see the tree aging process. What I thought was cool, was they were handing out free trees, so I brought one home and planted it. I think it's a Douglas Fir.

We wondered through a fish exhibit and got to see all kind of different fish, such as Trout, Blue Gill, Striper, and Sturgeon. I found it interesting how they kept the Trout water cold enough to make the Trout live via a refrigeration unit. There were also bull frog tadpoles and crayfish. They also had another full-grown bullfrog on display.

We went through a green house that all kinds of different plants and flowers. Inside was also a display of hydroponics. Where the plants weren't planted in dirt but rather in a pipe that had chemicals and water running through it. It was very interesting.

We checked out some agriculture stuff such as vegetables and fruits and some other plants. There were also some garden exhibits.

After that, we looked at the horses. Mandy liked this exhibit because she loves horses. I was amazed at how many different types there were.

Next we checked out the cows and goats in the Livestock pavillion. Mandy kept saying she wanted to ride the cows.

Next we went over to the carnival area and Mandy got to ride an elephant. She really liked it. We went into the rainforest exhibit and got to see all kind of neat birds, snakes, and mammals. We got to see a black snake (I think it might have been a type of King Snake) hatch from an egg. I thought that was really neat. They also had a crocidle exhibit and we also got to see some pretty good sized anicondas. Another thing we did in the carnival was have Mandy make a beaded bracelet and have her face painted while Bryan and I drank some strawberry margoritas. The margoritas were very good. And Mandy got a butterfly painted on her face and a dragonfly on her arm. They actually did with an airbrush and it turned out pretty neat. I hope to be adding some pictures of it soon.

The whole time we were in the carnival area, I was seeing all these people with these martigra type beads on their necks, and I wanted some. We asked many people where they got them from, and it seemed like everybody had a different answer. Finally Bryan went and bought me some really pretty purple ones for like $3. Later we saw this girl that had like three strands that were different then the ones I had, and I asked her where she got them from. Apparently she got them from a Safe Credit Union exhibit. As we stood in line, a lady gave us some free cardboard fans, which we were thankful for cause it was hot. Basically, you spin a wheel and it could land on "t-shirt", "box of checks", "$25 into a saving account", or of course, "beads". I didn't care about the rest, I just wanted the beads. Both Bryan and I spun the wheel and we both landed on beads. They gave Mandy a free set because she wanted some and you had to be 18 or older to spin the wheel.

The sun was starting to go down and we were all started to get hungry. So we went searching for a place to get some food. Bryan and I couldn't agree on what we wanted. I saw a Chinese place that had teriyaki chicken that looked good, so he gave me some money to get what I wanted from there, and he took off to get something that he wanted. At first, I told him to get me a drink from wherever he went, because he didn't give me enough money to cover what I wanted to eat and to get a drink. Then we thought maybe Mandy wanted something from where I was, so he gave me more then enough to cover everything. I ordered the teriyaki chicken with fried rice and chowmein. They had these cool volcano cups and I told them that I wanted one of them with soda in it. They told me that they didn't serve soda in it, only these juices. Mandy wanted a juice anyway, so I got her the volcano. What I didn't know about it is after they put the juice in it, they drop a block of dry ice in it that made it bubble and smoke. It was really cool. I got myself the diet soda. When Bryan came back. He had a beef sandwich of some type with fries and 2 sodas. So in total, we wound up with 4 drinks. But eventully they all got drank. Mandy didn't want anything to eat when we ordered, but she shared from both mine and Bryan's plate.

After eating, we went to the Midway. By then it was dark. We only bought enough tickets to go on like 3 rides. The first one, Mandy and I went on the Super Slide. The next one, Daddy and Mandy went on the haunted house. Then the last one, we all rode the big wheel. It was pretty cool, and we all had a lot of fun.

As we were getting ready to go, Bryan decided he couldn't leave the state fair without his cinnamon rolls. He said every year, he got cinnamon rolls. Also Mandy wanted Dip N Dots, "The ice cream of the future". If you don't know what Dip N Dots are, they are tiny balls of icecream that are frozen at -50 degrees. They are very good, but very cold. Anyway, I told Bryan that I thought that I saw cinnamon rolls the last time we were there, by the hypnotist stage near the swan boats. So we went over there. We didn't find cinnamon rolls, but we did find Dip N Dots. We asked somebody where we could find the cinnamon rolls and she pointed us in the right direction and we found them. I think we got 4 total. I got one with cream cheese frosting, and Bryan got 3 with walnuts, so that he bring some home. We ate about 2 halves. I ate half of the one with cream cheese, and Bryan ate half of one of the others. Mandy shared from both of us.

After that, we had to catch the bus to go home. Bryan was getting low blood sugar on the walk home from the Butterfield Lightrail station, and he was sick of cinamon rolls, so I insisted that we stop inside Cheveron to get something for him to drink. He got a lemonaide. By the time we got home, we were exhausted. But I think we all had a great time.

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8/18/02 - Bryan (my husband), Mandy (my daughter), and I, went to Cal Expo spent the day at Waterworld and the State Fair. We got there probably around 1:30pm or so and at first, I was just in shock over how expensive everything was. It cost $10 for a locker! And we needed 2 of them! But $5 of that is a deposit that you get back when you return the key. But $5 for a locker?!? So anyway, after we got over that initial shock, we had a pretty good time at Waterworld.

We spent most of our time in the Wave Pool and the Lazy Man River. We rented an intertube so that made it especially fun. I layed in the intertube and Bryan put Mandy in my lap and he held on to the outside as we floated along the river. This time they had water squirting out the barrels and stuff. We never saw that there before. Bryan had a blast holding the raft in front of the squirting water so that me and Mandy got nailed big time and that water was COLD!!

In the Wave pool, we did the same thing (put Mandy in my lap). This was really fun as we bobbed up and down with the waves. Mandy had a blast. Bryan would sit on the bottom of the pool and held his breath everytime a wave would come up over his head. It was pretty funny to watch.

In addition to the Wave Pool and Lazy Man River, we spent a little time over at the Pirate Ship and the Kids Wading Pool. At the Pirate Ship, we watched as Mandy rode down the slides and floated along in the water. When I noticed that she was trying to "swim" in 18" of water, I asked her if she wanted to play in the wading pool, which is 2'. She said she did, so we went over there for a while. She swam around until she got cold and then we decided that it was time to go.

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After we dried off and changed our clothes, we went over to the State Fair. It was pretty cool. The first thing we did was let Mandy ride the ponies and we got her picture taken on them. (if Bryan ever hooks up the scanner, etc., maybe I'll scan the picture and add it to the photo album). After that, we walked around and looked at some stuff.

We decided that we were hungry, so we walked down the midway and stuff to try to find something to eat. After searching a while, we finally decided on corndogs. It seemed that we couldn't find the good stuff.

Bryan saw a car he liked and thought that he can sign up for a drawing to win it. When he found the lady with the papers she said that you had to fill out all the questions on them and you find the answers on the cars. So we had a fun time filling out this questionare thing. After we were done, he asked what we did with it and she pointed over to this tent and said we had to take it in there. So we did and they gave us a free hand-held fan. They also gave Mandy a beach ball. I thought that was pretty cool. I don't think that we were actually entering to win a car though, I think we were becoming part of their mailing list. But oh well, we got something out of it, I guess.

We checked out some exhibits. We saw some cool architectural-like stuff, such as models and floor plans that I thought were kind of neat. I used to do that kind of stuff when I was in CTAP (Contstruction Technology and Allied Professions), a program through my highschool. We also found the agriculture building and checked out an exhibit of a bee hive. That was pretty neat. Bryan sat and talked to the guy and found out all about what it was like to be a bee keeper, while Mandy and I looked for the Queen bee.

Bryan wanted to see the county exhibits so we walked over to check them out. On the way over there, we decided that later, we wanted to eat at an Italian "restaurant" that we saw and we wanted to ride the paddle boats. We also bought Mandy a souvineer. She chose a blue princess hat. The county exhibits were pretty neat. There was a variety of different stuff that they had in their exhibits. And a lot of exhibits had people there giving away dried fruit and stuff. After wandering around in that building for a while, we decided that it was time to go back and do that other stuff we talked about, but we took a wrong turn. But I saw something that I was interested in, a garden that had all kinds of flowers and stuff in it. So we walked down and checked it out. But then Bryan reminded me that we were getting short on time, so we went and checked out the bridge and then we left. That bridge was awsome. It had a waterfall behind it that went down into a pond that had several smaller falls in front of it, complete with plants and everything. It was really neat. I told Bryan that I want to build something like that in our backyard when we get our own place. He kind of laughed at me.

We walked back to where we saw the Italian "restaurant" and the paddle boats. We decided to do the paddle boats first. I was telling Bryan that it was too bad we couldn't do the swan boats again. Bryan and I rode them a few years back, but this year we had Mandy, and we couldn't all fit in a swan boat, so we rode the regular paddle boats. We made a couple of laps in the area they gave us in the 15 minutes of time that we had. I think that we all enjoyed it.

The Italian "restaurant" was really neat. We ordered two lasagna plates that included lasagna, salad, and garlic bread. Mandy had pizza. The food was really good. The setting is what I thought was really neat. They had a little area fenced off next to their booth that was right at the waters edge. They had a little water fountain with some pots with pretty pink and red flowers surrounding it, set in the center of the area. All the tables had rosemary plants on them. And like I said, it was right next to the waters edge so we got to sit and watch the swan boats go by as we were eating, and across the river, there was a live mexican band playing at another little "restaurant." I thought it was really neat and somewhat romantic.

After dinner, we decided that we wanted to all share some cotton candy. I wasn't completely done eating, so Bryan had Mandy and I wait at the restaurant while he went to get the cotton candy. I finished eating about 5 minutes after he left, then started to look at my watch. When it got to be around 10:05pm I started to worry, because the bus was supposed to be there around 10:20pm and we still had to walk out to it and stuff. We had planed to leave at 10:00pm. Finally, at not quite 10:10pm, I saw him and we kind of rushed to the front gate. I was thinking that we would have to catch the bus across the street like we usually do, so we went to the corner to cross the street, but then I saw it pull into the circle in front of Cal Expo, so we kind of ran back to that bus stop. I looked at my watch and realized that it was earlier then it should have been, and we asked if he was going toward light rail. He said that he was going to go to Arden Fair Mall and then come back, then go to light rail. He said that we could get on for the ride though. We decided to do that to get out of the cold. I think we finally got home around midnight and all of us were completely exhausted and went straight to sleep. But over all, I think we all had a great time, and we have decided that we didn't get to see enough of the fair and plan to go back next weekend. This time, we are skipping WaterWorld.

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