Thursday, April 30, 2015

Aunts, Uncle, Century Plant

L to R, Mom, Dad, Mary, Jim, Marcia, Rosie

Today we took mom and dad to the Escalon/Oakdale/Riverbank area to visit with my mom’s sister Mary, her husband Jim, and her sister-in-law Rosie.  Which to me means, Aunt Mary, Uncle Jim and Aunt Rosie.  Jim and Mary live in Escalon, Rosie in Oakdale, and the Perko's Farm Fresh CafĂ© us in Riverbank…all about 90 miles from Citrus Heights.  Mom was one of eleven kids, only her older sister Mary, and the youngest brother Paul are still living.  Sister-in-laws Rosie and Vera are still living too…we last visited Aunt Vera in the Kansas City area last year when mom and dad flew there in October and we were in the area at the same time to visit my youngest son.  From my mom’s side alone I had around 60 first cousins, and on my dad’s side I had eight from his older brother who, as a widow with four kids, married my Aunt Florence who had three…and they decided to have one together to make eight.  Yes, I come from a very large family in many ways.

Perko's      Perko's

Perko's is a nice, mainly California Central Valley restaurant chain.  I had been to a Perko’s before, but it has been a long, long time.  Glad to be back, pretty good for a Franchise style restaurant.  I think we need to go back for breakfast sometime…although Marcia and Aunt Rosie decided to have breakfast for lunch today. Smile 

Uncle Jim and Aunt Mary's Almond Orchard      Uncle Jim and Aunt Mary's Almond Orchard

Uncle Jim and Aunt Mary are Almond farmers, pronounced “Amond” by them because when you harvest Almonds, you knock the “L” out of the little things to get them to drop from the tree.  When I was in my “youth” I would visit them in their old Modesto location where they also had Almonds. 

Skruffy     Skruffy

Someone got a haircut yesterday….it sure makes it easier to make those giant jumps (pretty high for a short legged little thing).  Bubba was sweating it out yesterday….but his turn is coming soon.

Bubba    Bubba and Arnie

Bubba sure is Arney’s “Shop Dog”….


…and boy does he pick up “stuff” from the floor of the shop.

Agave Americana     Agave Americana

Ever since we arrived, this large, Asparagus looking thing has been looming over the shed from a next-door neighbor.

Agave Americana
This shot (left) is from over the fence, best shot I can get.  The plant is a Agave Americana, also known as a Centuryplant.  The top will be a flower, and there will be a few shoots near the top that also flower.  The plant does this once, around the 25-30 years in age mark….and then it dies….the whole plant dies, not just the flower.  It's originally native to Mexico, Arizona, and Texas but cultivated worldwide as an ornamental plant.  The ‘flower’ can span up to thirty feet, and I would say that this one is right around 30 feet in height.

With California’s current drought conditions, I expect more and more cactus and other drought resistant plants and foliage will be showing up.  As a kid, with two rivers running through the area, water was cheap and plentiful…so I was use to seeing a lot of green, a lot of flowers, a lot of colors.  I am afraid that in the future, we will be seeing more and more brown unless the heavens open up and the rain comes pouring down.


  1. WOW ... that is a LARGE family!! Love it!!!

    1. Yep...back in the '20s and '30s families were much bigger than they are now. Mom's family was dirt poor...coming to California by car(s) in the mid-thirties...almost a scene out of Grapes of Wrath. (mom even picked cotton down in Visalia/Tularie area) As for my uncle, that was a match made heaven, that is for sure. And for us, all the girls are adopted.

  2. I envy you that you can groom your dogs. I've tried to groom Cali myself, but always end up letting the groomer fix my mistakes!

    1. One thing I noticed is that as time goes on, I get better and better at it. I see imperfections when the deed is done, but after a week or so those seem to blend away. But it is hard to not be critical since we love these little critters as if they were our family, because they are a major part of our family. Now I do give in for the nails....just got back from Pet Smart to have her nails cut, and had Bubba's cut there earlier in the week...but that is because I can't stand to hear 'him' cry out even before you have touched his nail (because he is a big cry baby)....and figure she might as well have the professional do it too.

  3. Those century plants are amazing. I hope you get to see it bloom. Your parents are from really large families. I can't even imagine 60 cousins.

    1. Yes, we are hoping to see is getting closer each day. And the sixty cousins are just on mom's side....add the eight from dad's side, and then think of all the kids these cousins have had..and their kids have had is a big crew, that's for sure.

  4. I think it is wonderful that you were able to spend time with family! Blessings, Lynn

  5. Thank you is so very special.


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