2013: It’s A Wonderful Year   7 comments

The Mowry Christmas Newsletter

2013 began with family visitors … an uncommon occurrence for us. But this year … THIS YEAR … we had many visitors come through California. The Huberts (who get a GOLD STAR for visiting three different times!), plus Sarah, Grant, Ryan, Maria … all came to see us this year. It was a banner year for family visitors! Family is a rare and wonderful thing, and we were very fortunate to have so many visitors this year.

You know what happens when family comes to visit? Pizza!

2013 - 12

2013 - 01

Mom brought out this family heirloom during my visit. It looks like a pocket watch …

2013 - 02

… but it’s a collapsible shot glass!

January found me traveling to northern Iowa to meet with my team at Smarts Broadcast Systems … did I mention that it was northern Iowa? -2* was there to greet me! But it was a great trip, and I began my second blog, interviewing small market broadcasters. 21 have been published so far; check them out here.

The best part of the trip was being able to visit Mom & Sis in Missouri. It was great, and those opportunities are all too rare.

February saw Velda and I take a long weekend to Phoenix, to visit Uncle Bud & Aunt Connie who were doing the snowbird thing in Arizona again. Love it! We took the opportunity to do a driving tour through a couple of state parks, including visiting Sedona’s Bell Rock. Gorgeous!

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Another February event was our 2nd year hosting UCLA’s Dinner With 12 Strangers. Velda signed up to host with her good buddy, Debi, and they entertained a dozen students at our house. The food was great, the company was fun … and yes, they all did an 8-clap!2013 - 04

In March, Velda and I made a lifestyle change, as we stopped our gardening service, and I built an outdoor shed (woodworking project # 1), and filled it with a lawnmower and a blower. Just like a real gardener! We discovered that we enjoyed the gardening, and enjoyed having the yard and planting beds looking the way we wanted them. It just took us about 25 years to get back to that. Quick, that’s us!

The horizon from our driveway did change with the addition of our first outbuilding.

The horizon from our driveway did change with the addition of our first outbuilding.

I was on the road again in April, going to the NAB convention in Las Vegas. A highlight was going to Cabo Wabo for a free margarita … only to pronounce it swill. We haven’t completed our search for the perfect margarita yet … but it’s definitely not made with Cabo Wabo’s tequila!

Michael completed his Master of Science degree from the USC Viterbi School of Engineering in June. Done with school (at least for now) … and for the first time in 27 years, no one in our family was going to school. Now, that is a big change!2013 - 10

As summer was upon us, it was time for woodworking project # 2: building Payton an ultimate set of blocks. It was only slightly out of control … only 246 pieces, after all!

Muir Woods National Monument

Muir Woods National Monument

Early in July, most of the Mowry family (Christopher, Ally, Payton, Lauren, Eric, Velda and I) went camping in the sequoias for the first time in many years. We got a great site in my favorite camp, Crystal Springs, and spent July 4th weekend under the big trees. Velda and I extended our vacation from there, going farther north to visit 2 more National Parks (making 4 Parks in one week!), and one of my favorite places on earth, the Muir Woods National Monument. It was great to see that wonderful place again … and enjoy the best grilled cheese sandwich on the planet.

Back from vacation, it was time to begin woodworking project # 3: the routed bowl adventure. This one just kept growing and growing, with three rounds of production taking over the garage for four months.

2013 - 11And we may have been back from vacation … but Velda proved she was crazy.


An orphan was discovered in the parking lot at her facility, and she agreed to adopt this tiny 4-week old kitten, that was soon named Walter. He’s all kitten, and now, four months later he is STILL finding new ways to terrorize the older cats and cavort around the house. That is what kittens do, yes?

In November, I took on another client and joined RAIN Enterprises as Account Manager. RAIN will stage 4 Summits next year (New York, Las Vegas, Indianapolis and Europe) … plus we have a daily newsletter that covers every facet of the developing marketplace of online audio. Check it out, www.RAINNews.com.

Velda and Alley have several products, each in many fragrances that they are now offering. They have one retail outlet ... a boutique in northern California's wine country.

Velda and Alley have several products, each in many fragrances that they are now offering. They have one retail outlet … a boutique in northern California’s wine country.

Velda and Alley decided to launch a homemade lotion business, called Mrs. M’s Handmade. What caused them to do this is unknown … but there is now a nascent lotion business in the family. Big talk about the future … a website may happen in 2014. Hopefully they’ll figure out what their actual expenses and sales have been sometime before they jump farther into the marketplace!

2013 has truly been a wonderful year … family, fun, a bit of adventure and new doors opening at the end of the year. Can’t wait to see 2014!

My official best photography of 2013 ... Payton discovering a flower's shadow on her arm.

My official best photograph of 2013 … Payton discovering a flower’s shadow on her arm.


2012: It’s A Wonderful Year

7 responses to “2013: It’s A Wonderful Year

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  1. What a 2013 we had in California! Thanks to every member of the Mowry family for making it, and so many outings, so special; Rose Bowl Parade with Velda, Lakers-Clippers game with Chris, The Getty with Chris and Payton and Lauren, Jay-Z & Timberlake concert at Rose Bowl with Lauren, Brianna and Mike, The Hitching Post with everyone, Firestone, Double DBA, the Ostrich Farm with LAUREN, Home Brewing, Pizza Night, El Cholo, UCLA winning AT the Coliseum, In-N-Out, Del Taco, In-N-Out, Del Taco, Book Soup, Porto’s, Carney’s, that liquor store by Brianna’s college, Midas Automotive with Lauren, that tea shop breakfast spot owned by that guy who shot those two Crips, that new pizza place that is better than 800 Degrees, In-N-Out, Del Taco, San Diego with the gang, Chargers game, trash talking throughout the 2013 NLCS, Mike wearing a Cardinals hat in honor of our 19th pennant, the Lady Boy AND so many great nights around the dining room table enjoying Velda’s cooking. What a year, what a family!

    The Huberts

  2. Further adventures of the blocks -?

    • I’m yet to get a quality picture of Payton with the blocks. That’s likely because when I’m down on the floor playing, I’m not taking pictures. Further, the only thing she really likes to do is wait for me to build something, and then she’ll knock it down and say, “Funny.” And walk away.

  3. Pingback: 2014: It’s A Wonderful Year | MowryJournal.com

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