Friday, May 8, 2009

Avon Walk for Breast Cancer at San Quentin

My Friend Jill is AWESOME! She is one of those people who actually act according to their good intentions. She has done rides, hikes, walks and marathons (yes, all in plural) to raise funds for different charitable causes. When we catered Jill’s 50th birthday all her friends came ready with a check book knowing her favorite gift is a donation to a cause she supports.

Currently she volunteers at San Quentin State Prison as a part of their rehabilitation programs. She is helping to facilitate a fundraiser that we think is great. However, the best thing about this event is that it wasn’t Jill’s idea. One of the inmates at San Quentin watched a commercial for the Avon walk on T.V and was so touched he approached Jill and asked if she could help him put it together.
Now, I’m a cheese ball, we know that. But this is so extraordinary, so surprising and touching; I though this story would make Everyone’s Friday even better.

Here are Jill’s words and details:

“Friends, I write to ask you to support the S.F. Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in a very special way. I will be walking the 2 day, 39 miles with a group of very special men who happen to be incarcerated at San Quentin Prison. We will not, of course, be walking through the streets of S.F. We will walk behind the prison walls on July 11 and 12, at the same time the Avon Walk occurs over the Golden Gate Bridge. The men want to add their voice to the call for awareness, treatment, education, and cure of breast cancer in our society. I am honored to have been asked to help them make this event happen, with the help of other volunteers and the prison's administration. Please show your support for both the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer AND the compassionate act of the men of San Quentin by donating at

and spreading the word among your various networks. Our goal is to raise $10,000 but I'm hoping that together we can exceed that goal. On behalf of the men and myself, I extend my deep gratitude to you for your support. Jill

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Difference between Zion and Yosemite

According to Julian my almost 9 year old nephew, is that Zion has it on the cliffs while Yosemite takes it on the waterfalls.
Our trip to Zion national park was awesome. We started with Uvaggio’s Rose, , by far my favorite Lodi winery. We continued with the crisp and delightful Y3 Sauvignon Blanc by Jax Vineyards .Qupe’s Syrah was disappointing.
We swung back with the always wonderful Navarro Pinot Noir which we shared over Friday night dinner and Challah shaped by the kids and baked in our friends’ RV.

My favorite part of the trip was our hike to Angel’s Landing. My sister and I set out early in the morning (well…7:30am is early for some people), took the park shuttle and without much expectation beyond a few hours of just us out having fun, started the trail that would later turn into the best, most thrilling hike we have ever done.

A couple little culinary related notes: My sister got these amazing Jonagold apples at Costco. They were perfectly balanced between sweet and sour, were big, crisp and insanely juicy. Another Costco super find was Mrs. May’s dry roasted snacks we had the Cran-Blueberry crunch and could not get enough of it.
Between her shopping skills and her willingness to get up at 7 to hike with me, my sister takes the cake, or most likely PB and Jelly bars: I adopted this recipe years ago and it’s always a hit. I love it with apricot jam, with my home made Meyer lemon marmalade, or with raspberry jam.

Next month it’s Yosemite and King’s canyon. Can’t wait.