Folena Family 2010

Happy Holidays
Buone Feste
Boas Festas

No ... wait! Is it that time again? I know it's a cliché, but where did the time go? 2010 in recap ...

In January, Amanda directed Dead Man Walking at City Lights Theatre Company in San Jose. 

Amanda & Justin with Sister Prejean 

This was quite a project as Amanda even traveled to New Orleans in 2009 to research the story and characters where she met and stayed with Sister Helen Prejean, the author of the book that the play is based on. Sister Helen actually came out to the opening of the show and stayed with us. She’s a very interesting person full of energy and humility. In order to put on the show, Amanda and CLTC had to work with a local school since it needed to be a collaborative educational production and fundraiser as a part of the Dead Man Walking School Theater Project. Amanda teamed up with Notre Dame High School as some of the cast and many of the back stage personnel were students from the school. By all accounts it was a very successful production.

Around this time I started teaching an infant CPR class for Mission College Community Education. This was coupled with an Infant Health and Wellness class. I really enjoy teaching parents because they want to learn as opposed to having to take a class for CE units to keep your license – completely different motivation.

On February 12th Amanda teamed up with Molly Bell and some friends to sing for a Valentine's Day gig. Their theme was The Friday Night Supper Club, a throwback to the classic Hollywood of the '40s and '50s. This event was held at the Corinthian Grand Ballroom in downtown San Jose, a nostalgic dinner and dance club. Although you wouldn't know it by the photograph, taken right after she finished her set, Amanda was suffering from pneumonia and we had to cut the evening short for her to go home and get some badly needed rest.

Click HERE to view a video of Amanda singing at this event.

In March, Robbie flew out for my birthday – nice present even if I had to pay for the ticket. Then he came out again in June as we went down to attend the US Open at Pebble Beach. Unfortunately we don't have any pictures of this event as the PGA strictly enforces a no camera, no cell phone policy. As always, this stretch of God's earth is magnificent in its beauty. Wish we could share our memories with you.

The US Open was right after Robbie worked the Senior PGA Championship at the Colorado Golf Club in Parker, Colorado. He said it was tough because of all the duties and responsibilities he had, but he also really enjoyed having unrestricted access to the entire venue. Overall it was a success as the Senior PGA representative who worked with Robbie’s team was pleased with the advertising campaign, media coverage and resulting attendance figures.

Here we are having brunch at the Cliff House in San Francisco

Dad had a bad episode in April where he experienced some very sharp pains when he went to bed one night. He got up feeling even worse the next morning so we had him go to the hospital in Santa Rosa. It turns out he had pancreatitis and had to have his gall bladder removed. Fortunately he recovered very well after surgery and is pretty much back to normal. Then it was Paul’s Mom’s turn in early June. Poor Lala fell in her backyard, broke her nose and lost some teeth. She also recovered but unfortunately the loss of her teeth makes it difficult for her to masticate. Soft food is always on the menu for her.

Later in June, Amanda performed in a benefit concert staged by Divas for Life 2010 at the San Jose Rep. The proceeds from this event went to a local couple who have ties to the theater community to help pay for cancer treatment costs. Amanda sang 15 Pounds (Away From My Love) – if you haven’t seen this, treat yourself by clicking the YouTube link on the left. It’s one of Amanda’s best. 

And then the big news – I retired from Kaiser on June 25th after 31 years. We decided it was time given the business climate where many companies are reducing employee benefits, especially for retirees, so I locked in my healthcare benefits and said goodbye.  Unfortunately I couldn’t actually really retire (i.e. no income) so I reinvented myself by doing some free-lance teaching. I teach NRP from time to time and I became an American Red Cross first aid CPR instructor. I’ve also become a BLS instructor for the American Heart Association.

My retirement was good timing as my Aunt Delores came out for a visit from Cedar Rapids in July. We were able to spend time together as we also went up to Sebastopol to visit with Dad. Delores was able to place names with faces as she met Dad’s neighbors and friends. More good timing – Robbie and Desta flew into town for a friend’s wedding so they were able to spend some time with Delores as well. I think Delores likes it here in California – and we love having her here.

The entire clan with Delores in San Jose.

In August, we finally did something that we’ve been talking about forever – we took a Holland America Alaskan Cruise aboard the MS Rotterdam to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. Robbie was able to take the week off and come along with us. We had a ball as we did a little bit of everything – whale watching, sightseeing, fishing (although team Folena didn’t catch a thing!), and zip lining in the Ketchikan rain forest. Alaska is a beautiful place. The glaciers are simply stunning. Wildlife is still quite abundant and awe inspiring. We witnessed a rare sight where humpback whales work together using a tactic called “bubble netting” to round up schools of mackerel and devour them. Spectacular!

Hubbard Glacier from Glacier Bay

Fishing just outside Sitka, Alaska

Click HERE to see Jane zip lining.

Click HERE to see Robbie.

Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau

Immediately following the cruise, Robbie flew back to Denver as Paul and I spent a couple of days in Seattle. We met up with my friends Dave and Carrie Arthur who gave us a tour of the city and surrounding areas. Seattle reminds me a great deal of San Francisco. They have GREAT COFFEE there! True artisans when it comes to roasting and brewing the perfect latté or espresso. Yum!

Paul’s company, Eclipsys, merged with Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, Inc. in September. To date the merger hasn’t changed any of Paul’s duties or responsibilities as he is still the manager of a team of software developers. His team has transitioned from working on clinical applications to patient financials. He says the application domain and technology being deployed is challenging – I’m just glad he’s still employed.

In late September Paul and I went up along the Mendocino coast and stayed a few days in Little River. Amanda was able to come with us to decompress a little bit. Unfortunately Justin couldn’t join us due to his work schedule. It was a little getaway to just relax a bit and enjoy the breathtaking scenery.

Amanda and Jane at the cabin resort in Little River.  

Justin continues at California Theatre Center where he is acting and teaching kids. He tours all over California and the west coast as CTC brings their productions to cities big and small. He really seems to enjoy working there and being a part of that company. We’ve seen a few of his performances and he’s always very solid – the kids he teaches really warm up to him quickly as he is able to effectively communicate with them and share the love of theater. You can tell by the way his students come up to him following a performance and flock all around him.

In the fall Amanda started doing a lot of work at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek. She directed Annie, which was a big box office success, followed by performing in Becoming Britney, a spoof on Britney Spears.  She also auditioned for and was selected to be a part of next summer’s production of Blues in the Night – a dialogue-free show that will highlight her singing. Amanda said that the audition for this show was the toughest one she ever had. They made her sing, sing and sing some more. She was exhausted when it was over – a 15 minute audition that lasted well over 45. The entire cast consists of three women and one man, all of whom have been on Broadway other than Amanda. It’s a very good opportunity for her.

November 1, 2010, will be etched in Paul’s heart and mind forever. His beloved Giants won the World Series. It’s impossible to convey in words what it means when a lifelong boyhood dream comes true. He went up to SF to attend the victory parade and everything – pure euphoria amid the masses. In case you haven't seen Paul's video of when he attended the parade, you can click below.

Click HERE to view the Giants' secret weapon.

We were all together for Thanksgiving as Robbie flew in for the extended holiday weekend. Now Christmas is fast approaching and we’re a little sad that Amanda and Justin won’t be with us, but we’re happy that they will be spending the holiday in Indiana with Justin’s family.

Well that’s about it for 2010. The Folenas want to wish you and your loved
ones a fabulous holiday season full of joy and good cheer.

Have a healthy, prosperous and jubilant New Year!


Make a free website with Yola