Monday, January 18, 2010

Making "Mouse" Calls.....

Phillip and I are off on a long road trip to make a few deliveries and attend several meetings.

I probably won't be blogging this week. It's amazing how when we plan to go South for a meeting, it turns into back-to-back, day-after-day meetings. Not that I'm complaining, mind you. It just makes for some very long days. Long days that make you really, really hungry. Long days that make your face tired from always being "on" with smiles. Long days that are full of leap-frogging from one place to another. AND then there's the LONG drive back - well, actually, in my case the LONG ride back. I'm not driving the big truck!

But, at least I'll have good company. We'll talk and laugh. Then I'll sleep while he listens to his music. Then we'll stop and we'll eat. Then we'll talk some more. AND then the cycle will repeat itself. We've had several road trips over the years to perfect this ritual...!

Even though we haven't even departed yet, I know I'll be glad to be home. I like it at home.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

My Little Guy.

Once Upon A Time...

There was this little guy.

So clean. So sweet. So innocent.

Now he is 16 1/2. He has his learner's permit and his restricted class c scooter license. Oh the freedom of a scooter...(during daylight hours and in dry weather, otherwise, Mom's taxi rolls!)

Yesterday, he and I drove all over town (mind you, town is not THAT big), but we went to all the clothing stores, including the second-hands, looking for a formal, all-black dress shirt and all black - not too wide, not too skinny - neck tie for his Winter Formal last night from 8-11.

Well, after no luck finding the right size 14 small, we went to WalMart. The last place I thought we'd find something formal-ish. Now keep in mind, I'm not a WalMart snob, I like to save money as much as the next Mom, but I thought...well, let's just say, I didn't think of WalMart.

Any who, we got him his shirt and tie. Soon we realized that no one in our house wears ties - 4 males, but none have that kind of job dress requirement...So we called upon Janice's hubby, Dan, who also does NOT wear ties, but was in the military, so he knew how. Now, so does A.J.

Came home. A.J. ironed out the wrinkles, first time ever using an iron. He didn't want to wash and dry the shirt because he didn't want the really cool (crisp and pointy) collar to get "ruined". He did a good job ironing, by the way! I don't think that iron has been used in 15 or more years!!!

When we were in the store, A.J. asked, "Mom, do we even have an iron? I know you have that really heavy, old rusty one, but I don't think that will work." He was talking about an iron I have from, well, who knows how old it is...but it's decoration in the laundry room!

I took him to the dance at 8. Wished him a fun evening with his date and his friends.

Went back to pick him up at 11. He was already outside waiting for me. UH OH! He told me he hadn't been outside long, but did tell his date goodbye and left the dance. UH OH!

What happened? "Well, Mom. My date brought her best friend (from another high school), and the friend kept interrupting every time I'd try and talk to my date. The friend kept crying all night long."

Now keep in mind, I'm not the type of Mom that is easily shocked or offended by what I hear. I've raised, well, technically, still raising 3 young men. I work in a shop/studio full of men. I've heard a lot. I've seen a lot.

So, next, A.J. says, "The friend kept crying and crying and crying. Apparently, her ex-boyfriend got some other girl pregnant and she is really upset! I couldn't even enjoy the dance. I didn't slow dance ONCE! I don't think I'm going to go to anymore dances. They are boring and not worth the money."

Oh, the innocence. Poor A.J. 16 1/2. Winter Formal. Beautiful date (he said) AND a third wheel with ex-boyfriend issues...

I told him, "Well, the best friend should be happy that she's not the one that's pregnant by the guy!" He agreed!!!

I guess he's growing up....

Too bad about the dance though. He loves dances!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Single Photo Saturday #3 - "You have reached a number that has been disconnected or is no longer in service.."

Do you remember the dial phones?

I found this "vintage" - funny how this can now be called vintage! - phone a couple years ago at a local junk store. I just fell in love with the red color. It now resides in my laundry room.

It has that good 'ol ringtone - a real bell - not a digital bell. No push buttons. No touch screen. No caller ID display. No antenna. No internet link. Just a plain old fashioned, take-your-time rotary dial. The dial that makes that scratchy sound as it returns to its stop. It even has a cord. No wireless here.

I remember when we had to rent these from the phone company. No one ever owned a phone! As a young girl, I always wanted a phone of my own. An extension of my very own - in my room - but they just cost too much. Only the adults had an extension in their room.

Back then, there was no call waiting, so phone calls to friends after school had to be limited, just in case someone else was trying to call; and your call was never very private anyway - you were stuck about 3 feet from the kitchen wall!!! Then, they invented longer cords!!! Whoo Hoo!!! Those big 'ol, stretchy, spiral cords. The ones that curled up into twisted knots after many conversations.

I remember one day, back in elementary school, someone enlightened us all on how to "secretly" listen in on an extension conversation...if you un-screwed the bottom of the handset and removed that little magnet/speaker thingy, you could hear what was being said on the other line, but they couldn't hear you!!! Oh simple technology at it's best....NOT that I ever listened....hee hee, but one COULD if they wanted to.....

Then came the push button phones. Those were fun too. I even bought a little paperback book, once, that had charts of songs you could play by pushing the buttons. That was hours of fun. Clearly, I was easily entertained. I'm not sure why I never called anyone in foreign countries though, now that I think of it. Hmmm....

When I turned 12, I finally got an extension phone of my own. In my bedroom in Washington. Not a princess phone. Not the coveted, round, donut phone. Just a regular 'ol rectangle push button phone. BUT, it was my phone. MINE! At least for a couple of months, until we moved back to California. Then I went back to being phone-less!!!

Now almost everybody has a cel phone that does everything except wash dishes and cook laundry. I heard the other day, that I can even program my satellite tv from my phone!!!

I can't even imagine kids these days, playing music notes on their phone by pushing individual buttons. Now, they just download songs - full play lists. We've definitely become a micro-wave, instant gratification society.

Honestly, I like the conveniences of technology, but I do, also, like my red rotary dial phone in the laundry makes me smile and think of simpler times....those were good times too!

**I still need to clean off the paint splatters from the dial (that came with the phone!), but for now, I just think of them as Polka Dots. I like Polka Dots!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Money, MONEY, MONEY, M.O.N.E.Y!!!!

Seriously, my friends. There is MONEY to be had online. Just search this link for ALL your friends, family, friends of friends and friends of family.

Today alone, I found over $2000.00 owed to peeps I know.....

Be sure to also check out - via a Google or Yahoo search - for unclaimed property in your states unclaimed property site as well.


*** Note: unfortunately, there was NO money in my name or my hubby or my kids, but there was A LOT abandoned for many other people I found...!!!

Let me know how much you find!!!  Good luck. It's the easiest $$ you'll ever find....Man, do I sound like an informercial or what???

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Three Boxes.

Three boxes down. Many more to go.

Many, many, MANY more! But, for now I'm content just opening, sorting (and trashing!), reminiscing, and temporarily re-toting the contents of these first three.

As I said, lots of memories have been packed away in these boxes. These boxes have lived in 3 states and several houses. They've seen temperature extremes too. So hot, that a few of the candles packed in there are almost un-recognizable globs of wax. My first thought, in TRUE PACK RAT STYLE, was to keep them and use them for Halloween decoration. MOVE ON ALREADY!!!!

Ok. (maybe to re-melt and make new candles)...OK. I've moved on.....

Any who, here's a little tour of some sentimental items stowed away for SO long....

In NO particular order....

A little snow couple Ty made for me many, many Christmases ago.

Another little snowman. Much in the Nightmare Before Christmas genre. I LOVE him!
Bubble gum machine I bought for Phillip one Christmas up in Washington. Second-hand, of course!

Bag-O-Rocks. ??? Must have been a field trip or something...Can't remember....

Pewter cups. Bought at the first Renaissance Faire we went to together several years ago.

My ACTUAL wedding bouquet. Circa 1985. All pink and lavender. It's gotten pretty squished packed away in a box. Bummer! But, I'm not the type to put it in a glass dome!

...and the flowers I wore in my hair on that special day.

One of my mom's nursing books. She's worked in several hospitals and provided in-home care for lots of people, including, the famous skier and woman the 1975 movie, The Other Side of the Mountain was based on, Jill Kinmont Boothe. I was in elementary school then. We lived in Bishop, CA and I remember going to her house with my mom. She always had lots of books to read, including Curious George. I still like Curious George - vintage George, that is. My fave was when he swallowed the puzzle piece. The man with the big yellow hat was VERY, VERY patient! 

A patriotic blue bottle my sister, Lisa, gave to me several years ago.

One of my teddy bears from childhood. Used to be really bright white and fuzzy. Has a rattle in the tail and used to have yellow and pink felt flowers up by its ear.  *** edited to add: I found this photo of me on Christmas morning with my brand new bear! My sister, Lisa, got one too. Only hers was brown. I talked to her tonight, and she no longer has hers. Now, I'm kind of sad.

A terra cotta clock/thermometer. Bought this for our very first "owned" home up in Washington. It hung on our back patio. Bunnies....

A pair of A.J. toddler shoes.

A simple glass bottle with very old flower petals in it. Romance at it's best. I had this floating in a hot tub with a love note in it, wax sealed cork, and a VERY long ribbon that trailed all the way through the rented honeymoon cabin up near Hood Canal, WA.

This is one of the oldest items I own. It's vintage decoupage by my Grandma Mattie. I believe it was a gift to my mother that she handed-down to me. My Grandma Mattie passed away when I was a kid - maybe 11 or 12. I hadn't seen her since I was 5. We lived in Washington and she lived in Texas. ** edited to add: I found this picture of this plaque hanging on my Mom's living room wall when I was a kid. You can only see the very bottom of it, over there on the left above my Mom's head. Even my sister got all "warm and fuzzy" when she saw this picture. Mom was younger then, than I am now. Where does the time go???

The plate my mom gave to us on our wedding day.

I believe Kyle made this little dish. Axxe references a dragon model kit that Phillip was designing.

Dopey's Mom. Yep. I was Dopey's mom. One Halloween, Kyle was Dopey and a couple friends of mine custom made me this hat to wear while Trick-or-Treating. Fun times! I wore it proudly!!!

There were lots of cards, invitations, notes, kids artwork, old papers in those boxes. This one was our 1/2-way point so far. "13 years in a row"!

THE journal that made me cry.

Blurry photo, but these little horoscope scrolls are from 1984. My 16th birthday. Phillip took me to Knott's Berry Farm. Funny how Phillip's is Pink and mine is Blue.

A Honeymoon Souvenir. We were young and this was all we could afford. A 4" Lake Mary - Mammoth Lakes, CA letter opener.

AND last, but definitely not least, a Winnie-the-Pooh WEEBLE!

What's in your boxes? Do you have boxes? I do. Lots MORE!!!


Monday, January 11, 2010

Admired and Looked Up To.

I think it's, truly, the greatest compliment to hear someone say "I admire you." "I am really inspired by you." "How do you do what you do?"  "I wish I could be more like you."

It makes my heart swell a little. It makes me more than proud. And without seeming, well a bit conceited, it makes me want to scream - I KNOW!!!

NO, I am not talking about ME...silly....I'm talking about my husband.

You see, I truly admire him. I look up to him. I am inspired by him.

I have been ever since becoming his girl at 15. I have always been there. Watching him. Supporting him. Cheering him on. AND he in turn has given me a wonderful life that includes three wonderful sons that are following in his footsteps. Three sons that are inspired by him. Admire him. Look up to him. AND love him just as much as I do.

He has worked so very hard to follow his dreams. To get to where he is today. AND still has so many more goals he wants to accomplish. He has never given up. Never thrown in the towel. He has always been strong and sacrificed so much to keep moving ahead.

I remember, as a very young wife, telling my mother "he is just SO driven, I'm not sure he'll ever just stop and be happy." Today, at 41 years of age and 24+ years of marriage, I can't believe I was EVER concerned about having such a driven soul-mate.

Why am I typing this today? Well, while I was un-packing those boxes mentioned in my last post,  I found a little journal from Dec 1991. There were NO blogs then. Only little books of paper with not-so-strong locks on them. Papers with written words, that when read this weekend made me cry.

So many memories. So long ago. Such sacrifices. Such chaos. Such hope for the future. Hope for a future with more money. Less bills. More time to spend with our little boys - there were only two then. Wishes for our future in Washington. Plans to move forward into the unknown.

Those were scary times. Tough times. But, we always had faith in US. In our little family of four. There was always lots of LOVE and lots of TRUST.

I love you, Phillip.


Your best friend, 


**photo: Us in Spring 1987. Pre-kiddos - well, actually, we just found out we were expecting....

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Single Photo Saturday #2 - Moving at a Snail's Pace....

Maybe things are moving a little slowly, as far as the New Year's Resolutions are concerned, but I did get through 3 boxes from the greenhouse/storage area today.

Boxes that have been packed up since 2001! You read right. 2001. The boxes I packed away when we moved from Washington to Oregon. The boxes that were NEVER un-packed when we moved from Oregon to the rental house in California. The same boxes that were moved from the rental house in California to the house we eventually bought and were stored up in the garage rafters. The SAME ones that were taken down from the rafters and put into the moving truck for our move back to Oregon.

They've been stored upstairs in the greenhouse/storage room since 2004!

It's 2010. Time to go through the boxes. I found a ton of things today in those first 3 boxes.

I hope to give a "what's in the box" tour this week. Some fun. Some sentimental. Some...why on earth?! But, all of it was "Oh, I remember this!!!" ...and NOT just from me. Phillip and the boys too....lots of memories....!

Happy Saturday.

**heavy garden snail with vintage rust from Washington rain

Friday, January 8, 2010

Lazy, Lazy Friday Night....

Ever feel like being LAZY?

We'll it's been a busy week back at work AND after that long holiday break we took, I'm happier than usual that it's FRIDAY.

So this post is short-and-sweet. It's quitting time and I'm going home to be LAZY!!!

...and probably surf all the other blogs that haven't been lazy....

...and I don't plan on being lazy all weekend, just tonight!

***see Dude wants to be Lazy too!!!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

You Know The Holidays are OVER when....

The Perpetual Calendar says - January 03!

The Christmas tree has been stripped of all it's holiday goodness and is sitting naked on the front porch waiting to be mulched!

Or, maybe, I should leave it there! Introducing - Tina's NEW landscaped porch! In the Springtime, I'll just spray paint it with some Heirloom White and hang birdhouses on it!!! Another blogland DIY project.....LOL

There is an empty tub waiting for it's next use...Kindling Storage by the Fireplace, Iced Cold Sodas in the Summer, Bobbing for Apples in the Fall. What else would you use it for???

Pine Needles all over the floor and table cloth "tree skirt", where the tree once stood. Thank goodness for my Dyson. How did I EVER live without it???

A whole wad of Silver Tinsel stuffed in the trash (can't let the little song birds outside have access to that - even if it took longer to remove all of it from the tree branches than it did to decorate the whole tree!!!) - along with all the other remnants of the holidays...Blackberry pie wrapper, apple cider bottle, box of chocolate covered orange jelly sticks, chip bags....Let the New Year DIET begin...Oh wait, I wasn't the only one eating all that JUNK!!!


Back to work tomorrow. Why does the work week always have to start with a Monday? No wonder we all hate Mondays....

It's been a nice Holiday break, so I really shouldn't be complaining. Plus, it's not like most other Mondays. It's the First MONDAY of the NEW YEAR! Lots to get caught up on. Lots to start doing. So, here's to Monday.

Cheers! Early to bed - early to rise....just another Resolution for me....I'm gonna try. I'm gonna try. I'm gonna try......

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Single Photo Saturday #1

Welcome to my new Series...Single Photo Saturday. It's my hope that this will help me to continue posting on weekends without a ton of writing on my end or a ton of reading on yours.

My first post, is an Across the River - Up In The Mountains view of our house. You can see a peek-a-boo view of the river, the valley and the surrounding terrain. Cool!

Now, you can understand my fear of forest fires!!!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year, I hope......

2010 started with a CRASH, BOOM, BANG. 

Not the traditional fireworks or ball sliding down a pole.

It rained a TON last night. Dumped and dumped and dumped. So much water fell from the sky, that Mother Earth rang in the New Year around here in a most unusual way.

A whole section of our hillside fell down - taking a tree with it. I guess the ground can only get so super-saturated before it cuts loose!

Honestly, I'm surprised to see this section fall. It "seemed" pretty secure all this time. But, Ty started clearing this section of all the under-brush and small, natural shrubs last year. NOW, I'm really nervous about clearing this side of the house for the recommended 100' fire break. We've got a whole big mountain up there - it's not flat!

I'm deathly afraid of forest fires, but I don't want to have the house full of mud either!!!

Oh, the "good-life" in the Pacific Northwest. Earthquakes. Forest Fires. Drought. Mud Slides. What's next? Locusts???? (I had to throw that last one in 'cause that's what Phillip said last night while driving home on the WATER-LOGGED freeway!) Snow. Ice. Wind. Flooding. Locusts..... We're off to a good start for a Happy New Year!!! 2009 was a great year, so I hope this isn't a sign of what's to come in 2010.......

I know ONE thing that WILL happen around here this year is getting rid of STUFF!

Our garage and my treasure-hunting-finds storage room got flooded too! Too much water. Most of my treasures were in totes or sitting on top of totes, so not much got soaked - thank goodness.

I have to admit though, that at 2 a.m. in the morning, as I was in there moving things out of the water, I was inclined to get rid of everything in the room. Making a mental promise to myself. A resolution, so to speak. That's one of my goals this year. GET RID OF STUFF!!! 

So, that's my New Year's Resolution! Make some changes around here regarding STUFF!!!

All you fellow junkers out there, wish me luck! Really, I'll need it. I feel like I'm drowning.......
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