Monday, March 30, 2009

Hello Monday!

It is a sunny, windy, and cold morning here in my little corner of the world. The sunlight is beautiful with its cheerful rays of light trying to embrace the morning in warmth. However, the wind is winning the war against warmth.

Yesterday, I was in the living room watching the cats. They were in the front windows, looking out and trying to catch the leaves which were blowing across their field of vision. Once in awhile, a leaf or twig, or other object would strike against the glass panes, causing the curious cats to jump back, hunker down and jump off the window sill, and run wildly through the house to try to figure where that noise came from. Then the other cat would give chase and WWF cat smack down would begin.

The cats are hilarious, and their simple pleasures of life make me laugh and smile. Whether they are sleeping or playing, sitting in our laps, or getting into mischief the cats entertain our family.

Simple, I know. But, I like that I can enjoy simple pleasures. I love the innocence of their play, the depth of their cat naps and the way they engage in conversation with their humans through their meows, purrs and other antics. I love that they have to be in the middle of everything we do.

I love being owned by our cats.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Where did the week go?!?

Wow! I am not sure, but I think this week flew by faster than last week did. Time flies ....

Last weekend Mom was here and we had a great time! We were on the go most of the day Friday. We started out by having lunch at the Pita Pit (fresh and healthy!) The weather was warm with a nice breeze so we ate our lunches out on the patio while we shared a great conversation. Then we headed off to Walmart to gather flowers for my grandmother's grave site. We found the best flowers! Bright and cheerful colors. Grams loved bright colors, and these were orange, pink, white, yellow and vivid purples.

After we left Walmart we ventured down to South Sacramento. We decided we wanted to see the house Grams had lived in when I was a young girl. The house is in the Lemon Hill area, off of Stockton Boulevard. We had tried to find it by memory the last time Mom was here, but we kept getting turned around. This time, I had found the house on Google, and we were armed with directions.

Looking back to my childhood years, I remember Grams house as being a large, solid square of a home that sat on an over-sized yard with acres of green grass. My mother and my brother Randy used to mow the grass weekly, and it took hours for them to do. I would play in the house with my Grams, or sit on the back porch steps with my dolls and pass the time of day while they did the yard work.

There was a little parking area for Gram's car off the the right of the property and beyond that a small duplex. Out in the far back left there was another small house, but I was never allowed to go out the the house in the back. It was too far away from Grams' house, and she didn't really know the people who lived there. I did visit with the people in the little duplex, they were both older couples like my Grams and Poppa.

Grams house was always well cared for and had a clean, strong scent of pine sol, Ajax and spray starch from the hours of ironing she did. No one could iron like my Grams. Her kitchen always smelled delightful and she always had something scrumptious for us to nibble on. I have fond memories of the house and yard, and the times our family shared there.

Fast forward back to the present day (about 33 years since Grams lived on the property.) The property is actually no more than 1/2 of an acre in size and completely and totally over developed. Besides the tiny little house at the front of the property (the house Grams lived in that I remembered as being a lot bigger!) and the duplex to the right, there is now an additional duplex in the back right corner, a row of 4 apartments that from the outside look like they are no bigger than a small hotel room, an over sized parking structure that is falling apart, and another square dwelling which looks like it was intended to be housing, but looks vacant. The entire property is over grown, depressed and in shambles. The are yard cars, refuse and other items strewn about. Sad, very sad. Thank goodness for memories!

After our visit to the old property, we went to the cemetery to share some love with Grams. She passed away 2 years ago, just six weeks before I turned 40, and she would have been 100. My birthday was on the 17th of March, and hers was the 18th. She used to pretend she was mad at me for not being born on her birthday.

Mom put the beautiful flowers on Grams grave site, and we spent some time chatting "to" Grams. My Grams was a wonderful woman, and we miss her very much. I know she is watching over us.

After visiting the grave site, we headed back into Roseville. We stopped at Costco and enjoyed an afternoon of tasty samples and stocking up of yummy treats and good things to eat. Then it was home for dinner, and time to teach my Mom how to play Wii.

Mom quickly got the hang of the Wii and enjoyed bowling. Let's face it, Wii is hard not to like. What a great way to have fun and interact with your family at the same time.

On Saturday Mom and Manda ran a few errands, then we all met for a delicious Chinese food feast. I was able to spend some great time with Mom in the scrapbook room, where I helped her to create half a dozen hand stamped cards. Mom is the Sunshine chairperson for the hospital auxiliary this year. As such she sends out greeting cards to those who are ill, lost a loved one, celebrated a birthday, etc. I thought it would be nice for Mom to be able to send out cards she herself had created. She and I had a great afternoon creating cards!

On Sunday we met my niece Kayli in Auburn for breakfast. Kayli has just moved back from Oregon, and it was great to see her. She is adorable, and a wonderful, caring young lady. While we were enjoying breakfast and wonderful conversation, Mother Nature delighted us with a beautiful snowfall that dusted the landscape but did not stick to the ground. So pretty!

The weekend went by entirely too fast! Before I knew it, it was time for bed on Sunday night, and back to work on Monday.

Now it's Friday again, and I can't believe it. Hope you have had a great week!

Happy Friday!

Friday, March 20, 2009

I am so excited!

It is Friday!
My Mom is here!

Need I say anything more? I am so happy, it is Friday, my mom is here and we are going to spend a totally wonderful weekend together.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Photos from 29 years ago

Having shared my rough draft of the "Thank You!" note that I am sending twenty nine years late to a person who more than deserves my appreciation, I thought you might like to see the pictures connected with the event of a lifetime - meeting Donny Osmond for the first time.

I was having difficulty getting the images to load nicely here on my blog, but you can see them in my facebook album: 29 years ago

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A long over due "Thank you!"

Mr. Ken

Re: A long over due THANK YOU!

Dear Ken,

Twenty nine years ago, a young; not quite mature as she would like to have believed young girl lived in a small city seventy miles out side of her beloved Sacramento where she had been raised until she was twelve years of age. Transplanted from the large metropolitan city where all her family and friends were, to living in this small town of Colusa was quite a shock, and this young girl did not react well.

The girl was, quite frankly, miserable in Colusa. None of her friends lived in this tiny town so far removed from what she was used to. None of her friends were there to bolster her confidence, or share laughter and tears with. Not even her best friend was nearby, and long distance phone calls were only so great at helping the young girl feel connected.

Colusa seemed so small! During those final few precious last weeks of summer, the girl explored her new town with open eyes, and much fear. The young girl immediately liked the park, swimming pool and tennis courts. But, she was lonely. She knew no one, and every person of her own age she came across seemed reluctant to take a moment to extend a friendly greeting. The word “clique” had a strong meaning to the girl. The cliques existed, and she was on the outside looking in.

The first day of school arrived. The young girl hearing the whispers of, “Who is that?” ringing throughout the hallways of the middle school, felt like a fish in a very small bowl. And that bowl had been placed in the depth of the ocean for all the native Colusa teens to feed upon. Surprisingly enough, she did not get eaten that day, just nipped at, and put in her place several times that day, and for many weeks to come. She was reminded that she was the outsider, and that although she may live in Colusa – she was not “from” Colusa and was therefore not worthy of belonging to the teens.

There were notable exceptions to the rule. A few brave, kind Colusa teens who had obviously been raised by loving and kind parents, parents who knew there was a world beyond the boundary lines of Colusa, and who raised their children to accept people for what is in their heart and mind, accepted the new comer, and tried to make her feel as though she belonged. The young girl was too naïve to see or understand this at the time. But she never forgot their kindness, and even as she carried her dislike for Colusa into adulthood, she appreciated those few people. They had made the difference. They had made those months of living in Colusa not so painful, and not as lonely as it could have been.

One of the young girl’s favorite people was a prince among the teen-aged boys. He was her age, and had manners, a sense of humor, honor and insight. He had the wisdom and knowledge of an older soul. He befriended the girl and tried his best to ease her unhappiness. He offered his ear to her soul and encouraged her to talk. He participated in active conversation with her. He made her laugh! He made her smile. He made her feel a contentment that no one else had. He offered her his young heart and they became “steady” boy friend and girl friend. Being the young and immature teen that she was, it would be many years later, and only through the vision known as hindsight; before she would fully appreciate the innocent relationship of that 7th grade romance, and the depth of maturity he shared with her. He was wise beyond her years. She was the one from the big city – but he was that one with the knowledge of life and maturity.

During the time the young couple “dated” the young man learned the girl had a teen idol ~ Donny Osmond. The teen idol was the epitome of “Puppy Love” and was known for his wholesome values, clean family entertainment, good looks and wonderful voice. The girl had learned that her teen idol and his family would be performing in the California bay area city of San Carlos at a venue known as the Circle Star Theater, and she really wanted to go. Her parents; they were not so certain that a not quite 13 year old girl needed to be at a concert.

The young girl tried everything she could to change her mom’s mind so that she could go. But the young girl’s mom was not budging. The concert would be expensive and they would have to drive several hours to and from the concert. Maybe if the venue had been local and not several hours away, then maybe she would have been allowed to go. Maybe.

The young girl’s boyfriend – he had more than just his heart to offer when the young girl shared her unhappiness at not being allowed to attend the concert - he had magic! That magic was a direct connection from his parent’s place of business to the manager of the Osmond Family! And, in no time at all – not only was permission granted, but given with joy for the young girl and her 7th grade boy friend to attend the concert. The young girl’s parents would provide transportation and chaperone the young teen couple to and from the concert.

The Saturday morning of the concert arrived with stormy grey skies that unleashed torrential rains upon California. The heavy rain clouds dumping there load upon the land could not dampen the young girl’s spirits as her parent’s root beer colored Honda wagon traveled down the state to the concert. Nothing could take the happiness from the girl – she had her 7th grade boy friend beside her, and they were on their way to enjoy a real live concert. The girl’s step father was an award winning newspaper photographer, and he had given the young couple his press passes for the concert, so they couple would be allowed to take a camera with then during the concert, thus enabling them to capture the memories for posterity.

Arriving at the venue, the young teen-age boy and girl went to “Will Call” to pick up their tickets, which were being held for them under the name of “YAMAHA.” But the tickets were not there. After some confusion, the kids were sent around to the back stage door, and upon telling the security at the door their names and explaining the confusion, they were admitted to the back stage area ….. Oh my!! This was even better than just going to a concert, they got to walk through the back stage area, where the Osmond Family could be seen getting ready before taking the stage. Wow! The girl was flabbergasted and speechless (which did not happen very often.)

Escorted by a member of the Osmond’s staff, the teens were shown to their seats (near the front, and in the center!) and instructed to return to the back stage door after the concert so that they would have the opportunity to meet a few of the Osmonds and maybe even get autographs and pictures. Oh my!!! The teen-aged girl was in for the experience of a lifetime, and she was thrilled! Every moment of the concert was magical, and each moment was captured in indelible ink in her mind. This – this was “something” she would never forget.

After the concert, following the instructions they were given, the young couple returned back stage, bringing with them the young girl’s mother and step father, the step father’s professional camera, their autograph books, programs and immense excitement.

An Osmond staff member greeted the 7th grade teens saying, “I am not sure how much time we have, or who is available, but I am pretty certain that we can get Donny to come over and talk to you, would that be okay?” Oh my …… YES! The girl began to tremble with pure excitement … her steady reminded her to relax, calm down, and just be herself. She needed that reminder.

Merrill and Wayne Osmond stopped by, chatted for a moment and signed their autographs. Marie, Alan, Jay, and Jimmy were off in another direction greeting fans and unwinding after the wonderful performance they had shared with their fans. And, then, making every wish and dream come true for the young girl, Donny joined the foursome from Colusa. Oh my! He was just as charismatic and friendly in person as he was on the television, his voice as warm and layered as it is on records… only he was standing right there with the teens, his arm around the young girl’s shoulders. Her smile was full and true, exhibiting a depth of happiness she could not even begin to believe. Pictures were taken of Donny with the young teen-aged boy from Colusa and his young teen-aged awe struck girlfriend. Conversations were shared between the teen idol and the teen-aged boy and girl; memories were seared into the mind of the teen-age girl. She would never forget this moment.

Several months later, the school year ended. The young girl went off to her father’s in another state for the summer and dreaded her return back to Colusa. For although the girl had made several friends in the tiny town of Colusa; her heart and soul longed to return to her beloved Sacramento. At just thirteen years of age, she was not wise enough to appreciate the true value of those few friendships she had made. She could only feel that she belonged elsewhere – some place other than that tiny town, where every one knew every one, and if you weren’t from there, you belonged elsewhere.

While enjoying the sunshine and happiness of summer at her father’s the young girl received a phone call during which she was told it was time to come back to Colusa. The young girl’s mother had decided to move. The girl would have to help pack the duplex they had lived in during their time in Colusa, and then unpack and establish their household in Roseville, California. It was with much excitement and without looking back twice that the girl joyfully arrived home, packed her belongings, and gleefully said goodbye to Colusa.

In her haste to “move on” the girl was shallow and selfish. She did not take the time to express her appreciation to the young man who had given her a priceless gift - unconditional friendship and acceptance. Roseville became the home of her heart and soul within mere weeks of arriving and unpacking boxes. She has never regretted the move to Roseville, and to this day loves living there and calls herself a native of Roseville. But – she also has never forgotten the true friend who tried to make a difference – Kenny.

Kenny has frequently crossed her mind, leaving her to reflect upon his kindness with both joy and sorrow. A true friend should be appreciated. The young girl that Robin was did not realize this until several years down the road, and then she could not find her way back so that she could say, “Thank You. I appreciate you. I appreciate your family and the kindness and joy that were shared with me during a time in my life that misery was my best friend. I appreciate you for trying to show me the value of taking life one day at a time, and for trying to get me to take each moment of happiness and appreciate the value of that happiness. Thank you for sharing your friendship with me and for sharing your young heart with me. You have carried a piece of my heart with you, as I gained knowledge and eventually maturity in my life. Thank you for being my friend, and for making my dreams have value, and for making my dream of meeting my teen idol a reality. Thank you for accepting the new kid in town and for not treating me like the plague”

Recently, through a social network, the young girl found out that the young boy had relocated. Using a Google search engine to search his name, and finding a connection, the girl knew it was time. Time to finally, many years later, have the opportunity to thank the boy who made an impression on the girl.

Ken ~

This thank you is 29 years late, but I hope that you can see how much your kindness - being a true friend to a young girl - meant to me. I have thought of you often over the years. My husband and daughter, having heard me tell stories about my time living in Colusa, wanted to know if I had ever thanked you properly for being my friend during those months that I lived there.

I was shamed to admit that I never had.

Thank you for sending me your address so that I could do what should have been done years ago – say, “THANK YOU!”


Friday, March 13, 2009

Busy, Busy day...

It's Friday the 13th and shaping up to be a busy, busy day.

I want to share a few stories about:

* what happend this morning (iron!)
* a story about Colusa and some friends I have re-connected with
* a story about my 7th grade boyfriend and a long over due "Thank YOU!" note (with photos to be included!)

But, I don't have time to do it now, so --- basically --- this morning's blog is my ribbon tied around my finger to help me remember what I want to share.

Have a totally terrific Friday the 13th!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Scrapbook room fun!

Last night after work, I ventured into the scrapbook room, where I fully intended to finish the cracked glass cards I had started on Monday. I cut all of the card stock, stamped all of my images and embossed and cracked the main image for all six cards on Monday with the help of Manda who was sweet and helped me by transferring the freshly embossed images to the freezer for quick cool downs.

So, there I was - sitting at my scrap table with the big, bright lamp illuminating my table and the blinds pulled up to allow the late afternoon sun into the room. Harley jumped up onto the table - he loves to lay on the table when the light is on. I can't blame him. It is a BIG, bright lamp, and it does create a circle of warmth.

First Harley stretched out, and allowed me to start working with my project. Then I started to unroll a length of ribbon so that I could cut the proper length, cut it and accessorize the cards.
But, Harley had other ideas and began swatting at the ribbon. No claws, just the soft pad of his paw, batting the ribbon and making it sway enticingly in front of his face. I don't mind him playing with my ribbon, but this was SU ribbon, so I took that roll away from him and located "his" string for him to play with instead.

In the meantime, Miss Harvest decides she is missing out on the fun and games, and joins Harley on the table. She decided that my pen rolls perfectly when she swats at it, and she proceeds to repeat her kitten cute playfulness with my pen until it finally rolls off of the table. Harvest then decides she wants to share Harley's string and she takes it from him.

Harley takes exception to that, and decides it is time for Cat WWF. Harley tackles Harvest and they tumble off of my table to the ground. Being cats they land on their feet and the chase is on.
"Safe" appears to be my scrap table as they take turns advancing and evading each other, and return time and time again to the warmth and brightness of the table.

Harvest tried to "hide" behind my rotating ink caddy, but even as she hides, she can not resist showing her cute little head and keeps popping out from behind the cover of the caddy to "see" where Harley is. Of course Harley being older and wiser was sitting just to the other side and immediately pounces on her.

Their antics kept me amused for at least 30 minutes and by that time, I had lost all focus on finishing my cards. The cats had paper, pens and ribbon knocked off of my table and my shelves - but do you think they offered to clean up their mess? Nope! Oh well, at least they had a good time, and I have to admit - I enjoyed watching their antics.

Do you have pets? Are you a sucker for their cuteness like I am?

Monday, March 9, 2009

It was a wonderful weekend!

Friday night Manda and I ran to the used bookstore; and then to Safeway. We came home and made a yummy (very simple!) dinner and just relaxed and enjoyed the evening with Russell.

Saturday was family breakfast morning. Russell and Manda made scrumptious bacon (I always burn it) while I did scrambled eggs with bell peppers, tomato, corn and onions. After breakfast, Manda to Russell to pick up the truck - the 77 Ford needed its very first clutch replacement after more than 110 thousand miles. Then Manda ran a few errands before coming home.

Saturday evening we joined Susie Immanschuch, and Alena Trimble at Strikes in Rocklin for dinner. Susie, Alena and I went to high school together. We have not seen each other in years and years, but we had a wonderful time catching up and getting to know each other all over again. Both of them are just as sweet and fun as I remember.

Sunday afternoon Manda and I headed over to hang out with Paula and Danielle. We spent a relaxing afternoon sharing great conversation and just enjoying the afternoon. Then it was off to Bible study for Paula (I am going to go with her one night,) and off to help Marla Ellis celebrate her birthday.

Marla is turning 40 this week. Her family really wanted to do something for her birthday, and as luck would have it - it is going to be a crazy week, so they decided to celebrate her birthday at John's Incredible Pizza. At 5:00 pm on a Sunday evening, the lines were actually not too bad, and the noise level was bearable.

Marla was joined by her mom, Marla's daughters Brittani (14) Madolyn (9) Brittani's best friend, my daughter Manda (16) Madolyn's best friend, Karissa (9) Marla's brother Fred and sister in law Dawn and their son Colin who is also 9, Marla's nephew Austin (16) Marla's boyfriend - Dave (who is really nice!) and myself.

It was a joyful bunch that crowded around the table sharing in the celebration. There was lots of good food, loud conversation and laughter. The kids enjoyed being able to use some of their energy in the game room, and the adults appreciated being able to share conversation.

It was a really busy weekend. Of course the things like laundry and cleaning house did not get done, but - oh well ----- I think we can get that caught right back up this week.

Happy Monday - hope your weekend was fun and that you are enjoying the bright sunshine outside today.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


What do purple lions, pink elephants and green skies have to do with each other? And, more importantly, WHY were they in my dreams last night? Why did I have such a mryiad messed up mix of dreams last night? I even had the strangest dream about a former boy-friend. It was a very clean dream, but I kind of felt like he was trying to talk to me..... I guess I'll call his sister and see what is up.

I could understand the dreams if any of those "things" had remotely crossed my mind during the day, but they didn't. And, last night was one of those totally perfect nights when the t.v. never got turned on before I went to bed.

It is not like I ate dinner late, over ate before going to bed, or was over stimulated.

Manda and I shared an awesome chicken salad for dinner last night, nice and simple:
lettuce, carrots, advocado, and chicken with a balsamic vinegarret dressing. Tasty, simple and yummy.

I was in bed by 9pm.

By midnight I was restless and waking from strange dreams. I got up and drank a big glass of water, and went back to bed; only to continue to have these whacked out dreams that made no sense what so ever. None.

And, I can usually figure out dreams. Not these.

Oh well! Happy Thursday! Hope you are having a day full of love and happiness.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Happy Wednesday!

Well, "Hello Mr. Sunshine!" Yes - it is one of those beautiful pre-spring days in the Sacramento valley --- we had an abundance of rain yesterday (which we need more of,) and today the skies are full of puffy clouds in varigated colors ranging from pure white to dark and dank grey - and those clouds are being chased by brilliant clear blue skies and sunny sunshine. It is chilly out, with a hint of the rain still to come, but it is a beautiful day.

Happy Wednesday! Have a beautiful day.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Happy Monday!

It is Monday - the first week of March, and I am feeling so much more like myself this week. YIPEE!!! Yes, I am that excited about feeling better.

We spent the entire weekend around the house, resting, cleaning cubby holes, and reading. My scrapbook (okay, it really should be stamping) room looks fabulous! It has taken me several weekends to go through each and every little bit - but it is so worth it. Now my space is much more organized than it has been in a while.

I really wanted to stamp this weekend, but I could not get a creative vibe flowing. So - when I could not create, I cleaned. Harley helped me. He laid on the table underneath the warmth of my big lamp, and took long cat naps. Once in a while, he'd open his eyes, and stretch his paws out - reaching to be patted, then with a contented sigh of the truly loved, he'd rev his motor and slip back into a slumber.

Harvest likes to investigate the scrapbook room, but her kitten-ness youth makes her mischevious and playful, and she is not content until she can bat everything about and chase a piece of ribbon or knock something off the shelf. Good thing she is adorable and has very loud purr.... Cuteness keeps her from getting in trouble.

Now - if I can find my creative vibe this week, that would be wonderful. Carmen sent out a challenge to our stamp group - Paper Piecing. That should help inspire me.

Happy Monday! Hope your week is off to a great start.