Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Best Excuse Ever For Not Blogging

I’m going to have a baby….


Okay, so most grandma’s to be wouldn’t be able to keep their mouths shut this long but me? Heck! I’m not only going to be an awesome, wise, non- meddling, patient Grandmother; I’m also going to be one who knows when it’s time to step in and say something. I already know this because I’ve been very busy keeping my mouth shut for the past 4 months. I’ve been waiting for a certain son (who’s involved in this startling development) to say something-anything- even just an obscure hint -to his family and friends on line about the addition to the family.(Facebook does not count! Facebook is for random blatherings not thoughtful comments on earth shattering events)

I’ve had all these terrific blog ideas I wanted to use all summer but I didn’t want to usurp his right to ring the bells, blow the whistles, lead the band, and announce to the world that this incredible, long awaited child was on the way.

You wouldn’t believe the number of adorable cartoons I’ve found on line to illustrate the insightful essays I was going to write. I’ve had tons of crochet patterns I was prepared to share as well as tips gleaned from every grand parenting blog I could find to pass along. Then there were all those sage bits of advice from luminaries ranging from Mark Twain to Minnie Mouse to Dolly Parton.

But did I choose to rain on his parade? No! I’m also an awesome, wise, non-meddling patient Mom and until now I’ve kept my mouth shut and fingers occupied with my crochet hooks.

But enough is enough! We have a barely a month to go and so today I am claiming my right as Grandma to SHOUT to the world (or at least that minuscule portion of it that reads my blog) that sometime in October, Jim and I are, at last, going to be able to join all our RV friends at the bragging sessions and whip out the albums of baby pictures, thanks to…

…one of our sons and his wife!

See ya in the baby department,
Grandma Yarntangler

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Some Of My Friends Are For The Birds!

(note: you will really want to click on most of these pictures!)

I got an email from Peggy,my high school/college friend, in Windsor, Massachusetts on Thursday. An avid Bird Watcher, she was going to be spending the week in her big backyard doing an official bird count. Sounds like fun. I can't think of anything that sounds nicer to do; lay around in a lounge chair with a glass of ice tea, a pair of binoculars, a note book, and an official reason to avoid housework for a week.
Whoa! I know there's a lot more to it and Peggy would never avoid housework that way (she's more creative!).
Meanwhile, back here in Kanab, my friend Chris has been going above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to the Hummingbirds that frequent our Eclectic Desert Garden, here at the campground.

As some of you know, we've been carving a little garden out of hardscrabble and dust since we arrived in April. Since we knew we were not going to get too much to grow, we've had fun collecting odd decorative bits to cover the fence and our rustic wind break constructed of dead branches and bits of reclaimed wood. We've got Goddesses, Angels, Santas, Fairies, Wizards and all sorts of critters including dragons out there.

One thing we didn't find at a yard sale or thrift sop was an old fashioned livery boy holding a lantern but, as of this morning, we do have the next best thing.

We've got Chris.

We both have feeders that normally hang from this tree but today she was the first to refill hers.

But those little suckers simply couldn't wait for the table to be set.

Don't make me come down and separate you!

So what if it's not red? It's good for you. Try It-you'll like it!

That's right, use your company manners. There are people watching.

There you are Sparkle, better late than never.

Yep! Auntie Christie won't let you down. She'll even stand in the rain to make sure you get fed and get Auntie Marcie to stand in it too taking your pictures!

See ya down the road,

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

RE: Stuff

The Geezerguy thinks I'm nuts. I just cut up a Kleenex box into neat strips and panels to add to my stash of patterned light cardboard. It will now wait in a big manila envelope with pieces of other tissue boxes, inserts from photo folders at work, cereal boxes and assorted other stiff card stock too pretty to toss.

A couple of weeks ago I borrowed a die cutter from Jen, my boss at
Frontier Movie Town , (a business where every conceivable bit of excess packing material and non-renewable material is recycled) and made about 2 hundred 2 inch circles from some of it. Eventually, they will become the backing for fabric brooches or some other craft item I'm taking to a fair. The strips will back up my crocheted book markers.

I have always enjoyed creating pretty things from throw away material. I once bought a big box of assorted jars at an auction in Tacoma for $3.00. Scrabblebuff laughed when she saw it was mostly dirty Ponds cold cream and very old Vick's Vapor Rub jars. She stopped laughing a couple of weeks later when we unpacked dainty little dried flower arrangements onto our table at the Gig Harbor Craft Fair.

I had used flowers I dried myself along with bits of lace and ribbons to fill the real vintage Art Deco milk glass and cobalt blue containers and they were snatched up so fast we both wished I'd bought more. And I only charged $10.00 each!


When I lived in a stix and brix house I tried very hard to contain my craft materials to a small area with not much success. The day Skooba moved from California to Washington I waved goodbye to him from the driveway at about 3 PM and by 9 PM his bedroom had been transformed into my craft room. It overflowed with found objects, beads, ribbons, and other scavenged materials for making doll house collectibles. My yarn, of course, was in the living room since that is a constant thing; an extension of my fingers-not a craft material. Now, living in a motor home full time, I don't have as much room for stockpiling. (The Geez has no room-if there's space, it's mine). But I still do what I can to eliminate some of the stuff that often goes to waste.

The funny thing is, I've been doing this all my life. Mom used to cut up cereal boxes for me to paste pictures, cut from the Sears catalog, on to make paper dolls. I made countless Betsy McCall dolls that way too. She taught our Girl Scout troop how to decorate old fashioned soda cans with the funnel tops into laundry sprinklers for Mother's Day gifts.

Nana, showed me how to make Victorian button strings.

Granddad taught me how to make a whizzer from a big coat button and a bit of string from the kitchen string ball. (remember your grandmother's string ball hidden behind a plaster flower or Mammy head?)

And how I wish I still had one of the puzzles he made for me after I chose a picture from a Saturday Evening Post magazine
. He'd take me down into his workshop in the cellar and sit me on a high ladder-back chair in the middle of the room so I could see him work but not be able to reach any tools and then he'd make the puzzle. He glued my picture to a piece of wood, coated it with varnish and then, the next day, he cut it with his jigsaw. I don't remember the pictures but I've saved that precious memory for more than 50 years.

My friend Chris is finding lovely vintage pillow slips at thrift stores and turning them into practical, pretty, and one- of- a- kind market bags. She's not only helping to eliminate plastic bags but she's creating a fashion statement that's also a responsibility statement. A plus is that she's also adding an appealing touch to a mundane activity and letting young people enjoy an old world design element.

The Politically Correct, Environmentally Aware, Green Movement is not something new. When I was a Girl Scout we called it Scrap Crafting. We even earned a badge for being thrifty. It wasn't anything new then either. Our thrifty mothers, grannies, and generations before had always made good use of whatever materials were at hand to create something new. WWII had taught an entire generation to make do, make over, or do without. Women and some men simply updated things their grandparents had been doing when they came to America. Things that simply were "what you do".

Look at the beautiful vintage quilts in museums. The "Artists" (they called themselves wives and mothers at the time), saved the least little bit of cloth that wasn't torn or stained from Hannah's outgrown frock or Jeremiah's torn shirt and cut it into squares. If little Jerry was extra hard on clothes or Hannah got caught in a bramble bush shredding her dress the little bits were still saved and turned into crazy quilts made up of hundreds of odd bits of cloth. A hole in the material? Embroider a spray of posies over it to hide the mend. There were no handy quilt shops across town to buy fat quarters then. Even threads used to tie the quilts were often gleaned from old fabrics. I read that one of the reasons quilts were knotted was because of the uneven lengths of salvaged pieces of thread.

A favorite shawl was unraveled by pioneer Moms to make warm wool scarves for her hard working husband and sons when they had to do chores in the little barns on the prairie. Often knitted at night while the family slept, they were Christmas gifts remade year after year and perhaps seeing their final incarnation as a pair of socks.

We have more types of materials filling our landfills now but I think that millions of people like Mom, Nana and Granddad, Chris and Jen, and even me will continue to find new ways to reuse, upcycle, repurpose, remake, upscale, redo, re-create, recycle and reinvent them and make an impact on our lives and the lives of our grandchildren..

It's called Re-sponsibility .

See ya down the road,

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Have You Been Saved?

"A message to all members of NaBloPoMo

...The theme for July is SAVED. This month we want you to tell us about the things you've kept, rescued, or otherwise prevented from being lost forever."

I enjoy the idea of NaBloPoMo or National Blog Posting Month as it's known to the non-texting segments of our society. The idea is that you sign up with the group and commit to posting a blog everyday for a month. It's a wonderful tool that many writers-not just bloggers-use to get their creative juices flowing. Some participants are able to produce wonderful prose everyday for a month, others just put whatever comes to mind down in order to earn a virtual badge to say they did it. More power to them.

I successfully; earned three badges. I've participated a few other times and simply couldn't do it. Life got in the way or I just plain ran out of steam. Twice I managed 28 blogs but something precluded getting to the finish line. I wish I could commit to the program but, like my diets, I just procrastinate too much. When I get the notice on the 1st of each month and see what the theme is, however, I'm always tempted to give it another shot. But I have no plan to write a blog everyday on demand anymore. The theme is now a prompt only for me. I'm not a graceful looser, why set myself up to fail?

So when I read the opening statement above I had to laugh. My entire blog for the past 3+ years has been on that theme. Through my Ramblings, I have SAVED:

1, People and places that maybe only I remember -that way

2, Songs no one has thought of in decades,

3, Events,important or poignant at the time,

4, Silly stories with no reason to relate except they were silly,

5, Poems-always written by someone else,

6, Dreams- I've always believed they could come true.

7, Opinions - ask my my sons and DILS -I DO have opinions.

8, Pictures- sometimes shaky and not enough of them,

9, Accomplishments ; Lone Duck, Commodore Salazar, Sage Words, Skooba

10, Best Friend- Geezerguy

11,Bragging sessions- Fair Warning~ my eldest is 41;youngest 32 with two in the middle so there will be more bragging -- but just wait until October!!!!!

12, Jokes,

13, Inspirational essays -I try to encourage when I can,

14, Recipes,

15, Memes - okay maybe I could have skipped those.

16, Adventures - lots,

17, Misadventures-- lots more!

18, Fantasies,

19, Our dog Clancy -actually she saved or rescued us.

20, Books - I read constantly but only recommend the best ones.

21, Excuses - I will probably have more.

22, Fears - I try to keep them private but once in awhile...

23, Hopes- Hope is another word for Tomorrow.

24 , Observations- wonder if anyone agrees with them?,

25, Craft ideas

26, Other writers' blogs- sometimes they just say it better.

27, Goals- without goals why bother with Tomorrow?,

28, Friends - I saved 4 friends from 50 years ago in my heart- suddenly we are all chatting on Facebook -amazing!

29, Tips- okay so those came in forwards-but I saved them!

30, My past - Some of my memories may have been colored by time but so what ?

So there! That's 30 saves I've succeeded! Where's my badge?

I've been asked occasionally by well meaning people, "Have you been saved?" Personally, I guess that's up to God to decide. Until then, I'll keep Rambling on when the spirit moves me. Who knows, someday I may need to re-read these blogs so I'll know - I've been saved.

See ya down the road,


Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Happy Mother's Day Message to my Sons

Before the first of you was born, I had only a vague idea of what you would each bring to my life. But after these many years, I understand that you have brought me the best gifts God ever wrapped.


Because of you I have had days of glory.
Because of you some were a different story.


.Because of you I've had days when I nearly burst with pride.
Because of you I have had days when I cried.


Because of you I've always known where the sun rose.
(Because of you, yes, milk has come out of my nose.)


Because of you I learned to be strong.
Because of you I learned to be tender.


Because of you I learned to be frugal.
(Because of you I learned to Google.)


Because of you I learned to be clever
Because of you I have memories to last forever.


You are my pearls rubies, garnets, and emeralds, the jewels in the crown presented to me by your dear father, without whom, of course, I could never have written this blog.

I love you today and everyday.

Your Happy Mother

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Utah- A Land Of Big Ideas

Everyone has seen the pictures in magazines. We've all watched the PBS or Travel Channel documentaries. But as we approached Kanab, Utah from the East on Highway 89, there was nothing that could have prepared us for what we found when we passed through these red walls, standing tall against that un-photo shopped blue sky.( please click on all the pictures for full effect. thanks )

When you drive to work past sights like this,
you know God was in a good mood the day He created the world.

After the first two days in Kanab, we did almost nothing about setting up housekeeping, so eager were we to get out and explore the area we'll be living in for the next several months. Once our huge snowstorm (see blog entry April1,2010) went away, we began driving around. With Christie Smith as our guide and fellow Geocacher, we set out.

I can't climb very well anymore but I found my share of treasures and managed to document them. The biggest find was the discovery that it's almost impossible to take a bad picture here. Here's one of Chris and Jim after finding a cache.
Later I simply had to stop for a "framed shot".
It wasn't until I got home that I realized my shutter failed to open all the way but look what I got!

Utah has an interesting history, quite different from the settlement of most of our country. I hope to learn more about it and share some of that with my patient followers as the season progresses. But I do know that in this land of stark contrasts, people were frugal and nothing was ever allowed to go to waste. Food storage is a way of life. The old adage make good, make over, or make do, has evolved into reuse, recycle, or re-purpose. Nature itself has taught that lesson well.

Look at those red and ocher hills above in the "Before" pictures. Similar hills stood the Anasazi and the Navajo people in good stead for homes and protection for a millennium, then they began to erode.

Now look at them a couple of million
years later in these "After" pictures.

They've been recycled or re-purposed into one of the softest places on Earth!

Clancy had a wonderful time at
Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. She dragged me to the top of a dune and then just stood there for a few seconds while we both caught our breath. (Not an easy thing to do as the vista was breathtaking.) Then she became ecstatic! She began racing around and around as I swiveled her extension leash, it's full length, around my head . She didn't walk or really even run she seemed to bounce. In fact, the only word we could use to describe her ebullient playfulness was an old fashioned word coined apparently just to describer Clancy that day. She frolicked in that soft powdery pink stuff.
( frolic v : to gambol merrily; to play in a frisky, light-spirited manner; romp: The children {or dogs} were frolicking in the snow.)
Yes, Clancy "gamboled merrily" She kicked it into the air and circled me as fast as her stubby little legs would let her go until she finally stopped and grinned at me, as if to say, " Warm Snow!!"

I think this is going to be a good summer!

See ya soon down a red sandy road,

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Son Rise Blessings

To all of my family, friends, and readers who are simply part of my extended family of friends,
may The Blessings of Easter be upon you as you travel whatever road life has found you on today.

See ya down the road,

Thursday, April 1, 2010

BIG Changes

There are several friends who will appreciate today's blog. Jayne, in Ireland, Cheryl in Nova Scotia, Sharon in New York and Dot ...uh.. I'm not sure where Dot is. And then, of course, Chris who's right beside me. So today''s blog, long overdue, is dedicated to those particular friends and Daddy as usual. And with a BIG thank you to Jim who helped make it possible.


( The April theme for NaBloPoMo is BIG. I am not officially signing on for the 30 days since I'm about to begin a new job and will be working evenings but I'll make a BIG effort when I can)

This past six weeks have been crazy for us; crazy in mostly good ways. First, Commodore Salazar and Buttercup came to Tucson on a business trip, buying goodies for the gift shops they stock back in California. We all got into the act and "helped" them find merchandise at the Tucson Gem Show and, since most of us weren't actually on the clock, we had a wonderful time. Naturally, they did all the work, we just kept saying "oooh look at this" enough to drive them to distraction.

Then Buttercup and Chica decided I needed a magical makeover. I'm now a redhead. But that's another story.

At the same time, The Geezer and I were in negotiations with an employer in Kanab, Utah. And we got a great job and we got all excited and we told everyone and then the job fell through when said employer was not able to further his plan to establish entertainment at his place of business. And then we got another great job a couple of blocks away!

Then BFF Charlotte came to town and we had three days of talking, wandering, talking, exploring thrift shops, talking and choosing exactly the right traditional desserts for Chica's corned beef and cabbage St. Paddy's day supper. We got that then went to the Crazy Horse RV park where my RVer friend Margie Rodgers was staying (adding, of course, one more element to the crazy theme) to pick her up for dinner. Then off we went to supper at Sage and Chica's with Lone Duck, The Great Scott, his beautiful assistant Lee and adorable one year old apprentice, Connor and everyone's favorite African-Irishman Father O. (We convinced them that pistachio and mint chocolate chip ice cream and cream puffs were traditional Irish desserts by calling the delectable pastries Blarney Puffs and pointing out the color of the frozen desserts.)

Both friends left the next day but we had lunch with John and Judy Long another Workamper couple that very day.


Then the mad rush began. We had less than 2 weeks to ;

1 get a whole lot of work done on the rig
2 get the tow package transferred from our faithful Jeep, which we were finally saying goodbye to,
over to our new to us Subaru Outback
3 have final doctor's appointments
4 get new glasses for both of us
5 have a last supper with Lone Duck, Chica, and Sage Words


And we're off...................almost! Suddenly realized that night we had missed one critical appointment. So had to do it the morning we were leaving. Then get the gas and propane and... we didn't tell the kids but we spent the first night in - Tucson where we ran into Bobbie and Jim Chapman on the BLM land!


And we're off...all the way to Tempe to get our windshield replaced. We found a good Mexican restaurant for lunch while they did that, situated next to a hair salon. We quizzed the ladies unmercifully as to their skill with trimming and shaping a full beard (the last person who said she knew how to do a full length beard caused great gnashing of teeth.) And The Geez decided to trust them with his persona. Once I saw they were doing a good job I got my lovely red locks shorn as well.

Back on the road we went to the Escapes RV park in Wickenburg and spent a quiet pleasant 3 days riding around the area and being assured the route we planned to take to Kanab was a good one.


I had a near death experience on a mountain road in Colorado when I was 11 years old. Okay, I can hear my Mother saying right now to "quit being so dramatic and stop playing Sarah Heartburn". I'm sure Dad was in complete control of the car at every moment and that he wouldn't have let us go off the cliff where there were no guardrails. But MY Daddy wasn't driving the cars coming around those blind curves where you had to blow your horn to make sure there was no one coming the other way. Anyway, that experience has made it very hard for me to enjoy the gorgeous scenery afforded on mountain roads for my entire life. I once actually walked almost 3 miles down a road we had previously driven up because I knew I'd never get down it with my sanity intact.

So to make a long story short (I have a habit of saying that awfully late into a narrative, don't I?), when we heard there was a storm heading for Utah, which would bring rain and snow, we decided we needed to get further up the road than planned on Monday. We skipped playing tourist and proceeded up the steep twisting road they said RVs take all the time. Ri ..i..ght!

I didn't see a thing for almost 100 miles. I began by crocheting to keep from looking out the window then gave up and sat on the couch with my eyes closed but unable to sleep because I wanted to be able to scream "I love you!" to The Geez as we hurtled to our final destination off a curve.

Okay, obviously we survived.


Tuesday all the weather reports sounded even more dire; big snowstorm on the way, heavy winds gusting to 40 or 50mph. Not something we wanted to be driving a motor home in on a mountain road . So we gave up the Grand Canyon in favor of racing to Kanab ahead of the storm. The winds were strong but doable and we arrived around noon yesterday and battened down the hatches, right next to Chris.

The sky was ominously dark and heavy with clouds. The wind died down a bit during the night and the snow began to fall just as predicted. When we got up this morning I decided you should see what I did on the first morning of my stay in Kanab, Utah for our SUMMER job. While The Geez and Clancy romped in the white stuff I built a snowman! See above.

As they say in the forwards "Scroll Down"

(click on picture)


In the world of one inch scale Doll Houses. Perception is everything!

April Fool!

See ya down the road,

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Stop Tieing Your Doctors Hands

Friday the 12th was not the most fun day of my life but it could have been one of the more important ones. At 6:30 AM, I reported to Tuscon Medical Center and shortly thereafter found myself on a table with a BP cuff on my left arm and an IV in my right arm.

No funny stuff here folks, and no fanciful descriptions either. In 10 seconds I had tied one on and was out like a light, blissfully unaware of most of the embarrassing portion of my long overdue Colonoscopy.

I promised Chica I wouldn't describe the procedure. An easy promise to keep since I was so out of it that by the time I came to, I didn't realize that my bottom was still exposed to one doctor-male, 2 techs-female, a nurse-male, and a student nurse also male. In fact, that only occurred to me a few minutes ago.

It took about 40 minutes. There was no pain. Because of the way I react to anesthesia, once I got home, I slept from mid morning until 4 o'clock, woke and had a small snack, and slept another two hours.

This is not to say the entire process was a snap. Uh uh. I actually had to begin on Wednesday with a 10 oz bottle of magnesium citrate, a foul fizzy stuff and a "low residue" diet. Thursday was miserable. They give you a bottle of dreadful tasting stuff which must be consumed 8 0z at a time, every 15 minutes until it's all gone. It's a very big bottle. Besides that, you are on a liquid diet and must consume an additional 80 ounces of clear fluids during the day. I do not recommend low sodium chicken broth,use the real stuff! And one piece of advice you must follow comes from Frank Kaiser's funny site, Suddenly Senior . He quotes one of his readers; "Never ever trust a fart!"

Luckily, I was able to spend the day and night at Chica's house to be a bit more comfortable and have a more accommodating plumbing arrangement than the motor home affords. But don't let that stop you. A couple of friends went through this same thing last year in their rigs and survived it equally well. All that's necessary is an empty black water tank, a ready supply of TP, and a few good DVDs, (preferably not mysteries you haven't seen before.)But this is the hardest part of the test. Once that's over, its pretty much a breeze (or a draft I suppose).

I'm here to tell you to stop putting it off and get it done. I've been urged to have one for years but managed to avoid it until now all because I thought it would be so humiliating. I am one of the lucky ones, nary a polyp was to be found. How much more humiliating it would have been to find I had colon cancer that might have been treated much earlier. I feel better tonight knowing I've gotten away with yet another procrastination. But now that it's done, I'm embarrassed that I didn't do it years ago. Now I'm good to go for another 5 years or so. pun intended.

See ya down the road,

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ties to Friends in High Places

This came in this morning.

How do you feel about forwards? You know, those ubiquitous things that come over the ether highway . Ties to friends we haven't seen in ages but certainly like to remember. Okay, yes, absolutely, they can be annoying, time consuming, impersonal, and irritating... or are they?

There are people who are able to resist every attempt to get them to open a forwarded message but most are finally brought to their knees one day by an enticing subject line and that's all it takes. Usually, we find a wry bit of humor written in the 1700s by Ben Franklin (who may have stolen it from the Bible), which was adapted by Mark Twain, and is now attributed to Jay Leno. Whatever, we laugh even if it's a groaner and think of at least one person who would get a kick out of it.

How many times have we pleaded with folks to not fill up our "in" boxes with forwards and then wondered how come we never hear from Aunt Matilda? Or worse yet, when Dad ceases and desists from constant jokes, you find one you know he'll love and simply send it along to him. (I've been guilty of that so many times I no longer ask folks not to send forwards.)

As The Geezerguy and I have traveled around for almost six years, we've been lucky enough to be friended (can you tell I'm now on Facebook?) by many people whose blogs we follow and who occasionally send a real email~one with words they've written themselves~ to us. Usually, however, we just get a funny, inspirational, or visual reminder of these brief encounters. Often we have to work to put a face to the name but so what? It's nice to know they wanted to remember us and have us remember them.

Jim and I are storytellers and so is our friend Father O. He tells stories but calls them homilies (a much friendlier term than sermons). Once in awhile, Jim and I will share a smile when he adapts an internet joke or forward to use in his Sunday morning lesson. Not because he does it, but sometimes because we've used the same one ourselves. Occasionally, we realize that we've even shared the same message although ours are more often set in the Old West,

while Father's reflect his African heritage or talk about "my friend".

Those who really hate forwards use the argument that if God wanted to send us a message he wouldn't put it on the Internet and tell us to pass it along to 7 people in 7 minutes in order to be blessed in 7 days. But my question is- why not? Not that many of us take the time to sit on a stormy beach without any food concessions to listen to a Man preach or to watch a guy pull boatloads of fish out of the water these days like Peter did.

Okay, maybe the 7 people in 7 minutes and 7 days is a bit much. But I think if Jesus were to return today he'd come back as a Computer Guru (pun intended because I didn't feel right calling my Lord a computer geek). He would recognize that this age has altogether too many technological "miracles" to let him be noticed for what was a big deal 2000 years ago.

Okay, maybe we don't have instant wine on the market but there's instant soup, instant coffee, and Kool Aid-just add water. My sister's new kidney last March, may have been a miracle in an earlier time too. So Jesus would be causing miracles we can't even imagine these days.

But I'll bet He'd use the Internet too. I think He'd be happy to have a way to tell us more of what He wanted to say than what was passed down by a few good inspired men writing the Gospels. His priests, bishops, cardinals and the Pope (apostles all) would quickly take His words and forward them to both his disciples (us) and those who hadn't heard the message yet. Perhaps there wouldn't be quite so much debate about what He meant if everyone got the same message with a click of the enter button.

And if we passed his forwards along to 7 people in 7 minutes who knows what blessings might occur in 7 days? After all, His Father managed to create an entire world in 7 days and he didn't even have a laptop! (Of course, He knew it was coming.)

See ya down the road,

Loose Ties

Well, in case you didn't notice, my February blog was tied with a slip knot. In fact, I just realized I never even formally entered the Blog Roll. That was a wise decision since we had so much going on last week.

We spent a week traipsing all over Tucson at the many locations of the Gem Shows, spending many thousands of dollars (not ours) on merchandise for the six gift shops my #3 son and #2 daughter-in-law (DIL2) furnish in California.

During the eight days, the entire family got into the act. The Geezer and I have worked with Buttercup and Commodore doing some of this before in California. We had an idea what to look for and were able to compare prices and spot newer items as we wandered. Then we could point the two who were actually working to those tables.

Chica, Sage Words, and Lone Duck were all new to it and their excitement and awe at the millions of pounds of crystals, onyx, malachite,coral, and other specimens helped to re-enthuse those of us who have worked with the merchandise for years.

Buttercup, of course, made all the decisions, but she enjoyed hearing all the "Wow! Oh my God! Look at that! Holy Moly! and O Man, You gotta see this!"

After all, if the family can get that excited so can her customers.

I managed to keep my personal expenditure under $50.00, mostly because the girls kept buying me presents. Chica spent a little bit more but managed to get ALL of her Christmas shopping for her mostly female family, finished by February 5th! Both of us had a blast, however, accompanying Buttercup and helping her spend her five figure gift shop budget. Its a pretty heady feeling spending someone else's money, believe me!

Walking on gravel much of the time took a toll on everyone's feet, Chica's back, and my hip. Schlepping hundreds of pounds of rocks and minerals from venue to truck or car pretty much eliminated Lone Duck's need for a gym and reminded him that 40 really can feel OLD! Less than optimum fair food did a job on The Commodore's fussy stomach. Then he got so ill with some type of apparently contagious bug going around, the airline would not allow him to fly home and he had to be treated for a couple more days.

Buttercup and Commodore were both working from 8 AM to 6PM or later and then spending more time entering the day's purchases in their spreadsheet during the evening. Still, we all managed to have a great time visiting with family some of us have not seen in two years or more. My thanks to Chica and Sage who, once again, moved over and let us all crowd into their home for several days.

(Thanks to Carl Brenders for this wonderful family picture entitled Den Mother)

The West Coast Cumberlands were finally able to fly home this morning and I really miss them already. But at least we know we'll...

See them down the road,


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Ties to an Earlier Time

One thing my three daughters-in-law and my sister would probably agree with me about is that I have very little fashion sense. Mostly, I don't care too much and rather like the term eclecticism. Unfortunately, all those things that look so great on other eclectic women somehow don't always work on me. When I throw a great scarf over my shoulder it always slips and i never know what to do with it when it keeps dropping in my way. If I combine two unexpected colors or prints they look just as awful as everyone told me they would when I was a girl. If I do decide I like a popular style, it's not until it is on the clearance rack and therefore I'm the only one wearing it once I finally put it on. So instead of being eclectic and fashion forward, I tend to be frumpy at worst and eccentric at best. (I don't really mind the eccentric part as much) It's my dream to have Stacy and Kelly and the What Not To Wear crew ambush me for a makeover.

However, I do know what I don't like. Some of it has unfortunately found it's way onto my body because of other people's opinions and I somehow (hee hee) don't have those pictures in my computer. On the assurance of my best friend that it was absolutely perfect, I once bought a floor length orange,gold, and black paisley long sleeved dress to wear to see Yule Brenner in the revival of the King and I. Luckily my brother who had told me to bring something to NYC to wear to the play, forgot to buy the tickets. (it was used twice as a Halloween costume before being turned into a stuffed animal). I wore a floor length multi-striped crocheted shawl, with a long patch work skirt, and white peasant blouse on the advice of my sister's best friend when we went to see Scrabblebuff in her college review. After the performance, SC asked me what in the heck I was wearing.

But there is one thing I never wore when it was originally trendy.
In fact, I never owned a tie dye shirt until 2007 when it was one of my work shirts at Cosmic Cavern in Arkansas. We all had one and we all wore them only on the last day of our work week.

I really wasn't into the whole Flower Power and Hippy generation since I was already busy loving my own family and having babies and not having time for all the other "interesting" experiences of the late 60s and 70s.

I confess ,however, that one of my children did wear something that looked exactly like this. There is no way any of you can get me to tell you which one it was because he would be furious and his brothers would never let him hear the end of it!

Funny thing is, I taught Girl Scouts how to do Tie Dye in two different decades but I always gave the t-shirt I produced to whichever girl didn't make it to the meeting. I love the idea of tie dyeing but I'm still not ready for psychedelic colors. I just never got around to making one in less vibrant hues. Here's a good book on how to do it if you are game enough to try it.

In my Mom's generation, women rarely had to contend with the dilemma of whether to toss out expensive clothing that was out of fashion or hang onto it just in case. Brought up in a make over, make new, or make do era Mom would shorten or lengthen a skirt, take it to the tailor, or embellish it to make a new look. Life expectancies were shorter and rarely did one see a fashion from forty years ago return as we do today. Not only that, but the word Retro had not been coined then either.

Mom never fell for the trends of the day and had no trouble telling my sister and I which ones she'd prefer we avoid. But I was rather boringly conservative even as a teenage so we had very rare dust ups over clothing. Mom had really wonderful taste and had grown up wearing current and fashionable frocks. I think she'd like some of what is available today and would probably more in the know than I am. But I don't think she'd be crazy about Tie Dye in it's newest incarnation any more than she was during it's first.

I think she might let me get away with this one however. It's comfortable and cool and feminine. In fact, Mom might wear it herself to work or to a casual event. So I think I'll try to find one like it and think about Mom when I wear it. If she could be here today I know where we could find these skirts.

Oh yeah, I didn't mention the Geezer guy in this one yet, did I? While I didn't know him as a teenager, I am 100% certain he never wore a tie dye shirt either. But he also had to wear one at Cosmic Cavern once a week, (although he managed to have a different clean shirt as often as possible on the last day of his week.)

But I did find something for him too, just in case we ever go back to a place like Coffeyville, Kansas where it gets pretty cold at night. He might balk when he sees it though, what do you think?
See ya down the road,