Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Week of the Animal Takeover

Eileen and I are naming this the week of the wild animals. And they are wild! Remember this sweet little powder puff of a puppy? The opinions are quickly changing around here. Of course I love her like a child, (sorry Dog Whisperer), and we have a wonderful time together every day ... well almost every day.

Still sweet, Huh? We were still working on potty training at the time. She had very specific areas chosen as targets. Usually my husband's bath mat, right next to his side of the bed, in his closet.... she still got me too. At this point she hadn't discovered shoes, paper or human food.

Here is the 45 pound version of puppy, Snickers. She has now discovered the joy of chewing. Deer in the yard still scare her, but our older dog is teaching her when to bark and who to bark at. It's a difficult program. We watch her carefully because of the coyote population here which has grown out of control We have counted 10 that probably have dens on our property. Baloney on the need for 3 square miles for each coyote!!

Here is the new ruler of the house! She now weighs 55 pounds and has just turned 6 months old. She loves Dad's recliner, which she sneaks into when he leaves it. Now the good stories start. She is very much into hunting now, invigorating our 13 year old Golden. They are tag teaming the huge squirrel population here. Eileen also has a Golden and a wonderful cat, Chloe, who has been bringing in live mice and playing with them in the house at night. So Eileen & Randy have been playing night games at their house, usually finding mice in the dog food bag. Ugh!! Last week Snickers trapped a squirrel that had run into my workshop through an open door. If I had a video... Ohhh, much moolah! My baby puppy was matching that squirrel jump for jump, over and under, scattering jewelry boxes, ripping through furniture waiting to be refinished, through the shipping area. Dogs barking, squirrel screaming, me yelling for it all to stop. You can't stop a dog on a mission. I finally caught the dog, carried her outside and shut one door, leaving another open for the stupid squirrel.
This morning I went into the shop for something, it looks like a bomb went off. Out of the corner of my eye, I think I see a SQUIRREL, climbing a window outside. I ran over to bang on the window and realized that the rodent with a fluffy tail was stuck in between the screen and the window. It had chewed a hole through the screen from the inside. The thought of trapping the squirrel with a gloved hand while removing the screen simultaneously was a bit daunting. Ahhh, it's an opening window. A couple cranks and the guy fell out the window and was off and running. It was screaming while I was trying to free it, so of course the great hunter ran in to help. Off we went again, dog hunting in and out, round about all of my stacked china, glass, paint, paper, you name it! Nothing broke!! But is does appear that some kind of battle was fought in that room.
We're not done! My husband and I ended up following each other home tonight after work, his on the golf course and mine with Eileen. OK, it's a tie, no one was working. We decided to go out for cheap Mexican tonight, leaving the dogs outside since they had been banished to the garage with the painters here all day. Nice dinner but no dogs when we got home. They always greet us!! Coyotes, squirrel attack, Eileen brought her Kamikaze mice over, or the deer got mad? We finally found them down by the pool, very animated. Our older dog was obviously cheering on the maniac puppy. We ran down and to our horror, the puppy had chased a squirrel into the box that holds the pool cover. OK, the squirrel is in the box, but Puppy has decided that the only way to get in there is to dig and eat through the pool cover. Which she proceeded to do. The cover is guaranteed not to rip or tear even if a large horse stood on it. They didn't mention 55 pound puppies with the urge to hunt. I'm telling my husband that someday she will be a great watch dog.... Right?!
On to a blissful Wednesday. Who's in charge here anyway??

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

On To New Adventures with Stars in Our Eyes

Eileen & I have decided to jump into a new adventure after talking about it for a long time. We hope to combine our talents again to start a new line of stationery and framed or matted prints to begin. We both love the floral shots and the out of ordinary themes. We also enjoy the idea of returning to the handwritten note, replacing our usual quick emails.

I have been greatly blessed with the ability to travel, so we will use photos from some of my trips. Eileen will use her incredible gifts of composition and design to work on still life themes using our vintage finds. It will truly be an eclectic collection. Something for everyone.

Our colors will range from the soft, natural pastels of garden flowers and country/farm scenes to the bright and enthusiastic colors of fruits, people and sometimes, buildings. We never know what we will find, much like our treasure hunts for vintage items.

So, we are anticipating a two or three week span of time to get things figured out with printers and cameras, then our program should be rolling. We'll let you know when the photos are being listed... but keep on checkin' our site! Who knows what will pop up!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Is It Time To Sign Off On Summer? Looking Back...

I was just thinking tonight that school will start soon and summer will be over. Where did all of that time go? Our summer started with the arrival of our first baby, Snickers, our new Golden Retriever puppy. Doesn't she look so sweet? Well, she has grown into the proverbial puppy monster, into every project that is up on a table or stored underneath. She has eaten her fair share of paper tags, all cut , stamped, packaged and ready to go. Bad dog!! And she loves buttons of any color or size.

Our next baby arrived in Denver, a few short days before our trip to Spokane for Farm Chicks. Can you tell that my son is one happy Papa? My husband and I have been back to Denver 2 more times this summer to see how Hagen is growing. Seems like he changes so much every week. Eileen will have the stork visiting in Atlanta with a baby boy in early November. There is nothing more precious than grand babies!! And you can give them back to get that precious sleep that we old people need!

Getting everything ready for the Farm Chicks show up in Spokane was a major priority in late spring and early summer. We designed our booth set up, collected and tagged hundreds of items, prayed that Hagen wouldn't arrive at the same time and finally packed up the vehicles and headed north. We had such a great time, met so many wonderful people, vendors and customers and just enjoyed being together, the Mooners. You can count it as a long Girls' Night Out, or a short Girls' Escape. Whatever the name, it was a blast!

Lots of time is spent searching Estate and Garage Sales for the incredible vintage finds that we are able to offer you., the client/customer. Some hunts are definite duds, discouraging to waste time and gas on no treasure finds at all. Then other treasure hunts are very rewarding. Eileen & I have become the "Turn Around Queens" seems like we are always lost. Just part of the great adventure. See the sign below. That was the address for one of our sales. We were quite amused to find a street like that in urban Portland. Not improved is right!!

Summer always means time with my grand babies who live nearby. They come to stay for the day so Mom can escape for some down time.... or they come to stay overnight so Mommy and Daddy can have their own week-end together. We have a great time doing projects, Jacen loves my Cricut, swimming and playing in the woods. We're thinking of building a big fort out in the woods, a big shed actually with lots of windows. Camp outs would be very fun. Jacen wants to sleep with the animals.

My little swimmer!

Eileen & I both have end of the summer trips planned to visit family before the Fall shows start and we continue listing our summer finds on the website in earnest. It's usually beautiful here through Sept. and into Oct. That makes up for our summer not starting until after the 4th of July. I love soccer games in the crisp fall air.
Time to get started on those tags that were eaten and maybe 5 or 10 of the new ideas we have.
Stay tuned for lots of action here as soon as Summer is really over!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Mother's jewelry box is a treasure trove! Vintage rhinestone pins, clouded with age but ready to be shined and repurposed. Pearls yellowed over the years. We're unable to resist gently nibbling them to see if they're real. Mother's favorite lace gloves she wore to church each Sunday or to occasional weddings, rest under the tray, as if awaiting another special occasion to bring them out. A vintage silver bracelet, the one she let you try on when you were a little girt but was much too large for your childish wrist.
Mixed amongst the treasures, you might find a few mother of pearl buttons, saved in hopes of finding a special use, or a few stray cuff links of Dad's. Mother was always sure there would be a use for that one cuff link. A tarnished locket with his faded photograph brings back a flood of memories. Vintage buttons are scattered throughout, each one reminding you of a dress Mother wore.
Mother's jewelry box is a treasure trove for little girls and grownup daughters. No matter our age, our imaginations become colorful and childlike when we open her box of secrets.. As a child, we’re convinced that somewhere in the magnificent box lives a fairy who can tell all the secrets that lie amongst these treasures, and if we listen hard enough, we’ll hear the stories it can tell.

Written by:Joyce Lucas, Founder Make Mine Pink
Please join us for Pink Friday, a fabulous themed shopping event at Forget Me Not Dreams and Make Mine Pink.

Monday, August 10, 2009


Rollin', rollin', rollin', keep them doggies rollin' !! We drove and drove today. The boys left for the airport in Denver and we headed for points northwest from this wonderful little town called Gold Hill, CO. Things have remained the same here for over 100 years. The homes have been restored to the original condition as best as possible. The residents are mostly artists or involved in the mining industry.

An elderly lady lived in this home and had for longer than I have been alive. She had made a little sitting area outside, beautiful flowers in the front and a small birdhouse by the front door. Check out the original boardwalk in front of the house.

This resident had made a collection of birdhouses and attached them to his fence. Each house was different, very rustic and very well used. Loved them all lined up.

Another home across the street had decorated one corner of her yard with an old claw foot bath tub filled with summer flowers. Keep in mind that we are at about 8,500 feet in elevation, so the flowers are smaller and a bit behind in the growth cycle than we have at home right now. As hard as it was to breathe, I am surprised that anything grows at all!

This was our man of the day!! We found him in Lander, Wy. Obviously he is an artist with duct tape, not to mention an incredible engineer in being able to tape that car together! On the driver's side, he has masterfully taped his rear view mirror to the outside of his door and the interior of the door taped to the inner sides of the same door. Incredible. We were all laughing as we pulled out of the convenience store.
On to Yellowstone tomorrow! We found a room tonight at the Brandin' Iron Inn in West Yellow-stone. How lucky is that? We'll see tomorrow!!

Saturday, August 8, 2009


We have had many adventures here on our stop in Denver and Boulder, Colorado. My first stop was of course visiting baby Hagen who is growing like a weed! He is 2 months old now, smiling and cooing. His first love is of course Mommy and Daddy, but the ceiling fan comes in a very close second. Oh how I love holding him (away from the fan of course) and talking! He seems to have big blue eyes and what color hair we don't know, as the baby fluff is falling out fast! Looks very much like Mommy!

This is my wild and crazy friend Sue. We travel as Thelma and Thelma because no one wanted to be called Louise. Sue is standing at the kitchen door of her son's mountain house. He and his wonderful girlfriend live at 9,600 feet and are students at CU. Paul is also a gifted fishing guide during the summer months. Tory is just plain gifted at anything she attempts.

Yesterday we all went on a day trip up into the mountains with our guides Paul and Tory. We stopped at some wonderful spots just to look at the incredible scenery. Oh the places that God has made! These were a few of the craggy heights that were visible along the road. So high in elevation, it felt like my head would explode. We had to force the water down.

This was an amazing spot at the top of the world! The road took us to 12,600 feet, higher than our Mount Hood at home in Portland. Of course we were above the treeline, and as you can see, there is still snow. From these mini glaciers, comes the run off that eventually becomes the mighty Colorado River that runs through the Grand Canyon. It was a breath taking sight, literally!!

From the top, Paul took us down into mountain meadows with late blooming flowers, elk, deer and the stream that is the beginning of the Colorado River. We ate a delicious picnic lunch alongside the stream. The guys spent a few hours fishing while we 3 girls read and chatted. It was a rest for the soul. Sitting on Tory's handmade quilt, looking at the surroundings and just listening to the creek, water falling over smooth stones... the quiet made me realize how hectic I make my own life. Running here, rushing there, trying to meet this deadline, accomplish that goal... sometimes fulfilling and often just plain foolish. I thought this trip would be very profitable, collecting treasures from here and there to re-sell. Maybe the profit will be gained through the quiet of my surroundings, reflection with a good friend and treasures found in meeting new and interesting people who are struggling without all of the blessings that I have been given to make a good life.

More to come!
Eileen, my thoughts and prayers are with you today. Know that the Heavenly Father is walking beside you every moment.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


After we battled through a massive thunderstorm, blowing dust and smoke from forest fires, we finally reached Boise, Idaho to spend the night. My arms were actually sore from trying to hold the wheel straight and the big Suburban on the road. We ate some Mexican food and found our room.

It was about 10:15 by now. Email... I hadn't talked with Eileen in days. There it was amongst the spam. I read the first line and then had to read it again. "My dad passed away peacefully in his sleep this morning". Oh, no. He had successfully finished all of his radiation and chemo, but still wasn't doing well. Things were looking much brighter though. He's gone. My heart breaks for Eileen, her mom and her family. It was such a long hard battle, and now the grieving and healing will be long too. I feel the guilt of not being there for my best friend in a time of need, so I will check air fare in Denver. We laugh that we have connecting spirits, this will be our test.

Will she know beyond a doubt that my love is always with her, my prayers surrounding her with hope and comfort? It's so hard losing a parent. Devastating for a daughter to lose a dad.

We found a wonderful door today in a tiny town called Mitchell. I couldn't help but think of all the doors we pass through during our life. Some with timidity and fear, others with reckless abandon and excitement, most with no knowledge... just faith. Eileen's Dad passed through his final door here in this life and went on to his next spiritual life, waiting for his friends and family to follow him. My father has done the same. The doors that Eileen will open in the near future will be new, some frustrating, some bringing anger, sadness, joy, and finally contentment. I hope to be with her as each door is opened, following, leading, or walking side by side, ready for you to give me burdens to carry, joys to share and grief to walk through. I love you girl!

Monday, August 3, 2009


We're having a huge bang (thunder and lightning) of a send off for our newest boondoggle Monday morning. My crazy friend Sue and I are on the road officially to visit our sons in Denver and Boulder, Colorado, junking and laughing all the way. Sue will get to meet little Hagen for the first time and I will get to see him again now that he is 2 months old. Already I am missing Eileen, but know that she is working on weddings and caring for her parents.

We are in central Oregon now, hot by day and thunderstorms by night. Tonight is a real boomer, right over the top of us. Last night there were over 2,000 lightning hits and tonight may double that. The skies have been lit up for an hour now and the thunder is almost non-stop. It's a great experience, but we have unplugged computers, flashlights are ready. Crazy enough, we are watching The Storm on TV when we have reception as the storm rages outside.

Tomorrow morning the hubbies will head back to Portland after a round of golf and Sue and I, commonly know as Thelma and Thelma ('cause nobody wanted to be Louise), will try to get to Pocatello, Idaho. We never set a schedule or a driving plan, instead we wake up when we want to, stop for strange little shops, weird photo ops and anything fun and interesting. It really is a hoot and a half. We will be keeping you well informed of all of our activities.

Until tomorrow!