Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Please read and reply!

Yolanda is working on an article for a magazine and has posed the question for all women to answer:

Who is the woman that has been the greatest influence on you?

If you are a woman, please take the time to answer the question in my comments section and I will inform Yolanda of your answer. She will in turn send us info on when and where we can read the article and see the results of the survey!

Please answer quickly as she has a deadline!

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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Last Summer: view from the house

Hey! Remember when the sun stayed up til 9 every night? Remember how it was three digits on the thermometer and you sweat just laying in bed? Remember how the heat was so intense you needed to take a shower just to cool off?

yeah. me neither.

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Thursday, January 18, 2007


o.k. Because my sis is on me lately about being more courageous with my art; here is another page of "study". The prompt was "draw an eye". So here you have it. This is half of a page from my art journal. The other half of the page had more "people" eyes, some animal eyes and of course some cartoon eyes. This example took approximately 1/2 hour.

Clicking on the photo will allow you to see the drawings in a larger, more life like frame.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

TMI 100 -for Lisa, Melissa, and others

1. I like my name. It gets about a 98% joke rate when people meet me for the first time, but I have gotten used to it.
2. I adore cats. I am also very allergic to cats and sneeze and tear up whenever they are near. But I CANNOT resist petting a cat whenever I see one and miss having one in the house. Although I do not miss the cat hair.
3. I have a strong fear of dogs, even the little ones, but the big ones can make me pee my pants just by looking at me. I have cried as recently as a week ago because a dog surprised me and barked terribly loud at me. I am seriously afraid of dogs. Although I know 2 that I like and who crack me up: Buddy and Bella, who frankly scare me a little, but are just big goofballs and make me laugh when I see them.
4. I am the baby of the family, which explains much to some people.
5. All I ever wanted to be when I was little was a good mom.
6. Being a gramma rocks. Rocks like nothing else. I highly recommend it to anyone.
7. I hate roller coasters. I don't like driving down hills fast. It is not fun for me.
8. I love the smell of a pier...stinky fish and all.
9. I enjoy driving around.
10. I enjoy taking photographs and wish I were better skilled at it.
11. I have too many opinions and open my mouth much too often.
12. I feel like I can keep up with most conversations because life has given me vast experience and exposed me to many diverse things. Not an expert, just one of those folks who can say,"Oh yeah, that happened to me too."
13. I am attracted to people with intelligence.
14. I think Polynesians and African Nationalities have the best features and when I was in high school I wished I had dark dark skin, and wicked hair. Um, kind of still do.
15. I wish I could sing like the black women I heard as a child. Fearless and strong.
16. I have physical pain almost everyday, all day; and occasionally, when I wake up free of the pain, it's weird to me and I feel lighter. I forget what it is to feel good until I do, and it's weird.
17. I forget things easily and it makes me feel stupid.
18. I hate feeling stupid. I feel stupid more often than I should.
19. I feel genuinely happy most of the time. My life is very good.
20. I think my kids are much more intelligent than I will ever be and I think this is a blessing from God.
21. Strangers find it easy to converse with me and tell me intimate things about themselves one wouldn't normally share with a stranger.
22. My foot measures to a size 5 in length, however it is so wide that I must wear a size 6 or 7.
23. I never wear mascara because my lashes are too small and my lids are too heavy. My kids say I have "Asian" eyes.
24. I rarely wear make up.
25. I refuse to dye my hair.
26. I am a hippy chick at heart.
27. I don't believe in world leaders anymore. I think money is controlling everything.
28. Because I am not one of the 2 major political parties, I feel that my vote doesn't count. I still vote, it just doesn't matter.
29. I am not rational when it comes to my kids. If you are unrighteous or unfair with them, I cannot be held back. I am not pretty.
30. I am more impressed with a poor person who does what they can with their home than I am with someone with money who has a beautiful home. Show me what you can do with nothing and I will be impressed.
31. I can't knit and it makes me feel dumb.
32. I am mediocre at most things. That said, I can do most anything, if not, I am willing to try.
33. I am basically content which can, at times, seem to others as lazy.
34. I am a different person when I am working. I think I work more efficiently than others because I want to get the work done as soon as possible.
35. I think my kids have a stronger work ethic than most kids their ages.
36. I find that obvious and simple things elude me at times and I wonder why I didn't get them as easily as others.
37. I love change. (and I am absolutely nutso crazy about bills!)
38. I am not afraid of public speaking.
39. I have had more than one person suggest I try being a stand up comic. My comedic prowess doesn't come across in writing (refer to #37 above). Trust me, I can be funny at times, especially if you're drunk or on some form of prescription drugs.
40. I want to be self sufficient, grow my own food and eventually get off the grid.
41. I brush my teeth while driving... to relax.
42. I feel like Heavenly Father saved me by having our family reactivated and me baptized at an early age. If I had not been baptized when I was I would have been dead by now, I know it.
43. I have too many sets of dishes. I want more.
44. I am ferocious at Boggle.
45. I have dyslexic tendencies.
46. I enjoy ironing.
47. I learn by doing rather than by hearing, reading or seeing an action, etc.
48. I have a true 50-50 split personality.
49. I really really adore turquoise blue and kiwi green, especially with chocolate brown.
50. I love riding a bike but haven't been able to for over twenty years.
51. I hate to fly because I hate the idea of falling.
52. I love the smell of rain, new babies, and baking bread...but doesn't everyone?
53. The only perfume that smells good on me is Coco by Chanel, most others smell like Raid (bug spray) on me.
54. My hair is stick straight.
55. I dream vividly almost every night.
56. I never have been tempted to break the basic "Word of Wisdom".
57. I was my gramma's favorite grandchild. I knew it then and I know it now. I both hated that and loved it. I think as a kid it helped me to know that someone loved me more than someone else. But I knew the indifferent attitude of my gramma hurt my siblings, and that, in turn, hurt me.
58. I have never been skiing. Snow or water.
59. I prefer exotic flowers over roses.
60. I know that being fat isn't about how much food you eat. I know that having a dirty house isn't about how clean you aren't. I know that nervous laughter doesn't mean you are enjoying yourself.
61. I loved to run.
62. When I was in jr. high school I cut my foot deeply with an industrial razor used for cleaning windows. It cut through the side of the ball of my foot and I was worried that the blood would get on the carpet of the house I was cleaning.
63. I love HOT water.
64. When I was a young, a neighbor girl hit me so hard in the back with a board that she knocked me completely down. The board had a rusty nail in it and when she hit me the nail went against my spine and had to be removed surgically by a doctor. I still have a small scar, and pain if you touch that spot.
65. When my sister went away to college, I sincerely thought she would never come back home; that I would never see her again. I cried for weeks.
66. She gave me a pearl necklace a year later and I treasure that necklace almost as much as my wedding ring.
67. If I could, I would get Lasik eye surgery; and have a pedicure every week for the rest of my life.
68. I like cookie dough better then baked cookies.
69. I think my best friend looks like "Debra" on "Everybody Loves Raymond".
70. I believe in karma, bread on the water, what goes around comes get the idea.
71. I have a hard time understanding people who enjoy using guns for pleasure.
72. My children have the same birthdays and gender order as my Mother-in-law's children if you start with Thor.
73. I can pick up accents if I am with a person who has one. Which reminds me of my brother who could do it off the top of his head. And speaking of my brother, whenever I see or hear Kermit the Frog I think of him.
74. I love coconut.
75. I cannot stand organ meats and have never made my children eat anything I didn't like.
76. I don't like contention.
77. I am bad at math.
78. I get high anxiety if I have to deal with money. Serious.
79. I worry that I will live too long.
80. I am afraid of being inactive at church.
81. My favorite callings have been Primary chorister and Seminary Teacher.
82. I really liked my Chinese boss at the Hello Kitty store, he was a good man and he made working pleasant.
83. I miss my brother and my gramma. A lot.
84. I am not a baby person. They're cute and cuddly and nice; but I can't keep them continually happy and it frustrates me that a baby is sad or crying and I can't help it. I liked it when my kids got old enough to explain to me what they needed so that I could fill that need, to chat with, and to really goof around with.
85. I regret not home schooling my kids, although they would have never learned anything because I would not have been disciplined enough.
86. I think everyone should be able to go to the theatre/opera and it makes me sad that it is only for the fortunate.
87. As of this week, I wish I had 2 million dollars. 1/4 of that for a particular parcel of land, and the rest to build homes with.
88. I can't wait to serve a mission.
89. I find symbolism in weird things and in places others do not.
90. I count things when I get nervous and try to find sequence or order in the numbers. I also see people's faces, animals, and other things in the specks of walls and tiles, etc. Kind of like that episode of The Twilight Zone.
91. When I was 8, I was hospitalized for 6 weeks to find out I had a bleeding ulcer the size of a dime.
92. I fell down a full flight of marble stairs at the county courthouse in front of a large group of people and only tore my hose. I was thinking of Chevy Chase as I rolled passed the crowd.
93. My appendix burst when I was 2 months pregnant with my daughter.
94. I have had two of my greeting cards published in a national stamp magazine; won two stamped card designs for a major stamp company; won a national magazine contest for interior design for a child's bedroom, and won three first prize international visual display (holiday window) contests for an international children's company.
95. I think marrying Thor was the best thing that could have happened to me. Again, one of those blessings from God that I feel saved me.
96. I hate being alone.
97. I want to learn more languages.
98. When I was a kid I wanted to learn how to play the banjo but my mom said it was a boy's instrument. I learned how to play the ukulele, but was embarrassed. I can't remember how to play and now, of course, wish I could remember. I bought Thor and I harmonicas so we could learn how to play them this year.
99. I can't lift a gallon of milk without struggling, however I can move a piano with relative ease.
100. I have cankles and period teeth. (that's a repeat for Grettir, just 'cause he got a kick out of it last time.)

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Monday, January 15, 2007

the Four Meme

From Melissa and pretty much makin' the rounds, here it goes folks...the four meme:

A) Four jobs I have had in my life:
1. Manager of a Sanrio Surprise! (The Hello Kitty Store)
2. Interior Artist (one of those folks who gets paid to paint murals, faux finishes, and other stuff on walls. Model homes, businesses, and private residences)
3. Interpreter for the deaf -preschool -high school
4. Weddings (Decorator, planner, set design and construction, floral design, cake decorator, food display and assistant catering, event staff manager, and keeping the mothers happy and "less drunk" as possible.)

B) Four movies I would watch over and over:
1. A&E's version: Pride and Prejudice
2. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
3. La Vita e Bella
4. Chocolat

C) Four places I have lived:
1. San Diego, CA
2. Carlsbad, CA
3. Hemet, CA
4. Fantasy Land

D) Four TV shows I love to watch:
1. No Reservations
2. Yes, Dear
3. Globe Trekker
4. Any "House" series on PBS, i.e. Pioneer House, Colonial House, Frontier House, etc.

E) Four places I have been on vacation:
1. Yosemite, CA
2. Joshua Tree, CA
3. Pacific Coast Highway, the "1", CA
4. San Diego, CA

F) Websites I visit daily: (or semi-weekly)
1. The blog roll at the side bar - seriously people, I go to your blogs at least once a day, sometimes more hoping you have written something new.
3. Flickr!

G ) Four of my favorite foods:
1. good quality chocolate
2. steamed salmon with creamed peas
3. roasted carrots
4. hot chocolate pudding over vanilla bean ice cream

H) Four places I would rather be right now:
1. Any nice town on the equator PLEASE, for the love of Pete, someone turn the heat on!
2. On a beach
3. in a hot bath
4. in a hot tub

What have I learned from reading these at other places?
Well, that my sis has been to Mexico more times than I thought, Melissa is into Comic book heroes and is evidently SMART, Lisa is a world traveler, Jewel is good with people and the public in general, and that I really enjoy this whole blog thing because I have "met" really interesting people who keep me coming back for more everyday.

Now, here's what you're supposed to do... and please don't spoil the fun. Hit forward, delete my answers and type in your answers. The theory is that you will learn a lot of little known facts about those who know you.

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Gila Bend

Along the I-8 w in Arizona, 90 some miles southeast of Phoenix, you will find a small business loop to the town of Gila Bend (pronounced Heela). I suggest, if you are ever in the area, to take the loop.

Boasting "1700 friendly people and 5 old crabs" this town catches your attention the minute you exit the freeway.Thor and I planned on grabbing a coke and driving through the mile long road. We didn't get the coke until we drove the town and visited with some folks. We were there for about 1-1/2 hours.

A "Space Age Lodge", inspired by the Russian Space Race of the 60's, was and evidently still is a hot spot for travelers. Built by Al Stovall, in '63, this Lodge was only one of several space themed hotels. He built several for the Disneyland area - The Fabulous Space Age Lodge at Disneyland, The Cosmic Inn, and The Galaxy. There is a mural of all the space progress above the check in desk, and hungry travelers can always stop and grab a bite at the "Outer Limits Coffee Shop". Each of the doors sport a tiny little space ship with a room number.

There are other hotels of note in Gila. The Golden Star has a murder mystery attached to it. The months of investigation were enough to keep the Hollywood intrigued peaked! A handsome screen write, a British starlet, Burt Reynolds!, a love triangle and thensome, and -gasp- a pool of blood! In the end the poor guy died of a drug over dose.

Then we have "Stout's Hotel". This hotel looked less than open for operations, yet it was still decorated for Christmas and had actual markers of tenants. But then again, when your sign is the only one in town that brags "STEAM HEAT!" -well that's a feature that gets the competition going! They have "DISH" -unfortunately it is located on the back of the building...which is completely open and exposed. Interesting.

We also found the schools, which were well maintained and impressive. There is a park aside the main schools, beautiful lawns and a large (LARGE) Native inspired sculpture grab your eye. Then there is the original school house -complete with bell- that has been added to, but kept the integrity of the original structure. This now houses the School Board and is frankly, awesome.

A very nice art and cactus gallery to show off local artisans was not only welcoming and informative, but diverse with everything from paintings to sculpture and jewelry, furniture and garden art. This place was filled yet spacious, with two large rooms and a large yard to wander through out back. The owner's shop is located on site and I got the feeling he would have gladly shown us that if we had just hinted. A cat sleeps on a pile of Navajo blankets and a dog sleeps in the front parking lot. While we were there a local Native artist came into sell her latest in jewelry and you get the feeling this place is pretty popular with the locals as well as the tourists.

There is a history that dates back to 1699, full of Spanish men of God and Indians it became an important stop for western travellers even then! Born of the drastic bend in the Gila River this became known as the "Crossroads of the West". There are archaeological and historical sites of importance near by, ancient ruins and petroglyphs. It is located near the infamous "Oatman Massacre" where a woman with 5 children refused food to the local Indians and well, you get the idea. Fortaleza is another site nearby however not open to the public. A fortified town in ruins of the local Hohokam tribe.

There is a McDonald's and a Taco Bell, a couple of gas stations and a sheriff or two. The sports from the high school seems a top priority and everyone we met was very happy and friendly. This is a town of characters to be sure, but if you are ever driving the I-8...this is where you want to stop for a coke.

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Sunday, January 14, 2007

A room with a view...

Here we are in Phoenix. Our hotel room was fabulous, probably the largest room we have ever stayed in. The water heater how, ever was lacking. Oh well.

In the room was a terrific arched window that over looked the city block. Lots of construction going on and lots of diversity. The photos always seem to get scrambled when downloaded to the blog, so find the correct photo and come along.

In this photo I tried to do a quick sketch ala "Danny Gregory" who is on the sidebar at Everyday Matters. A great inspirational artist with books to prove it, I like his style and energy. He grabs a pen and draws as he lives. So here's my window view Danny. I take a sketch book with me along as I travel. I am very...ugh, I don't know what the word would even be, but I don't show my drawings to just anyone, so this is difficult for me. Number one, it's a "sketch", which implies quick drawing, not drawing for accuracy. This sketch was done in about 15 minutes. So it's not the best of my work. Maybe a sample of that later. ugh, NEXT SUBJECT!

A couple of reflective views from the buildings across the street. I think it's cool.

The last of the photo needs explanation. There is a one story building in the foreground. This building is original art deco style and FABULOUS! Gorgeous and amazing detail, maintained to perfection. Grey, black and white details. Even the roof top has an art deco design in red and black. It's currently a Baja Fresh. Go figure. What is great about Phoenix is that here is this great art deco building sitting directly in front of all the mirrored glass skyscrapers. Cool!

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Huell Howser, where are you?

So here we are at the corner of "Iron Mountain" and "Pump Plant" roads in the southeast desert of California. As you can see from the photo, there ain't much around these here parts. The 360 view here is the same for as far as the eye can see. In the one frame you can see dark mounds of asphalt piled up, a sign that someone from CalTRANS has been here recently; but other than that, not a soul in sight.

The pole is pretty high. In fact, if you can find the DISH on the left hand side of the pole, that is above Thor's head, somewhere above the six foot mark. Not that Thor is 6 feet, but it was a few inches above him, and I am rambling so I'll stop now.

There's also a shot of the GPS "stash", "treasure" or whatever it is called. Nothing much, but it is a fun game for those who play. The "Swisher Sweets" box is just the base for the main depository, the small wood box with the lid down. Inside that wood box were little tokens, plastic pieces from a game board, a coin and whathaveyou. Kind of the "take a penny, leave a penny" theory of give and take. Someone also left his picture for others to ponder.

Life's little adventures. Another way of seeing "home". I couldn't help but notice all the vast land. Land devoid of any structures, any 'civilization, nothing. Nothing but land as far as the day was long. We drove for hours without seeing much of anything. IN CALIFORNIA. Free roaming wilderness. Land that I am sure comes fairly cheap... if you want to live there. It was the same in the south of Arizona, land for miles and miles. But land nonetheless. Is it any wonder why other countries feel we here in America are filthy rich?

The scenery and the small towns that scattered out weekend trip were unique. More on the towns next post. In the mean time, check out where you live. See how much land is spread out. See how much elbow room you have. Check out that skyline and the stars. If you live in the city, how long does it take before you can see land spread out like this? This is the gift. This is what others dream of. The folks in Japan, living very crowded lives, sharing small apartments in efficiently used land wonder at this. We should too.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Arizona Weekend

This morning Thor and I set out for Phoenix for another one of his world famous business trips. This one, however didn't require him to fly and so we were able to take a looong drive through the back roads of the California desert and on into Arizona. Lots of little towns (maybe 5?)! We drove through 29 Palms...very misleading, there are more than 29 palm trees. Home to the largest U.S. Marine Base, the town itself is actually quite small. All of the usual fast food restaurants, one very small market, two gas stations and odd shops and random curiosities. A couple of chain motels and you're right back on the road.

We stayed on highway 62 for the majority of our drive and veered off at Vicksburg to the I-10 east into Phoenix. Along the way we saw plenty of barren wind blown scenery. Some of the valleys were so vast and beautiful. The mountains that fell into hills then square off into mesas were interesting. The 'bad-lands' made me feel sorry for anyone who may have had to cross them in anything other than a comfortable car.

It surprises me, however, how many small homes are sprinkled out miles from the nearest town. We drove along side the rail road tracks almost the entire drive and cris crossed the aqueduct several times. At one point we noticed that the folks who passed this way often enough had taken some time to gather up the red, black, tan, and white stones from the rail way and write their slogans, names, tributes, or proclaimed their undying love for each other for all travelers to see on the railway berm. This advertising went on for about 5 or so miles. Some were quite elaborate with borders and fancy fonts, others spray painted in neon colours to stand out from the ordinary rocks, while still others had been there so long that time, wind, and other elements had scrambled the message a tad.

Trees and fences draped with shoes sprinkled here and there, 'lost soles' on the highway, and we found one very tall, very crowded pole with arrowed directionals for home towns from Tokyo to Oceanside, Boston to Chicago, and personal family homes....all such and such miles from that point. Some of the markers were accented with a sock, a shoe, or hat. Some of them had elaborate decorations, reflective dots, or paint; while one was hand carved and quite professional looking. At the base of the sign was a small box, weighted with a round stone. Inside the box, a photo of a young man, a few trinkets, and a paper note. Thor and I had found a marker in a GPS search game. Cool. The idea is that you go to a certain website, gather the GPS info and set out to find the marker. Find it and take a trinket while leaving one of your own for another player to exchange. We just got lucky, so we didn't exchange anything, just admired the adventure of others in the game.

We came upon Bouce. A small town -so much so that neither population nor elevation were posted. What they did post was a rather 'town-length' tribute to the soldiers of WW2 who trained there in tanks. A secret mission to prepare them for a trip to the shores of France and other operations that led to the success of the war. It was a nice memorial and impressive, especially given the locale and the size of both memorial and town.

We came across more "R.V. Park"s than you could shake a stick at. Seems anywhere the sand could be dragged clear of weed and stone you could post a sign and call it home.

I have to admit to never having been to Havasu or Parker in Arizona. Today was the perfect day to be there. The weather was warm and overcast as we are waiting for the storm to come in. I can only imagine this place during the heat of August. God bless those folks. There is the river (Colorado) that runs through town. On either side of the river banks there is growth, some weeds, small trees and a few feet of desert grasses. After that you have sand for miles, and miles, and miles more. This place was des-o-late! The folks there seem happy enough, however, to play and live along this great river and happier still that the tourists come around to enjoy it also. A small bustling town, full of people who love the desert life.

We drove past an interesting new 'plant' where many cows were eating peacefully under shaded canopies complete with over head fans to keep them comfy. I wondered why there would be a dairy so far out in the desert...well it's not a dairy, it's a plant for making energy out of recycled hay (if you get my drift). What will they think of next? Hello Ed Begley!

The surrounding area west of Phoenix has grown considerably since we drove through just a few years ago. Lots of new housing and industry! It's always a surprise for me when I see Phoenix on the horizon, a city out in the middle of vast land, POP! just sitting there like L.A.

We found our hotel in the downtown area and checked in. Construction is bustling around us and you can still hear it pounding away at 8 in the evening. But the city lights are pretty and our room is very large and unexpectedly nice. The large arched window frames other hotels and the downtown area, a parking area that is lit with giant white balls reminiscent of the 60's, and trees filled with white twinkle lights. It's pretty to see the cars going up and down the block and hear an occasional honking horn, and bus rumble by- stopping and hearing the "pecsssh" of the air brakes. We are obviously near an airport and we can see the planes as they fly by ready to land. Some of them are silent, while they others roar through the air between the buildings. I love the city and so all of the noise is music to my ears. There are trains here also, and we can here them call out a warning as they approach the intersection a mile or so off.

Tomorrow while Thor is in his meetings, I will wander through the city with camera in hand. The last visit here I spent considerable time at the Catholic Mission. Such pretty architecture I couldn't resist! This city is interesting in many ways. One of them is how there is a very modern building sitting cheek to jowl next to a hundred year old church, a high rise next to a small bakery, a commercial bank neighboring a condo. Never an empty lot, always construction. I come, you'd better smile.

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Monday, January 08, 2007

Aunt "M".

Thor's Aunt "M" was probably my favorite of all the aunts. She was always up beat, happy, friendly, quick witted, loyal, smart, and full of determination and humour.

The first time I met her was at the annual Christmas party way back in the day. Eventually the extended family stopped attending the party, it just got so that the entire family couldn't find a large enough facility to hold the numbers that the family grew to. Because the parties became a thing of the past, we only saw Aunt "M" a few times a year. A wedding, a bridal or baby shower, or an unexpected 'run-into' at mom and dad's or uptown shopping. At bridal shower 3 years ago I noticed the Lladro nativity she gave the young bride, along with a few other "small" things. "Heah there "M"... you gave me a hand mixer, and a lousy one at that. What's up?" "I didn't like you! Hahahahah! Besides, this is one of the perks at haivng money. Back then I was poor and probably gave you a mixer I had in the cupboard. She gets the good stuff now, just because I can." and "M" had the biggest smile on her face. She was so happy to give a big gift.

Nine years ago Aunt "M" was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Terminal and only 6 months to live. hmmm. Well that came and went, along with all the chemo therapies. Recovery and then another diagnosis of cancer in her breasts. More chemo, surgeries and more recoveries to go through. Then another diagnosis of cancer in her liver. "What the hell, [she'd] been down that road- why not go again?" In the in between times she would throw herself into her tax job. During the chemo she would delegate and do what she could to keep a handle on her life.

I remember one night, about 7 or so, I was shopping near her town at a Costco. I felt a SMACK on my cart and someone telling me to "watch it, those are MY flat screens your looking at!" It was "M". To my surprise, there she was, bald head and a bright flowered blouse, shopping at Costco. She burst out laughing at my surprise, being yelled at and seeing her shopping. "What? Just because I had chemo this morning I can't go shopping tonight? Shut your mouth and help me get this into the cart." She wanted a large box from another isle and had noticed me before I noticed her. All in all, that's "M": matter of fact with a slice of humour.

She was the popular gal in high school who hand picked three other gals to be her life long friends. They attended her funeral and praised her for her way of searching out the "odd three" and making them feel important. Each year "M" planned and carried out a "reunion" at the beach and each year all the "Lucky Four" would go and spend the week. It started in high school. The first year of college "M" was away at college, but made the plans anyway. She was missed that first day. The second day she showed up, boyfriend in hand and asked the girls to go with them to Vegas...they were eloping. The third day the went back to the beach reunion before setting out for the honeymoon. These reunions eventually came once every 5 years but in the last 15 years or so they began to meet each other once a month for lunch.

"M" was intelligent. Her daughter remarked about her parents' romance during the war via letters. Ones that "M" would correct grammatically and send back to her husband to rewrite. Later, when he had come home, she encouraged her husband to bid on a historical house in the valley that would be moved by the city to make way for growth at a local college. They looked it over found a solution to a major problem that others in the bidding could not solve, and confidently won. The city gladly handed over the deed in exchange for the cash amount: $5.00. During the signing of the papers however the mayor explained the embarrassment of the sale for such a low amount and "M" and her hubby decided to up the payment to $100.00. The house was moved; they lived and reared their family, and nevered moved again.

She was a tax preparer and educator. One of the founders of the tax society in CA. She taught seminars even while in the midst of chemo, bald head and all. She found a certain satisfaction in being able to teach her clients how to find the codes that would enable them to save on their taxes. She wanted her clients to hold onto as much money as possible, no matter what their bracket.

Her son told us about her last "life goals" made on December 9th: "to live until January 2nd, so that her husband could count her as a deduction the next year." She passed away 90 minutes short of her goal. Her son said that was the first time in her life she was early for anything.

I think I heard her giggling at that remark.

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Thursday, January 04, 2007

Thanks Sis!

So how do you like it? Thanks to my sis (eeeeee!) I have a new look and a new blog thing-y. (Now you know why I needed her help to set it all up) Yes, I succumbed to the pressure and after hearing her say everything went well on her three accounts, she helped me switch over.

So here y'all go. There were a few glitches in the switch, but they should be fixed soon. I have, however, noticed that the new version of spell check just informes you which words are help or suggestions on how to correct them. hmmph!


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