Friday, October 29, 2010

E-Man, Bat Man, My Man.

(Halloween Dance, October 2010)

(Letter for school, August 2003)

Speaking of E-Man ... look what I came across just last night.
He thinks thought I was a good cook.
Gotta love these little momentos ...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My license plate obsession.

When I started my blog last year, I made a list of happy little things that I wanted to post about.  One of the things at the top of my list was license plates (I talked about that here).  I just LOVE looking at license plates and I can't even stop myself if I wanted to, which I don't, so that works out nicely.

When Elliott was about three years old, I gave him the nick name E-Man.  He was SO active and actively engaged in all things destructive that I thought he needed an action figure name ... thus, E-Man ensued and we still call him that.

I don't think it was too long after we moved to Draper, that I pulled up to a light and was stopped right behind a car with the license plate "E Man" and YOU KNOW I did a song and dance in my head about how cool that was!!!!  Except it was a bummer too because I thought, Oh shoot!  That would have been such a cute plate for Elliott to get when he starts driving.

I actually saw it around town quite frequently in the following years and then my sightings stopped.  Just a few months ago, McCall said, "Mom!  I saw a license plate that said E Man, how cool is that?!?!?!"

It was back.  And then a few weeks ago, I had a sighting of my own ... and I had my camera.  And isn't it funny how after you become a blogger, everything becomes a little bit more of a photo op? 

I really do think that Utah drivers pick out some pretty clever personalized plates.  Like the big yellow Hummer I saw the other day with the plate "HUMMBEE" and the grey mini van I was behind yesterday that said "DSNYVAN".  I saw one a couple of weeks ago with my sister that said "SPOILME" and the one below, which I saw in the high school parking lot, must belong to someone who is spoiled!   :)

Not that this one is so original, but hey, she got it first!

It was probably sometime last year, I was in the drive thru parking lot of McDonald's (imagine that) and I saw a plate that said "DONNY O" and I freaked out!!!  I wanted to get out and meet the person who owned it and ask her (of course I assume it would be a her) if she was a HUGE Donny Osmond fan and how long had she had it ... but I had cars behind me and I SOOOO wished that I had had a camera with me so I could take a picture of it to send to my friend Diane!  I was a little distressed about it too. The phone that I had back then didn't have a camera on it.  Boo!  As I made my way to the window, I thought maybe I should drive back around and wait for the owner, then ask them if they could take a picture of it and email it to me ... then I re-thought that and decided against it because - how lame would THAT be?

I was bummed.  (What's that expression - simple things for simple minds?)  And I really did think I was being silly.  My word, I could just tell her about it, right?  But it isn't the same as seeing it.  Shoot.

Guess what I saw today??????  I was on the phone with my sister, Courtney.  I got behind that Donny O car and said, "Oh my gosh, there's that plate.  I have to hang up. Call you back!"

I followed the car into the parking lot of the Olive Garden, waited for them to go into the restaurant, and then ever so discreetly, took a picture.  And it made me soooo happy! 

So, this one's for you Di:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

First snowfall.

You know, I did watch the news last night and I did hear that the mountains might get some snow, but I don't think any of us expected this ...  we got some snow all right.  And quite a bit of it.  Can you believe how much fell for the first snowfall of the season??????

And trust me when I tell you that brushing off my car this morning, before I came to work .... GOOD motivation for getting the rest of the garage cleared out!

Monday, October 25, 2010

"Kindie" love.

If you ask my mom, she has been in love with my father since they were 5 years old.  They were in the same kindergarten class ... this is their school picture ... can you even believe that?  (It's true.)

As my mom tells the story, she always had a crush on my dad.  She loved it when my dad would come to school and have red lip prints on his cheek from where his mother had kissed him goodbye that morning.  She was certain he was showered with love at home ... and got to go home to a hot meal at lunch time.

My dad grew up in a very traditional home.  His father worked for the railroad company "all the days of his life."  His mother was a stay at home mom who got up and got dressed up "all the days of her life."  I never saw her in pants, ever.  She wore hose and heels everyday.  She wore a slip under her dress, and earrings clipped to her ears.  She had a wonderful array of gloves and purses that my older sister and I used to LoVe to get into and play dress up with.  My father had one older brother and one older sister, but with 13 years between he and his sister, he was raised pretty much as an only child in a lovely adult world with road trips and culture.  (I bet you can guess which little boy he is.)

Suffice it to say, my mother's upbringing was a tad less traditional, but she looked at Bobby Winebrenner with his etiquette and cultured self, all through their school years admiring who he was and what he had to offer.

My dad played the violin and was involved with the theater department in high school.  My mom played volleyball and basketball and could bowl a perfect 300 game.  They didn't hang with the same crowd during those growing up years.

But as luck (or maybe destiny) would have it, my mother's sister, Mary, got engaged to my father's cousin, David.  And at their wedding, my mother served as the maid of honor and my father served as the best man.  There they were, together again, but this time, they stayed together.  And they couldn't be any happier.

So here's to you mom and dad, little Bobby and Sally Jo from East Rochester, New York ... congratulations!

Happy Anniversary!!!
I love you!

Friday, October 22, 2010

The colors of fall.

You know, I really do have beautiful fall colors right in my own neighborhood too .... like these hills behind our church.

And these gorgeous leaves on my next door neighbor's trees ....

Fallen leaves on the sidewalk just around the corner from my house ...

And the cutest little baby in a neighborhood pumpkin patch ...

(photos of Libby taken by Kara Simmons)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sweet Serenity.

Okay, I know that I am a little late with my "Yay, it is finally fall and the colors are so beautiful," post ... I've been busy.  But Sunday, after many days of grueling, hard physical labor, I just really, really wanted to take a drive up the canyon to see the colors on the way to Sundance.  And even though it is late in the season, and leaves are starting to fall, and on Sunday it was raining, and the sky was cloudy and a bit dreary, I still thought they (they being the fall colors) were pretty impressive.  But the nicest thing about taking the drive up to Sundance was ending up at my parent's cabin, which was nice and organized and CLEAN - something that I lack at my house right now.

Jared, McCall and Libby met us up there too.  I brought a lasagne to pop in the oven, corn, peas, cheese bread, and homemade chocolate chip cookies.  We brought popcorn and hot chocolate and a movie ... and it was SO nice to just sit back, relax, and enjoy the serenity of a quiet, clean (did I already mention CLEAN) house.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Drumsticks ... one way or another.

Now I do believe that I have mentioned that my favorite "run to the gas station for a treat" treat is a drumstick, right?  Look what I saw and picked up at the grocery store yesterday!


Monday, October 18, 2010

Pony parties.

The little blondie sitting in the saddle is Jake.  Jake had his 4th birthday party on Saturday.  I had worked from 6:00 am Friday morning to 4:00 am Saturday morning (22 hours in case you were counting) finishing up the painting in my basement.  Truly, this renovation, is the hardest thing I've ever done, bar none.  Now remember how I said my renters were moving in, ready or not?  I was kind of not ready, although I was pretty close.  It just seemed that every time I turned around, I noticed something that still needed attention.  It was never ending.  Overall,  I will say that it did end up looking pretty darn good.  So good, in fact, I wanted to move in instead of going back upstairs to the main house which is in complete disarray .... I told my renters that if their task of moving in seemed daunting they needed to come upstairs and look at my house.  I made them.  And then they felt sorry for me.

But anyway, when I finally dragged my sore, aching body out of bed on Saturday, after a few hours of restless sleep, barely having the strength to get showered and dressed, I looked out my front window and noticed that a little red pick up truck carrying a pint sized pony as cargo was pulling up to the curb in front of my neighbor's house.  The sign on the top of the truck read:  Have Pony, Will Travel.  Now how cute is that?  And just like that, my mood changed.  Not my aches and pains, but I did realize that life beyond my own four walls, which have enslaved me for the past several weeks, still exsisted and someone was having a pony party and I was going to go.

I grabbed my camera and headed next door.  Missy (Jake's mama) suggested that I call Libby and have her come to the party too, so I did.  Now Libby is used to animals since she has her puppy pet, Cooper, so she wasn't afraid of the horse.  In fact, I think she thought he was a big puppy and was happy to pet him.  Riding him????  Not so much fun - she wasn't going to have it.  But she sure got a kick out of the cowboy hat .... except she preferred to use it as a purse.  She is already such a girlie girl that way!

I hadn't been to a pony party in over 20 years ... not since my friend, Diane, had one in her back yard when McCall was two.  Good times those pony parties.

(Oh my ... the 80's bangs!)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Halloween Haunt ...

And then Spring and I went over to Courtney's house.  OH. MY.  It is a little like a store because there is so much stuff everywhere you might be tempted to lift up one of the cute items to look for the price tag!!!  (I can say that because even Courtney thinks so.)  But this girl knows how to decorate!  She is her own version of Martha Stewart for sure.  It was a Halloween fiesta to enjoy!

Back in December I wrote a post called The Day after Christmas where I talked about how my family has the tradition of going out to the after Christmas sales ALL DAY LONG.  We have a blast and the bags just keep piling up the car until there is literally no room and we have to make a pit stop to unload before we hit the road and head onto the next "stop."  (We have a list of favorite places we like to go.)

This Halloween season has resembled our after Christmas shopping quite a bit.  My sisters and I all had a really fun time when we went to the witches night at Secret Haven a few weeks back.  On our way home from that we stopped at a Target close by to see if they had their Halloween stuff out yet ... which they did.  It was such cute stuff (the glitter skeletons are all the rage this year) and everything was so cheap we were snatching it up, and they hadn't even gotten it all out yet!

After that we went to the WalMart in the next shopping center because our sister, Leslie, had said she had found the cutest Halloween candy.  That particular WalMart didn't have it out yet.  So, because we were about 40 miles north of where I live, our little minds started to race and we thought about all of the locations of WalMarts between where we were and home so that we could hit as many as possible in case they had their's out.  (It is a sickness I tell you, a sickness ... that hunt for holiday decor.)  We ate dinner at Chili's and then stopped by a couple of Robert's Craft stores on the way home as well.

Spring offered to come up to my house the next day to help me in the clearing out process of my basement.  We loaded my car full of items to take to the thrift store and since we were out - we found another WalMart we hadn't been to, stopped into Hobby Lobby, two TJ Maxx stores and talked about going up to the Home Goods store because I had heard that they had mercury glass pumpkins and we wanted to check them out .... (do you see what I mean?  A sickness, and as I like to tell my friend Vicki when we are out together and she is finding lots of things she loves, I ask her, "For what?"  And sometimes that is what my sisters and I ask each other as we are holding little this's and that's in our hands to just add to the abundance we already have.  We say, "For what?"  And then Courtney is usually the first to shrug her shoulders, smile coyly and say, "I dunno.  But I love it.")

And even though Courtney thinks she has way too much Halloween stuff, she still can pass a little counter space and think, Hmm.  I need to find a little something to put there.  And she says it makes her happy and she loves seeing it all.  And that's a good thing.  When the little things around us can make us happy and put a smile in our day.

Here are some of the things that put the ha-ha-happy in Courtie's Halloween!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Breathe in and breathe out.

Yesterday I had a friend send me an email wondering if I was okay.  She said, "It isn't like you not to respond right away."  It had been several days since I had even checked my email accounts and she had sent me a few.  I have been really busy.  Do you ever get so busy that you don't even know how to slow down?  So you just keep going and going and going and then when you can't go anymore, and when you finally get to stop, your eyes just well up with tears and those big droplets of saltiness stream down your cheeks because you realize that your body is finally still ... and it feels nice, but its sore too, and you are filled with emotions for lots of reasons and they just all come pouring out at the same time?

Sometimes I do, like now.

My basement project is almost finished.  I made a list yesterday morning of all the final touches that need to be done.  It's amazing how many little things are still left to be done when you think you are already almost done - you know?  But Saturday is the day that my renters will officially move in.  Ready or not.

Deep breath ... so I haven't decorated for Halloween, which is a little sad for me because it really is my favorite holiday (a close one to Christmas though, since isn't Christmas everyone's most favorite holiday?)  I did just visit two of my sister's houses who have decorated for Halloween.  They go a little nuts at Halloween.  It runs in our family.

Here is a peek at just a few of Spring's things .... she has a gift for arranging, (although just a few pictures don't do her justice) ... and I really like her style.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Koralee and Lisa.

Photobucket   Photobucket   Photobucket

If you haven't clicked this cute little picture on my sidebar yet ... you really must.  This blog belongs to my friend, Koralee, and I think she has the sweetest blog that exists out in blogland.  (She really does.)  Her images are so precious and she always has a positive, happy little message for her readers. 

Koralee recently went to the Creative Connection Event in Minnesota and brought back 7 days worth of fun give-a-ways for her readers.  They were all fabulous (because she has exquisite taste),  but one of my favorites was a $50 gift certificate to Lisa Leonard Designs.  Lisa makes unique hand crafted jewelry and I just love everything she does.  In fact, last Christmas I bought Libby a little silver spoon with her name on it and a charm necklace for McCall.

Well guess what?  I won ... how fun is that?!  And I am so excited because Lisa has a new necklace design that she calls "Brave Love"  that I have had my eye on. That is a very happy little thing for me.

Thanks Koralee!!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Another celeb sighting.

Last Wednesday, McCall and her little Libby took a trip to Washington, D.C. to visit family.  That was a really, really long time for them to be gone. I missed them like crazy. 

McCall's husband, Jared, called me last night and asked if I wanted to go with him to the airport to pick them up and I said, Of course I do!  (Hoping that Jared wouldn't mind that I was already in my jammies for the night - their flight wasn't due in until 9:45 pm.)

Sidenote:  Before picking me up, Jared had stopped to get a burger.  When I got in the car with him he said, "I just got pulled over for speeding.  And do you know what else helps besides my military I.D?  Your name."

A Draper policeman stopped him for going 45 in a 35 - although Jared thought it was a 40 mph zone.  Since I know several of the police officers here and most of them know my name, he thought he would name drop, and it worked.

The officer asked him where he was going and he told him he had to go pick up his mother-in-law and then go get his wife from the airport.  He casually, albeit intentionally said, "My mother-in-law's name is Polly."

And  then the officer said, "Polly Wood?"


"Oh.  Well, you just slow down and be careful then."  (That makes ticket #4 avoided thanks to my Draper PD connections.  It really is good to have those kinds of connections.) 

Anyway, back to the topic at hand ... we arrived a little bit early.  We parked the car and walked into the fairly empty airport terminal.  We checked the arrivals screen and saw that the plane was on time.  Jared sent McCall a text message and she answered that they had landed but that she was in the back of the plane and with the baby, they would be a while.

A few passengers walked through the security gate.  First class passengers - first off passengers.  One man was heading toward us and I thought, Wow, he's kind of handsome.  Another man approached him and shook his hand.  The second man had a clip board in his hand with the name KLINE printed on it.  My first thought was, Must be nice to have a driver pick you up.  And then I made the connection between the name Kline and the handsome-ness of that man ... it was the actor, Kevin Kline. (If the name Kevin Kline doesn't ring any bells for you, he won an Academy Award for A Fish Called Wanda, he starred in Dave, Sophie's Choice with Meryl Streep, to name a few, and has done tons of work on Broadway.)

He walked right past Jared and I with his driver and I said, "Oh my gosh, Jared.  That is Kevin Kline, the actor."

And despite the fact that I was in my jammie pants, pony tail and glasses, I totally should have ran out the door after him for a photo - it would have been a cell phone photo, but still.  Shoot.  He was quite striking in person.  And you know how I love my random celebrity sightings!  It has been awhile since I have had one too, so that totally made my day.

Did I already mention how handsome he looked in person?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Neat and tidy.

My basement renovation is just about finished ... that is to say, the contractors are just about finished up with their work in my basement. My part? Well - that is still a work in progress. (Back in August, in my yard sale post, I briefly mentioned that I was having work done in my basement so I could rent it out.) The guy in charge of the renovation, Todd - who is adorable and ever since the get go had his catch phrase of, "Oh that's no big deal, we can do that easy," which is what you would want to hear when you have a project going on - said that it would probably only take about 3 weeks to get the job done.

Then, as is typical in any kind of renovation or major project, it takes much longer than you think it will and costs much more than you had hoped it would. And then sometimes when you start a big project it is like opening a can of worms, where other things tend to need attention as well that you didn't anticipate would need attention ... if ya know what I mean.

Friends of mine stopped by on Sunday to see the progress. The husband said, "It looks really good, but I gotta say from looking around that if you took the next two weeks off of work you might be ready for your renters."

That wasn't encouraging, since I can't take the next two weeks off of work, darn it. I did find renters (imaginary choir sings praises of Alleluia here) and they need to be out of their house by October 16th and would like to start moving things over next week. So I have a deadline. And isn't that the good thing about a deadline? You have to get things done?! And I will, 'cause that's what we women do. When it's crunch time - WE CAN DO IT! (Which is not where I was headed with this post however ... ) Big sigh and side tracking aside - my house has been in just a wee bit of shambles since before that yard sale back in August.

I had every intention of staying organized as I emptied that third of my house and I got off to a really great start, but you know, the stuff in my girls' rooms just keeps on coming ... how does that happen? I just keep filling those totes and boxes and stacking them as HIGH as I can in my garage and I am running out of room!

Then once their rooms are emptied of all of their personal items (from the length of their lives), I need to get all the furniture out of the bedrooms and off to their new resting places, permanent for some, temporary for others - paint the entire basement - then have the carpets cleaned. (Wish me luck.)

When anyone has come to my door in the last several weeks, I just say Come in. Welcome to my Castle of Chaos. I am longing for order in my home right now. I am longing for things to be neat and tidy. I am longing to have everything back in its rightful place ... wherever that may now be. I am longing to have the kind of order that my Aunt Mary has in her house. (Pictured above - and it always looks like that!)

My sisters and I always like to go and see Aunt Mary's house when we are in New York just in case she has done anything new. We love her style and her beautiful "pieces" (that we tell her we want when she dies since her girls don't really care about that kind of stuff) ... right now, I am loving just the thought of having my house look as neat and tidy as hers does.

It could happen. (It better happen!)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Halloween at Secret Haven.

There is a place, about 20 miles north of me, called Secret Haven ... and may I say that taking just one step into their store is a feast for the eyes. They have special open houses depending on the season to showcase all the new arrivals - their Christmas Open House is spectacular. But about 3 years ago ... when I went up for their special fall open house (aka: Witches Night Out) ME.OH.ME.OH.MY. I was blown away (to bits) it was so out of control incredible!!!! Everywhere you looked there were full size skeletons overhead ... dressed to the nines! And this year, they were out again.

Sue is the owner of the shop. And Sue knows how to put together displays better than anyone I have ever seen. I know, that seems like a pretty bold statement, since I haven't seen everyone's displays, but I have been to ump-teen thousands of boutiques and designer show rooms in Los Angeles, and lots of show case houses, and I still think that Sue does displays better than any of them. And what is really sweet about Sue is that she is so unassuming about it.

This last Witches Night Out, I stepped through the doors and stood there, basking in the fall fiesta all around me. Sue walked by and said hello. I looked at her, and shook my head back and forth and said, "You never cease to amaze me. Each time I come up here it is such a treat to see what you have done."

And Sue, in her reserved demeanor, replied, "Well, it's because I have such great people around me."

But if you talk to any of those people around her they all say, Sue is incredible isn't she?

It's a big fat party too. All of the employees dress up in the cutest garb. They used to all dress up as witches, but now it is just an anything goes costume party. They have contests and prizes and discounts and refreshments ... it is a ton of fun and a fabulous start to the season and HALLOWEEN.

And I do LoVe Halloween!!!!