27 November 2010

Time for Mom to Go Home

When I realized our jigsaw puzzle was finished, I told Mom it was time for her to go back home because I didn't have any more puzzles.
Sadly, she had to fly home yesterday. We had the best visit ever so the time just flew by us.
We sat and put this 1,000 piece puzzle together and chatted and chatted. One thing would remind us of something else. We brought up old memories, good times, great laughs and loving people. (Sigh)... I miss Mom already!

26 November 2010

Happy Black Friday

Whoever came up with the name "Black Friday" anyway? We are NOT going shopping today. I refuse to even look at the sale papers. If I truly needed something, I might take a peek. But at this stage in my life, I'd rather get rid of stuff than buy more.
Jack has a different opinion. He and Mom poured over the papers. I think they compared ads... for what, I have no clue! They would shout out to me something they'd found like a special Michael's ad with 50% off your entire order. I'd shout back, "not interested."
Shopping under most conditions is NOT an activity I prefer to do...it is at the BOTTOM of my bucket list!

25 November 2010

Thanks Thanks Giving Giving

We get two Thanksgiving Days!!
Danette and her family couldn't make it up as they got some nasty bug. I decided I had so much food and only one extra person to help eat it, we'd have our Thanksgiving dinner a day early. We'll eat leftovers today and be twice as thankful as we were yesterday.

 The potato peelers.
 We didn't know Jack was standing over us with the camera...what a goof.
Nothing fancy...just thankful for being together.

24 November 2010

Package in the Mail: Priceless

Oh. My. Gosh.

My girlfriend Judy's daughter, Shannon, has become a good friend as she grew into a beautiful woman. I have enjoyed our friendship over the years. I have especially enjoyed knowing Shannon since she was little.
She was a toehead blonde, spunky, inquisitive, bouncy like Tigger, ready to jump right into whatever we were doing. (She also was a "rocker" like me....private secret.) The only thing that bothered her too much was driving in a car. To this day, Shannon is pretty much that same person - only now she takes meds before going on a road trip. Oh, and she is blind.
She lives about 1½ hours drive away from Santa Barbara, California. There is a blind institution in SB. Since Shannon can't drive, she did take a bus to attend classes given for the blind. Unfortunately, this year, funds were lost and the bus stopped running. Shannon got creative. She enlists help from friends and her mom and gets rides to a neighboring city then hops a public bus to SB. I don't know how she gets from the bus stop to the school, but she does it.
I have to explain that Shannon is not what most folks would call "normal" because she is nocturnal! At least I think she is....she stays up way past my bedtime and sleeps way past the time when my feet hit the floor. I'm not sure if that makes her nocturnal or not, but it sounded fun.
In other words, for Shannon to get out of bed before the sun comes up is a major deal. She does it in order to make the trip to SB. I have to ask her how long the trip takes with the way she has to travel. I know it is way over 90 minutes. Bless her sweet heart. She is a trooper!
Okay, now that you have some history of me and Shannon.....imagine my surprise when this HUGE box arrived from UPS. I started to open it and Jack said, "Um, you have to call Shannon first. She wants you on the phone when you open it." Silly me didn't even look to see who the package was from, I just saw my name on it and started opening the box.
I called Shannon and after much bubble wrap and tons of peanuts, I opened this most beautiful sailboat that she had made in one of her ceramic classes. She made it just for me. I can't believe she is blind. This is stunning. I couldn't make it with my eyes in working order let alone if I were blind.
She is amazing.
My sailboat is amazing.
Shannon, you rock!

21 November 2010


Who doesn't love clouds?

20 November 2010

It's Strong to Me

I think I drink strong coffee; that is until I visit my girls and see how much coffee they put into their "mud brews". I'm going to let you be the judge. (This bag is not the brand I buy...I buy fair market, shade grown organic coffee  but for some reason, the only bags available for the ground up coffee beans are the Buckmaster bags.)  Anyway, this bag held one pound of grounds.
I decided to find out how long it lasts me and how many 11-oz cups I get from one pound.
When I make a pot of coffee, it will last 2-3 days. I drink 2 cups of coffee a day and some weekend days, I may drink an extra cup. So let's say I average 2.25 cups a day.
One pound of coffee cost me $7.95.
I got about 70 cups out of this bag. Again, those were 11-oz cups.
That makes the cost of my coffee about 11 cents a cup.

At our local drive-thru espresso, Brewed Awakenings, plain coffee is 50 cents - an Americano is $1.00
I buy the Americano and give a 50 cent tip whenever I buy coffee there.
Dutch Brothers, closer to and in Medford, is $1.50 for the same Americano.
Starbucks in Medford is almost $2.00 for the same Americano - (it's been about two years since I've been there as it is at a book store and it's 22 miles away, for crying out loud!) It may only be $1.80.

Of course, when I'm traveling or in town, I don't drink more than one cup a day. That's another thing, it can last me 4 hours before it's gone!

Brewing your own coffee certainly does save.
And the part about what is strong? I most likely don't drink mine strong at all. Considering just how many cups I get out of that one little pound of coffee.
I think it is all in how much you enjoy that cup of java.
And I do enjoy mine. Mild, hot, cold, days old..... I still like it.

19 November 2010

The Rest of the Story

Yes, I climbed up and rode the merry-go-round! I couldn't stand those kids having all the fun!!! Trust me, it was harder than it looked to climb on those ropes. I even got Eileen to give it a whirl! Too fun.

18 November 2010

Field Trip

We chose a freezing cold day for a field trip which was 1/3 indoors and 2/3 outdoors. It was fascinating learning and ended up being great fun once we could all move around and stay warm.
First the Crater Rock Museum. WoW!! This is owned by volunteers and run by volunteers. What an amazing place. I want to go back when I can actually focus on reading the labels on the rocks. It is a huge place and nicely presented.

We visited a park where the city had moved a wetland and enhanced it. Very interesting learning from a park employee.
Next was a fun park with so much to keep the kids busy! (We need more play structures at our school...)

As it turned out, today is pouring down rain so the choice of days worked out just fine.

15 November 2010

Forest Tent Caterpillars

I forgot to post this photo and I find it interesting. These caterpillers form a web around leaves on a tree and they eat everything inside. The webs are strong and wind nor water bother them. Trimming the branches is about the only way to get rid of them. (No, I'm not going to suggest that to Jack or he'll be climbing trees just to trim the branches!)
We really had an infestation of them this year as they settled in the madrone trees.

13 November 2010

Why Is It?

Why is it when I have money to spend, I can't find anything I like? However, the minute I don't have spending money, I find shoes I like, clothes I like, etc.
Why is it when I have four days off and can sleep in, I am up WAY before the sun? However, on days I have to set my alarm, I just want to throw the alarm clock across the room and finish my dreams?

The sun hasn't come up yet, but I thought I'd share yesterday morning's view with you.

11 November 2010


Eileen is my right arm, my left arm, my brain, my comrade and co-worker. She is also my heart attacker! I walked into my "office" yesterday (yes, it is a book closet, but that's where I found a space I can call my own..) and this is what I saw.

This is what Eileen saw...
 She had a gift for me .. other than the heart attack and the to-die-for brownies... and she knew just how to wrap it for me. NOT in wrapping paper so she used a Ziploc box!
 Inside the box was this lovely PEACE fleece blanket she made just for me! (sigh)
How did I get so lucky to have her in my life? She is the best! I laughed each time I entered my "office" and a heart would stick to my foot.
For those of you who want to know, my birthday is today...Veterans' Day...and I am 64 years old. Proudly, I might add. A lot of folks don't make it that far and I'm glad I have.
(Hey,  I like the lighting in my office; it makes my hair look blonde instead of white! How funny.)
Thanks, Eileen!!! I love you to pieces!!

09 November 2010

Golden Rule

I'm just wondering what ever happened to the Golden Rule: One should treat others as one would like others to treat onself.
I think I'll laminate it and hang it around my neck for awhile. Maybe it will start sinking in. At the very least, maybe the kids will ask me about it.

08 November 2010

Books Anyone?

Books, books and more books! Did we have them at our book sale this weekend!
I went after work on Friday to help set up and we were there forever. The books just never stopped. We ran out of table space and had them in boxes on the floor.
Then I helped with the sale on Satuday. I should have stopped at that point because the hard part was packing them all up again and loading them in a shed. We are passing them along to another small town library so they can add them to their sale.
I also made sure the school was open for the quilt show and that it was locked up safely each day when they were finished. It was such a nice show and it felt weird that I was not involved with it.
This is the first quilt show I have not helped with but I quit the group due to no time to do any thing with them.
Books. Quilts. They are all good. Never enough of either.

(Yes, I bought some to take home...what was I thinking?!)

04 November 2010

Capris Sun Fashion Show

478 empty Capri Sun packets and we had a fashion show! I had to fire my photographer because most of the photos turned out blurry. (Don't worry, she's my best friend and I didn't pay her anything to begin with!)
I gathered them from the kids, cut the bottoms open and rinsed them out, then air dried them for awhile and tossed them in my dryer.
Then I sewed them together in various forms. (Yes I had to growl and grumble my way through some of the items because these aren't the most flexible things to work with!)
Then... let the fashion show begin:

 The school supplies brigage...
 The Sisterhood of the Traveling Capri Sun Bag...
 The lunch bag...
 The fashion bugs....
(I had a nice group photo I posted here but remembered I had to block out the kids' I.D. so I deleted the photo.)
It was fun - the kids enjoyed it - I'm done. Well, sort of. I have 200 more packets that need to be turned into items for the kids. I'll continue to collect them throughout the school year and see how I feel about sewing things up!
Sadly, our school isn't large enough to make money on recycling the packets. So they will just go to the landfill and never, ever go away. What a legacy we are leaving behind. (sigh)

02 November 2010

OMg (Oh My Gosh)

Well, you learn something new every day and did you know that I'm the most amazing person in the universe? True story. That's what my little "fan", Amber has declared in a GAT. (Good Attitude Ticket).
We pass out GATs to students when they do the right thing or have a good attitude, are responsible and are just plain being nice. Students also have the opportunity to fill out staff GATs. Amber is an office aid and I fear she has too much free time on her hands in that office....she keeps filling out GATs with my name on them!
So my name got drawn and I received this huge cookie and the GAT in my mailbox. (Looks like I need to give her a few spelling lessons! That's what happens when you take phonics out of the school system!) Anyway, thanks, Amber!
I wish you all could know this student. She is so full of life, full of herself, and loaded almost up to her elbows with bracelets! She is the closest thing to a "hippie" of 2010 that I know. I'm pretty sure that's why she loves me....I have a lot of peace signs everywhere.

01 November 2010


My Grandma Fortune, who passed away around 1972, has been in my dreams many times lately. I thought I better post a photo of her and tell you a teensy bit about her. First, her name was Lanksie Hanks (Voil) Fortune.
With a name like Lanksie Hanks, don't you just have a little clue as to what type of a person she was?
Oh yeah.... you got it! Mischievous might be one word I'd use. Overflowing with life.
She was a quilter. Hand pieced all her work and hand quilted them. We had a HUGE family and each of us got quilts from Grandma Fortune. Amazing now that I know what kind of work goes into a quilt.
She loved baseball. Back then, Seattle had a baseball team called the Rainiers. The stadium was a couple miles from Grandma's and she walked to the stadium on "Ladies' Night" when the women got in free! Otherwise, she was glued to her radio, in her rocking chair, piecing and listening to the games.
She also listened to Country and Western music and she sang out the gospels loud and clear... with or without her radio.
She made the best chocolate cake and sweet ice tea. (Yes, Amy, I said "sweet"....I didn't know any better when I was a kid. I loved it sweet....now, I need mine plain.)
We have a wild card game we play in our family and we call it "Neutz". Some know it by other names, but that's it for us. Anyway, you all get your own deck of cards and basically play your own "solitaire" game only you get to use everyone's Aces, etc. It gets wild....we even stand up to play when it gets tense. I swear Grandma used to cheat but I was a kid and maybe I was just mad that she always won. All I know is she loved playing that game and so did I!
In my photo, Grandma and Grandpa William Henry Fortune were celebrating one of their anniversaries. They celebrated by dressing up and having family around them with a big ole cake every year.
Grandma Fortune didn't have much but what she had she shared with others. Her house had a revolving door on it and it was never locked. Going to Grandma Fortune's house was never a quiet experience, but it guaranteed fun and laughter.
I miss her still.
It makes me sad when I realize my daughters never got a chance to know how wild and crazy my grandma was. But then, maybe they know by looking at my mom....she's so much like Grandma in so many ways. I certainly hope that I am like my mom in so many ways too.