Celebration of Life

Moving beyond my pain and celebrating life.

Monday, August 25, 2008

And the beat goes on......

Kitchen floor after sheetrock job but before carpet is removed.

When the carpet was removed, there was an obvious leak behind the wall of the utility room.

Preparing to lay the vinyl... kitchen before new flooring.

First bathroom with the toilet and flooring removed....

OOOPS! We found mold and floor damage in the master bath. All work stopped in here until I hear from the insurance adjuster. Hopefully soon, there will be photos of the finished project.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Dancing in the Dining Room....

I am not a very good photographer but I wanted to show you my new dining room furniture. The table is bar height with 6 chairs. I have four at the table and 2 at the counter where I most often sit. On the table is a clay candle holder with four figures dancing around the candle; they are celebrating my new remodel job of my kitchen, my new painting "Hill of Dreams" and my new dining room furniture.

I think the "Shaker" style goes well with all of the "stuff" that I have collected over the years. Every piece means something special to me.

I am truly celebrating my life and looking forward to spending many happy hours around this table with family and friends!

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Watch your 'Thoughts,' they become words. Watch your 'Words,' they become actions. Watch your 'Actions,' they become habits. Watch your 'Habits,' they become character. Watch your 'Character,' for it becomes your Destiny.'

Monday, August 18, 2008

Dreaming Hill

Not too long ago, I received an email from San with a photo of this painting, "Dreaming Hill." She had just finished it. I saw it and fell in love with it.

When I purchased "River of Now", I was completely content but after seeing "Dreaming Hill" it stuck in my head and in my heart. When I looked at it, I saw memories in the images and inadvertently refered to it as "Memory Hill." I told San that I really liked it but that I better wait until after my remodel. She wrote me back and told me she understood and she hoped it was still in her gallery when I was ready. She told me about other times when people saw something they really liked then came back later for it and it was gone. I thought about what she said and vasilated ...should I wait...should I get it now...should I wait...should I get it now?
So... here is "Dreaming Hill" hanging in my newly painted diningroom wall. Isn't it beautiful?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Peace & Serenity

It's been a chaotic week and the mess in my kitchen will continue through the weekend. I do have water in my kitchen and master bath again and for that I am very thankful.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

We don't sell plums!

I have had several projects going on lately and found myself in a time crunch. The condo sign project started out innocently enough. I was at a Condo Owner's Board meeting when I asked about getting our sign on the main entrance repainted. Previously, I had noticed some of the lettering was missing and the paint was peeling and it bothered me everytime I drove by it.

I was informed that only one person in the sign business would look at it and when they did they said that they were not interested in the job. "For Pete's sake," I exclaimed, "all it would take is purchasing some new letters and slapping some paint on it!" After all, I thought, my boyfriend could make the letters easily enough! I received approval from the board to repaint the sign and the next weekend, Gary and I took the sign to his shop. That was only the beginning of two weeks worth of back breaking work.

On the main part of the sign, the lettering was not attached but had been carved and routered out of wood. The letters weren't breaking and falling off they were rotting out where knot holes had once been. "Oh boy, now I have a mess." I thought. Gary was a trooper through this whole project. He assessed what needed to be done and off to Home Depot we went for supplies.

We bought stripper and sand paper, wood putty, scrapers, brushes, paint and $120.00 later we were back at his shop. Now this is where the fun began or I should say the long nights and back breaking agony began. After I applied the stripper and let it do its thing, I started peeling the 3 layers of paint off. This took a long time. I forgot to mention that the sign is 4' x 8' and made from four 2x8s. I could tell in a very short time that this was a bigger project than I thought and I was over my head. Gary was patient with me as I whined just a little bit. The carved lettering was a special font and intricate in places. By the end of the first day, I had most of the paint stripped off.

The next day, I started sanding. I am so thankful that Gary has a nice shop to work in and all the tools a girl of high expectations of projects needs! I recruited Gary's son, Bud, to help me sand. I must say, Bud is a worker and managed to get all of the paint off the big sign by the end of the day. I never saw him after that...he never came back! I don't blame him, I would have left too if I had the choice.

The sign was originally yellow and brown but I thought that the Plumtree Village lettering needed to be plum since the letters have leaves! Yeah, right! I didn't realize how much work those letters would be because I had to be very careful so I didn't accidently get the wrong color of paint where it wasn't supposed to be. Ugh!

To make a long story short, here is the finished sign. I will not be volunteering for this project again! Thank you Gary and Bud for all of your help on this project!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Happy Birthday to me....I live in a tree... I look like a monkey...and I'm not a poet!

It's my birthday
I have have no cake, but that's okay!
Please don't feel sorry for me
I can always say I'm 53.

Juicey Concert....

Saturday, after visiting with Laura, Jason and the girlies, (it was Jason's birthday and he went golfing), Gary and I left for Saratoga. Saratoga is a peaceful small retirement community about 50 miles southeast of Rawlins. Gary and I were going to stay with some very good friends of mine there and go to a Juice Newton concert.

Vance and Karen, a lovely couple and wonderful friends... They have a beautiful and peaceful home in the country and we were treated like royalty!

After the concert I asked Juice to autograph a CD jacket that I have had of her old songs from the 70s and early 80s. She did so gladly and I was thrilled to death!

The red lighting made it difficult to take pictures with my digital but this is what she looks like today, 30 years later! Her voice has matured and she sang to the crowd of about 200 people as if she was singing to 20,000 people. She gives these free concerts every year to show her love and appreciation of the people there. Her concert was mixed with old and new songs and her band is excellent!

After the concert, Gary surprised me with this autographed "All American Girl II" CD. It was the best birthday present ever! (P.S. It's not my birthday until tomorrow but I take pre-birthday gifts too!)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Memories of Dad....

Today is Dad's birthday. I am the same age now that he was when he died suddenly of a heart attack. He retired in 1978 and was only able to enjoy his retirement for 3 years. He was a large man, bigger than life. I wasn't the only one who thought he looked like Marshall Dillon from 'Gun Smoke.' When he walked into the room, everyone knew that he was there.

Dad had an air about him that demanded respect and he was highly regarded in the community and throughout Wyoming. When he became a Game Warden he saw there was a need for a reference manual for G&F personnel about Wyoming's Wildlife. On his own, he painstakingly wrote it and it was published for all G&F personnel. It is still used today. My daughter has a friend who's boyfriend works for the G&F in Green River. Laura asked him if he had one of those reference manuals and he said of course he did. She then told him that it was her Grandfather that wrote it. She was beaming with pride when she was relating that story to me.

Dad had quite a sense of humor and was a prankster. One time when I was newly married and pregnant, late in the evening there was a knock on our apartment door. My husband answered it and in walked a man I didn't recognize but had a G&F jacket on. He told my husband that he was there to check our freezer to see how many frozen fish we had. My husband was a fisherman and hunter and our freezer was full of wild game but had no fish because we ate what he caught, right away. I thought this was an odd request because I had not heard of anyone 'randomly' checking people's freezers for fish. Our freezer chest was close to the door so my husband opened it. The man inspected or freezer then commenced to tell my husband that he had labled the packages wrong, had them stored out of order etc. It was at that time that my husband became irritated and started yelling at the man. That's when I heard it, the sound of my Dad's deep throated laughter booming from the porch; it was a prank! My grandparents learned to 'guard their cart' whenever they went grocery shopping with my parents because if they didn't, they would find all kinds of strange things that they hadn't put there. I remember Dad relating the incidents to us and how tears would roll down his cheeks because he was laughing so hard about teasing his parents.

Dad did not tolerate ignorance or disrespect. He did not tolerate the use of slang or any kind of cussing. Even though he raised 6 girls he taught us and had us work like men. We chopped wood, hauled wood, shoveled snow, cleaned the barn stalls, mowed the grass (with a push mower not a gas or electric one) and taught us a work ethic that is still with me to this day.

As a husband and father Dad made his mistakes but somehow through the years since his death, the mistakes have faded and good memories of his sense of humor and laughter ring stronger. Dad lived hard and died young and left a legacy for his daughters and grandchildren.

I still miss you Daddy and today I am celebrating your memory!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Internet Friendships...

In the "Good Old Days", before dirt, women were out numbered by men, (in some places 10 to 1) and there was a special bonding that women enjoyed with each other. The pioneer women had many hardships which they commonly shared that were different from the men folk. Life in the West was harsh and friendship was one of the delights they held precious.

In this modern day of a throw away society, we often forget or at the least take for granted our friendships. Instant messenger has taken the place of writing a letter, e-cards have replaced homemade cards or a hand written note. When distance and time comes between two friends, it is easy to forget the laughs and good times you spent together but most importantly how significant that person was in your life at one time. As I get older, I have learned to value my friendships more than I ever have.

Before computers and easy access to the worldwide web, a person's friends were limited to their personal exposure to their surroundings and culture. Today, all of that has changed because the internet has made the community a worldwide place with no boundaries.

I have met many people in the blogging world and have become "friends" with a few. Time and distance still plays a part when friendships are formed but nevertheless 'true' friends still can be found. Sisterhood means more to me than only my two beautiful blood sisters,(even though E & RJ are two very important women in my life); sisterhood is a bonding of like minds and spirits.

For those women in my life (including nieces and nieces-in-law), if I haven't told you in person that I love you and appreciate you, let me tell you now. For my internet friends, know that I am honored to call you "My Friend."