Sunday, December 17, 2017

The Last Leg Of Our Trip

Well, I must admit that it's taken me a good, long time to get around to this, but better late than never - and I still wanted to post it, so here goes....
The very last leg of our sisters road trip in May included a visit to Spokane, and a really nice visit with Lori's sister-in-law, Betsy and her family. They welcomed us with open arms and a great dinner the night we arrived.
She and her husband Scott live in a really neat old house that was built in 1918:
Here's a pic of Betsy and me. This was taken across the street from her house - we actually were lucky enough to be able to stay at her mother-in-law's home while she was away - thank you so much, Darlene!
(The white house you see in the background is next door to Darlene's.))
Betsy took us around to a few thrift shops, which is always fun - and then we went and had lunch at Hogan's, a really cute diner with great food.
We had SUCH a nice time with them, and I also got to meet Betsy's daughters Megan and Maryn, and they are both delightful young women.
 I'm afraid I rather talked their ears off that evening, but they truly did not seem to mind.
I love old houses SO much, and there were so many things about their house that I loved!
A cozy living room, a marvelous old kitchen, nice front porch, great back yard - like I said, so many things!
 I would practically kill for a huge basement like they've got - oh, the storage space seemed to go on for days!
Believe it or not, another thing I was crazy for was this old linoleum tile:
I'd love to have a floor like that in my house.
But this one, below was my favorite!
THAT would be absolutely perfect in our kitchen!
Here's another picture of a similar floor:
And back in 2000, Armstrong was selling a flooring called Spatterdash, which I wanted SO badly.
 Here's a photo of an ad featuring it, which I shared in a previous post:
But we have not been able to replace our old and ailing flooring yet. Hopefully we will, one day.
Okay - back to the subject of our trip (yes, old houses will distract me , that's a fact!)
Betsy and Scott also took us out to dinner at Waddell's; it was SO good.
I had their Caesar Salad and it was fantastic, but my favorite thing was when I tried Lori's Sweet Potato Fries with their dipping sauce!
I would really like to recreate that stuff at home - it was seriously good!
When Lori and I were on our way out of town, we were able to make a quick stop to see Chaps.
 The line at the register was so long that I didn't get to pick up one of these yummy-looking pastries:
All I had time to do was snap these few photos inside and out, and we hit the road again.
The one last - and VERY important - thing we wanted to do on our road trip was stop and meet our friend Deanna in Oregon.
It made us SO happy that we were able to work it out!
It happened to be her birthday, and we took her some flowers:
We "met" her through this blog, which she discovered because she had done Google searches looking for certain vintage items, and she'd found that I had written about quite a few of them over the years!
She is the same age as Lori, and through this blog, we found that we had SO many things in common.
Lori had also been able to meet her sister Linda, back when she was working in the Bay Area.
I'm so sorry to say that Linda lost her battle with cancer in the summer of 2016.
Here is a photo I took of Lori and Deanna:
Deanna, you were an absolute delight - and we would have stayed all darned day AND night visiting with you, if we hadn't needed to - you guessed it - hit the road again!
Thank you so much for welcoming us into your home, and I do hope we meet again one day!
Because that would be a very nice day, indeed.
I bought the card seen below from Deanna, because I simply fell in love with her artwork!
 Isn't it just so wonderfully bright and beautiful?!
She sells gorgeous cards made with prints of her photographs.
Below is a photo of her set-up from a church bazaar; I'm sure you'll agree that her photos/cards are fabulous!
 So, I think that does it, as far as my posts about our trip - although, you never know about me - I could pop in sometime with something I'd forgotten.
 But I know that I won't EVER forget about the great times we shared on that trip with family and friends both old and new.
 (At least I finally got this post finished and published before the year was out; since it seems that I am hopelessly behind on pretty much everything!)

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Growth Of A Great And Special Pumpkin

Hi there!
Sis Lori here, long time no see! I had to move again, not far, but lots of work and all that goes along with that!
Anyway, I wanted to share something that I was so proud of about my son Steve recently before Halloween is gone!
He and his beautiful wife Nicole recently bought the home he was raised in from his Dad in Placerville which is in the Mosquito Area, a lovely place!
There has been a Pumpkin contest for a few years his friends started. This year he had a nice place to have a garden spot. That's Layla checking it all out!

The seeds were actually started when he lived in Folsom and before they moved to their new home.

               Here it is after some time during the growth process:

Dad also lives on the property in a "granny flat",  and it is a competition pumpkin contest so the other smaller planting you see in this photo is his:
Here are a number of photos, at various stages of the growth, in progress.......

We really had a pretty darned hot summertime here for quite a while this year!!!!

Layla was a great protector of the Great Pumpkin!!!!!!

Here we are in the final stages!!!!!!

Below, you see the loading of the pumpkin.
Thankfully the party was not far away from their home!!
In the photo are Ryan, Nicole, and Steve.
Ryan and his wife Chelsea are the organizers of the Pumpkin Party and the Contest.

Loading on to the truck, with Dad Steve helping out.
 Our son Steve's pumpkin is near the cab window of the truck and Dad has the strap around his own nice pumpkin towards the gate of the truck:

The next photo shows the unloading of the two pumpkins with a forklift at the party site:
The Goat Mountain Giant Pumpkin Contest in Mosquito, California.
Careful, now, we could have a winner here!!!
Here is a video of the weighing of my son Steve's Great Pumpkin.
The weight is a little unclear and hard to hear.
You can see the results in the following entry chart photo below.
#1 Jr -  My Son
#6 Sr - His Dad

And the final results, as listed on the board:
 Yes, that's it:
His pumpkin weighed in at a whopping 510 pounds!
There was a lot of hard work and prep put into this and I was super proud of him. It was pretty exciting!
He will continue again and attempt an even larger pumpkin next time!!!!
Happy Halloween, everybody!
And may The Great Pumpkin  find YOUR pumpkin patch to be the most sincere of them all!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Paintings By Mr. Collins, Part Two

I'm back today with Part Two; I wanted to show you some more paintings done by Mr. Tom Collins, father of my dear friend Colleen, and principal of our elementary school Gold Oak Union in Placerville, California, where both Lori and I attended school from Kindergarten through eighth grade and Tina from 2nd through 8th.
Mr. Collins was there from 1963-1968.
(Oh - and the names of the principals before and after Mr. Collins served, were Claire Carter (prior), and then later, after they'd moved to Washington, Neil Armstrong. Please if I have misspelled either of their names, someone let me know and I will gladly correct my error. I remember both of them well, also - and Mrs. Carter was a friend of our Mother's.)

We'll start with this lovely painting, below - I can't even tell you how much I love the colors in this one!
 That sunset sky, and the reflection!

More favorite colors in this lovely scene, ahh .. serene and majestic in blues and greens:

A snow-covered countryside and a fabulous old farmhouse and outbuildings - love!

More greens and blues again, here, and a mirrored surface on the water - this one's a beauty, too:

He must have loved the mountains, yes?
And what prettier settings to paint could there be, I ask you?

I think every single one is gorgeous.

It was so nice to catch up with my childhood friend, and she may be able to come to California for a visit, some time before too very long.
I certainly hope that it happens!
Here is a portion of our fourth grade (Mrs. Ashley's) class photo from the same yearbook as the faculty page I shared yesterday (1966):

That's Colleen in the back, at left, and me in the front on the left.
Our other classmates seen in this partial (cropped) class photo are, from the back to front, and from left to right: Jean Ernsdorf and Judy Martin next to Colleen, Gary Harp and Rick Linson in front of them, Keith Windell and Gael Newman in front of them, Tom Sarette and David Quigley, and next to me in the front is Mona Vanderlinden. (If you're reading this - hi everybody!!)
And here is a picture of Colleen and me, taken by Lori this past May:
(She had taken us out to breakfast at The Buttered Biscuit in  Sumner, Washington - which was another fantastic dining experience we had on that trip, by the way! 
I mean, just take a gander at this plate of food:

Thanks again for everything, Colleen and Bruce; we enjoyed our stay SO very much!)
And I'll leave you with this lovely recent photo of Colleen and her adorable grandson, Snowden (what a great name!):
And this picture, below, which I took of the beautiful double rainbow that greeted us as we were walking toward the movie theater the evening we were there.
  What a delightful sight that was, and how fitting, you know?
It was if the skies above were also celebrating the wonderful time we had getting together again after so many (far TOO many) years!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

My Childhhood Friend Colleen And Paintings by Her Dad, Principal Tom Collins

When Lori and I were planning our trip this past May, I had contacted a dear childhood friend, in the hopes that we might be able to meet up while Lori and I were in the area. Colleen and I hadn't seen each other since her family moved away the summer before our 7th grade year.
Not only did we get to go see her, but she and her "significant other" Bruce even invited us to stay overnight in their lovely home!
How often do you get to see somebody whom you have not laid eyes on in close to 50 years?
I have tears in my eyes as I write this - you cannot even begin to imagine how happy I was to see her again!
I put together this assortment of Colleen's school photos, which I had save over the years. ( I mean, of COURSE I did!)
Her father was the principal at our elementary school, Gold Oak Union in Placerville for a number of years, and, until I saw these paintings hanging in her home, I had been unaware that he was also a artist.
The first one I'm sharing in today's post might be my favorite, because it brought to mind Heidi's Grandfather's cabin from the Johanna Spyri classic, complete with goats:
Here is a photo of the Gold Oak Faculty, pictured in our old elementary school yearbook  from 1966:
And I took this photo of a portrait from when Tom Collins was in the Navy, and you can also see the small picture of he and Colleen together (taken around 2007) tucked into the bottom of the frame.
And here are a few more of his lovely paintings:
I walked around their house snapping pictures, as you may have guessed!
So pretty!
I love this red barn in the snow:
And this is a beautiful scene:
I'm sorry to say that Colleen's mother Nidabelle passed away in 2004, and her father Tom died in 2009.
I'd have loved to have had the chance to see both of them again, had that been possible.
 I found out something surprising during our visit that I had never known.
The Collins family had actually lived in THIS area prior to moving to Placerville, and Mr. Collins had been the principal at Jamestown Elementary for two years! That school is less than five miles from where I live now.
I realized, after finding that out, that Colleen's sister Ruth and my friend Mallory who owns The Emporium, a wonderful antiques store in Jamestown would have been in the same class, so I asked Mallory later if she remembered Ruth, and she did - and Mr. Collins, as well!
Now, it really IS a small world, isn't it?
I have a few more photos to share - so please come back tomorrow for part two!