March 2008


Three years ago this morning, my parents and brother were happily awaiting the arrival of my youngest brother.  It was the birthday of the arriving brother.  My dad and my brothers went fishing and then went to the house for dinner.  My dad choked on an artichoke and died.  Who would have guessed that such a happy day would turn so tragic.  I will never forget the phone call that I received that night.  I have loved and lived through many men in my life but only two stand out – my dad and my great husband.  For all of my life, my dad was my very best friend and loved me no matter unconditionally.  Even though I miss him every day, I am very fortunate to have found my great husband and BFF. 

He was born January 5, 1921 to parents who had, a few years before, immigrated to the States from Denmark.  He grew up on a small farm in a community of loggers in Enumclaw, WA with three brothers.  In 1939 he joined the army and was sent to Italy.  After his return he married my mother in 1950 and I was born in December of 1953 and my brother in May of 1956.  He drove for Greyhound busline for 15 yrs.  In 1960, our family moved from Olympia, WA to Sacramento, CA.  It took him a long time to find a decent paying job and we ate a lot of peanut butter sandwiches!  He finally got with the local Teamsters and was able to buy a home.  Soon after, my younger brother was born in 1966.  In the spring of my senior year of high school, the truck that he was loading rolled away from the dock while he was on the connecting plate in a forklift.  He had 2 broken vertebrae and was unable to work for over a year while wearing a back brace.  He was very happy to get back to driving trucks again after that.  He retired in the early 80’s and he and my mom moved to Clearlake, CA where he spent as much time as could fishing on the pier or out in his boat.  Then the Alzhiemer’s set in and he had to give up the boat time because he had such a hard time remembering where his dock was.  Over the years the Alzhiemers and being diabetic got worse – he couldn’t remember he was diabetic and that caused many problems.  I do not know if he really remembered who I was.  He acted as though he did and I wanted very much to believe that he knew who I was.  The last time that I saw him was the summer before he died.  I told him that I loved him and that he was a great dad.   Even though it embarrased the hell out of him, I am very glad that I took the time to do it – never knowing that it would be the last time that I would be able to tell him.

Even though I miss him terribly, I love him enough to know that his time on this world was not quality time anymore.  I am glad that he is in a better place and I know that he will always be with me.  The father-daughter relationship I had with him makes me a better person and he will live on forever in me and in my children.

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This in the pic that he always carried of me in his wallet

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He used to sing “Swinging on A Star” to me all the time when I was a young child.  His favorite sing was Bing Crosby and it was one of his hit songs.  This song is for you, Dad –

Would you like to swing on a star
Carry moonbeams home in a jar
And be better off than you are
Or would you rather be a mule

A mule is an animal with long funny ears
Kicks up at anything he hears
His back is brawny but his brain is weak
He’s just plain stupid with a stubborn streak
And by the way, if you hate to go to school
You may grow up to be a mule

Or would you like to swing on a star
Carry moonbeams home in a jar
And be better off than you are
Or would you rather be a pig

A pig is an animal with dirt on his face
His shoes are a terrible disgrace
He has no manners when he eats his food
He’s fat and lazy and extremely rude
But if you don’t care a feather or a fig
You may grow up to be a pig

Or would you like to swing on a star
Carry moonbeams home in a jar
And be better off than you are
Or would you rather be a fish

A fish won’t do anything, but swim in a brook
He can’t write his name or read a book
To fool the people is his only thought
And though he’s slippery, he still gets caught
But then if that sort of life is what you wish
You may grow up to be a fish
A new kind of jumped-up slippery fish

And all the monkeys aren’t in the zoo
Every day you meet quite a few
So you see it’s all up to you
You can be better than you are
You could be swingin’ on a star

I have been looking forward to the Stuber Auctions starting again since last October.  They sell unpaid for storage rooms at the various storage unit locations around Flagstaff.  The items in the storage rooms vary a lot – such as, holiday decorations, jewelry, clothes, rugs, furniture, toys, collectables, pictures, books and mystery boxes.  Most things start at a dollar bidding.  Yesterday they even had a few cars for sale – one sold for $4.00.  The first time I went to one I felt strange going through some poor soul’s stuff.  But then I got caught up in the fun of it.  The people who attend these auctions are, in general, very nice people.  Yesterday I got a bike in fairly decent shape for $1.00.  I took it to a guy for repair and adjustments and it will still be cheaper than buying a new one.  Sometimes the storage room is sold as a whole item.  I got sunburned and windblown but I still had a good time.  I love the excitment of the live auction!

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Spring HAS Sprung – mostly in Southern AZ!

Sunset Point

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North of Phoenix

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Picacho Peaks  north of Tucson

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 Southeast of Tucson

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Last Saturday I drove down to Tucson to see my other daughter for the day.  We all went to the Colossal Cave Mountain Park.  You should check out their website – it is very extensive and informative – there is even a virtual tour.  We went on the basic cave tour – there are several levels of the tour.  The other two levels require you to be 18 or over and have some talent for climbing with ropes.  We had 2 under the age of 18 and 3 of us couldn’t climb with a rope!  The basic tour is great though.  The front of the caves have bat poo – aka guanoon the ceilings and it smells bad.  But we didn’t see or hear any bats.  The caves were “civilized” with steps and railing by the Civilian Conservation Corps back in the mid 1930’s.  Here are a few of the pics I took of the inside of the cave.

We enter the caves

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This is one of the many beautiful ceilings

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My beautiful daughter

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This used to be a waterfall

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 Down at the Ranch, there is sluicing, a human sundial, horseback riding and museums.

This is of the four of us horseback riding.

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Tomorrow I will post the “Spring HAS Sprung” pics that I took.

chrisryan.jpgThis is another great photography site – but not just another photographer!  Chris is my daughter’s best friend and I really like him, too!  You really need to check out his work from many views and places around the world.  I love his work on the page titled “Landscape and Wildlife”.

This is one of my favorites – Chris gave it to me as a gift and it hangs over my aquarium….. I think it is very appropriate there!  It is a Pacific Ocean wave at Santa Cruz, CA 

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I hope you get time to go a view his work and  pick out your favorite!

We had our annual Easter Egg Hunt today at home.  I thought that my oldest would think that he was too old for this tradion but he said that he wanted to do it.  It was much later in the day than usual.  I usually have the eggs hidden by 6am but this year I was tired – very tired.  We went to Tucson at 7am yesterday and did not get back to the house until midnight.  Our “river” had nearly dried up today, so I was able to use almost the entire acre to hide the eggs.  We did not use any of the horse corral.  The boys are standing where the “river” was.

So HAPPY EASTER Everyone!!  I hope that you all had a great day, hopefully with your family.

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I found a site mentioned in the AZ Daily Sun for Waterfallswest.  The photographer’s name is Leon Turnbull.  He takes pics of waterfalls mostly on the west of the states and Canada.  You should go check out his gallery.  He has taken pics of Grand Falls just east of Flagstaff that are very beautiful.  He has taken some of other places that I love in California.  A fellow blogger, Talina, went to the Grand Falls about a week ago and she said that it is a great hike to the falls and that the hike is well worth it.  Leon would like us all to Help Save the North Fork of the American River .  I grew up along the American River and it is worth saving!  So, please, check out his beautiful site!  He has info on all of the waterfalls – such as driving directions, level of difficulty to get to the waterfall, if you can take your dog with you and lots of stuff about the waterfall.  I am going to take my boys to the Grand Falls as soon as I can before the water flow decreases.  And go to his blog to see Rainbow Bridge near Folsom Lake which is near Sacramento, CA – Rainbow Bridge is one of my old high school hangout places.

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