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Saturday, May 30, 2015

May Musings -- 2015

May 29 -- "In this place..."

When I turned 21, my late Auntie Annie (my mom's twin sister) took me on a road trip to Reno.  She said that she wanted to be the first one to take me gambling.  While it wasn't a Thelma and Louise trip exactly, we did have our fun moments!  Like the gas station attendant (yes, they still pumped your gas for you in those days) who went absolutely crazy about my aunt's name!  As he handed her her credit card he said, "Antoinette!  What a beautiful name.  I've never heard that before!  Antoinette!"  We had a good laugh about that for years!

About halfway up the highway, just outside of Auburn, California, she introduced me to one of her favorite stops, Lou LaBonte's.

Auntie Annie was a waitress her late husband, Uncle Johnny, had been a bartender so they were quite familiar with many great places and this one was no exception.  It was established in 1946 and had a rich history.  It's owner was a musical arranger from Hollywood and the walls had pictures of some of the famous people who had been there.  It was a great experience for me and one I remembered quite fondly.

So much so that from then on, every time I went to Lake Tahoe or Reno, a stop at Lou's was always made, both going up and coming back.  We even stopped with the children a few times, especially when our eldest moved to Reno for a few years.  We were almost regulars!

Given that I was 21 when I was introduced to Lou LaBonte's and that I just turned 60 in March, that's almost 40 years!  During that time it did not change much and was a very welcome site on the four hour trip to Reno.  Since we usually started on our road trips in the morning, by the time we hit Lou's it was brunch time.  They made the best Ramos Fizzes!  When we hit that spot, we knew the fun was about to start!  

You can imagine, therefore, on our last trip a few months ago, we were quite distressed to see this:

Our eyes went wide in disbelief.  How could they close this wonderful, historic restaurant?  Without asking us?  Without sending us a notice to visit it one last time?  What were we going to do?  Where could I get my fizz?  The only other places close by were fast food type or Denny's.

I find it quite ironic that the new place will be named "Awful Annie's!"  Wonder if MY Auntie Annie is having a laugh.  Pretty sure they won't be serving fizzes, though.  We'll have to do some research to find another place to stop on our trips.  Any suggestions?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

May Musings - 2015

May 20 -- It was 31 years ago today...

A love story.  He is my second husband.  I am his third wife.  It was Christmas 1980 and I was dating his brother when we met.  Bill tells me that he knew the minute he shook my hand and looked into my eyes that I was the one.  He says he had to get out of the house fast because he didn't want everyone to see how he was feeling.  I knew that he left in a hurry, I didn't know why.

Two years later the on again, off again relationship I had with his brother was over for good.  Bill came over to my house to pick up some things his brother had left there and we started talking...and talking...and we watched TV and he spent his last $8 on ribs from Rib Shack...we watched a movie and then...he stayed the night.

Bill told me he had a two year for two years, get married and then in two years, start a family.  We followed that plan and then added to it by having 3 children over the course of 10 years.  

They say opposites attract.  We are certainly that.  We come from extremely different backgrounds.  I was raised by my mom and dad with three sisters in an Italian Catholic household.  We lived in one town the whole time I was growing up.  Bill's father was in the service and they moved around a lot, going to Germany and the Philippines and then back to the states.  His parents split up when he was young.

2009 - 25 year anniversary

On our 25th anniversary we returned to Zephyr Cove, just the two of us.  We certainly don't look the same on the outside.  Interestingly, Zephyr Cove didn't look quite the same either.  Still beautiful though.

Our rings (or at least MY rings) went through some changes as well! Thankfully they were able to straighten and tighten and put them back together almost as good as new.  I told Bill they cost so much to fix we have to stay together for at least another 31 years so it is not a waste of money.

How have we managed for so many years to stay together?  It is not always bliss.  We've been through some pretty tough times.  I think it is a combination of things, but mostly I believe it is because we communicate.  Before we were married we talked about our expectations and we made plans together.  We continue to communicate, even if sometimes the things we need to talk about are hard.  We also respect each other.  We realize that we each have our own strengths and weaknesses and are there for each other.  Honesty is another main ingredient important in keeping a good, lasting relationship.

So that's my love story.  Not the high school sweetheart variety but a love story nonetheless.    

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

May Musings - 2015

May 18th -- The prompt..."Worlds within worlds..."

This one definitely stumped me for a bit.  I was looking at other people's interpretations and saw some pretty interesting stuff; like a caterpillar who will turn into a butterfly and some very beautiful flowers.  I can see how that could be a world within a world but somehow that was just not what I was feeling.

Then it hit me:

Elton John and Billy Joel



This is certainly a world within worlds.  First there are the elaborate stage productions (Elton John and Billy Joel in their "Face to Face" tour and Cher had some of the more spectacular ones).  With Cher, it was almost like being in several different worlds at once because she changed the set practically with every song!

Then there is the crowd of people all sharing in the emotion of the music.  Most of them are strangers and we've met some pretty nice people at the shows we've seen.  During that "special song," the sea of lights is amazing.
This was at Shoreline in Mountain View.

Eddie Van Halen

Christine McVie

I love trying to capture the special effects they use on the big screen.  It can definitely look "other worldly" at times.

From the set of Steve Winwood



It definitely takes me to another place for a while.

What about you?  What does "worlds within worlds" bring to your mind?

Sunday, May 17, 2015

May Musings - 2015

May 16 - The prompt from our extended April Love group this time was "Reflections..."

This is a picture of the full moon I took in December 2013.  At first I was disappointed that the moon did not come out as a sharper image but then when I looked at it, I realized how cool it actually looked.

I also have the Supremes song "Reflections" stuck in my head today.  Not the whole song, because I definitely still have the love of my life in my life, but rather the first few lines..."Through the mirror of my mind, time after time, I see reflections of you and me.  Reflections of the way life used to be..."

Maybe it's because I have been on this self-seeking journey to get some of the qualities I had when I was younger back in my life.  The fun.  The adventure.  The spontaneity.  The creative spirit.

Maybe it's because the hubs and I are about to celebrate our 31st anniversary and we definitely have been through some changes since our beginning.  Right now we are going through a particularly rough time with him suffering greatly from what may turn out to be a herniated disc in his back.  We are waiting for an MRI to be authorized and it seems like this is the worst episode we've had.  I say "we" because even though he is the one going through the actual pain, it definitely affects the whole family.

The foundation we built in those early days is what keeps us together even when we are going through some challenging times.  I know we are strong enough to last through them, wheelchairs and all.

Those are my "reflections."  How about you?

Monday, May 11, 2015

May Musings - 2015

May 11 -- April Love extended group prompt..."On my plate..."

One might think of food for this prompt but "on my plate" at the moment is:

Dealing with hubby and the recent exacerbation of his sciatica, requiring two ER visits, medication, picking out a cane, calling for doctor's appointments, dealing with Workers' Comp insurance company, etc., and all the things that go along with taking care of someone who can't really walk well. 


My work, transcription.  These are just the physical charts, there is more that is sent via email.  It is good that I have work to do.  Sometimes there is not very much and that scares me because that is our main source of income. I am grateful for lots of work.  


I am also working on a new mini-album for Father's Day to sell on my Etsy site.  I have lots of things for Mother's Day and not much for dads.  I love doing crafting and this is definitely a stress release for me.  However, dear daughter is coming home from college for the summer TOMORROW and wants her room back so I need to finish this book and organize my scrapbooking station to give her some space!


Even though it's not the best thing, what's on my plate (paper napkin) is peanut butter toast at noon because I waited too long to cook something for myself for breakfast and I am starving.  I will eat this while I work.  

Pretty full plate, don't you think?  I know hubby will eventually get better and our son helps a lot but some days it just seems like the pile of stuff to do never gets any shorter.  Ever have periods like that?  Share!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

May Musings - 2015

May 6, 2015 -- Random question #2... If you could live at any period of time except the present, when would it be?

I would pick the 1850's out here in the West.  I would not be one of the prairie moms though and not a farmer's wife.  Digging in the dirt and growing crops or tending the animals, milking a cow are not my thing.  No.  I would definitely be a saloon girl:

Whenever we do "dress up" photos, I always pick the saloon girl costume.  I think it would be a much more exciting life than living on a farm.  I love the dresses, flouncy skirts and layers.

This was a costume I made for myself when we had a western-themed party in our backyard.  

I love the guys in the cowboy hats, think Anson Mount in Hell on Wheels, Sam Elliott in Tombstone and of course Robert Redford in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid.  

Of course, I know what you're thinking, saloon girls are sometimes considered to be "loose."  Not me.  I'd be a classy saloon girl, probably the owner of the bar!  What do you think?  Does it suit me?  

What about you?  What's your time period?  

Friday, May 8, 2015

May Musings - 2015

May 8 -- The prompt from our little group of extended April Love was "play."  I have been looking to add more fun and play in my life lately.  It's one of the reasons I joined the April Love group in the first place.

I was taking a walk around our block a couple years ago and found this art work on the sidewalk:

I reminded me of when I was little and used to draw hopscotches in front of our house.  I'd play for hours with the kids in the neighborhood.  We also used to ride on these:

These horses were in front of a local children's clothing store and, although the store has changed hands, the horses remain.  I even let my kids ride on them!

Nowadays, my toys are a little different:

This is a grab bag stash of scrapbooking supplies I got.  I love ordering the "Mystery Box" that some companies put together of their overstock.  Never know what you'll get!

This is where I go to play with my toys now!  Spending all day with my friends scrapbooking is a great play date!  

What about you?  What does play make you think of?

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

May Musings - 2015

May 5 -- Picking a card at random from a set of conversation starters that I got with an order of Omaha Steaks (which I am not overwhelmed by actually).  The question is, "If you could have the ability to read everyone's mind, would you want it?"

This made me think of the Mel Gibson movie, "What Women Want," where he gets the ability to read women's minds.  Not everyone, just women.  As Mr. Gibson showed, there are definitely two ways to use such power.  The first is not so noble, taking advantage of people and using the knowledge you gain for your own purposes.  But, he did also listen to a very unhappy woman and we are led to believe that he saved her from committing suicide or harming herself in some way.

Being a wife for 30-plus years and a mom for 28, I am pretty sure that while I don't know every single thought my family has, most of the time I can make a reasonable guess.  Sometimes I even finish their sentences.

I don't think I would like the ability to read everyone's mind, though.  I think it would take some of the fun and spontaneity out of life.  Sure, if I was in the right place at the right time it would be nice to be able to prevent bad things from happening, but if I was in a crowded room and could hear everyone's thoughts in addition to what they were saying out loud, I'd go crazy.

By the same token, I am not sure I'd want people to be able to read my mind always either.  Some things are better left unsaid (or unheard).

What about you?  Would you like the ability to read everyone's mind?  Since I can't read your mind, leave me a comment!

Monday, May 4, 2015

May Musings - 2015

May 4th -- Our first prompt in the extended April Love group is "Poetic."  While I, myself, have never been very poetic, I love the poetry in music of Stevie Nicks.  In doing an art journaling project I was asked to pick an imaginary mentor and I chose her.  

Two of her songs particularly held meaning for me.  "Dreams" came out when I was going through a divorce.  I would sing the lines:

"Listen carefully to the sound of your loneliness,
Like a heartbeat...drives you mad
In the stillness of remembering
What you had and what you lost," 

quite loudly, hoping "he" would hear them. 

Page from the art journal I did

But then came my "True Love" and the song "Leather and Lace" fits us so perfectly.

"I have my own life and I am stronger than you know.
But I carry this feeling, when you walked in my house, 
that you won't be walking out the door."

After the divorce, I was determined not to fall apart.  I wanted to prove to myself, and everyone else that I could make it on my own.  And yet, I was ready for another relationship and he was/is such a special guy.


"Sometimes I'm a strong man
Sometimes cold and scared 
And sometimes I cry,
But that time I saw you
I knew with you to light my nights
Somehow I'd get by."

My hubby tells me all the time how he knew the minute he saw me and shook my hand that I was the one for him.  

Another page from the journal

And we are really very different but seem to manage to meld our personalities:

"Give to me your leather, take from me my lace."

Poetic, definitely.  Thanks, Stevie!

How about you?  What's poetic mean for you?

Sunday, May 3, 2015

May Musings - 2015

Sunday May 3 --

Tonight is the full moon.  It is called the Full Flower Moon.  A few years ago I did a dreamboard for the full moon that talked about what I felt like when I was in "full bloom."  It included things like being relaxed, fun-loving, happy, creative, comfortable in my surroundings, peaceful and organized.

I have been making changes in the things I do to try and get closer to that goal of being in full bloom.  Some things are difficult.  Some things are out of my control.  I think that with this full moon I need to remind myself that not everything can happen overnight and that we need to let the universe know of our wishes several times, not just once.  Also, I need to remind myself that it is a journey that I am on and that I should enjoy the journey, not just focus on the destination.  

Here is my dreamboard for this full moon: 

I will send this dreamboard out to the universe tonight and hopefully she will listen.  I know she has in the past and I am ready to do my part to make things happen.

What about you?  What are your wishes for this full moon?  

Friday, May 1, 2015

What did I learn from April Love?

April Love is over.  I was a little sad this morning when I woke up knowing that there was not going to be a message in my inbox from Susannah Conway.  No prompt to get me thinking, taking pictures, looking for that perfect answer to the puzzle that was April Love.

So then I said to myself, "You've just spent a month listening to a tribe of amazing people, sharing stories and words of wisdom.  What have you learned?" Here is what I have taken away from April Love:

I learned that even though she doesn't look the same, this girl...

is still inside this girl...

I've learned that it is okay for me to play once in a while, to stop and smell the roses if you will, instead of always being the one on guard, watchful, organizing, handling.

I've learned that I can say, "I'm not going to get in the middle of this, find a way to work it out yourselves," or, "I would rather...,"  "I don't like...,"  "This is how I feel..."

I've learned that even when I have a bad day, there is someone out there having a worse day, and that if I can find just one reason to smile and pass it along, it might make that other person feel a little bit better, not so hopeless, and they will smile and pass it along to the next person.  

I've learned that it is important for me to continue to grow, learn, share, experience new things and take care of myself because if I am not happy with me, how can I expect anyone else to be happy with me and how can I be happy with anyone else?  

Sounds like it's all about me, right?  Well, the theme was "self-love and self-care."  Guess I did pay attention!  How about you?  Did you learn anything on this month long journey?