Sunday, May 29, 2011

We will miss you Taiko. 5.28.2011 (She was 12 years old)

Our smart, sweet, devoted and loving friend left us suddenly today. Fine one minute and gone the next. She had a stroke from what they can tell.

My heart and soul are stunned. How can something that ripped drywall of the walls, flooring of the floor and peed on every piece of carpet for the first two years of her life ingrain herself into my life so much that this sudden loss has me up at 4:00AM writing this tribute to her?

Just today she was laying between Joe and I as we sat on the couch, asleep but all four legs twitching in what I'm sure was hot dream state pursuit of her favorite squirrel. We had made a game of it. She was suppose to keep the squirrel from eating the bird seed we put out.

There are nose prints on every window at her level, dog hair on every surface, there wasn't a blanket or pillow in the house that wasn't hers. She'd run out the front door at lightening speed for a momentary sense of wild freedom, get excited to go for a ride in the car but shake and pant the entire time she was in the car, and she hated thunder, lightening and the flash of my camera. I couldn't even turn the camera on without her knowing it!

She knew how to do all the tricks and would perform any one of them in order to get a snack. She had our grand daughter well trained in that department.

She loved to share my spot on the couch and my side of the bed. If I wasn't in them, she was. But, she knew to move at the appropriate time without a word from me. In the mornings I would make the bed and pull her blanket up over my pillow so she wouldn't get her hair on it. I'd tuck it down and she would lay on her blanket so I could cover her up with part of it. But, no sooner would I step in to the shower she would dig up the entire set up and snuggle her way between the blankets and my pillow. This was a daily occurrence. I wish I caught it on film.

She had Joe and I more wrapped around her paw than we ever knew until today.

We will miss and always love you sweet Taiko.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Special Celebrations II

More pictures from Easter and the Tea.

Special Celebrations

Our mom brought to my attention that nothing had been posted on the family blog since October. She was right! It seems that occasions are the only time I stop to think about writing something. I guess it's because they inspire me, make me happy, or sad, to the point that I feel I need to express myself and/or share with those that like to follow the blog.

I did start my own blog as well so now you have the family side and the crafty side of me to follow:

Needless to say that there have been many occasions between my last posting and today but for some reason today and tomorrow have inspired me to blog.

Today we had a Mothers Day Tea Party at a little tea house in Eaton, CO. Victoria's Tiny Tea House. Sounds cute doesn't it? It is! Actually it's beautiful and very well run by some very nice ladies. They did a full on high tea for six women and two little princesses. The event was put together by my daughter and we had a great time drinking teas, nibbling on scones and finger sandwiches. Sounds delightful doesn't it? It was! The little girls got to play dress up and some of the big girls participated as well. Amber created the cutest Facinator that she wore to match her dress. Good job honey!

We celebrated today instead of on Mothers Day because the day was reserved to remember our Uncle Wingie who left us a couple of months ago...just 5 days shy of his 100th birthday.

We will celebrate him by bringing him together in the family plot with his bride and their son. What a special day it will be not just to remember them but to have another occasion to spend with family.

Pictures are from Easter and from the Tea. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Jennifer!

I love it when we get together to celebrate! Even if it's just for a few hours to honor one or two of us who are celebrating another year of health, happiness and love.

Yesterday we celebrated Jennifer's 40th birthday (which was actually the 6th of October) and lots of smiles, laughs, hugs and happiness were had by all!

You may be 40 but you will always be the little sister I remember sitting on the beach with you in Florida feeding the seagulls flying above our heads. I'll have to find that photo!

I love you and wish you many more Happy Birthdays to come!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Birds Eye View

Joe officially caught the crafting bug! I'm sure he'd prefer that we say that he officially broke out his woodworking skills.

For a long time now he has wanted to have a marten house in the back yard. Those are birds...he tells me.
I don't think that what he ended up with was what he originally had in mind.
But, with a little help from me, Amber and Claire, he ended up with a totem of birdhouses that a marten or any other adventurous winged creature would be proud to inhabit.

Monday, July 19, 2010

"The Real World"

Believe it or not one of my favorite things about kids are the things that come out of their mouths.

No! Really! I's not always what you (or the guy standing in line with you at the grocery store) may want to hear but it usually makes a great story, right?

I call them Kidism's.

For Brandon, my oldest my two favorites were Pokaneo (spelled for phonetics) instead of Pinnoccio (forgive my spelling), and Sprinkner, sprinkner to describe a sprinkler in the park.

For Amber is was velagator instead of elevator. And, washin' de windows while scrubbing the tiles in the bathtub.


Or, call them by the name of the child that speaks them which in this case would be a Claireism.

Claire loves to eat out. I think she thinks it's just a normal part of life. No blame on her parents. It's just fast and easier sometimes.

She really enjoys pasta and/or noodles of almost any kind but really likes Chinese. So, it would be a no brainer that when her mom found PF Changs in a bag (the food, not the store...duh) that it would be fast and home.

So, she asked Claire if she would like some noodles and she said yes. So, her mom pulled out the frozen bag of PF Changs simulated food and Claire indicated that she didn't want that...she wanted the Real World. Huh? We blew it off and didn't think much more about it.

Amber "cooked" and plated the food and put it down in front of her daughter who promptly pitched a fit an re announced in a very pissy tone "I want the Real World, not this"!

We asked her what she meant. She wanted Chinese food from "out there"pointing her chubby little, 4 year old index finger to outside. Restaurant food! That's what she considered the "Real World".

We burst out laughing once we realized what she was talking about! Man does she have a rude awakening coming to her in a few years!

Oh, and by the way.....she ate the food her mom prepared. She really liked it. Go figure.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Generosity of Love and Spirit

Joe, Amber and I just spent a wonderful three day weekend in Grand Lake, Colorado. If you've never been there you should go. I can't believe it's been so long (almost 6 years) since we were last there. I'd forgotten how special of a place it can be and this trip didn't fail to remind me of that.

The day actually started off with a trip to Johnson's Corner for breakfast. Yum! We had just received our breakfast when a large contingency of motorcycles pulled up into the parking lot. Not just any motorcycles mind you (that wouldn't warrant a notation in the blog), but a group of women who I'm sure put black leather, pink and bling on the map! They were so impressive that not one consumer in the place was focused on their food.

They were the "Women Who Ride". A group of extraordinary women who ride for breast cancer ( When we met them they told Amber that they had raised $24,000 for Breast Cancer. You go girls! I'm in awe of all of you. Keep you eyes posted. They took a photo with Amber (showing her tattoo). We hope to see it on their blog!

The drive was beautiful and uneventful. No traffic, no accidents, no bad weather. Just a slight hold up on Trail Ridge where they are ripping up the road! Yikes! Plan on adding some time to your trip if you take Trail Ridge this summer.

We arrived at our hotel just at the end of the Main St. Grand Lake and unpacked for the night. Nice little log cabin type hotel. Nothing fancy. Just a place to crash. Then we went into town.

Pretty quiet since it was a Friday afternoon. We hit a few stores and then found a place to have dinner and a cocktail and to relax a bit from the drive. Nice dinner...very good food. Now on to more shopping!

We came across an amazing little had shoes in it! OK...not just shoes but shoes, bags, blankets, rugs, and jewelry. The shoes had handwoven stitching and leather on them. They were beautiful. The store manager, Omer, was pleasant and tried very hard to sell. Amber and I are easy targets for shoes but we were not quite ready to buy. But, the story doesn't end there. Stay tuned.

Just outside of Omer's store was an amazing set up of hand made garden statuary's, flowers, garden arches, parts of old fences, wooden boxes...well, look at the photo. You'll see. But we didn't know where it all came from. The store behind it was an interior designs store. Lovely stuff but not our style. So we moved on.

We cruised the rest of the small main avenue and saw one of the decorative garden stakes that we had seen in the garden display earlier. Now I was on a mission. I had to find out where those items came from. So we went back to where we started and Omer told us to go to the back of the interior design store and that's where we would find them. Bingo! There they were. Rabbits, pelicans, cowboys, lighthouses, butterflies, goats, chickens, roosters! All kinds of wonderful, whimsical outside decorative items! I was in heaven! OK...I was only in the "backyard" of the store but it was filled with so much fun!

We picked up a couple of items, a rooster and a rabbit. They are made out of old car parts and full of color. We couldn't resist. Now to plan a place to put them. Mental plan in the works.

While Joe and I were outside of the store Amber was inside chatting with the store manager. They became fast friends and Amber ended up telling her a little bit about herself and her situation. This is where the Spirit of Love and Generosity part of the story begins.

Amber's new friend, Marjorie, had an instant bond with Amber. She wanted to know more about her and invited her to spend a weekend back in Grand Lake at her Bed and Breakfast and for Amber to attend one of her workshops....for free. Marjorie is not only a talented interior designer but creates beautiful paintings as well. This put Amber on the moon. That someone she had just met would make such a generous offer. But, it continues on.

Marjorie took Amber next door to Omer's store and purchased for her a beautiful pashmina scarf and wrapped her in it. She also gave her a book called Heaven which was so appropriate. Marjorie was an angel sent to Grand Lake to be there to spoil Amber and that is what she did. Amber was so overwhelmed and surprised. None of us could believe the spirit and generosity of this women. We visited for awhile longer and went on our way. Amber (and Joe and I) were a little stunned by the moments we had just experienced.

We strolled a little further down the row of shops and decided we were a little tired and drained from the experience so we headed back to our hotel.

As we did, Omer stepped out of his store and asked us to step in. He asked Amber which pair of shoes sh had been looking at in his store. She pointed them out, he took them off the shelf and asked him to come with her to the register. He rang them in, wrote them up and gave them to her.....for free. OK...almost for free. That was his intentions but Amber wouldn't let him. She said she couldn't let him just give them to her. She asked how much, he said zero. She insisted, he responded. $10. That's all he would let her pay. This was a 90% savings for Amber and a 100% emotional boost. She was now over the moon and could not believe what had happened to her in downtown Grand Lake. Neither could we.

The rest of the weekend somewhat paled in comparison to our first few hours there but we still had an incredible time.

We moved locations to just outside of town to a place called Winding River Resort. Not as glammy as the name sounds but it's where we would spend the morning running ATV's up and down the mountain. It's a nice place for riding horses, renting ATVs, chuck wagon meals, and ice cream socials. We were to tired to participate after the morning of ATVs and going back into town so we stopped at the store, picked up some items to make dinner and crashed for the evening.

Sunday was a nice drive down the mountain to pick up Claire from her Grandparents and Taiko from my moms. It was nice to be home. The house is quiet, comfortable and...well, home. Aaaaahhhh.