Sunday, August 31, 2008

She will be known by the friends that she keeps



Well, three out four isn't bad, Cuz.
Today is my favorite couzin's birthday. She is just a youngster, only 59. I know this for a fact because she is just a little short of a year younger than I am. Today, we are the same age.
My first memory of Margaret is of her biting me. We were at Grandfather Totman's house in Winnetka, IL. I yowled(I'm good at that) and she got her mouth washed out with soap. Out side of that incident, I can remember going to Margaret's house in Pine Springs and then Lake Barcroft in Falls Church, VA. We use to play with her toy horses by the hours. In Winnetka, we played with the blocks and the little Disney figures in Gramp's library. It had a bay window and we liked that spot.
I have always thought Marg was one of the coolest people I have ever known. When we went to Grier School, Marg was with the rebel fun crowd. She and my roommate, Elliott and my suitemate, Peggy, were always getting into trouble. I think they only got into town once legally our freshman year. I remember spending an afternoon before she married Robert Darby reading and howling(I'm good at that too) over all her demerits and then like idiots, we threw them out.
I have fond memories of our trip across country with our mothers. That first night at Tigart Dam is ingrained in my brain for life. I still think I learned some great cuss words that night. And the wonderful trampoline in Easton, IN. Boy,was that fun!!!!!!!!! We only found one other motel with a trampoline that whole trip. And I will never hear "Harrigan" without thinking of Marg.
Probably, my favorite memories are taking pictures of her buddies: Mabel, Breeze, Punky, Rambo, Laurel, Katie, Riz, and Nani. She had other buddies but these were my favorites. The book she and I did of Nani's trip to Washington is one of the highlights of my life and one of the best things I have ever done.
Whenever I have needed her, she has been there. Thanks, Marg.......for all you have done. Thanks for being not only my couzin but one of my dearest friends.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

There Is No Place Like Home



Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz was right: There is no place like home. Elinor and I left after the shop closed on Saturday. We both wanted to get home and it was a long drive.
We got as far as Auburn where we spent the night. The next morning, we drove until we hit Rt 5 and then we plowed ahead.
Soon we began to see signs that said how far it was to Portland.
We pushed onward. I took these pictures at sunset and we were still about an hour away. We made it home at around 8pm. We watched the closing of the Olympics which was spectacular and then pooped out. Monday was a zombie day for both of us but we are back now. Even Cashew is speaking to me again. In fact, she is talking up a storm. I never realized the amount of vocabulary this cat has. Personally, I think she is cussing at me for being gone so long. I am sorry ,Cashie. I'll stay close to home for a while.......gladly.

The YOYO QUEEN


I have always said that sewing is Elinor's thing and photography is mine but while helping at the shop, I found that there was a thing I could make sewing: A yoyo.
What is a yoyo, you ask? It is a circle that you sew around and then pull it all together in the middle. It makes a little decrative dodad which is fun so that even a sewing klutz like me can make them. I made 32 of the little buggers. I had so much fun that I even offered to hold a demonstration. You never can tell.

Welcome to the Fabric Chicks Creative Oasis





After Fallon, Elinor and I drove back to Susanville to retrieve our vehicle. Susanville hadn't changed since I was there last and I was glad to leave it for what I hoped was the last time. We got back to Minden and began to put the final touches on the shop.
With the GRAND OPENING on Saturday, there was still alot to do.
Opening Day finally arrived and the shop looked great. We had about 48 excited people come and drool over the beautiful fabrics, trims and other delights. The shop also carries Elinor's patterns and she will be teaching there occasionally. Beth made over $1200 the first day and everyone was delighted. Keep up the good work, Beth. Well done.

The Bag Ladies






While we were up in Fallon, NV, Elinor taught a class at the local fabric shop. The class was making bags.
First the ladies painted designs on fabric. Then they chose other fabrics to go with the painting. It was fun to watch them go at this. At first some of them were hesitant but as they gained confidence, their paintings grew confident. The above show some of the results and one of the final bags. The cool thing about this is that NO ONE will ever have a bag like the one they created. They are completely unique and the ladies really had fun and I had fun watching them grow within themselves. Elinor is an amazing teacher. She doesn't say no.....she says try it.
See how you feel about it. What a hoot!!!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Meet The Huntsingers



Many moons ago, when Elinor and her husband, Gary lived in Hayward, CA, they met the Huntsingers...Cecil and Ralph. These two wonderful people are awesome. Ralph is 91 and Cecil is 86 or 87. They are beautiful....
kind, generous,thoughtful. The young woman in the picture with Cecil is their daughter-in-law, Rowena. These three people drove two hours from Fallon,NV to help out at the shop. Cecil sewed the shower curtain in back of her and Rowena and Rowena helped to paint the PINK SHRINE. When Elinor had to go over to Fallon to teach a class, we stayed with them. For Elinor it was as if she had just seen Cecil yesterday. Cecil loves to sew and create so she and Elinor stayed up and went thru all of Cecil's fabrics(She has tons.......Elinor actually brought home a bunch). They created a bag for Cecil which Elinor will sew for her. It was joyous. There is nothing
sweeter than an old friendship that has grown stronger with the years.

Meet The RugRats


These beautiful children are
Beth's and Rogers's. The boy is Devon who is 4 and the little girl is Gracie who is 3. Imagine trying to start up a business with two active kids running around.
But Beth is doing it. The kids have their own play area which they stick to(kind of) and everyone loves to talk to them. They are very bright and very cute and very demanding.



The handsome guy sitting in the kid's area is Linda's husband, Ron. He was great with the children and entertained them for hours.

Beth has the children in daycare three times a week but the other days are with her. It is a big challenge but she handles it well. I sure that things will improve as the shop becomes more routine.
Meanwhile, HANG IN THERE< BETHIE!!!!!!!

That's What Friends Are For



Beth is blessed with some of the nicest friends anyone could have. They were in there painting, cutting fabric, folding pieces of fabric, pricing items, setting up the quilting machine, buying food and dishes for the opening,etc

The lady talking with Elinor is Joan. She traveled over and hour to get to the shop. It was her husband who rescued me in Susanville. She was a delight. She sewed a quilt, sewed birds, and just worked like a son of a gun. The lady with the paintbrushes is Michelle. She painted the bathroom(better known as the PINK SHRINE), the big pink bookcase in the front room and anyother thing that needed painting. The handsome guy standing near the storage shelves is Roger Watts, Beth's husband. He is one cool dude. He helped anywhere he could giving his wife as much support as possible. The two ladies in the last picture look like they are just sitting around but I assure you this is the only time they did. Linda, the lady on the left was the most upbeat individual I have ever met. She figured out the cash register, cut fat quarters(don't ask me what those are...I forget), halves, and anything else that needed cutting. She supplied much of the eats for the GRAND OPENING and she also had one of the nicest husbands, Ron, who worked with Roger setting up the quilting machine. The other lady is Glenda. When I first met her she was working at Joanne's Fabrics in Carson City. More then anything, she wants to teachso she will be a guest teacher at Beth's. She is sooooo excited that she just bubbled all over. Good friends all. Well done, ladies.

On To Nevada........maybe


Elinor and I left the reunion early on Wednesday. We had a eight hour drive but we excited. I had picked up some stuff from the Safeway to we could eat on the road. What I didn't pick up were some sun glasses. Boy did I need them. We were heading east and the sun was bright. This meant that I had to take the curves really slow.


Luckily, there wasn't alot of traffic on the road we took. At our first stop, I picked up some glasses and that helped. We were doing well until we arrived in the little town of Adin, CA. We made a bathroom stop and we were looking for a gas station, When we got back to the van and tried to start it, we found we had a gas leak. Elinor made a call to AAA and we got a tow. It was decided that the nearest place to go was Susanville, CA. There was a Dodge dealer there and they could order the part we needed.
We arrived after one of the wildest towing I have ever been on. Lawrence, our towtruck driver was a nice guy with the "reddest neck" I have ever been around. We got there but the Dodge place was closed. Elinor called her partner, Beth Watts(see above), and she would drive to pick us up.
I told Elinor that the best plan was for Beth to take Ellie back to Reno because she had a class to teach. I would stay in Susanville and wait for the van to get fixed. There was a Motel 9 just a block away and I could walk there. Beth arrived three hours later and we loaded her truck. I asked if we could get some dinner since there were no restaurants near the motel. Then I bid farewell to Beth and Ellie.
After two days, the van still wasn't fixed. Elinor did not like me being so far away with no transportation so she and one of her students worked it out to get me to Reno. Her student's
husband was passing thru Susanville on his way home so he picked me up and rescued me.
We finally were reunited and returned to Beth's house in Minden which is 1 hr south of Reno.
The next day we began to work at getting Beth's shop ready for the GRAND OPENING on Saturday. There was a lot to do.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Final Shots





So here are some final shots. I never did take one of all of us. Should have but what the hey. Lyndi, Mo, and Evie had a lot of fun together and I am delighted. I remember having alot of special times with my cousin, Marg.
Aunt Cindy wanted a picture with her nieces and then one with Elinor, Ross and I(please note, Thomas snuck in too.)
This was a love time for me. My 60th birthday was celebrated at the last campfire and everyone told me of some special time they remember having with me. I was in tears. It is nice to know you have made a difference in someone's life.

Mother and Daughter



The Colemans are a close family. Evie and Joe have done a great job raising their girls. The are not only beautiful outside but beautiful inside. The eldest is Ellie and she will be moving down to Portland soon(YEA!!!!!!!!) She is a delightful person and lots of fun. She is terrific with her cousins, the Fox boys, especially Sam. The middle girl is Isabel. Izzi will be going to BYU this fall. In fact she is one her way there as I write.
She is bright and vivacious. She said she didn't have any pictures of just she and her mom so IZ,
this is for you.
The last one is Maggie. She is the athletic one. Check out my previous blogs to see her in action.
I love my great nieces and I say well done, Evie and Joe.

Family



Family is fun. And I have a great family. Here are just some of them. Ross was enjoying a sandwich while Christian checked out some chips. Thomas sitting in one of the few times his swim suit was dry. This boy is a fish. He loves the water.
Maggie enjoyed a carrot while Evie just enjoyed Sam.
It was such fun to be with these people.

Time With Lyndi




One of the nicest parts of this reunion was spending time with my Texas Niece, Lyndi. I have always had a special place in my heart for this lady because she is named partly for me and she gave me my nickname. I visited Ross when he lived in Hawaii. Lyndi was two at the time and
really cute. She did the cutest animal imitations I have ever heard. Her lizard was priceless. She would stick her tongue out and bring back into her mouth quickly and say "buggee". It still cracks me up.
Lyndi is a fine photographer in her own right: see http://lyndisstuff.blogspot.com. We both wanted to have some time together and I had seen a covered bridge so off we went. The bridge is Short Bridge and it was just a little ways away from the campsite. We enjoyed taking pictures
but then I realized that I was not going to have enough space on my compact flash card to take more pictures so we decided to go into town and get a new card. Unfortunately we had to go further because Sweet Home did not have any compact flash cards. The next town was 13 miles away so we drove there and they had a Wal Mart.
We had some great conversations on the way. Lyndi has had more than her share of troubles but she is a fighter and she has tremendous courage. She is going to college to become a drug counselor and she will be very good at it. She is a good listener and she has had many experiences herself. I like the woman she has become and I am honored to be her Aunty Muff.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sitting Around




There are those who enjoy sitting around(like me) and there are those who have to do(like MO). Maureen was sweeping out her tent. I think she carries a brush with her everywhere.
Those of us who enjoy sitting around decided to have a little sing along. Christian had brought his guitar and we sang all sorts of song. Aunt Cindy was particularly good at this. She and I knew lots of the songs and it was one of the best memories I will take from this reunion.

Good Talks and Sharing





One of the nicest things about reunions is spending little bits of time with those you don't see often. This was especially true for Lyndi. She really enjoyed being with her cousins and her cousins liked getting to know her as well. It was also a chance for the kids to spend time with those they don't see as often. Izzi enjoyed a good talk with her Grandma. Maggie got a kick out of braiding Mo's hair and it looked great too. Lyndi shared some time with Ellie before she had to head back to Seattle. She also enjoyed talking with Joe and her Aunt Elinor. I had good talks too.