Thursday, December 31, 2015


...2015 has come to an end!

What a year it has been! 

I am so sorry I didn't get to blog about the last season of it. Fall was just that, a FALL from, Once Upon a Time! I really would have wanted to FALL anywhere but where we did. I seem to fall a lot, it seems to go along with the journey. Plus I would have never started this blog if I hadn't been falling. 

In between the tough times there were some great memories made. A family reunion in September was a blessing with so many cousins getting together and sharing some wonderful time together.

Our annual Boo Bash was canceled due to matters out of our control. Not only did our son who has bone cancer had to have his hip replaced at 34, but schedules just weren't working out this year. 

NASCAR was a blast. It rained giving us the first ever night race in November at Phoenix. What an experience!

Thanksgiving was quiet, with both feast tasting yummy! My daughter had dinner at her house this year and did an awesome job. Earlier in the month we got to spend time with the Mesa Grand's. It was hard to be Thankful, but how could we not? What kind of example would we be setting? 

Christmas time was different this year, yet festive while adding a few new traditions. I ordered in my tree this year and was pleasantly surprised. So much so we plan to do it again next year. Another was creating and being a part of our local Christmas Lights Parade. Since it began I have always wanted to do it and this was the year! We had so much fun we already have plans for next year.

We made it through the holidays without much fuss. I wasn't in the mood to create a Christmas Village as I have in years past but it was wonderful. We missed the 3 Grands who moved to Florida this summer, but with iPhones and Facetime we were able to fill in the blanks. 

Which brings us to the end of a year, and like most people I try to make new year resolutions. 
This time I am a bit lost.
The year did not present what we had thought it would.
Deaths change lives.
Courts change lives.
Moves change lives. 
2015 Resolutions were either lost or just fizzled away! 
Trying to make new ones for 2016 is difficult. 
So much is UP in the air!
Though 2014 brought some interesting opportunities for our life, 2015 marked our 40 years together. It was sure to be the year we could see them through. After all they've happened before, like in 1993-1994 when we trusted them and it brought us to Yuma, AZ. Then in 2003-2004 we were presented with another opportunity, and though it didn't go in the direction we thought it could be going, it reminded us of what we had and what was so important and what was still ahead.
So, when 2015 was just around the corner, I thought it was time to take another plunge and go after what I believe will be a big part of our next 25 years. 
Little did I know...
How many "T's" needed to be crossed, or even how many more "I's" there were that needed dotted. I still haven't gotten them all done and here I am, with the new year just hours away going over the next years resolutions. While I am banging the palm of my hand to my forehead for not getting them all done, I can however look back at what I did accomplish and got through this last year, all of which is allowing me to be right where I am.
Little did I know...

Sorrow would not only end our year, 
it also began the new year!

Losing Aggie was like losing the last link to my MIL.
Grief is a journey all it's own.

Little did I know...

There was more grief to come!

Uncle Bill!
No words are left.
Many were shared that day.
The journey to and from brought blessings.
Again, from the depth of my heart, there is a void...

Little did I know...

There was some change ahead!
Some was needed.
Some was unexpected. 
It was the unexpected that threw us for a loop!. 

Growth is LIFE, and a Journey is a Lifetime.

A journey can't become a journey until you take that very first step onto it.

(Along our journey this summer, I took many pictures of the roads we were on. They have become backdrops to many of my projects.)

Little did I know...
How many steps were needed 
to prepare for such a journey?

Our move 21 years ago only took 3 months to put together.

This time we have been working on it for over a year. 
This time we are not moving anywhere nor as fast.
This time we are adding, not deducting.
This time, like last time, God is in charge!
This time it won't be just one BIG step, but many different size and shaped steps as we continue...

 Our Journey Through LIFE!

As we wait to ring in the new year, my new year resolution is...

Que sera, sera,
Whatever will be, will be,
The future's not ours to see,
Que sera, sera,
What will be, will be.

Happy New Year!

Oh, and from now on you won't have to wait till I get around to posting to my blog. I am launching a Facebook page and attaching it to my blog. 
Please bear with me as I am new to this and afterall, I am and will probably always be "a work in progress". 

So much to learn on this journey!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

The EYE'S Have It!

She's keeping an eye on the kids!

He's keeping an eye on me!

And Riley, our daughter's newest addition, is keeping an eye on everything else!

Multiple grandma days before school starts made up for all the ones missed over the summer.
School starting brings back schedules, established routines, and "Grandma Wednesdays"!

Having some awesome days on "Our Journey Through LIFE!"

Friday, July 17, 2015

When You Come To A Fork In The Road...or Is It A "Y"?


While to some, a "Y" is just a "Y", to us since it is also the first letter of our last name, it's the
We have been so fortunate to explore so many places.
From early on in our relationship, "Y's"  just kept showing up...

From driftwood from the pacific coast, coral from the Caymans,
or a piece of sandstone from the Grand Canyon, "Y's" have become a thing around here.
Even a skeleton of a tree in the desert 
along our path during a day trip of exploring, resembles a "Y".
Is it a coincidence that the WISHBONE of a Thanksgiving turkey resembles a "Y",
How often have these hands or the hands of my children grabbed each end, and in a snap, one wish would come true. A wish only they and God knew.
Theirs could have been for something they had been wanting, to a place they dreamed of going.
I'm sure mine was always for the health and happiness of my family.
As our family began developing into who we all are today I had a wish. 
A wish to create an entry wall that represented us as a family.
After all the remodeling had come to an end, creating new and creative wall d├ęcor for all the new spaces was a challenge. Unpacking all the things that had been packed away for what seemed like ages that held so many memories, needed to find their new home also.
Finding those PERFECT LETTERS, to create a wall collage of WISHES, became a goal. Finally this year, my daughter gifted me a "Y" for Mother's Day that completed the 6 year mission.
Adding the final "Y" to the wall...upper right corner, worked PERFECTly.
5 different "Y's" representing a family that has grown through so much into who they are today.
Wishes that we all continue to have a bit of country crafty in us.
Wishes that our artistic talents that God gave us continue to grow.
Wishes of relaxing and enjoying in all the nature God created.
The classic brass font is for the continued wishes of strength for our family,
The wishes for a happy blended family comes with a modern font.
 Call me old fashion, but an entry wall should be welcoming and capture the family within.
This pretty much covers that!
It can also represent that "Y" in the road...that for us has always been better then a FORK.
A FORK has 3 or 4 prongs that can represent to many different direction in which to go.

We see it as two options.

Right or left?
The right way or the wrong way?
 Fortunately for us, which ever direction we went;
We always seemed to end up right where we needed to be.
We always saw things we wouldn't have seen had we gone the other way.
We surely wouldn't have met the people we got to meet.
We wouldn't have had the conversations we enjoyed.
We surely wouldn't have driven through the City of FORKS!
Oh the WINE glass, or WHINE glass?
Is the WINE/WHINE GLASS half empty or half full?
Along our journey there might have been some exchange of feelings.
Ok, maybe a lot!
Some good, some not.
Exchanges of something or anything is kind a necessary. Try navigating an uncharted route without some kind of words having to be said.
I'm good at the silent prayers, he's good at letting time pass.
But we both, at that one split second, can both gasp in awe at what was around the next bend, the next sharp turn, or up over that high mountain we just climbed.
 God's gift was always of a beautiful view!
It filled my glass each and every time!
Someday we just might end up back on that part of this journey
and have the option to check out that other route.
I'm sure there are things along it's path that could also bring out the fight in us
and at the same time inspire us.

Why is this happening?
Why doesn't this road go through?
Why did it take us so long?
Why didn't we see that?
Why didn't we stop?
Our Journey Through LIFE continues to surprise us with questions all the time.
Some we know the answers too.
Some leave us bewildered and what do we do next.
Some we are prepared for.
Some we never saw them coming.
Through it all we always seem to manage to answer them all.
Each "Y" is making the golden years, simply "GRAND"!
Our Journey Through LIFE! isn't just about the destination!

The journey is worth it!


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Another Sentimental Journey...

On June 22nd, we began a journey.

A journey that was replacing one we had planned and couldn't go on.

A journey so unexpected, yet so needed.

A journey we had 3 weeks to put together.

A journey that will take us on some paths of the parents,
along with some they had wanted to take and never got to.
Some are roads we have wanted to take and now was the time.

We are heading to...

We've been here before, way before blogging and digital life!

Our first time was way back in 1980 when our daughter was just 15 months old. We went up with my in-laws in their motorhome. It was an incredible journey! Dad took us up the CA1, a windy, but a beautiful trip up the Pacific coast from the Napa Valley (home for 38 yrs. before moving to AZ), through the Redwood's, beaches, dunes with dune rides, and so many unforgettable moments and views. I would learn to drive the motorhome during that 2-week trip. I wasn't the obsessed camera bug I am now, but I was learning. Mom captured most of our memories that trip, setting an example that stayed with me to this day.

Then in 2002, after Mom's passing, we took Dad up for his brothers 75th Birthday. Dad was weak and sick but determined to spend this time with his brother, and we did all we could to make it happen for him.
Upon our return, he began his journey to be with Mom.
It was precisely the way it was supposed to be...

Then in 2007, we took to the skies once again to celebrate that remarkable mans 80th Birthday and brought with us 2 "Grand's," that got to meet their 3rd cousin.

Isn't life just so precious!

Each trip had memories of its own to last a lifetime.

This trip would be a bit different.

We lost Uncle Bill on June 4th.
We got the news just after blowing out birthday candles for our twins 34th Birthday.
With family already gathered, it was easy to talk about the many memories he left us.

Life has many roads and paths, and we are growing, I mean going on another sentimental journey. We will grow from this as well.

We left a week in advance and spent Father's Day with our boys in Mesa, AZ.
Water parks and water slides have been a part of our life for well over 30 years.
Having a cousin who opened the first one in Vacaville, just over the hill from the Napa Valley, began our love for them. It wasn't long before my brother would open one in Clovis, CA that allowed us to spend some summers there. We also visited many other parks within a 2 or 3-hour trip just to check out as many as possible. Now we have introduced the "Grand's" to the world of water sliding.


After two days of family and fun, we were on our way to Glen Canyon Dam.
It was our first time exploring this area.

What a beautiful drive the 89 is!
We spent our 1st night at Ruby's in Bryce City.

After checking in, we went for a drive through the park.

I woke up early to drive myself back into the canyon
 for the most beautiful experience, the sun rising upon Bryce Canyon!


Sitting on my rock, soaking up the ray as they warmed my soul, I had to pull myself away, to head back to the motel to pick up hubby, and begin our journey along Scenic HWY 12.

I could quickly flood this post with many more photos from just this drive.
Absolutely beautiful scenery!
If you ever get up in the area, don't miss this drive!


Instead of doubling back to the 89 we went down the 24 to the 50.

  Next stop was to be Richfield or Scipio. Unfortunately, between Boulder and Torrey I began feeling a bit under the weather. Be it the altitude or the winding roads, or both, then missing the turn to Capitol Reef, we just needed to get to the highway!

Next stop, Twin Falls, Idaho!

So, Idaho brought a BIG surprise. NO ROOMS!
Who'd have guessed some sporting event in Boise had travelers snagging rooms left and right. We're told that it's very unusual for a Tuesday night. After about an hour and an accommodating receptionist, a place was found, and the minute my head hit the pillow I was out.

Had no idea we had driven over a real big gorge across the Snake River the night before. The falls were close, but hubby didn't see the sign, and I really didn't want to ask him to turn around. Forward only on this leg of the trip. Saw lots of potato fields. Crossed over the Snake River a few more times and decided to stop in Baker for lunch and to our surprise, we found the Oregon Trail. 

It was the perfect place to rest, even the pioneers found it to be so too. I think I would have made a great pioneer. In a way we are, only our wagon is our RV, and can't wait to bring her on the journey. We decided after checking out the museum that when we do, we will take the byway off the 84.
I wonder what new sights will be on that journey?

Back on the road and just like every other day, my camera's battery died. Only this time I didn't have a backup, grrrrr! Taking pictures with a cell phone, going 80 miles an hour just doesn't work, they don't come out as lovely. Then as we hit the beginning of the Columbia River, my excitement increased. We decided to begin the room hunt immediately since cell reception was decent. I must admit having internet access at your fingertips at times can be resourceful. However, when I did a search I was only getting $200 and up for a night along the Columbia River. I didn't want to spend that much, but I didn't want to drive by it either. With the help of our daughter at her desk with a PC in front of her, she landed us an AWESOME room in Hood River for well below half that. Sometimes smaller is better! It was an older motel but a very well kept place. A jewel in disguise. We arrived in time for a stroll around town, a lovely dinner at a local pub that included playing a Trivia Game, and a drive up toward Mt Hood to catch a fantastic sunset.

 Mom and Dad talked about this river often over their time. Now I know why...

The next day we got up bright and early with a plan of being in Aberdeen, WA just after lunch. If I didn't know better, I think we had some angels up in heaven with their hands in changing our timeline.

We had the best breakfast with a view, a local paper to read, people sharing, and before we knew it, we spent 4 hours exploring. The Locks alone had us for over 2 hours. To just say I love salmon is really an understatement! I mean I REALLY, REALLY, LOVE salmon! To watch these beauty's swim and jump before my eyes, I just wanted to be an Indian, paddling along the Columbia in a canoe, with a net and swoop one up and take one home! I'm sure some of you might know this, but once the salmon start their swim up the river, they don't eat. So your chance of getting one to bite is almost impossible. Some might get lucky but the best way is with a net, and only the Indians are allowed to use them along the river. I mean no disrespect in wanting to be one. In fact, I am part Indian, as is my hubby, but just not enough for it to make a difference. 

We could have bought one!

If only we were in the RV, I would have a freezer to make part of that a reality. Next time!

Once off the river and onto HWY 5, we really picked up speed!
That is until a lighted sign lit up with a BIG crash ahead, ALL lanes blocked!

It just so happens we were right at a point where we could hop off the interstate
and take the scenic route to Aberdeen.

I LOVED Aberdeen!

Reminded me of places like Bodega Bay or Fort Brag in California.
We had a blast visiting my childhood neighbor and best friend since 1964. 

When we're together, it's like we have never been apart.

We were on our way to dinner at the harbor for some fish and chips.
Unfortunately, as much as I love salmon, shellfish is an entirely different thing. 
She called ahead to be sure they didn't cook the fish in the same vat as the shrimp.
The owner, who is their friend, even said there is a sign at the door stating they don't.
What a wonderful meal we had.
And to think I didn't take a single photo.
The company was way too special to interrupt it with any photos.

Good food, Good friends, Good times!

In the morning she made her special sausage and gravy over biscuit's, YUMMMMM!

We had a reservation at the Anacortes Ferry for 3:45, so we were back on the road by 10. Can't say I enjoy being out on HWY 5 again. TOO many cars for me! While at the locks a great lady told us about a ferry that leaves Port Angelas that went to Orcas but anyone else we talked to knew nothing about it. So off we went the long way around. 

The things one see's while going 80 mph!

The drive to Anacortes went uneventfully.
Interesting sights.
Lots of cars!
Nothing new!
Having a reservation for the ferry means you don't need to get there 3 or 4 hours ahead of time to get on. We had time to have lunch before getting in line.
We were loading within 30 minutes of staging.

The next day was a day of remembrance.




Our last day on the island was spent about catching memories and reflecting on our time together.

It's always wonderful to spend time with family.
We all have so much in common.
The laughs, the food, the spirits, all make for unforgettable moments.
Come Monday, half of us head to the first ferry off the island, while the other half waited until the evening, and part of that half stayed for the 4th holiday.

 We talked about going back up for a 4th Of July celebration someday.

What's one more destination added to the bucket list!

Remember our trip over, we were told about a ferry that went this way to avoid the Seattle, Tacoma traffic, well it wasn't Port Angeles it was Port Townsend! Really, couldn't someone have said not Port Angeles but Port Townsend? It took us 5 hours to get to Anacortes from Aberdeen, and it took us 3 hours to get to Port Angeles. Here is where we messed up. We turned right to follow the coast down when we should have turned left to go out to the I-5. We thought it would be a beautiful scenic route, and it was, just it was really LONG! Like another 4 hours before we opted out taking the Coastal 1 any further. Once back on the I-5 we picked up speed again and made it Salam before dark.

The LONG scenic route did deliver some excellent views though.

Salem was just a place to rest our heads, and we were back on the road bright and early.
Zipping down the I-5.

Once we got to Mt Shasta, the temperature outside had reached 111 degrees!
It was hotter here than in Yuma.
So hot that some drivers drove with their pants off!

We still giggle when we see this picture of this little old man.

Though the car's gauge said 117...

The weather app on my phone said

All I know is it was really HOT with humidity.
Give me my desert dry heat any day!

With the bay area only being a few hours down the road we decide to stop in Vallejo and visit my very best friend, who is the sister of the friend we visited in Aberdeen.
One was older, this one younger, and I was like the middle child.
Either way, with one or the other, or together, we always have a perfect time.
Lots of much-needed girl talk.

I love her garden, it always inspires me!

After a morning of great conversation and catch up, it was time to hit the road.
With a stop at Harris Ranch to exchange an item, we would be home by bedtime.

Our Sentimental Journey on Our Journey Through LIFE is a road trip we'll always remember.


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