29 October 2008

Frank Capra's John Doe

Okay so I know I told you all about being insignificant when it comes to voting. Then, we had a free evening from TV; nothing on Wednesday's now that Project Runway is over... So I pulled a DVD from the shelf and we decided to pop some corn and watch a movie together. We decided to watch Frank Capra's John Doe (1941). I love Frank Capra, and think he did a good job of showing the common man on film. In the movie, times are hard and people are struggling. People are losing their jobs, politicians are self serving and newspapermen are manipulating the vote. Sounds familiar, eh? In the movie there is a speech. It gets me every time I watch the film.

John Doe, played by Gary Cooper, gets talked into doing a radio speech. The speech is written by a desperate journalist trying to keep her job so she can pay her bills and take care of her widowed mother. Her mother gives her father's journal to her to inspire the speech she's been asked to write. This is the crux of it.

"I am the man you all know as John Doe. I took that name because it seems to describe...the average man - and that's me. (He clears his throat.) And that's me. Well, it was me before I said I was going to jump off the City Hall roof at midnight on Christmas Eve. Now I guess I'm not average anymore. Now I'm getting all sorts of attention, from big shots too, the mayor and the governor, for instance. They don't like those articles I've been writing...

(he's then heckled from the audience and the heckler is rushed from the room) he continues:
Well, people like the governor and that fellow there can stop worrying. I'm not going to talk about them. I'm gonna talk about us - the average guys, the John Does. If anybody should ask you what the average John Doe is like, you couldn't tell him because he's a million and one things. He's Mr. Big and Mr. Small, he's simple and he's wise, he's inherently honest but he's got a streak of larceny in his heart. He seldom walks up to a public telephone without shovin' his finger into the slot to see if somebody left a nickel there...

He's the man the ads are written for. He's the fella everybody sells things to. He's Joe Doakes, the world's greatest stooge and the world's greatest strength. Yes sir, yes sir, we're a great family, the John Does. We are the meek who are supposed to inherit the earth. You'll find us everywhere. We raise the crops, we dig the mines, work the factories, keep the books, fly the planes and drive the buses, and when the cop yells, 'Stand back there you,' he means us - the John Does. We've existed since time began. We built the pyramids. We saw Christ crucified, pulled the oars for Roman emperors, sailed the boats for Columbus, retreated from Moscow with Napoleon, and froze with Washington at Valley Forge. Yes sir, we've been in there dodging left hooks since before History began to walk. In our struggle for freedom, we've hit the canvas many a time, but we always bounced back because we're the people - and we're tough.

They've started a lot of talk about free people goin' soft, that we can't take it. That's a lot of hooey! A free people can beat the world at anything, from war to tiddlywinks, if we all pull in the same direction. I know a lot of you are saying, 'What can I do? I'm just a little punk. I don't count. Well, you're dead wrong. The little punks have always counted because in the long run, the character of a country is the sum total of the character of its little punks.

But we've all got to get in there and pitch. We can't win the old ball game unless we have teamwork. And that's where every John Doe comes in. It's up to him to get together with his teammate, and your teammate, my friends, is the guy next door to ya. Your neighbor - he's a terribly important guy, that guy next door. You're gonna need him and he's gonna need you, so look him up. If he's sick, call on him. If he's hungry, feed him. If he's out of a job, find him one. To most of you, your neighbor is a stranger, a guy with a barkin' dog and a high fence around him. Now you can't be a stranger to any guy that's on your own team. So tear down the fence that separates you. Tear down the fence and you'll tear down a lot of hates and prejudices. Tear down all the fences in the country and you'll really have teamwork.

I know a lot of you are saying to yourselves: 'He's askin' for a miracle to happen. He's expecting people to change all of a sudden.' Well, you're wrong. It's no miracle. It's no miracle because I see it happen once every year and so do you at Christmastime. There's something swell about the spirit of Christmas, to see what it does to people, all kinds of people. Now why can't that spirit, that same warm Christmas spirit last the whole year round? Gosh, if it ever did, if each and every John Doe would make that spirit last 365 days out of the year - we'd develop such a strength, we'd create such a tidal wave of good will that no human force could stand against it. Yes sir, my friends, the meek can only inherit the earth when the John Does start loving their neighbors. You'd better start right now. Don't wait till the game is called on account of darkness. Wake up, John Doe, you're the hope of the world."

Maybe we should all rent a copy of this movie and send it to their favorite politician, and two to their least favorite. We're the people. They work for us. We're not insignificant! We need our voices heard. It starts with our neighbors. Truly.

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The name meme

This meme is making it through the blog world in lightening speed! It's fun, but I kind of wish I didn't have to just limit it to one child o mine. Each of them have great names, that I think they like, a lot. But s'mee has said she wants to hear about my youngest one. I give you The Youngest One!

Name and meaning: Gillian Heather. Gillian from Gaelic means St. Johns servant, the latin meaning youthful. Gill's name was given to her like our other daughters. We knew that as they married each of our daughters would have a new last name. We wanted to make sure their names would define them no matter what last name they had. Their names were chosen to represent their heritage, while also making sure they were strong names, giving them self identity and confidence. We also tried to make sure their names weren't common. We succeeded with Gill's, the other girls' became very popular while they were small. Gill's name remained pretty obscure throughout her school years. She also shares her name with a cousin's given name, althought the cousin has never been known as Gillian!

: 26 man I'm young, I had her when I was 15!

: Bean, a derivative of Gillibean. We all refer to Gill as Bean.

Favorite activities
: Gill is a true driver. I think she likes driving more than anything! Winding in and out of curves and speeding on the straightaways really puts a smile on her face. She not only drives fast, but she knows how her car works, and how to, if need be fix the car too!

She is also a great nurturer. She had recently become the mom of a new puppy and I am amazed at how she has learned what needs to be done to make sure he is healthy, disciplined and loved.

Gill is very creative also, she loves beading and has made several necklaces and bracelets for friends and family.

She also loves to cook. When she was younger she thought she would go to culinary arts school. Instead she fell in love and moved to potato land.

Favorite Foods: hmmm. can we say chocolate? But then again, Gill is a great cook. She has studied and learned on her own and can cook really well. Yahoo! Chicken and Dumplings are a real fave, not Gill's alone in that, we all love them!

Least favorite foods: Gill can not stand pizza! Yep the all American girl can't stand the stuff.

Favorite music: That's a tough one. I know for a fact that without Kevin and Bean podcasts, life just wouldn't be the same for Gill. But music, favorite? hmmmm. Gill has been raised with music as a soundtrack, all kinds. She's probably have to pick alternative/punk, just like her dad. To me she'll always be Van Morrison's Brown Eyed Girl.

Favorite toys: Her GTI! And now her new Rabbit!

Favorite Books: The Jolly Postman. She also is liking the Twilight series. Gill loves to read.

Favorite item of clothing
: Right now, probably her work out clothes. She spends a lot of time at the gym.

What makes her happy
: Her Tall Guy. The beach. The two of those combined! oh and Ozzy, can't forget him.

What makes her sad
: Being far away from her sisters (and us too). And snow.

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28 October 2008

Bathroom remodel anyone?

Oh heck. Today started off so good. There was a list of possibilities. They quickly turned into "Oh my Heck!"
bathroom remodel on it's way

The middle daughter drew the short straw evidently this morning. She went to pull the lever up to take a shower and is now responsible for a total bathroom remodel! The house hasn't been touched since 1963 and that faucet connector (called a nipple - just for the blog traffic thank you!) is fused with the main pipe and will not budge. See photo below:

h in a handbasket This picture is evidence of what facilitated the remodel. The tool, a nipple extractor - yeah guys name tools (forged steel) broke off inside the pipe (nipple, there I go again!) so now the entire pipe will have to be removed. That means taking out the tile. The tile is cemented on the wall. Those pesky 1963 builders! They've built this house to last through the millennium. Just not the plumbing.

We have been planning this for months actually. But we were waiting to see if we were going to expand the bathroom, and add a master bedroom onto the house. We are fortunate to own a house in the county so the building fees are reasonable. The only thing to be considered is the fact that this house was built in 1963. It has no foundation and a crawl space. So do we add on behind the other bedroom and expand the bathroom or do we use the patio already in and build on a room behind the garage?

The answer to that is if the patio is the correct thickness to be classified as a foundation. If it is the bathroom will stay the same size and we'll just add the room on the back of the garage. It will be the most cost effective room and we can make our other bathroom a full bath without too many difficulties. Worst thing? The middle daughter still hasn't been able to take a shower, fun.

Son Alison, have any tips for me?

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27 October 2008

People watching

A favorite pastime of mine is people watching. I guess it's why I enjoy blogging so much. Not my blogging but other peoples. But mostly I love going places and sitting and watching and eavesdropping and generally enjoying being there with everyone.

Recently we went to lunch, in San Diego, at my favorite bread bakery, Con Pane. I've talked about it on the food blog - Catherine's bakery is THE BEST bread shop in all of San Diego! It is located at Cajon and Rosecrans streets in Point Loma. We were there Saturday. I sat and had the best sandwich - Roast Beef on Kalamata olive bread, with goat cheese Yum! - and watched people come and go.
Con Pane

There was a family of five. 3 boys. One attending UCSD obviously. They were having a sandwich together exchanging stories and chatting. There was a man with a broken leg with a woman. They left via the front door, and I just knew they were driving the Jeep Cherokee for some reason (I had parked in front of it), and it would have been simpler to go out the side door. But he had a broken leg with a cast to the knee, so they must have decided going down the ramp would be simpler than maneuvering through a double door.

You could tell the regulars from the tourists. The tourists always stared in awe at the menu of available sandwiches, wondering which to choose. The regulars, simply stated, a round of Pt Loma Sourdough or the favorite of the day - a Gruyere with sun dried tomatoes or a Walnut Whole Wheat (which had already sold out) or a couple of bagettes. Quickly as can be a sandwich was prepared, delivered, and on to the next customer. I was hoping to get a chocolate brioche, but we were too late!

We finished lunch with me apologizing for the silence while we ate as I hadn't been in public much lately and I was too fascinated by all the people coming and going. The husband responded that I needed to get out more. Maybe I will. We have a day planned for the Grove.

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26 October 2008

Can I blog a bit on the future?

I'm just thinking about how glad I will be once this election takes place. Most of us have hard lines written in the sand about what we will and won't do with regard to voting. Then we make some off the cuff statement to a loved one or a person we really care about and offend them. Yeah, describes a lot of us currently.

What I'm saying is how happy I will be when it's done. (don't get me wrong I still have certain convictions) I think it is very important though to realize who really controls this country. It's big money. And if you're not big money, don't go around offending those people who love you, just because you think you're right and they're not. We all are entitled to our opinions. We just don't need to buy into the I'm right/you're wrong mentality.

Songs have little trite titles, but they do express what I am saying. "Love is all you need", "Love is all around", or any number of other love songs. Love is what keeps us together, yeah another one! We have very little bearing on what really happens in this government, I think they let us vote to give us the illusion of being a part of it all. But really, it doesn't work that way at all.

So go vote, get it out of your system, and let's all go back to working and paying our bills, and buying a few trinkets along the way.

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24 October 2008

No here's something we can all agree on...

I was over at Slice of Pink and she had a link to Pundit Kitchen. I didn't know what it was, but I do now!

Pundit Kitchen is a website filled with pictures of politicians, celebrities and random places found in the news. What you can do to those pictures is where the fun begins. You get to add your own caption to the pictures. Now that's something we all can agree upon. We all have something to say, witty or not, about celebrities or politicians. My favorite was this photo of Alan Greenspan. I was flabbergasted, and that is not a word I use often as I reserve it for phenomenal things like the current collapse of our financial markets at the hands of "professionals", at his comments to congress this past week. "I didn't know, I couldn't imagine it would turn out like this..." Please!

What picture will you caption?

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20 October 2008

Snowflake Arizona!

Yay. I get to go here, this weekend! woohoo!
AZ ranch

Isn't that a beautiful shot? And, It hasn't been altered (well, that I remember). It is only one of the thousand pictures that I have of the ranch that make you just want to drop everything and run there now! Here are a couple more:
Moon rise over the ranch
See what I mean? The rocks are on the property next to ours. The moonrise is from a trip we took a couple of times ago. Soon, this will be our permanent dwelling. We are fact finding on this trip to see if we can somehow rangle a way to be there sooner than later. It should be fun.

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19 October 2008

Guess the picture

I went with the family the other and took some pictures. What is this?
what could it be

I took some others too. Guess what they are.
texture 1
texture 2
texture 3
texture 8
texture 9

Clue: My life is being run by a four year old currently. And, I love it.

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17 October 2008


For years, I have been subjected to all the bird jokes. Yes, I've heard just about all of them. I chose to embrace Rocking Robin and her boppin all around as my favorite. Well, I have a new favorite! Perch is a lovely little blog I've been keeping to myself for some time now. Justine, the author, has the best taste around. I have drooled at her posts and snagged a few pictures to put in my "house" file for when we build our home. Justine is also a good friend of my daughter's I've come to find out recently.

Tomorrow Perch is going to spotlight Over the River and Through the Woods.... We are very excited to have Justine review us and have a giveaway. Yes, a giveaway! All you need to do is go to her site and make a comment on her post spotlighting our new venture! We're giving away a few goodies to give your parties the perfect pizazz!

Go, quick! You'll have a week to sign up, but you have to do it!

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16 October 2008

Oh what a night, and a day...

Last night I couldn't sleep. Aaaack. I got up three times because I was processing. My mind was going a hundred miles a minute. I was filled with self doubt, and questioning every single thing I am doing. bleh. Finally, about three a.m. I went to sleep.

You know that Pink Floyd song that begins with all those banging gongs and ringing bells? I think it's Time. Yeah. that's it. At five thirty six, that's what happened to start my day. Yep. The M-i-l was calling to let us know she was having another panic attack. I think I joined her. Melty gel

I went full on melt down. I felt just like my jello experiment from years ago. The husband came home from work, we were discussing all the events of the day and suddenly there I was a pool of melted me sobbing away. Not a pretty sight.

My plate is a bit full and I am a control freak. Not a good combination. But I have a nice shiny stove to thank for all the frustration. I clean when I can't control anything else, or when everything is chaos. So, I'm changing course and going back to my business mind. I will return to my list making. All those years ago of listening to Hyrum Smith tell me my Franklin planner was my friend and Stephen Covey (love ya stephen!) ingraining win-win into my every motive, I've decided it must be. Lists and endorphins will accompany my every move.

I've added yet another blog. Watch me grow, along with my new partner, Bri.

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13 October 2008

Knit Two, Kate Jacobs

I was given the opportunity to read an advance copy of Kate Jacobs' latest book. You may remember me giving away a few copies of her book "Comfort Food" a while back. As I stated, I have a ton of things going on here currently and the thought of setting aside time to read weighed on me. However, Thursday afternoon she drew me in.

I am not sure which character actually snagged me. Was Darwin, with her odd name and lists? Dakota in her youthful zest to taste life and leave everything behind? Or Catherine? Oh Catherine. I found myself telling her to just live life, intead of trying to manage every second.

I must admit, I'm jealous. Flat out jealous. Not of Kate Jacobs, but of the circle of friends she created in this series of book. They are just a group of women, ordinary women who have knitting in common. But I have walked through the door of knitting shops, many times, to find an eclectic group of women gathered round chattering about this and that, only to fall silent at the presence of a stranger. I always felt as if I was intruding. Not until I read Knit Two did I come to an understanding about those groups of ladies. It wasn't that I was intruding at all. I only had stumbled upon a group of knit together women, trading stories of their past week. And last year, and five years or even possibly ten together. I just wasn't part of their afghan, so to speak.

I've not been a part of such a group. My heart fills with envy as my sister speaks of her book discussion group, and her great Christmas party each year. Over the years these groups have grown together and apart, sharing their triumphs and joys, the trials and hardships, and all things in between with each other. Kate Jacobs has captured those group in her book so well, I feel the need to find one!

Knit Two is a delightful read worthy of the few days it may take you to read it. It is predictable in parts and surprising in others. In the end, I'm glad I picked it up and now am going to go purchase the first book The Friday Night Knitting Club in the series to see where this all began.

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09 October 2008

Photography, m&ms, color

I've had snippets of time here and there. And I always take pictures of m&ms.
Black and White Colored M&Ms

This one of my favorite shots ever. The black m&ms were in a Halloween package I purchased. I took some shots in color, then I decided to take a color black and white image. Cream and sugar. I love it.

Here are some other shots using the colored m&ms.
m&ms in crystal
Good but still my fave is the B&W one. I am obsessed with the little round candies. Not for eating, mostly I can't eat them, until they've been photographed. Don't ask me why. There really isn't an explanation. Just a bit of a meander through memory lane.

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08 October 2008

Vineyards, grapes and growing

One of my favorite things about living in this area is the opportunity to take a drive and see the countryside. June 1st we were out driving around I was enthralled with the beauty of the Temecula Wine country. So much so that I had to stop and take some pictures. The grapes were just tiny little grapes at that point, I filed it away and told myself I needed to go back later in the year to check on their progress.
grapes on the vine

The are acres and acres of grapes growing in the valley that will ripen on the vine to the perfect ripeness, then harvested and made into wine. I don't enjoy the wine, but the beauty of the full vine is something everyone should enjoy.

ripe grapes

Isn't that picture just gorgeous? I can see it framed and hanging on the wall in my kitchen. Well, that is if I had a wall in my kitchen that I could hang a picture on. But alas I don't, so I'll share it with you.

September 1st I got up really early. I decided it was time to go check the grapes. The valley was filled with men harvesting grapes. Still, as I stopped, parked and took pictures, they paid me no mind. It was peaceful and cool, no one but me and the harvesters doing their work. I love the solitude of exploring with my camera. To my amazement, the grapes were ready to be picked. Full deep color, bursting off the vine. The dust covering their deep purple flesh, until touch by a harvester. They'll be cut off the vine with a sharp knife to be laid with other bunches into huge bins. Then off to the processing room to be made into wine. Makes me thirsty for some really good chilled grape juice right about now. hmmm.

As I posted the pictures it was startling to me that these two pictures were taken exactly three months apart. I wonder what I could do personal that would accomplish those kinds of results in so quickly a time? I could exercise, like my friend Scarehaircare and get great results. I could read a few good books and set some goals. Or I could tell myself that I couldn't get anything done in so short a time to make any real effect.

I've been thinking a lot about my oldest daughter and her husband. Almost three years ago they started off a new adventure in their lives. He was headed for law school far across the country where we didn't know anyone. My daughter was apprehensive about being so far away and wondered out loud if they'd survive this adventure. How would they ever do it? And have a child to boot? Now they are just about done and it seems to have only been a small time that they've been away. Not only have they gotten through it, but they've done great things too. They have one little boy and are adding another child to the family just in time for graduation! Son-in-law has secured employment, daughter has learned she is a good mom, and wife, and party planner and a few other great things. It has been a good experience for them.

Maybe instead of thinking about things so much, and what the outcome will be, we should all just go do something and be surprised with the results! Give away the fear and do as they say "keep moving forward". You never know what they harvest will be until you plant a few seeds.

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06 October 2008


I took this photo Saturday when we were in Redondo Beach.

There's just something about a seagull. He sat on the pier post allowing me to take his photo for about five minutes.

We walked the pier area and then drove through the city. Redondo Beach was the first city my parent lived in when they came to California. I was three months old. Could they not have freaking bought a house???!! Well, I think they did, but all the fighting and drama that was their life, the house was quickly wrestled away and we began our nomadic life I came to know so well. I love Redondo and wish I still lived there. Well, it was not to be, and I need to visit more often I guess. Maybe the whole financial mess will collapse and I 'll be able to pick up a house cheap. Yeah, that's going to happen! I can dream.

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05 October 2008

Projects keeping me busy

I never realized how much time could be consumed with a four year old in the house. The girl runs circles around me! With a hundred questions at a time. It is incredible. It is wonderful to have her here. She has such a positive attitude, I love being with her.

She has made me more responsible with my time. I have begun making my lists again, and things are getting done. I am half way through making new stroller pads and covers for the stroller we purchased for $25. It will be as good as new by Wednesday.
New Stroller cushions

What other things am I working on? New items for a new etsy shop coming soon. I must keep it a secret until the launch, then you can all see!

I've been working as a video assistant for my husband on a project for his works website. We have been filming nurses - telling their stories - about what it is like to work as a hospice nurse. It has been extremely interesting.

I've begun a small quilt. I saw a picture of a quilt on a website a woman had done. I loved the quilt, it's a tree with leaves surrounding it. I fell in love with it and am beginning to work on the applique process tomorrow.

Percolating in the background are some ideas for a few YouTube videos my sis and I may make. They will be funny, informative and all about cooking and homekeeping. It looks as if it might be great fun.

Tomorrow is the husband's birthday. He joins me in age! Yay. I am no longer the old woman! We will have a nice dinner and a few gifts he doesn't know about. We'll finish off the evening installing a new garbage disposal. Whoopee!

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02 October 2008

A new addition to the family!

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I'd post about adding another member to the family so soon! But the Youngest One has given us the opportunity to brag once again!

They have made a committment and paid their dues, now ready to add to the family! Let me introduce our newest to you. Ozzy!



We are not dog people. Both the husband and I had dogs as kids. When we got married we decided dogs were not for us. I love dogs, especially when they belong to someone else. I've always been a cat person at heart and we've run through that genetic line like crazy! Now the girls are on their own and each has decided sometime in the future dogs would be joining their families. I look forward to spending time with the dog and sending it home!

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