Sunday, February 25, 2007

Suds in the Bucket...

"She was in the backyard - they say it was a little past nine
When her prince pulled up - white pickup truck.
Her folks shoulda seen it comin' - it was only just a matter of time,
Plenty old enough - and you can't stop love.
She stuck a note on the screen door
"Sorry but I gotta go"
That was all she wrote - her mama's heart was broke
That was all she wrote - so the story goes.
Now her Daddy's in the kitchen - starin' out the window
Scratchin' and a rackin' his brains
How could 18 years just up and walk away?
Our little pony tailed girl growed up to be a woman
Now she's gone in the blink of an eye.
She left the suds in the bucket
and the clothes hangin' out on the line"
~Sara Evans

My own brown-haired, green-eyed, pony-tailed girl has grown up. I still picure her 7 year old self wearing a pink flowered dress, laying on her bedroom floor, head propped up in her hands, legs swinging in the air, with a book opened in front of her. She was a sweet and serious little girl who would rather be reading than running and giggling, although she did have a passion for soccer. Brittany was always an unselfish little thing who wouldn't dream of hurting anyone's feelings. She was the girl who, at school parties, would always save the best treats to be taken home and shared with her little sister and brother. She loved, without measure, her Grandma Sannar and her Grandma Harper. Her very favorite afternoons were those days when her Grandma Sannar would pick her up from school and take her for ice cream. That was their special time.

This young girl grew and changed, turning into a teenager. Life changed for us all - I had been a single mom for many years and as Brittany grew older, she became the caretaker for Shilo and Dustin while I was supporting our family with an evening waitressing job. Too much responsibility on the shoulders of a young girl. We lost my mom, Brittanys beloved Grandma, which broke all of our hearts. Then, when we didn't know if we could go on, Riff and his boys entered our lives. After a year and a half, we married and Riff adopted my kids. They now had a Dad who was always there for them, not one who might or might not send a Christmas card once a year. I was able to work just one job and Brittany could once again become a child. With the adoption, Brittany had written to her birth father, outlining the reasons she wanted Riff to adopt her. He signed the paperwork, never acknowledging her letter. Even though she wanted the adoption, Brittany felt disposable, that she was worth nothing and could just be thrown away. During her teenage years my sweet, shy, happy little girl struggled with depression. She also put alot of pressure on herself to get perfect grades and to get into a college of her choice. She worked her shifts and anyone else's who happened to call in sick at our local Burger King, socking the money away for college. Brittany is a very talented singer with a powerful voice that will bring tears to your eyes. She badly wanted to participate in drama, but being shy, would chicken out each year at audition time. Finally, her junior year, she decided to forge ahead, landing the lead role in the spring play. She did a fantastic job, won an award and was selected for the state competition. During her senior year, she decided to take early graduation since her credits were all in. She had already been accepted into Concordia University in Portland with a 4 year scholarship. To get a head start, Brittany moved into the dorms at our local community college in Powell, Wyoming.

We were in the process of moving to Oregon, so with Brittany's move into the dorms and Kevin staying with a close family friend, Shilo, Dustin and I joined Riff on the coast in March. We traveled back to Wyoming in May for Kevin and Brittanys graduation, loaded Brittany up and brought her back with us. In the meantime, we had learned that Brittany had been dating Chris, a young man in his 20's. (a story for another time!) Brittany turned 18 on May 24th. One afternoon a few days after her birthday, Riff came home from work to find Brittany gone and a note on the dining room table.
"Dear Mom and Dad,
I love you, but I can't stay here. I love Chris, too and my life is with him -"

She had headed back, alone, to Wyoming. The dreams of love overshadowing the dreams of college.

It has been a long and rocky road for her and Chris the last two years, but they have remained together. Last week, we received two letters in the mail. One from Brittany and one from Chris. They both told the same story ~
"Dear Mom and Dad,
Chris and I are having a baby..."

I've had a week to wrap my mind around this. I wanted so much more for my pony-tailed girl ~ but who says that motherhood isn't everything?

This is okay.
It is good.

"She left the sud's in the bucket and the clothes hangin' out on the line..."

Monday, February 19, 2007

Swap Magic...

Look at all these goodies that came from Michelle at Tangled Threads. I ams so absolutely tickled with this package I can't even tell you. Look at those potholders. They exactly match my red and yellow kitchen. And that vintage white and red potscrubber?? Too die for! She included and pink and black linen doily, a fat quarter of pink starry fabric, a beautifully done recipe card for Sweetheart Pork Roast, and a handmade valentine card. Thank you, Michelle. I love it all!
And a special thanks to my real life friend, Monica over at Happy Zombie for hosting this great swap! Hats off to Monica...

On another note, I finished my 5 books for the Winter Classics Challenge hosted by Booklogged at A Readers Journal . This was a fun challenge and got those classics off the shelve that I wouldn't have gotten to otherwise. My five were:
5. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
4. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
3. Anne's House of Dreams by L.M. Montgomery
2. Persuasion by Jane Austin
1. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

You can read my reviews at my Pieces of Me site.

Happy swapping and reading....

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Old Time Rock 'n Roll...

For Riff's birthday I had given him concert tickets to Bob Seger's North American Tour. He just released a new album and hasn't toured in 10 years. Last night was the night, so we headed to Portland about mid-day and what a beautiful sunny ride it was!

This shot is from a state park along Highway 30 were we stopped to get rid of a little coffee. This is Puget Island in the middle of the great Columbia River. My aunt Kathleen lives on Puget Island and I can almost see her house in this picture. To get to the island from the Oregon side, you must ride a ferry from Westport to the island, but there is a bridge on the other side that takes you into the pretty little town of Cathlamet, Washington.

Down the road just a tad, I looked up to see MT. St. Helens shining so bright with snow. So many days you can't even see her shrouded behind the clouds. Wow, what a sight. So majestic and powerful.

And then there stands MT. Hood keeping watch over the city of Portland. Incredible! Again, you only get to witness this site on the clearest of days. Looking back over our shoulders, you could actually see Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Adams also. To be able to see all three at the same time was awesome.

We drove into downtown Portland and straight to Knit/Purl , which was my destination of choice. I walked out with some beautiful sea green yarn to make a felted diaper bag with and a skein of beautiful wool called New England Fall that just tells you how wonderul the colors in this one are. I couldn't stay in this shop very long or they would have had to completely re-stock once I left.
From here, we walked down the street to Ringlers, a McMenamis Brothers brew pub, for a bite to eat. I had their shrimp gumbo and Riff tried the pastrami reuban. To die for...The reuban was served on the best looking marbled rye that I have ever seen, the pastrami piled a mile high. The gumbo was just right ~ shrimp, sausage and veggies over rice. MMMM.....
After our snack it was off to the Rose Garden, excited like two little kids. We found our seats, grabbed a couple of beers ($8.00 a piece! Can you believe that?!) and settled in to be entertained. We had left our cell phones and my camera in the truck like good boys and girls, just as the tickets had said, but looking around the stadium showed that 90% of the other concert goers had not heeded the rules, so I was a little miffed at myself. No pictures of Bob for my blog. Dang it!
Before the lights went down, we were looking around at the crowd and noticing the age demographic. OLD! We were in level 2, so looking down on MANY bald heads. The younger crowd was non-existant unless accompanied by a parent or grandparent. The young crowd was us ~ fortysomething old hippies. We (oh, wait. NO, just Riff!) fit right in. Boy, what a concert! Bob Seger has gray hair now and has to be about 65 (his first hit was in 1968), but man ~ he can still rock! Awesome!

May you all be blessed with good old fashioned rock 'n roll...

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I Sold A Bear!!!

I sold a bear, I sold a bear! Right out of my very own etsy shop! I'm so excited. How fun is this?! To be able to craft something I love just for kicks and giggles and do it for free, because somebody just paid for my supplies?! WHA-HOO!!

I took my $9.00 in hand that I received for little bear and hit the only garage sale in town last weekend. These are my treasures ~ a wonderful wooden embroidery stand. Yeah! No more death grip on that old embroidery hoop, I can actually stitch hands free now if I so desire. It will definately help with those hand cramps I get after stitching for an hour or so. I got two great little antique doll clothes patterns that are very fun, one redwork iron-on transfer pattern, about 4 yards of some great blue fabric and one Louis La'Mour book for Riff. Nine dollars well spent, huh?

I received this great Pink and Brown swap package from Kari at ArtsyMama . Look at that fun Valentine Day banner. The vintage card attached to it has an incredibly small envelope that folds out about six inches with a note written on it. Very cool! The heart box is bursting with all kinds of crafting supplies, ribbon, buttons, tickets, and yarn to name a few. Thank you, Kari. Great stuff!

Happy Valentines Day to one and all...

Saturday, February 10, 2007

The Stepford Wives...

My daughter, Shilo and her best friend, Stephanie had their hair done today for a Sadie Hawkins dance. They look adorable and so 60ies and Stepford Wife-ish, don't they?
Ah, to be 17 again....(on 2nd thought, NO THANK YOU!!)

Monday, February 05, 2007

Happy Birthday Riff!

Riff's birthday was yesterday, Febuary 4th. He is a huge sports nut, so I single-handedly made sure that the Super Bowl was scheduled on his birthday this year. It was quite a feat, but I did manage to prevail over the NFL. I did concede to having the game played in Miami instead of on our own Warren Field. It's better on the old tube anyway. What a wonderful wife I am, wouldn't you agree??
Here he sits with his new Lynryd Skynryd CD, pleased as punch. It doesn't take much to please this man, so I am extremely lucky.
I have written this cheesy, way bad poem to honor the day, so without further delay I give to you:

An Ode to Riff

There once was a child
from Deep River,
who always had his parents
in a tither.

He was a boy who loved
his mother,
while beating the tar
out of his little brother.

As a teenager
he was bad to the bone,
always coming home stoned.

In his early twenties
he became a Dad.
His world completely changed,
thanks to three little lads.

By his thirties he had been
dealt the card,
of single dad ~
he worked so hard.

At forty~
a new love and marriage
added to the mix.
What had been three kids
now became six.

Now another birthday
has come around,
the kids have called,
the cakes been ate,
one of his daughters
took him on a date.
We all love you
and hope your day was great!

Saturday, February 03, 2007


"Cackleberries - an old term meaning hens eggs."

I joined Wende, Monica and Kathleen last night for what Wende had originally called a craft night. We gorged ourselves on IZ's incredible artichoke dip, which Wende had provided gluten-free crackers for (thank you!), Kathleens to-die-for chocolate chip walnut cookies, and one cheap, very tasy bottle of wine. The stories were flying, the laughter was ringing out and not one stitch of crafting was accomplished. What a great stress relief after a long work week.
Thank you, my friends, for all the fun cacklin' that went on last night....