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Monday, January 31, 2011

Jackpot Nevada

Tony would hate me for sharing this on my blog! HA! 
It was our very first anniversary, we went to Jackpot Nevada!
It's just a 4 hour drive from our condo in Boise to Jackpot. After our last minuet planning, Tony and I jumped in the car on July 5th 2004. When the temperature was110' that day,on that blazing hot highway our car's AC quit 2 hours in. So Tony was both sweaty and grumpy by the time we actually arrived in Jackpot. We instantly felt like we were the only people there under 60 years old. I had been laughing through out the day, from the AC not working, to a funky strange bug that came into our car window scaring Tony to death as he pulled over so I could catch it and remove it from our car. I hadn't really wanted to go to Jackpot in the first everything that happened just had me laughing so much. "THIS TOTALLY SUCKS!" Tony said once we walked through the casino on that hot late afternoon. I reminded him that once we had lunch we would feel better, but when the iceberg lettuce salad was set down in front of us, Tony glared on while I burst out laughing all over again! Tony also hates those old fashion brown mugs, he said that they were a clear sign the restaurant was stuck in time. While we had a slice of pie and our coffee came out in those type of mugs I couldn't stop giggling. Poor Tony, this was the most unromantic anniversary ever!(I reminded him that it was also our first celebration, we were just learning) He was so frustrated until we played black jack at the empty tables. We won $20 and drove back home that same evening when it was a bit cooler outside for us in a car with no air conditioning. Tony kept apologizing for a crappy anniversary but I replied that I hadn't laugh so much in a long time! So really I LOVED it! Maybe it was going to be a good fun memory after all! Tony mumbled "I am such a loser husband." I hugged him still giggling, I had advised against going there but soon found myself amused by everything! I smiled brightly back at him saying "We have a life time of laughter ahead of us!" he rolled his eyes and smiled back while nodding he said "I am glad you find this all so funny." and I burst out laughing again!

Sunday, January 30, 2011


It was in April 2010 when we took a family vacation to 
celebrate Tony's 30th and Dad's 50th birthdays. We went to the beautiful state of California, where we stayed in a B&B in the adorable town of Healdsburg. On one of our wine tasting tours we stopped for lunch. It was at such a nice restaurant with escargot on the menu. I was very excited to try escargot! (I LOVE new things!)
They were buttery and yummy!
I loved the new flavors from escargot, It was fun to see and learn more about the passionate world of food! The snails didn't arrive in the shell or alive, I am NOT so sure I could eat them if they actually moved! YIKES!!!
Now if my food moved off my plate when I was not looking then I would think twice about actually being hungry any more! These dark round cooked snails were chewy and meaty reminding me of saute mushrooms, simply fun to try! The next chance you get, try the escargot!!! It is a fun way to think about food....Unless they start moving away when your fork goes down:-}

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Rebekah's Library

I had 3 beloved girlfriends growing up from 12 years old to almost 20. We were happy good friends, always together. I tried to get as many slumber parties setup as possible, Tiffany, Rebekah and Jennifer were more like sisters to me. I never wanted to loose that connection, and I romanticized growing old together with all our families staying close. Most importantly to me, I wanted to never forget how wonderful our youth was, how beautiful we were as young girls. When I was with my girls I was so loved. I felt both peace and laughter help me face growing up. Tiffany was dreamy and artistic. Rebekah was serous and smart. Jennifer was loving and logical and I was emotional and dreamy. The four of us actually made a good balance in our crazy high school years. I loved those girls, how blessed I was in my life by their friendship. Eventually college and marriage would take them away into adulthood. I like remembering, I still have that dreamy emotional high school girl inside me. I have found who I am apart from my friends, apart from my church or my family. I guess that allows me to look back in my history with a proud smile, with the tip of my hat! I had a good start in my life with 3 beautiful girls that I could call my beloved friends.

Tiff, Beka, Jen and I laid on our backs in the sunshine. It was on a beautiful spring Sunday afternoon with the sounds of kids running out in the field playing. The four of us girls laid back in the warmth of the sun on a blanket. Our lacy skirts and long hair touched each other comfortably. I could see the bright soft blue sky above us then I closed my eyes. Tiffany reached for my hand as she sighed saying dreamily "I wish I could just have Abigale Joy." I sat up suddenly asking "What kind of joy is THAT?" The girls all burst out laughing at me. I sat up surprised "What, what is so funny?" I asked as the laughing continued. Rebekah caught her breath first saying "Oh Debby you are so funny, Abigale Joy is the name of her first daughter. It not an actual type of joy..." The laughter started up again and I shrugged explaining "Well...You know how there are several kinds of love with different names, so I thought Abigale was another name for joy." I stopped to look at Tiffany laying on her back holding her sides slowing her laughter, "YOU already have your kids names pick out?!" Tiffany nodded "Just a couple of ideas....but now I think there is a different kind of joy called "Debby's joy." Everyone giggled and I rolled my eyes still smiling.

Rebekah's bedroom was full of books, more books then I had ever seen actually in one space. I walked in to sit on her bed just hanging out with her. "This is going to be my library, see these book shelves will go over there and I am going to alphabetize it all into sections." She smiled pushing up her dark framed glasses, Rebekah was the type of friend who loved passionately talking books, lasting for hours, I was suddenly interested in reading books because she shared with me such passion for something I wasn't familiar with. Seeing Rebekah's growing library I was very impressed! I was happy to have her in my life, she always took the time to show me the world of books. Her knowledge was something to admire, when she took me under her swing for my high school text books I realized I would have been lost without her. Rebekah would use her hands or draw out ways to brake down my biology book, I was fascinated by her teachings as a true student. She helped me see a visual and a simple form to make it possible to remember "I bet you will be a school teacher someday!" I exclaimed after I showed her my new grade I went from a D to a B. "B is for BEAUTIFUL!" I excitedly explained as I showed her how her teaching had helped me. Rebekah was a thoughtful teacher and often she asked me how did I get this far in life with so little schooling. When my mom started having more babies, she became distracted from homeschooling. Leaving us to teach ourselves through a correspondence course, It took 3 weeks from when my sister and I mailed off our written exams to getting them back with all these incomplete comments on it. I realized I wasn't learning anything by this system. So I went to my Beloved Friend Rebekah who was the smartest person I knew. She gladly tutored me through Biology whenever I could get over to her place to study. I will always remember how she taught me with kindness and all those inspiring ideas. I could tell she loved learning, she loved teaching, she loved knowledge and understanding how things worked. She even broke down my algebra book in ways I would never have gotten it just reading by myself. Rebekah soon realized she had to start at the very beginning in education with me, yet she never made me feel stupid. I knew enough to seek her out for help, I would have liked to of had an actual visual teacher growing up. After all my high school text books were finished the highest score I ever got was in Biology. My Beka girl was wonderful! She actually the only teacher I ever had in school besides my own mother. Beka was very important to me in her help during those years. I am in awe she was in my life!

Sitting in her library bedroom I was eating up all the titles of books, she gave me some to read, to borrow. Rebekah said confidently "Reading is where it all begins Debby!" I smiled happily, realizing I could at least give it a try...

Friday, January 28, 2011

Victoria BC Canada

My husband Tony had been saving up and waiting for the right time to take me on our actual "Honeymoon." I always said I didn't need such a thing. On the weekend we got married, we enjoyed it downtown Boise, and I LOVED just hanging out with each other all day at a coffee shop. To me, That was our honeymoon! I like to think I am not traditional...Sooo my wedding was both fun and spunky, my honeymoon was at a coffee shop which is different too! I felt my life was simply perfect! Tony also knew diamonds in my wedding band would only annoy me. I want a simple happy life and I was surprised, even amazed to be swept off my feet when our actual Honeymoon came about. That 10 day get away for July 5, 2007 was AMAZING far better then diamonds, I was bewildered by such an adventure! Tony was a travel agent for 3 years, he prided himself on knowing how to travel in style. His mom (also a flight attendant) sent us off in style on our plane  with a surprise announcement about us being our honeymoon. So the whole plane came alive with people cheering it was a perfect send off! Our first stop was Seattle, we loved visiting that city. Tony's close college friend Adam picked us up at the airport giving us the best tour of the city ever! I also loved the TV show "Fraiser" so Adam took us to Kerry Park for the popular horizon view of Seattle. He gave us the VIP treatment, Tony and I loved it all! Our hotel "The Sorrentto" was historic and a real classic. I loved the piano bar and those calm relaxing chairs, Tony also enjoyed being driven around through the busy city, especially with no stress over where we need to turn or park. The Victoria Clipper was my very first ferry ride. Our hotel in Victoria, Laurel Point Inn had the most amazing sunset view when we walked into the room, I caught my breath and grasped in awe as my suit cases fell to the floor, I walked straight out into the orange glowing light with tears of such happiness. "It's so Beyond actual words!" I whispered as I stretch out my arms with love over the balcony saying "Look at THIS VIEW!" My joking Husband replied. "Nothing but the best for my baby!" as he opened the champagne and order room service, I never left the balcony until the sunset was actually gone. As I drank my bubbling flute after toasting with Tony the beginning of our amazing honeymoon, I suddenly heard the sounds of the huge flat screen TV in the room, I turned around from that breath taking view to hear Tony shout out from the couch "Hey Look! Dog is on!" I was completely bewildered, I rushed into the room where the TV show theme song of "Dog the Bounty hunter." was playing. I exclaimed to a lazy surprised looking Tony, "WHAT? Are you kidding me? How can you turn on the TV with such a view as THAT!?!" I pointed to the wide open ocean bay, Instantly Tony clicked off the TV feeling rejected. Then he jumped up to his tired traveling feet to sit outside with me on the balcony, but I couldn't stop laughing so hard at that memorable moment, at how funny my sweet hubby was! He made up for his TV mistake by getting us a limo wine tasting tour the next day. After a few days being there Tony said to me that I couldn't live out on the balcony the whole time, and I replied confidently "Oh yes I can!" Each time I sat out there I thought to myself "WOW! HOW AMAZING IS THIS!" Which actually can sum up that whole honeymoon vacation perfectly! It was one of those vacations that was full of such beauty, such LOVE!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Jennifer's Doll House

I was 15 years old spending the weekend in Boise about an hour away from my orchard farm home. My Beloved friend Jennifer lived in a cozy subdivision not far from the Boise river. I liked getting to stay 2 full nights with her before having to go home on Sunday. Since Jen and I went to the same church it just made sense to wait for Sunday to go home. My time with Jennifer in the beautiful city of Boise was always fun, It made me really love being there. It was on a sunny Saturday morning when Jen said she had to got practice her violin. Her family was all out so the home was quiet, I sat on the floor in her room. Jennifer hesitated "I will be a couple of hours do you want to watch TV?" I smiled thoughtfully asking "Can I play with your doll house?" She chuckled and nodded taking out her violin going down the stairs. As the whole house filled with her music, I sat in front of her doll house with such excitement. This was the most amazing of all doll houses! Each room in the doll house was wallpapered and carpeted, Jen had worked for hours on the details, she painted and glued and carefully setup each part as if it was a real home. When I saw it for the first time I dropped to my knees in awe and she pointed out everything she had just changed. The little animal dolls in dresses and aprons were small enough to walk up and down the stairs. I loved the wrap around porch and the movable doors. In a side box Jennifer created a market, a shop full of all kinds of things for the critters who lived in the doll house could go buy. I was completely amazed by all the details in the store too! I would stare at it for hours looking over every thing and taking in all of the perfection. As I played to the violin music downstairs, I was lost in this wonderful magical world. When bedroom door creaked I glanced up to see Jennifer's Dad standing there looking around confused with his curly hair that hung down his forehead as he leaned in to ask "Who are you talking to?" I sat there instantly flustered in front of the doll house. I had a split second to decide my response so I shrugged "No one, I am just playing." I smiled holding up a little animal doll proudly. He caught himself from burst out laughing as he said "Ooooh hooo Okay, I thought I heard different voices in here I was wondering who could you be talking to?" He was going to choke on trying not to laugh as I giggled saying "Well....I make all my own voices for each character." I smiled boldly I knew He was not going to hurt my feelings by laughing actually AT me, though he was trying to not laugh until he reached his bedroom. I couldn't help but laugh too. I had been so lost in my own imagination that I didn't realize I was telling the story out loud. The doll house had come to life by my touch, there was a kind of magical power drawing me into the little cozy home with little bowls of fruit and tiny cups. Those small lamps and chairs made me wish I could simply live there happily ever after. I actually was in there on that sunny Saturday afternoon in my mind. "Grandpa, I don't know how to read yet." the little girl rabbit said to the old raccoon man with bifocals. He chuckled sitting on the porch replying back "Well then I should teach you, reading is the key to learning." his voice was deep and wise. I stopped to glance up at the bedroom doorway again with my own giggle.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

La Conner Washington

On July 5, 2008 we sat on the dock in this picture for a yummy sunny lunch. In La Conner Washington my husband Tony and I were celebrating our 5th anniversary. It just so happened to also be the wedding day of one of Tony's old friends from high school, he was even one of our groomsmen. He was getting married that same night in Anacortes. We found the most breathing taking place to stay for the weekend of the wedding  and for our own amazing romantic anniversary. This bed & breakfast was called Autumn Leaves, I would highly recommend it to anyone! I fell in love with the neighboring town to Anacortes called La Conner. In La Conner shops looked like little doll houses and I found Tony happily enjoying a pot of tea with a couple of older ladies who ran a tea room. I had walked from one side of the sidewalks to the other, buying little gifts and taking in the beautiful day! Tony and I had drove our own car to Washington, so we filled the back seat up with bags and blankets for the road trip home. Tony was able to set himself up with every tea gadget you could find. He said he had been looking for a "Brown Betty" tea pot and I picked out the red one. I thought the umbrella napkin holder was ingenious! La Conner's fruit stand had berries dirt cheap and by the time our afternoon nap came around I had eaten 3 pints of raspberries and blackberries by myself! I also had huge bag of bing cherries for like only 2 bucks! I thought my mom would LOVE this place for all the country side and the country style homes reminded me of her. In Anacortes we relaxed at the peaceful B&B in the late evening after the wedding event. The next day was both lazy and beautiful, we loved the ocean view from downtown and found an amazing Italian restaurant that reminded us of our favorite TV show "The Sopranos." That last night of our trip was sparkling, the starry sky and sizzling foods with a rich red wine and great personal service with true passion for Italian food. Il Posto Ristorante Italiano was the name of such a yummy good perfect place! So as my shawl draped off my shoulders of my soft summer black and white dress, Tony leaned into kiss me over the candle light dinner with the soft Italian music playing. He whispered "How did I get You, How did I get such a beautiful wife?" I tossed my head back with a laugh and said "The truth did I get YOU, Happy anniversary Babe!" When the dessert arrived as a complement from the chef the words Happy Anniversary decorated the plate. I knew, without a doubt, that the world was a romantic magical place to live with my soul mate, my ever best friend!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Breakfast at Tiffanys

My beloved friend Tiffany and I spent many long lazy hours walking the orchards on my farm or the country side around her home. She lived 4 miles away, next to our beloved friend Rebekah's home too. Now Rebekah was next door neighbors to the Bonnells so once a week when I cleaned the Bonnells house, I got see my girlie friends too! Allen would sometimes invite Tiff and Beka with me to eat out at the Black Canyon truck stop where the homemade pies were like mountains. I loved my girls, Rebekah's sister Leah was also my very close friend. Tiffany's little sister Molly often sat on my lap laughing and talking when I visited or slept over. Those days of visiting this corner of country made me so happy! I had my true friends just a few steps away especially when I needed a brake or an escape from my own home. Rebekah was Tiffany's best friend since they were in diapers and I never wanted to brake that. Often when Tiffany talked about her boyfriend Devin, Bekah would instantly disappear. I would find her later to ask why she always ran away? Rebekah would tell me that she didn't think we should be boy crazy. I loved how smart Rebekah was, she helped me through my biology and other high school studies. She loved books and libraries, I enjoyed how different she and I were also. While I wore my emotions on my sleeve, she guarded herself with a straight face shaking her head at me in disapproval. When she did feel playful she would laugh at me and say I was good for her. When I felt serous I went to her with awe that she always knew what to do. Tiffany and I were very much alike, now this was both good and bad. As we were prone to misunderstandings and emotional out bursts at the very same time. 
It was on a fall evening walk as Tiff and I talked out in the open country side roads. I was happy to be sleeping over at her place. I gathered a selection of fallen leaves creating a fan that I carried and played with. Tiffany sighed holding onto to my arm as we walked. "Sometimes I think I couldn't live any where else!" I smiled nodding in agreement. Tiffany's home was nice, very clean and comfortable overlooking the wide open valley of farms and orchards. With privacy from the irrigation ditch in the back yard and the fenced in fields to the sides. I did agree she lived in such a beautiful place. Even with her best friend right across the street,  there were gardens growing every where!  A truly perfect place! I watched Tiffany as she looked like she could cry, her long redish brown hair swung down off her shoulders of her warm fuzzy sweater. I had on a jacket with my own long redish blond hair pulled up into a messy ponytail. "What's wrong?" I asked softly waving my leaf fan at her nose, she giggled by it and sighed again wiping a few soft tears that slid down her cheeks. "I never want to leave home. But I  know I have to, I know college will be fun.....It's just so scary not having my parents with me everywhere I will go. This is my Home, nothing can replace it." I listened quietly and thinking whenever my beloved girls talked about missing their parents I couldn't relate. I have never once said "I want my parents with me." It was hard on me that they weren't always very nice.  Tiffany continued "Then there is Devin and I am not sure..." I giggled rolling my eyes, for Tiffany kept saying she didn't know if they were meant for each other. I thought it was just to keep everyone from teasing her so much. 
I thoughtfully said "When you are ready, you can leave this place to start a whole new life with Devin! It will be so Wonderful!" I smiled big with my arms out in happiness. Tiffany began laughing at me saying "Oh, I don't know, but I do love him." Then suddenly she grabbed my arm in alarm, "Debby I said it out loud! I said...I LOVE HIM!" I frowned both confused and surprised "I know....." I replied slowly. I wasn't sure why she was freaking out, "I have never said THAT out loud before! I haven't even told my dad or my mom!" I chuckled realizing what was happening on this walk. I nodded confidently back at her "I thought you said you loved him before? or maybe I always just thought you did." I reasoned then shrugged. Tiffany squealed still grabbing onto my arm "I have been so afraid to rush into love. Now I know he is the one I love!!" I nodded replying "GOOD! He will be great for you!" I stopped to look around at the empty streets with the beautiful fall country side. "Right here. Right now. Tiffany my love, shout it out!" I waved my arms out showing the wide open valley around us. Tiffany looked around then threw her arms out shouting "I LOVE DEVIN!" I threw my leaf fan up in the air over her at the same time. I was just as excited and happy as she was! She hugged me happily, giggling. I smiled my approval saying back at her "See, now that you just told the whole world, you can face telling anyone!" I winked at her as she brushed the fall leaves out of her hair. Then she hugged me all the way back home into the calm warm sunset.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Big Oysters

It was July 4th 2005, my husband Tony and I were sitting in a cute cafe in the heart of Seattle Washington. Our view was facing Pike place market with the ocean bay. It was so amazingly crowded, just full of people everywhere! I walked through the funny setup of the old building of that market. With narrow hallways full of booths and shops going up and down, it really felt like a whole other world. I was happy to find a place to sit down and relax with a cold beer. Tony and I were celebrating our 2nd anniversary. One of the main problems having an anniversary next to a holiday is that traveling and hotel prices were at their high peaks in price. My husband will not stay in anything under 4 stars. This made me tease him about it. (Now I have come to realize I am the very same way! I can't go back to a cheap hotel room no matter how much I could save.) A vacation is a time of pampering and spoiling yourself, so if you are busy unclogging the broken toilet then it's not a fun vacation after all. 
We walked all over downtown Seattle, resting at each coffee shop corner. When we finally sat down at the lunch cafe I had consumed 3 cups of coffee, 1 large ice tea and a few bottles of water due to the summer heat. When Tony order the  oysters I was thrilled! I love all fresh sea food. Since we could see the ocean bay it was only natural to crave that type of food. I was always getting clams and mussels when on vacation, So oysters were just as yummy! When the platter arrived with sizes all different, even an oyster the size of my hand. I sprayed lemon juice all over then tossed them back still licking my lips with the sea salt edge of the shell in my mouth. "Oooooh these are so yummy!" I said as Tony choked on his own oyster suddenly he was done. "Nope. I can't do it." He looked away drinking down his beer quickly. I laughed at his pale face. "That is good news for me! I will eat yours too!" Tony said later it was like trying swallow a raw chicken breast suddenly he knew he couldn't do it. But I was happy to eat away! I couldn't believe the variety of oysters out there. We were use to the very small size or they were setup in a shooter shot. For the rest of the trip we stayed away from any oysters for Tony's sake:-)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Macks Fruit Stand

I was washing silverware as the church potluck unfolded one Sunday afternoon, I had asked once why I was always told to do this job. Those older ladies said no one else could get help from other people like I did. But I honestly hated asking my friends to stop visiting or playing outside in order to wash by hand forks and spoons. While we worked we would sing fun camp songs. ( That was my most favorite time singing with my friends.) It was at a moment like this when a mother of one of my friends, told me she found the perfect job for me. I stopped to look at her with a thoughtful smile. She was an outgoing lady who was always looking out for everyone. She had found me a job even though it was the last thing I wanted so I just smiled. My last job had a sexual harassment memory scaring me from the public all together,or at least for 5 months. "Okay thanks, I will look into it." I said not motivated at all as she explained. "You would love it! It's at a fruit stand store....since you know so much about apples from your own farm I thought it would be a perfect fit!" I nodded back at her as I towel dried the silverware I asked "What was it called again?" She smiled happily in reply "Mack's Fruit Stand, you might know it best by the big pinto beans sign. I use to work there. And it's just outside of town." I realized I knew the place. I knew it very well. My mom was always bringing home boxes of yogurt from there, and over the years we had sold our peaches to the owner Larry. "I know it, when I am there next time I will apply." I sighed with dread knowing I needed a job but I was still jaded by the last one at the same time.

My Mom was pushing me out of the car, "Come on Debby, don't be scared!" I felt like crying because I was terrified thinking of getting a job. I walked bravely inside the big wide open shop, through the plastic flaps that hung from the garage doors. In the center of the fruit stand were the registers sat surrounded by displays of veggies and fruits along with the humming motor sound of the milk case in the very back of the store. The mini rows of shelves with canned goodies displayed in the middle of the store. There was a pallet full of 25 lb bags of pinto beans too. I asked the young guy working there if they were hiring he said he didn't know and hardly showed any response. I explained who sent me and who I was for a message to the owner. The high school guy smiled briefly saying that Larry was his dad. And I left feeling unsure if I wanted to work there. I had another job interview for a photographer position in the mall. I was thinking that job sounded like fun and financially smart , as a 19 year old girl I just didn't know what to do.

The very next morning Larry excitedly called me in to work, I was bewildered by no interview, I was hired on the spot. He said over the phone if I could come right in, he would be so happy, he needs the help. He also knew my Grandparents, the farm and my Dad. He said he was glad I wanted to work there for he knew I was a hard worker. I thought that was funny and nice of him to say.  Everything moved so fast as I got a job 8-5 Monday through Friday.

 2 weeks later, 4 steps in the photographer job interview later they called me with that job. My mom was thrilled talking on the phone with the lady, then she explained to me that I had the job, she was almost jumping up and down handing me the phone. I was excited just like my mom. I knew I wanted to be a photographer, working in a photo shop, working at getting kids to smile for the camera. It had better pay and benefits, a corporate ladder to climb. Yet as I took the phone from my happy mother all I said was "I am sorry, but I already have a job." Mom dropped the pitch of juice she was carrying onto the counter starring at me in horror and shock, I was surprised too! I was thinking I would say "Thank you so much I will be there first thing tomorrow!" YET I did NOT say that!?!?.....I had just spent that afternoon sorting out rotting peaches from basket to basket in late summer heat. I was completely confused in my mind, shouting at myself "No no no sorry I meant YES I want THIS JOB!" I waited as the lady gasped in reply saying "You went through all the interviews and past the tests....and now you have another job?!" I replied happily "Yup, I have a job that I really like, so thank you again for accepting me but I am passing." She shot back "What kind of job if I may ask?" She sounded truly pissed off, I giggled saying "Oh, just a local fruit stand grocery store place that I enjoy." My mind was fighting against me, "Why did I say that? I have wanted this job for a long time?" She hung up quickly and Mom flew over to me freaking out "DEBBY! what have YOU DONE!?!" I stared in alarm at her. "I don't know?! WHAT have I done?! I wanted THAT job over everything else?!" I explained to Mom, who looked bewildered and walked back into kitchen starring at me as if I was a freak. I told Mom everything I was thinking then when I tried to speak the words it didn't come out! Everything I said made me ask myself "Why did I say that?!?" Mom wasn't happy with me, she kept frowning and telling me I was crazy.Yet I felt at peace, I was truly happy to still be working at Macks. I asked myself days later "Why in the world would I turn down such a good job in photography?" My mom never understood it. She was so frustrated with me, I doubt myself too. I really had to laugh at myself for not taking the job. For some reason I had no idea at the time why....I just knew deep down inside of me that I was right where God wanted me to be. I was working at Macks Fruit Stand with my weekends off and my whole life feeling complete. 
"Hey there Smiley!" an old faithful customer greeted me as I was setting up a fresh new display of apples one late morning. "Hey There! Isn't it such a BEAUTIFUL day?" I replied as he chuckle walking by for a gallon of milk he nodded back saying "I have never heard you say otherwise." I smiled big knowing that I loved my life. I felt like I belonged.

(This is the place where I met my husband a year later so maybe just maybe God did have a hand in changing my mind about what job I should take for a reason xoxoxo)

Friday, January 21, 2011

My Girl Benny

It was dark outside when Benny arrived at my best friend Joanie's house. I was washing the dinner dishes, as I met Benny for the first time. Joanie and Benny had to study and Joanie's brother Jason kept following them around until Joanie started fighting with him to leave them alone. As I threw the dish towel over my shoulder I raced into Joanie's bedroom scolding her for yelling at her brother, and telling them both how to behave. That was the moment when Benny looking at me in surprised asked "Who ARE you?" (and WE have been friends ever since!) I am just a few years old then Joanie and Benny, since I was staying over at Joanie's house all the time, I gave back by cleaning everything. I liked Joanie's younger brother Jason as if he was my brother too. So whenever they fought, I would jump in telling them how to get along. I would always pointed out each others good qualities, hoping we could all just hang out. That night as Benny found out who I was, she thought there was something odd about me. The fact I was cleaning Joanie's house, washing the dishes and reacting to Joanie and Jason's fighting like a mother was strong proof. I was not only odd but also clueless. Joanie was explaining who I was to Benny but then she quickly grabbed a note pad and pen. Benny began to laugh hysterically as Joanie wrote down  "Things Debby Needs to Know." Joanie was always keeping a list, she loved writing  things down in a row or else she would forget the next day. Our friendship had moments like this; 
Joanie: "What was yesterday?"
Me: "Monday."
Joanie: "Oh yeah, what did I do? Did I go with you to the mall?"
Me smirking: "Nope you had a dentist appointment then went to your Grandma's for dinner."
Joanie: "Oh yeah, she's funny."
Me nodding still reading my magazine on her bedroom floor; "Tonight your Dad wants to make sloppy joes." I reminded her.
Joanie: "What is going on tonight? I feel like something is going on."
Me: "We told Benny we would meet up with her at Moxie Java at 8pm."
Joanie: "We did?"
Me: "Yeah on Sunday night, we all made plans."
Joanie: "I don't remember that? what were we doing?"
Me not even hesitating: "We were having Chinese food at the Golden Palace with her after church and she said she wanted to talk about school with ya more this week, I said lets all meet in front of the fireplace at the coffee shop, then you said there was a cute boy working there and you didn't want to go if he was going to be there, then I said who cares and got upset remember? You DID agree to go after all. Benny and I gave you a hard time. and honestly I haven't seen a cute boy working there yet....So we will be find just going there in our PJ pants."  
Joanie laughing: "I don't remember any of this!"
Me: "I know you have a horrible memory."
Joanie: "I need to take you with me to college so you could recite my life back to me."
Me:  "I know! I should! You really worry me sometimes."
Joanie giggling: "Do I have a boyfriend?"
Me: "THAT would be something I hope you could remember!"

Joanie was screaming into the phone when I came out of the bathroom. "I SAID...IS BENNNNNNY THERE!" I jerked back in alarm and tried to quiet her down. She screamed this 3 times and I waved her down with my hand. "Oh good grief! Joanie is that necessary?" She hung up "I don't know where Benny is, maybe she is already there." I stared at Joanie in confusion, "Did you need to scream in the phone?" Joanie rolled her eyes "Benny's Grandma can't hear at all. So I had to shout." I shrugged as we went out the door. "Whose driving?" I asked as Joanie shook her head at my old 1979 big long classic chevy car. "We will take MY car this time, why look like rednecks if ya don't have to?" I laughed in agreement but protested "MY car is a classic! I was BORN the year the car was made! So we are meant for each other!" Joanie's little navy blue saturn got us around much easier. Once we settled down in front of the roasting fire place of the coffee shop. Benny didn't waste any time asking "Where is the list? Have you been learning about the list Deb?" I giggled with my orange mocha  up to my lips. The moment Joanie made my list, "Things Debby needs to know." Benny has talked about nothing else, she kept saying "Don't write THAT! who doesn't know THAT?" Joanie would reply calmly as she wrote "Debby doesn't know, honestly she was raise in a bubble.....YOU have NO IDEA!" I would nodded saying nothing while I shrugged. This list would become a classic memory in and of itself. The fact I was 20 years old at that time in my life, the situations I was finding myself in were not getting any easier to avoid. 
"Things Debby needs know"
dicks and pricks
oral sex
sex in general
french kissing
cosmopolitan magazine
Jerry springer  
Now the list was much longer, this is all I could remember of it right now. My girl Benny had never met someone as naive, and ignorant at the age of 20 like me! I was often so uncomfortable by all the sexual talk even if it was "G" rated. While most people joked about sex, I began to act out in my self-righteousness like these things didn't bother me when really they did. It became embarrassing for Joanie if I didn't know what she was saying, even her and Sara would often warn me not to tell anyone what they were joking about. I would get on my soap box about how if it has to be a secret, then it was wrong!
So Joanie decided the list would help me realize how important it is not to tell anyone about these things. The braking point came when the whole group of young adults sat in a diner after bible study one night making fun a guy named Dick at church. I felt bad for the nice man, I got really mad being the only one not laughing. They all went on about the other names you would not want to called. I felt like it was my job to stand up for Dick, he was often made fun of and now I was done with it. At my booming voice I said they should all be ashamed to make fun of someone's name like Dick, who was a nice man, he has a sweet wife and a good christian life. How dare they keep making fun of him! I stormed out having said Dick's name a dozen time without realizing each time the group ducked down with embarrassment. Later Joanie said I shouldn't have stormed out like that, she had to get a ride home. I was amazed by how even christian guys joke about dicks, I guess I thought we were called to a superior sense of humor. Benny loved all these moments though, she said it was so good for her soul how zealous I was!

Benny and I sat comfortably in the booth, sharing a pitcher of our favorite beer "Alaskan Amber". Our girl nights were always fun sitting there catching up. Benny smiled saying "Just think 10 years ago you didn't know ANYTHING!" I sat there thinking that I just love being 30, I wanted to freeze this age of such calm happiness. I rolled my eyes at how hopeless I was back then. "SEE not very many friends I have now Know anything about that time in my life. It's good to remember how I have grown." Benny nodded saying "You were always hilarious! Good for my soul!" We laughed and clinked our beer mugs together.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Hachi (A Movie Review)

I watched this movie with a clear understanding it will be a powerful, sad and emotional movie. I love all movies about dogs! No matter the warnings people may say. I want to see for myself what the dog story is about and usually I learn something very important. I hardly remember much about that movie "I am Legend" with Will Smith but I DO remember the German Sheppard named Samantha in that story. When a close friend of mine said she hated "Marley & Me" I quickly watched it to see why. That story was very important, I liked how Marley's owner realized his life was made better by his dog and how we need to be there for our dog after the years they gave us. 

This movie "Hachi" is an amazing story. It starts out with a cute pup getting lost, then the pup chooses his owner ( I believe dogs just know who will love them), So a kindhearted well-balanced man takes Hachi home. This man has a happy marriage, a grown daughter and time in his career were a dog fits in perfectly. The man is played by Richard Gere, who can always capture true emotions very easily. When Richard tries to get the puppy Hachi to play fetch, I was laughing so much because he reminded me of myself! I also enjoyed how connected the people were at the train station. This story has such kindness to Hachi as he walked around town getting treats. (I always love seeing dogs walking happily along with no leash. Behaving so good) Hachi ends up being the loyal hero and the inspiration to the whole town. But when Richard Gere is speaking at his college class he said something I really admired and thought about all after the movie was over. He said "I am a lot older then you" He is speaking to a room full of college students. "But I tend to think that there is an element of music that can not be captured. Life can not be captured, the moment of creation itself is fleeting..."
When Hachi plays fetch finally now a grown beautiful dog and he is magically in tuned to his owner's health. I nodded my approval for dogs are AMAZING creatures! Somehow we humans got lucky to have them be our best friends! The fact Hachi never gave up makes me wonder where that kind of devotion comes from? Humans can hardly handle being loyal in general, even to their jobs, much less for a decade! 
Hachi is an inspiring movie full of hope with that deeper understanding of true love. I think this story asks of us..... What can we do for each other? What kind of a friend are we? 
And most importantly I believe there is an element of all the dogs that can not be captured!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Grim, Is The Name of the Reaper

Death comes like a fast wind, or on a stormy night. Or maybe death comes with the sun light? How do we know when death walks by? Do we see the dark shadow?
Grim doesn't sound like he would very many friends actually....Grim, is the name of the reaper. I know I wouldn't want His job!
Yet Death touches each of us at a different moment in this shared time. The world spins with the living and the dying. The dying disappearing and the living pushing out the end of their own time.
My neighbor died a week ago, Art Mayor. This old man was always wandering around the condo gardens from his red brick home on the other side of our lilacs. He made fun of me one spring afternoon when it was my 3rd trip out to cut the lilacs. "Don't they sink?' He asked me and I laughed "I don't think so! I love the unique smell." And on that very first summer night in our condo, with all the bedroom windows open and boxes everywhere, Tony and I flopped down on the bed exhausted from moving. The sudden loud hacking noise from Art's smoke filled lungs made Tony and I burst out laughing into our bed pillows, while rolling into each other to not be overheard giggling, Art hacked for a good 5 minuets every night for the rest of his life another 7 years from that moment. One night a few years ago I got alarmed it was about 11pm and there was no hacking sound of our neighbor. "Did Art die?" I worried, I had gotten use to his schedule of sounds. I always liked Art, he was very a happy neighbor. He liked all kinds of jokes and always seemed to be laughing over something. He also never wore a shirt and his wild gray hair stood up at the sides. I could tell instantly if he didn't have his teeth in, for as I was gardening he would come up across the yard with a cigarette talking to me and I would have to stop to focus on what he had just said. Art was also the one to tell me I had my very first tomato growing that first summer, I hugged him and jumped up and down squealing! He thought I was odd, but said he loved growing tomatoes too. The hours we chatted and walked about the condos talking about gardening was always fun. He had his own set of dog stories too, whenever he bent down to pet Oscar he would share one. When it came to always being home Art and I usually were, In his garage he watch those old western movies with the door up waving at me as I drove in from the park with Oscar. Art was also the one to tell me when the Humane society truck was driving around (they took our soon-to-be cat Tinker Belle). Good neighbors are actually hard to find, but visiting last night with Janet about her husband Art made me happy to be apart of this little condo community. Janet is a good grounds keeper, she is not someone to mess with and I fortunately never had to face her over any issue. She and I have join each other in facing other neighbors or to find out what is going on in our shared yards. I also like telling her all I know and see around the place, she loved her husband and they were such a funny couple. She said last night that it is good to have neighbors, We told her we would miss Art too. I knew I had felt Grim walking around this place, he was walking among the lilac bushes and left a path in the winter's yard the very day that Art died. This was before I even knew, I just Felt it.
Death doesn't scare me, doesn't confuse me or even threaten me. I can feel death like an icy cold rain drop, or a foggy mist shadowing out the sunshine. Death can also sparkle among the morning light or on those starry nights. I am not morbid, Gothic or even spiritual. I just respect death, and Grim needs our utmost respect.
God and Grim walk hand in hand, side by side (At least that is how I picture it). There isn't a battle of "good vs. evil" or even that popular "us vs. them". Death comes to us ALL, For it is as natural as being born only at birth it is the beginning of life stories. The end of life stories don't always inspire others like they should. We are always trying to grasp death as we go on living once we have seen him. Grim will sometimes take the time to look the still alive right in the eye, The first time I saw him I was startled, now I just tip my hat in honor. To try and capture him or to stop him, can only come from the other power out there. We like to call this other power...God. Why does death get tossed aside when the living seek out God? Maybe they are even the very same thing. No one, I do mean NO ONE can answer this for me. I am happy to just keep asking such things and keep on living, I will die someday. I know when that moment comes I will be ready, I might even be ready right now? I will not be afraid because I see how everything is connected. If only I could come back and share what I  learned on those travels of death then I would!  
(No doubt that would be my best blog EVER too) Since I know I can't, it is more comforting to me in my unanswered questions. Not knowing exactly what death is or where our soul will go helps me make up my own ideas. With my beautiful imagination I can create my own happy ending!! I can capture my own hope in my own strength! When I die, I will die on my own. This is much more magical to me then to be told ahead of time what death is like. In a religious system people want an absolute, an escape to somehow save themselves from death and unknown after life.....since I, having been raised in that system, realized that no one actually knows anything at all! I have been able to be brave in ways I didn't know possible! Death is still a mystery even in the bible, though faith is also mentioned, Faith gives peace of mind. I have my own faith too! I know death can not be fooled, nor be changed or stopped. I can not say for sure that there is a place called "Heaven". That there is even anything after death for no one knows.....maybe you could choose to be a fairy or an angel after you die? These kind of stories are nice to wonder hope that when Grim knocks on our door we can be brave. We can still have hope in the next journey we take, I think it is important to be ready, to not be afraid, to know some questions can't be answered. The only truth is you are never really all alone as you die....
God and Grim are your friends too!

Helen took her leave....

I had a weekly job of cleaning the house and taking care of an elderly couple from church growing up in my teen years. Allen and Helen Bonnell were the sweetest people! Helen was actually much older then her husband and had many health problems even a few strokes. She was a spunky lady with curly dark gray hair. She wore eye glasses and when she laughed you couldn't help but join in with her. Her rolly polly body would move very cautiously. I was always happy to help her. I liked visiting with her in her favorite chair as I went about cleaning. She was easily confused, emotional and proud. I learned what things she made her upset as well. She often said she felt useless, lazy or a good for nothing... as I dusted around her. I tried to get her to help one day thinking she would be happy to fold the clean clothes, only I ended up with her crying over how she can't remember where the clothes went once folded. I was young about 13 when I first went to work for them, I learned quickly how to not overwhelm Helen, I looked forward to that one day every week. As I grew over those years, I ended up feeling like their house was my own (if not much more calmer). I loved every story Helen could remembered! And if a certain topic came up Helen would share the same well remembered story each time, I liked knowing what she was about to say next. I always reacted as if she had never shared it before. I felt I understood that even though all the stories were mostly repetitive, I responded with honor and respect to them. If she couldn't finish her story for some odd reason then I would reminded her of how it ended. Because she would worry over not remembering it for the remaining day if I didn't. Helen also hated the words "Healthy Food." She would say "I have never tasted anything good out of what someone said was Healthy!" I would laugh at this as I tried to get her to eat her carrot sticks. Soon I stopped saying "This is Healthy for you!" because she would clam up and refuse to eat it. After a while I would just say "This is so GOOD, I love it!" then she would at least try it for herself. I was proud of myself if she did like whatever veggie I made. I also enjoyed how Allen cared and loved his wife. Caring for her everyday for years after her first stroke really wore him down. Helen always talked about how she was surprised he would even marry her, for she was just an old school teacher. I loved how she would giggled when Allen would reply "Because you are beautiful. and I thought you would be able to teach me how to read." Then we all would laugh at this. I was able to have such a place to escape from my own teen-aged life once a week. I was happy, safe and balancing myself out before returning home in the evenings. I was refreshed by how Allen and Helen loved each other, how they lived so comfortably together, and how they shared that comfort with me.

Allen was not his usual cheerful joking self. As I cooked up corn and mashed potatoes for dinner, ever since I had gotten a real job now that I was 18, he seemed sadden by this change. I was sad too for it meant I was an actual adult now. Though I kept popping over for dinners and surprise chats with them. For being able to spend all day long there had ended. Now Allen had close family and amazingly good neighbors all around him. So my moving on with my job, didn't make me feel I had abandon them to be all alone. 
On this beautiful evening the sun was setting over such a stressful day for everyone. Helen had another stroke that morning, she sat silent in her chair not responding. This was hard on Allen the most, though neighbors and family stopped by to check in and wonder what to do. I would watch Helen move with out purpose or reason in her chair. I kept trying to see if she would come back to us, telling her what is for dinner even. We all had a sad feeling that after dinner we would take her to the hospital, she wasn't getting better. As Allen went to off by himself for awhile, I washed the dinner dishes praying and thinking about Helen. I knew that once I got outside for a long walk I would feel better, I barely made it to the corner of their big back yard, This was my usual walk through long stretch field into the neighboring farms and fruit orchards. I was struck by a sudden sense of panic and fear at that corner of yard, an alarming voice in my head demanded me to stop walking and I did. I stood there my heart racing uncontrollably and I was breathing heavy, "  What in the world?"  I asked myself trying to move forward on my walk, I needed to take this walk! At least to clear my head and calm myself down. But instead another alarm bell rang in my head with The sudden understanding this voice said "Run Debby Run!" I stood there looking around by the fear growing inside of me, like a bolt of lightening again. "Run, Run Back to Helen, RIGHT NOW."  I was almost out of breath running all the way back up the huge yard, I felt like I  was going to be to late if I didn't run back. I slid to my knees by her side with tears pouring down my neck . "Helen! Oh Helen!" She wasn't really looking at anything, but when I said her name she shot me a look of knowing herself, then she began to drift away forever, I boldly sung "What a friend we have in Jesus." to calm my sudden panicking self. My voice was softly filling the living room as the 2 of us sat there in soft warm glow of the sun light, that sunset was almost gone too, 
I never let go of her hand until I knew, until I saw our Sweet Helen, our Dear Lady took her leave....

Monday, January 17, 2011

Apples to Apples

I loved my Grandpa's apple orchards growing up, he kept those rows of trees healthy and strong. Which made it a beautiful panoramic view from his house! Our houses were set on farm #1, surrounded by the plum orchards. My favorite of all the orchards was the oldest apple orchard on the farm called "The Bisbees". I think it was the history in that section of farm land that I really enjoyed. Yet, I ended up sitting more in the small apple trees growing up the hillside to grandpa's house, for THAT view alone was just one step away from God! Now Farm 2 was right across the street from farm 1, where most of the Red Delicious apples grew. It was where we kids played baseball, for the dirt was soft to slide in and the wide open space made it easy to really swing the bat. Having 3 farms full of many different apple orchards, I was able to decide what my most favorite apple was. On Farm 3 down around the big wide irrigation canal was the Rome apples. A beautiful red color, this apple is fat almost squatty looking. Now the taste to me, even picked right off a tree, didn't really have what I wanted in an apple. The Joni-golds had a juicy bite with half the tartness of a Jonathon apple. Those Jonathon apples were small, easy to eat while walking around the orchard. But the sparks of the tangy flavor showed so much tart. My Mom said she loved them for canning, they held that flavor a long time. The traditional big tall Red Delicious apple was my Grandma Norma's favorite, because she said they were truly beautiful, just what an apple should look like. Yet...I never liked them, Honestly, because Red delicious hardly have any flavor. The meat of the apple is greenish tint with a dull boring juice. Of course I never told my Grandma That!
I remember the day Dad came home with a fuji apple, he had gone to a farmers convention. There was a special new apple revealed at the convention, I watched Dad become so excited and he was really hoping to get his In-laws to plant a whole new orchard of this Fugi apple, (it was a funny name I thought) Dad called it "the apple of the future".
True to form the fuji apple became a house hold name after all! Still though, I know that fuji apples are not my favorite. Even though in the dead of winter when all other apples go mealy, that fuji apple can hold it's juicy strength. Just not the apple for me......
Our neighboring farm had a Granny Smith orchard that sometimes we had to pick at harvest time. And THAT apple is pure sour! If you don't want to feel your teeth after awhile just eat a dark green granny smith apple.(YIKES) There was one unique type of apple Grandpa had for pollination on the farm, it was called a "Winter Banana apple". This apple is an heirloom with a light skin color almost white that blends into a soft blush of pink. This apple was only tasty for a tiny bit of time, if it was on the tree to long it became all mushy, or if it was still a tiny bit green that bite would be bitter. If you caught this apple at it's perfect time, then the bite would be a honey sweet flavor with a hint lemony tartness. I spent many hours thinking about each apple's own flavors, the good and bad things about it.

I loved the comparing apples to apples, in finding out right off the tree branch which apple held up to my taste buds. I would take time to see all the colors, all the textures inside and out. I will always love apples most of all!
My father once asked me "Do you know what is worse then finding a worm in your apple?"  I blinked and shook my head "No, what?" He smiled big and chuckled "Having a half of worm inside." I groaned back at him "Oooh No! GROSS!" He said it actually DID happen to him once while He was driving the tractor, he quickly grabbed an apple on the run, then when he noticed the half a worm moving there in his hand, he was turned off of apples for the rest of the week!

MY MOST BELOVED APPLE, (Drum roll Please)
This apple can hold it's own in every thing! For it is simply perfect to me! Now out of the wide world of apples I gave this passion some deep thought.
I can cook with it, I eat it fresh (I miss those days of taking it right off the dusty tree branch, for there is no taste quite like it, especially in that moment), I can put it in pancakes or green salads. ALL of my apple pies shine because of this great apple every time! Yes, I do believe THIS apple can DO IT ALL!! From in my quest of the best apples out there, with all my gala slices and my honey crisp purchases. For every Braeburn bite or even that Empire try. I didn't stop with just the type of apples on my childhood farm... but also in the stores with Pink lady apples or those popular Mackintoshes.  
I STILL think that nothing can compare to my wonderful tasty, juicy, sweet, strong, Beautiful and PERFECT.....................
Golden Delicious Apples!!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Hide N Seek

Growing up on a fruit farm was wonderful for all the night time games we could play like flash light tag or hide N seek. In the evenings as the sun set we would play baseball, volleyball and soccer. But at Night time when it got so dark, and our friends came over for dinner, we kids took to the orchards. The farm had miles of plum trees and apple orchards, we got lost in our world of being a kid and running our hearts out!
My sister Dana and I are very close in age so we often stuck together while running around at night. Our friend Sara was a bit younger, Often we played boys vs. the girls. Our brothers would chase us or hunt us down if we were hiding among the trees. One night while Dana and Sara walked with me, we could our brothers shouting down in the valley below. "They will never find us!" I declared. We were so far away from where we heard them yelling out to each other. On that clear fall night with sparkling stars and a full moon. Dana complained about the brightness of moon not allowing many hiding places, so we just kept on the move. Sara has 2 brothers Lucas and Jordan that are close in age of our brother Derek. Now Sara and Derek were always clear cut enemies, It was fun to watch the war of words between those two. As the boys ran around below us, I felt safe to talk at a  normal level.
"They are so far away! They will NEVER catch up with us." I laughed, Dana and Sara were walking side by side looking back behind them, we girls were catching our breath from running up hill for so long. Now on the ditch bank we visited. I decided to walk backwards so I could see the girls faces, Sara was laughing as she repeated what the boys were shouting. Dana warned me "Don't walk backwards, you'll trip on a rock." I felt cocky, as I held out my arms "This is easy, I know the farm like the back of my hand." Dana rolled her eyes and Sara said "Maybe we should keep moving up hill to your Grandparents house. The boys would never look there!" I was still walking fast backwards as I talked to Dana and Sara trying to think what our next move should be to stay ahead of the boys, they were still looking for us down by the big canal. It was at this very moment the earth left me. my feet were still moving backwards but the loud piercing scream from my lips filled the quiet night. Dana and Sara stopped walking as they couldn't see me anymore in the moon light. I had walked right back into the empty irrigation ditch. It was a 3 or 4 foot drop into soft dry dirt and river rocks. My body went flying with out my understanding and all I felt was pure air. So by landing on my back I got the wind knock out of me, (where it feels like you can't breath but you really want to.) I was panicking as the boys now knew RIGHT where we were on the farm from my startled scream! I was lucky to not have really hurt myself. Sara was down in the ditch pulling me up on my feet and Dana was pushing us into hiding as our brothers were arriving quickly. Sara whispered to me as we scrambled into weeds of the ditch bank "Tell me Debby, does pride really go before the fall?" I rubbed my bruised elbows replying "I only felt all air before slamming into the ground...That was scary!" Sara walked next to me as we ran to catch up with Dana. "It was so weird how you were there then suddenly gone!" Sara explained as we climbed the steep hillside to my Grandparent's house. Dana called back over her shoulder at me "You dumb-ass." Then Sara and I shot each other a quick look as we burst out laughing.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Swimming with Sara

I was sitting comfortably in a old deep chair at the coffee shop in down town Boise Idaho. I was waiting for my old friend who I hadn't seen in almost 8 years. Sweet sparkling Sara, the girl has shinning blond hair and a long happy laugh. She was in town for the holidays and I was looking forward to catching up with her again. Maybe Facebook is the closest way we will keep in touch. When she didn't show up, I realized I didn't have her phone number with me either. I wasn't bored, I was just knitting my scarf and visiting with a couple of older ladies who loved my growing colorful scarf. I sat for a couple of hours in that morning sun light thinking about my friend. She has always been vibrant, planning her days so full of things to do. Maybe she forgot or lost my phone number too. It didn't matter to me why she never showed up, I am a happy morning person that waiting around doesn't bother me, especially with that beautiful sunshine covering the cold winter morning in the comfort of a coffee shop. I simply sat there happily remembering my friend Sara.

The sudden splash against my head made me jump as I was swimming, "What the hell was that?" I said standing up in the pool, Sara squealed as she jumped off the diving board. I held up her wet bathing suit that had hit me in the side of the side of my head "OH MY GOD!" I squealed back at her. I realized she was naked as I threw her wet suit up on the side of the pool. This was her neighbors house across the street, Sara was house sitting. I was also sleeping over, so we went swimming at midnight, just because we were simply looking for adventure (Sara was always looking for an adventure). "THAT was awesome! Why don't people swim naked more often? it's WONDERFUL!" Sara said as she swam around I stared at her in shock. "I can't believe YOU!" I protested, Sara retorted "WHY? haven't you ever seen a naked woman before? hahahahaha." She laughed as I rolled my eyes "Noooo I see my own naked self all the time, and I don't get it....My body is NOT for display that is all I am going to say!" I waved my hand out again in protest. Sara stop walking to the diving board looking at me while shaking her head. She was both skinny and curvy, she had such self confidence as she stood there fully naked and shaking her head at me. I had to put my hand up to protect myself from all of her skin as I said "I can't look at you while I am talking because I feel like I shouldn't be SEEING this!" Sara held out her arms proudily laughing "What's wrong with THIS?" I was laughing so much while thinking "My friend is crazy."  Sara walked over to me as I looked around whispering to her "Come on Sara, put your suit back on! what if someone sees you swimming naked! Come on put this back on!" Sara smiled down at me while turning up her cd player with "No Doubt" playing, "Nope, not wearing that thing! I love swimming naked, I think I will always swim this way from now on." I nodded again rolling my eyes sarcastically replying "I am SURE your mom will LOVE that!" Sara was about to jump again when she stopped to demand "Take yours off!" I squealed out "Fuck No!" She bantered back "Fuck yes! If you don't, I will swim over there and take it off myself!" I moaned "Oh god you would too!" She laughed and I quickly explained "I don't have a barbie doll body like you! I can't even really look at myself naked very long, I have way more fat and skin that is NOT to be exposed." I thought maybe with my argument, she would understand. But instead she just kept shaking her head at me replying "Lame, lame, lame....You have a beautiful body that you should be proud of! Take your suit off! Be Proud! In 1, 2, 3, I am coming to get that suit!" She splashed through the water as I scrambled out of the pool as fast as I could giggling. By the time I reach the diving board myself, I was naked too! I stood out there with my arms out and I jumped at the cheering of Sara. The water moved in ways that swimming with a suit just doesn't allow, to my amazement my body didn't look so bad after all. My laughter was strong as I swam up to Sara, she proudly nodded her approval.
"I didn't think you ever would do it! Look at you Deb, those are boobs to be proud of!" I laughed even harder as I raced out to jump again and just before I hit the water I shouted out "FREEDOM!" (a famous line from the movie "Braveheart") Sara and I swam freely, happily into the late night. We even talked about why are we told to be ashamed of our nakedness? Sara said thoughtfully "Every one has a different shape or size body, but somehow fear keeps us from just loving the skin we are in." 
I had faced my own fear that night, about nakedness and I ended up really feeling beautiful after all. I suddenly agreed with Sara, as we both glanced up at that bright moon light, then raced each other across the pool in our creamy shinning skin!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Suds In The Bucket

"She left the suds in the bucket and the clothes hanging out on the line."
I laughed the first time I heard this country song, "Suds in the bucket" by Sara Evans. Because it described my sister perfectly.
"Her folks should of seen it comin' it was only just a matter of time..." 
I nod with a proud smile remembering the strength my sister always had.
"Nothing quite like this has happened here before.."
She was ready to go, she was ready to be free! I missed her so much but deep down I knew, she was never meant to be caged and staged.
"Now her daddy's in the kitchen staring out the window, scratchin' and rackin' his brains. How could 18 years just up and walk away? Our little ponytail girl grown up to be a woman......Now she's gone in a blink of an eye."
   For my sister Dana, She didn't take shit from anyone, Turning 18 years old was just what she had been waiting for....AND She was waiting confidently, she tried about 4 or 5 times to run away before she was of age. She was NOT going to be told how to behave, or how to live her own life anymore. I tip my hat to her in all she had to do, in all she went through. Her spirit wasn't going to be broken, and most importantly her fire wasn't going to be put out! I love my sister, I admire her bravery and her spunk!
"She was in the backyard say it was a little past nine,
When her prince pulled up, White pick-up truck...."

That last night Dana was home with all her big boxes, with her new short hair cut dyed red. She was acting tough, acting so annoyed by my crying. "Listen Woman..." she said to me as I sat on her couch watching her get ready to move. I couldn't stop crying, I couldn't be happy for her...I just wanted her to stay close by me. Dana was strong and brave I leaned on her for these things I lacked in my own self.  "Listen Woman, I am not dead! You will see me again! I think it's time for you to grow up now." She didn't smile or hug me, she just looked at me like she expected me to stop crying. I was going to be lonely late at night after she was gone, when usually that was the time we hung out with each other. Her hanging lilac flowers over the bedroom door stayed there in honor of her, I smiled when ever I saw them and didn't allow anyone to take them down even 3 years later when I would finally leave. The next morning I was determined not to cry as Dana said her final goodbye. She was happy, she was at peace over getting out of there. She even hugged me without hesitation while saying "Be Brave Woman!" I chuckled and nodded right back at her for the last time, in our childhood. 
"No you can't fence time and you can't stop Love."

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Rose in a Storm (a Book Review)

The book club my mother-in-law started, the BCB, has been trucking right along through the months. I was happy to get the month of December to share my book choice,
"Rose in a Storm" by Jon Katz.  
I visit the Bedlam farm blog almost every day. So when I saw the newest book by Jon was a novel, I was thrilled to join this book club with my choice at the ready! I have adored Boarder Collies dogs ever since the 1995 unique movie, "Babe". I think Boarder Collies are fascinating and I love all of the other books by Jon Katz with his stories of his own dogs. Rose is a real farm dog that he wrote this novel about. I am enjoying the idea of a novel for the simple fact that YOU the writer can change the story to be what you want it. This snowy cold story makes reading it in December just Perfect! I was really hoping for a happy ending before I even began to read it. When I read about Rose, I see her beautiful face so alive with that little white heart shape patch of fur on her forehead. I feel that I can relate to her need to look out after everyone on the farm, of giving it her all to save a life. I kept having flash back memories of the scary cries of coyotes, how they circled the farm taunting my big farm dogs. Those crazy coyotes would steal the gofers from our traps so we wouldn't get paid.And how my cats would disappear if they were not inside safe at night, My Savannah was a great farm dog but when coyotes came around she went crazy in barking and chasing them. One evening my Dad called her back to the farm then told me "It's a trap, they want her to chase them, they will surround her and attack. DO NOT LET HER GO. Keep her safely back and tell her to stay here." I was surprised by this information from my father on that scary screeching night. And I worried every time after that when I heard the cried of the coyotes, my dog wasn't going to be taken from me! So when Jon writes about coyotes I nod thinking about how many cats they took from me and often my dog thought it was her job to chase them down. This book captured my heart when Rose faced with the coyotes showed true bravery. The storm is so strong, cold and scary, the farm animals are struggling and needing help to survive. I am reading along thinking as human beings we are called to a higher standard with our lives. We should be seeking out protection for all living creatures, in many ways I feel we have lost that connection of responsibility. Some farms still run along perfectly, but just the care of birds in the park or the deer in the trees, do we live in our homes thinking of how we can help nature? How we can rescue abandon animals? Do we live giving back to the world our very best? One of my favorite moments while reading this book was about the wild old dog, who would not leave his farm after his owners never returned. How passionate and loyal was this dog? It made me wonder why humans have a hard time following through with such loyalty? I believe we could learn so much from the behavior of dogs. I would recommend this book over and over again! You laugh, you cry and you learn about the connection, the circle of life.That incredible promise we have in the partnership, in the friendship of our dogs! 

This book has a Happy ending with inspiration to care more for the world then ever before!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Barryhill & Co.

Tony and I went here on Sunday night, Barryhill & Co. We found the service to be perfect! Everyone was so nice and so on top of everything while the piano man made me feel so relaxed. It was also cold outside which made sitting under the Lilli shape blown glass lights gave way to a magical feeling. I wore my lacy brown dress with a favorite shawl so naturally I felt very pretty just visiting with my Hubby, Tony. He said we will come back since they have great servers and yummy food....The whole night was perfectly romantic as we talked about this new year's plans. No matter what we do or where we go those questions will come up but our comforting peace is we are doing it always together.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Davey's Day

I was 20 years old on February 25, 1999. The night before I had made a huge tent from the bunk beds to the book shelf in my little brothers bedroom. We played under it as if we were camping in a rain storm. I pretended to be rescuing Daren and Dougie like we were on a ship away in the stormy sea. We got to laughing so loud that Dad had to yell at us to be quiet from the living room.  Daren was 6 and Dougie was 4 years old. I simply loved playing with them, I had such an imagination to describe a whole other life as they would listened, then joining in the fun too. That night was full of laughter, of books and songs. I stayed with them among the big couch pillows and fuzzy blankets. Under our crazy made up tent, Dad took one look at it then rolled his eyes as he walked down the hall away from our giggling. Mom was acting a bit crazy, a bit forgetful. I was to busy playing with the boys all night to even notice her. That early morning the phone was ringing as I woke up with a small foot in my face, the boys just fell a sleep where they had been playing and I had covered them up just as they were. "Why isn't Mom answering the phone? It's right by her side of the bed?" I asked myself as I grabbed the noisy thing in the kitchen, before I said anything I saw Dad's work pick up still in the drive way "How Odd? he is always gone by 6am"  My Grandma Norma's voice asked before I was awake, "WELLLLL.....I have been waiting for 3 hours now and no one has called me." I chuckled at her thinking it was bewildering to me that Grandma got up every morning at 4am like it was the norm to start the day at that time. It was about 7:30am I noticed in my fuzzy sleepy mind, I replied "Let me get Mom then..." I had no idea what she was saying and I called out across the house "Mom! Grandma wants to talk to you!" Grandma was giggling at this as she said "YOU SILLY! Your Mom is having her baby right now!" I was shocked awake and alarmed "WHAT! NO ONE TOLD ME!" I exclaimed back, Grandma was still laughing now as if she thought it was the cutest thing, my brother Derek stuck his head out of his bedroom and said he was going to tell me but he have fallen sleep again. "We have a baby brother Davey, he was actually born IN THE CAR on the way there." He laughed at my shocked face and then he went back to bed. I exclaimed to Grandma over the phone what I just learned from Derek. Grandma sighed with relief and she sounded happy "Well I am glad everything went good, even if he was born on the highway." She was giggling again and I replied "Why didn't anyone tell me?! They usually always wake me up so I can watch the house!?" Grandma asked where my other brothers were and I realized that my parents already knew I was asleep with them so they were safe. Grandma voice was thoughtful "Do you think this is the last one? What is his name again, Davis?" I sighed back into the phone wondering that same question "Are they done with having more kids? OR will Mom keep trying until she gets a girl?"  Grandma's voice on the other line brought me back to the present. It was as if she could read my mind "I know your mom wanted a girl so much! That is to bad, well at least he will be well dressed by all the clothes his brothers will pass down." She sounded truly happy and I agreed with a laugh of my own. As I hung up the phone in that cold gray February morning I slid to the floor right there where I had been standing and sobbed. Maybe I felt the sudden relief that Davey was not a sister, or maybe my new baby brother was being born into such a time as this? Dana was long gone and I wasn't sure I could wait around another 18 years to help raise him. What will he do for college? How will he grow up with such old parents? Were we ready to give him a good quality of life?
As I picked myself up off the floor I made a big pancake breakfast to cheer myself up, also for my little brothers to wake up with the yummy smells of bacon cooking, I was excited again at the idea of a 3rd little brother joining us, as Daren and Dougie climbed up on stools watching me cook with their messy bed heads and big happy smiles. I began to laugh as I thought of the crazy way our lives had changed.

Mom was nursing Davey as she told her own mother how startled she was when she knew they were not going to make it to the birthing center after all. It was a half hour drive on the dark back country roads and when Mom demanded that Dad had to pull over he said "I AM TO OLD FOR THIS!" So in the back seat of their car Davey came into the world surrounded by that cold winter's chill. He remained connected to my mom all the way to the center then Mom had to warn the nurse who came to grab the new born that he was still attached. Everyone was amazed that nothing went wrong out on that highway! Mom turned to me saying "No one needs to know how he was born!" I stood there startled for I had already told everyone I knew about the crazy birthing story in the back seat and how I thought of the pure panic my poor father must have gone through! I saw it as a miracle story, I knew as they visited my church that following Sunday to show Davey off to some friends that the story had already become a legend.  Mom was of course very mad at me but it was from before she told me NOT to tell anyone, the story was very popular. And I didn't understand why it was such a secret, Maybe my mom thought she had plenty of time to wait before Davey was born, so she felt foolish getting stuck on the dark highway? I saw it for the amazing power of birth and the triumph her and dad had to live through. I was extremely relieved when Dad said they were NOT having any more babies and Mom actually agreed! Davey was the perfect ending to my sibling line and I know he is the kind of kid who likes to make such a grand entrance:-)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Words of the song, "Because of You" by Kelly Clarkson

I will not make the same mistakes that you did 
 I Will not let myself 
cause my heart so much misery
 I will not break the way you did
You fell so hard
 I've learned the hard way, 
 to never let it get that far 

Because of you
I'll never stray too far from the sidewalk 
Because of you
I learned to play on the safe side
So I don't get hurt
Because of you
I find it hard to trust
Not only me, but everyone around me
Because of you 
I am afraid
 I lose my way
And it's not too long before you point it out 
 I cannot cry
Because I know that's weakness in your eyes 
 I'm forced to fake, a smile, a laugh
Every day of my life 
My heart can't possibly break
When it wasn't even whole to start with 

Because of you
I'll never stray too far from the sidewalk 
Because of you
I learned to play on the safe side
So I don't get hurt
Because of you
I find it hard to trust
Not only me, but everyone around me
Because of you 
I am afraid 

I watched you die
 I heard you cry
Every night in your sleep
 I was so young
You should have known better than to lean on me
 You never thought of anyone else
You just saw your pain
And now I cry
In the middle of the night
For the same damn things

Because of you
I'll never stray too far from the sidewalk
Because of you
I learned to play on the safe side
So I don't get hurt
Because of you
I tried my hardest just to forget everything
Because of you
I don't know how to let anyone else in
Because of you
I'm ashamed of my life because it's empty 
Because of you
I am afraid 

Because of you
Because of you 
(When I first heard this song I was amazed 
by all the flash backs I had of my own life, But now I know 
I am capable of loving beyond these fears)