Monday, November 8, 2010

11 ~ 20 & a Beautiful Redlands Victorian


Marvelous Monday to all my Sweet Hearts! I have to admit, I do love the start of a brand new week...it seems anything is possible. This weeks new possibility is to start a Low Carb Diet...again. Here's my tiny little goal, to diet & try & lose a few pounds before my birthday on November 25th. {that shouldn't be too hard, right?}


I LOVE it when my birthday falls on Thanksgiving...it makes me feel sooo Special! The thing I don't like about being a TURKEY baby is that often I end up getting a piece of pumpkin pie with a candle on top of it, rather then an actual Happy Birthday cake! Isn't it great how the child in us still manages to find it's way out no matter how old we are! LOL Thanksgiving is at my house this year, so there's no fear of that happening. Maybe I'll call the Cake Boss & get a $300 cake to make up for all the missed cakes I haven't had...nahh. I'd rather get a pair Maggie Pearl bloomers! ;) 


As promised, I wanted to show you a few more pics of the amazing Victorian house in Redlands where Jamie & Lori hosted their lovely boutique. Enjoy your tour as I try & complete a few more questions for '30 Days of Truth'.


Number 11: Something people compliment you the most on.
Even though I've closed my shop, I would have to say I got so many wonderful compliments on my little store 'Lambs & Ivy'. Most of the people who entered through her charming dutch doors, commented on  how much they loved it...I miss that!


Number 12: Something you never get compliments on.
Unfortunately, that's an easy one...
my cooking. ;(


Number 13: A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough times.
Jackson Browne! I started listening to him in high school & it always seemed as if he was singing my soul or my pain. His lyrics are like beautiful poetry to me. He's been in my life longer then most people. 


Number 14: A hero who has let you down.
I have lived my adult life trying very hard not to put ANYONE too high upon a pedestal being that we're all human, they are bound to fall off...I sure know I do. I would guess my biggest disappointments or sadness has come from OD's. River Phoenix or Heath Ledger, young men who had so much to live for & yet still couldn't find happiness.

{house kitty}
Number 15: Something or someone you couldn't live without.
My baby's...if something ever happened to my daughter or my grandson, I can't imagine life going on. Maybe it would, but I just can't imagine a life without them.


Number 16: Something or someone you could definitely live without.
Prejudice...I can't abide by any form of prejudice.


Number 17: A book you've read that changed your view on something.
In my world, life is made up of various shades of gray. I'm not a black & white kinda gal, there's extreme dark grays & grays that can almost look white...but life isn't so clear cut for me. If we're talking about life changing views, it's not a book but a movie. It was so many years ago I couldn't tell you when or even the name, but the story went something like this...
A wife & mother was raped & her world was completely turned upside down. Her rapist had been prosecuted & was serving time in jail, but she felt she couldn't get her life back unless she was able to confront him. With everyone thinking this was a terrible mistake, she made the arrangements for them to meet. After her initial rage, as she quietly cried, she asked her attacker why. He told her his life story, of summer's spent on his grandfather's farm. Of begging his parents not to make him go & yet every summer, for most of his childhood, his grandfather raped him daily. With him now in tears, she slowly walks over to his chair & gently hugs him saying, "I wish I could have been your Mommy & protected you from so much pain." In that moment, my world became gray.


Number 18: Your view on gay marriages.
I have amazing sisters! My youngest sister is a college professor. She is wicked smart,  incredibly loving & caring, she's beautiful inside & out & she's gay. I absolutely believe in gay marriage.


Number 19: What is your opinion on religion.
I am a spiritual person. I try & live a life I can be proud of. Organized religion confuses me often. When I think we should be teaching our children & the world about love & tolerance, sometimes it seems that organized religions are spreading messages of prejudice & intolerance. I know it's simply the flaws of man that creates this, but I don't like it.


Finally Number 20: Your views on drugs & alcohol.
I grew up in the 70's, so for me to say I never took a drug would be ridiculous! I am blessed that my daughter never got into drugs & I pray my grandson never does either. The drugs they have now just seem to be so deadly & addictive, they scare me. Alcohol, I have no problem with social drinking. Anything in excess is not a good thing...except for maybe pizza!  ;)


Look at the gorgeous fruit on this tree! 100 years ago Redlands was nothing but orchards. When the orange blossoms are in bloom, I just want to pull my car over & BREATHE!


So, now I'm down to my final 10 questions & when my task is done, you will all know more about me then you ever wanted to know. I guess the hope is, that maybe I'll know myself a little bit better.


I want to thank Jamie of Two Wild Roses for our wonderful tour of her beautiful home. Here she is standing next to her Mom's, Vintage Shasta travel trailer & y'all know how much I love me a vintage trailer! Soon I'll show you some of the awesome Victorian's we went & saw yesterday in Echo Park. Until then...

XOXO
vintagesusie

Friday, November 5, 2010

6 ~ 10 & my Dream House in Texas


Happy, Happy Friday Friends!!!
Y'all know I just got back from the dream state Texas, but what you don't know is while I was there I found my Dream House!


This is not only my dream house. My darlin friends Charlene & Larry who adopted me while I was in Texas & showed me the BESTEST of times, took me to see their dream house & now it's mine too!


Charlene is my cohort in crime at the Magnolia Pearl booth in Marburger & my bloggy buddy from the lovely blog, My Hearts Ease.


This is the amazing view off the back porch which was Heavenly & this picture just doesn't do it justice! The skies & the clouds & the fields, just went on forever. Her & our boyfriend Larry, spent alot of time trying to explain to me the difference between a TANK & a POND. Others were involved in this on going conversation as well, but I must admit...I'm still not sure. I think a pond is made by God & a tank is made by man...is that right?? LOL


Would you not just die to have this porch?? {although being alive to enjoy it could
be fun too, ;)}


OK, crap...here's number 6.
Something you hope you never have to do.
Easy Peasy...I'm ascared of heights! So I never want to have to Hang Glide, Bungee Jump off a bridge, Para sail or take the Tower of Terror ride at Disneyland. That's right, just call me scaredy cat & I will turn around & answer! {I could get really heavy & say bury a child, but that goes unsaid for all of humanity}


Number 7: Someone who has made your life worth living.
My daughter Courtney & my grandchild Kaimana, the absolute joys of my life.


Number 8: Someone who has made your life hell or treated you badly.
Again I am blessed, I can honestly say with all my heart, there is no one in my life past or present who fits this bill. I have been surrounded by love & kindness & if I meet negativity in my life, I cut it out.


Number 9: Someone you didn't want to let go, but who drifted.
Don't have one of those either. I work hard to nuture the relationships that are important to me. Even if I lose touch for a minute, I can reach out & reconnect & pick up right where we left off, as if no time at all has gone by. Again...I am blessed.


Number 10: Someone you need to let go or wish you didn't know.
If I had one of those, I would have already done it. Everyone in my life brings something wonderful to the table.
Well that was an easy round!! :) Now back to the HOUSE!


This was a little guest house off to the side of the main house. I could TOTALLY live right there. It was small, but so cozy & charming & I adored this bedroom. Isn't that bed frame amazing!


So in my dream I see me & my hubby sitting on this porch rockin in our chairs. We're looking out at our Wide Open Spaces talking about the weather. Looking up into skies, we tell each other what we see in those amazing Texas Clouds as we smile & softly laugh!!
HEAVEN!

XOXO
vintagesusie

Thursday, November 4, 2010

30 Truths... 2 ~ 5


OK, here we go again...
Number 2: Something you love about yourself.
That's easy, I LOVE my sense of humor...I'm funny. Even I think I'm funny. Sometimes I can barely contain myself telling a story, cuz I crack myself up. Case in point, my Carlsbad Caverns post. That's me at my best, just being FUNNY...love it!

Number3: Something you have to forgive yourself for.
SURVIVING...for being 1 of 2 children to have been spared from a tragic genetic disease that ultimately killed my Mother & has completely taken my brother from me. Huntingtons Disease is so cruel, it's a flip of a coin, a 50/50 chance. I won the toss, my brother did not & it breaks my heart. And the very worse of it is, I haven't seen him in 10 years at the hospital he's being cared for in, cuz I just can't handle it. I may never forgive myself for this one.

Number 4: Something you have to forgive someone else for.
I need to forgive a friend I've had since I was 17, for recent crimes that are not all that huge. They were just a handful of words, but those particular words were so hurtful to me. I wish they weren't & maybe they shouldn't have been...but they really were.

Number 5: Something you hope to do in life.
My life has been so full & I have been so blessed. I always want my family & friends to know that if I were to die tomorrow, I have had a GLORIOUS ride...everything from here on out is frosting. I would love to live a long enough & healthy enough life, to be able to see my grandson happily married & with beautiful baby's of his own...now that would truly be FROSTING!

Wow, this is a little harder & more thought provoking then I intially thought. lol I guess that's why I was up to the chalenge, how would I HONESTLY answer these questions. Gosh, I only have 25 more to go...arggghhhh! ;)

XOXO
vintagesusie

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Thirty Days of Truth...


Happy Hump Day Sweet Hearts!
Now that I'm in self imposed unemployment, I find I have no hump day to look forward to anymore. I'm not complaining!! Working the weekends at the shop made my hump day Friday, which never really seemed right. Friday is suppose to be a party day, end of the week day...but it was my hump day. On this Wednesday, I stayed in my jammies ALL day & played on the computer. I started in the morning, by helping a friend with her background on her blog, which led me to choosing a new background for my blog, which made me have to create a new banner to match the colors of the new background, which made me want to change the colors of my fonts, which...enough all ready! Yes, it's 5pm & I'm still in my jammies...that's a TRUTH!

My sweet friend Linda from Ye Olde Crones Gazette blog fame has summoned any of her friends to join her in a challenge...30 Days of Truth! I am taking on this quest for truth, but I'm doing it a little differently. Instead of answering a statement everyday, I will answer several at a time with a few posts in between just to mix it up a bit. Join us if you dare & if not, I hope you enjoy getting to know your bloggy friends a little bit better. Here we go...

Day 1: Something you hate about yourself

Day 2: Something you love about yourself

Day 3:Something you have to forgive yourself for

Day 4: Something you have to forgive someone else for

Day 5: Something you hope to do in your life

Day 6: Something you hope you never have to do

Day 7: Someone who has made your life worth living

Day 8: Someone who has made your life hell or treated you badly

Day 9: Someone you didn't want to let go, but who drifted

Day 10: Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn't know

Day 11: Something people seem to compliment you the most on

Day 12: Something you never get compliments on

Day 13: A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough times

Day 14: A hero that has let you down

Day 15: Something or someone you couldn't live without

Day 16: Something or someone you could definitely live without

Day 17: A book you've read that changed your view on something

Day 18: Your views on gay marriage

Day 19: What is your opinion of religion?

Day 20: Your views on drugs and alcohol.

Day 21: (Scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you got into a fight a couple of hours before. What do you do?

Day 22: Something you wish you hadn't done in your life

Day 23: Something you wish you had done in your life

Day 24: Make a playlist to someone and explain why you chose those songs

Day 25: The reason you believe you're still alive today

Day 26: Have you ever thought about giving up on life?

Day 27: What's the best thing you've got going for you right now?

Day 28: What would you do if you got pregnant (or got someone pregnant) right now?

Day 29: Something you hope to change about yourself

Day 30: A letter to yourself

Number1: Something you hate about yourself.
My WEIGHT! It seems like this has been something I've thought about forever. In Jr High I weighed 124lbs. All of my friends weighed 105 ~ 110lbs. I'm 5'8" & looking back I think "You Fool, why didn't you embrace 124 lbs? If you had only known that would be the lightest you would be, maybe it wouldn't have sounded so bad!" In HS I weighed 142, yet all my friends weighed 115 ~ 125. How was I to know that at 142, I'd be at my prime? Yeah, it would definitely have to be my WEIGHT!

XOXO
vintagesusie

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What do you do if you have no health insurance? We go to Mexico!

{Cabazon Shopping Outlet near Palm Springs, see the Brighton store}

Oh, Sweet Hearts...
You are, without a doubt, the dearest friends anyone could ever have!! Your comments from my botched soldering post had me smiling & laughing, feeling encouraged & supported, but mostly feeling 'Not So All Alone' in my sad attempt at this new art technique I'm trying to master. Thank You for all your sweet words, they always mean so much to me!
I loved how Teresa from Attic Rat put it... 
"I think soldering is almost like learning to write beautifully with your left hand when you are right-handed. With lots and lots of practice, you can eventually master it."
Do I hear an Amen? Amen!


Back to the subject at hand...What do You do, when you have No Health Insurance? I'm not being flippant or anything, I really am curious! You see, my family is one of the millions of Americans that are uninsured. It's not because we don't work hard, my husband & I are both self employed. My hubby is probably one of the hardest working men I know. Hard, physical, back breaking work in weather that you wouldn't even want your pets to go out into, that's what my man does everyday...it brings tears to my eyes. And yet we can not afford health insurance. Well, what we have done, is learn to make due & that's just what we did this past weekend. So, here's Robert & Susie's guideline's on how to 'Stay Alive' in America without health insurance in the Southwest. LOL {It's really not as bad as it sounds}


I'll start with eyes, since mine just seem to get worse & worse with age. Anyone who wears glasses knows, frames are outrageously priced. I mean CRAZY, right! Well, a beautiful thing has happened in America & it's called Outlet Shopping. One of my favorite Outlet Malls is CABAZON in Cali, heading South before Palm Springs. The thing that makes this mall special to me is it has a Brighton Outlet...Oh Yeah! I got two pairs of glasses there this weekend, my sunglasses were $29.99 & my regular glasses were $5.99...now can anybody say Great Deal. I have been using Brighton frames for my glasses for years now, even at full price they run between $60 & $70.  


Now with designer frames in hand, we drive to the newly built Quechan Casino & Resort located 2 miles from Yuma, Arizona & 1 mile from Los Algodones, BC, Mexico. Usually we take our Vintage Trailer down with us & camp for free on the BLM, but hubby has been working so hard since spring & we were only staying 2 nights, so we decided to treat ourselves & it was really FUN! ;) You see, we go to Mexico for most of our medical needs. FYI...an American Passport is required to return to the US. As the Border Patrol Officer told me on one of my last trips into Mexico...anybody can come in to Mexico, but not everyone can come back to the US. Well put!


Los Algodones is probably the only place I would enter Mexico right now. Kidnapping Americans is on the rise, the drug wars are out of control, our borders are locking down tighter & tighter {which is a good thing}, but Los Algodones still has the feel of a sleepy little border town, filled with white haired seniors trying to make ends meet on Medicare. It cracks me up cuz when I go down, I'm actually the Young Hot Chick. Everybody there is 20 years older then me! {maybe I should buy a condo? lol}


Everything you need for any medical purposes are within the first 3 blocks of town. My optometrist is on the second block on the left, Optica Algodones. It's a lovely little office with ac & a friendly staff. They sell designer frames there too, but I always bring my own. The eye exam is $10 or you can bring your prescription from the states & for standard glasses it costs $80 for 2 pairs. Since I wear bifocals & get one pair tinted black for the sun, it runs me $100 for both pair & with my gorgeous new Brighton frames, I'm always jazzed when I get my new glasses!


Now for medicaciĆ³n! We go to the Big Purple Pharmacy on the left hand side of the 1st block. We get ALL our medication there & have for about 8 years & we have NEVER had a problem with anything. An example would be my shoulder arthitis medication, Voltarin. It costs $35 a month here in the states & $4 there, so for a 3 month supply we pay $12 instead of $105...I'm just sayin, for us, that's a huge savings & that's just 1 medicine! It is not the same name brand as it is here in the US, it is a Mexican brand, but for the medications we take, we have never noticed a difference.


We have gone to the Dentist & Dermatologist there & have been very satisfied with the outcome. We make a day of it. We eat a few tacos, have a couple of Corona's, make small talk with the vendors, buy a few trinkets to bring home & then head out threw the gateways & mazes, customs & border patrol, to get back into the US. Look, another Adventure! {but this one, not so accidental}


Would we do this if we had health care? No. Do we do this cuz we think it's fun? No. Is Mexico a safe to place to visit right now? No. Do we have any real alternatives? No. Am I suggesting anyone else should follow our lead & use this as their alternative heath care? No.
I'm just sayin, when life gives you lemons...make lemonaid or when 1 door closes, another door opens.
Again...it's all in the SEEING!
Have a Frightful Halloween Week Friends...I can't believe it's almost HERE!

XOXO
vintagesusie

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Soldering 101 & a Rainbow


Look what I woke up to this morning...
do you think it's a sign??
Or maybe just the start of something unexpected & new.
Whatever the reason for it's appearance, it made me smile & GRAB my camera! ;)


I have been afraid to try something new for quite some time now. You may say to yourself..."Is this the middle aged woman who drove half way across the country by herself so she could see some coooool junk & the largest ball of twine?" I'm sad to say, yes, it is.


For years now I have longed to solder. I ADORE double sided, glass pendents with awesome vintage images in them. With sayings & lace & cool tiny elements. I bought a wonderful little starter kit a while back with a cute pink iron & all the components needed to start creating, but it sat on my shelf in my studio at the shop for wayyyyy toooooo long. Then I moved & voila, here it sits in my kitchen waiting for me to be brave & just TRY!


And so with the rainbow & all, I thought today should be the day. I knew exactly what I wanted to put inside my glass pendent. A favorite tin type I got at Round Top, with the image of a sweet little girl from the civil war era. I found a great vintage photo to put on the back & trimmed them both, ever so carefully, using the glass as my pattern.
Easy Peasy!


Next comes the copper foil, which has tape on the backside to stick to the glass & hold everything in place. That was fun, although I was a bit disturbed that it wasn't completely even on all edges & sides. This is where my OCD & anal as a rooster with a stick up it's butt, comes into play. {I have no clue where that disgusting analogy came from & I'll try to never use it again! lol} 


OK...here comes the hard part!!! I have the iron holder together, I have the iron plugged in & warming up, the solder & flux are ready for me to get down to business, when suddenly I realize...I need 3 HANDS to do this job & I was only born with TWO! 1st hand to hold the soldering iron...2nd hand to hold the bottle of flux...3rd hand to hold the glass piece I'm working on.


At this point, I'm stumped...truly, I was stumped. While standing there, staring at all the things I'm suppose to be holding at the very same time, looking completely, STUMPED, in walks my remarkable & talented hubby. Off he goes to the garage & comes back with a small suction vice for me to use as my other hand. Yeahhhh...I can do this!!!


Well, maybe not! I did try my friends, boy did I try. I soldered this for hours, which is probably why it looks so awful. I couldn't make it flat, I couldn't make it even, I couldn't get the jump ring straight or even to stay on, I somehow got flux under the glass & it was now on my treasured tin type from Round Top, it smelled like smoke probably from burning the copper foil & my OCD'ed, anal self, just couldn't take it another minute.


Quietly, like a robber in the night, I snuck into my bedroom & took the whole thing apart! I cleaned my little civil war girl & told her how sorry I was for the abuse. See the charring on the glass? Obviously, I need a lot more practice before I use something I love in one of these pieces. But, I will try again...


I'm not afraid to fail...


"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."
Mary Anne Radmacher


So, I will try again tomorrow...


& I only hope by the next time I wake up to an amazing rainbow, I will have mastered something that today, I can not do. Sweet Friends, here's to the learning curve & in knowing that, 'The journey is the thing.'

XOXO

vintagesusie