Saturday, June 26, 2010

18 Years....

Today is my son's 18th birthday.  Back on this day in 1992 I never would have thought about this day coming.  All I could see was the precious little bundle in my arms and really couldn't think about anything past that. 

 He always marched to the beat of his own drum, even from an early age.  What a rebel!

 But I always knew that he was going places....

And he's never been afraid to try new things and embrace it with everything he had, even if it meant trying something people might think is weird...

He's always had a unique sense of humor....I think he gets that from me.  He has the ability to make me laugh even when I don't want to...

I've always been amazed at his ability to fall asleep pretty much anywhere/any way....

When it comes to his love of music, he's worked hard at it and never stops learning...

He's had many friends over the years, some that have come and gone, some that have been there since kindergarten...
(These were kids he went to a home daycare with when he was around 2 years old.  The two boys on the left, believe it or not are the grandsons of Frankie Avalon.  I wonder what they're up to these days?  The girl on the right reconnected with Collin awhile back on is wonderful.)

Life with him is always an adventure...

And as I look back I realize it was all of these crazy little things in his life that shaped him into the respectable young man he is today....
Uh, yeah........

Happy 18th Birthday Collin!  I love you more than barbecued potato chips.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

This Year's Garden....

This year has been a strange one in regards to our garden.  The weather didn't allow us to get things done until a lot later than usual.  Plus I took a totally different approach this year (especially since I knew that I was the one who would be doing 99% of the work this time around) and made sort of a modified raised bed/square foot garden plan.  Honestly.....I pretty much made it up as I went along.  After seeing how my neighbors did their garden with a similar raised/sunken path design, I adopted that for mine.  Then when I planted I still tried to follow the basic guidelines of square foot gardening.  I'm not doing as many of the vining plant vertically like they do in square foot gardening, but I'm still using the spacing as a guideline.  I was thrilled to get ahold of some straw bales for free (thank you Craigslist!) to help keep weeds & mud down to a minimum.  Now that some of the seeds I planted are actually sprouting, I plan to mulch a little heavier with the straw.  So here's where I'm at right now:
The closest rows (the skinnier ones) are my corn rows.  (Heh...corn rows....)  I just got those planted (yes, I know I'm frightfully late, but at least I got them in) and I plan to companion plant the beans next to the corn once it gets about a foot or two high.  My poor little cherry tomatoes are in the first wide row after that--they suffered quite a bit when we had bad winds the day I planted them.  Also in that row is bell peppers and a few watermelon plants at the end of the row that I plan to let meander through the rest of the plants on that row.  Oh and on the opposite end of that, where the wire fencing is, I planted peas. 
Look!  They're just starting to sprout!

Beyond that is the row with egg plant, zucchini and cucumbers, which are also just emerging from the soil.  See, there they are!

Then in the last regular row I have my Big Boy tomatoes, jalapeno peppers and a few honey dew melons at the end (which, like the watermelon, will be allowed to wander through the other plants.)  The raised beds in the railroad ties so far have onions, carrots & lettuce.  I had also intended to plant garlic and herbs but have been a little preoccupied with the rest of the garden.  Hopefully I'll get around to it soon.  
Oh, see what I'm doing there?  That's new this year too.  I'm trying not to stress too hard about being all formal about the garden.  If I get it planted, good for me!  If I don't, I'll be sure to plan better next year.  This year is all about experimenting and learning what works best for me.  And trying not to be too worried about everything perfectly in it's place.  

I still haven't given up the tape measure though....gotta use that when I space my seeds.  Sorry, can't let go of that one...

Baby steps.... 

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Jewelry & Watches...

As previously posted, I have been selling some stuff that I don't wear/use any more on EBay.  Here's the skinny on what's going on:  I had booked a trip for my son & I for his graduation several years ago and figured I'd save up until it was time for final payment.  Well, the time for final payment is in just a few weeks and due to the crash of the economy last year and my husband being laid off several times over the last year, our savings had to be used for bills, groceries, etc.  We've been planning/looking forward to this trip for several years now so I hate to cancel--especially since the air fare is non-refundable.  So I figure I might as well get rid of the stuff I don't wear/use anymore and try to get some money for the trip in the process.
I still have some items left, some that are a little "higher end", like jewelry & watches.  If anyone is interested in the following, please contact me at jmcfadden9580 (at) msn (dot) com with the item in the subject line so I know what it's about. Or comment here with your contact email & I'll get ahold of you.  The asking prices are what I'd like to get but I will consider REASONABLE offers.  Thanks!

Lia Sophia "Antique" Necklace - $25.00
"Antique" looking necklace, very cute!  This one is no longer available through Lia Sophia so I don't have the details on it.  But you can check out the Lia Sophia website to read more about their jewelry. 
Necklace adjusts to different lengths by hooking clasp onto different points in the chain.  Excellent condition--only worn a few times.  Looks great with something casual or classy!

14K White Gold Adjustable Box Chain - $100.00
This beautiful necklace can adjust from 16" to 20" so it is very versatile to have in your jewelry collection.  Necklace adjusts on a slide (see picture above) and has a sturdy clasp.  Wear it alone or with a beautiful pendant hanging on it.  This one is in excellent condition--no kinks, no bends--and looks like new!  It retails for $219.99 and you can find more information about it on the Kay Jeweler site.

Citizen Eco-Drive Watches:
Eco-Drive watches are equipped with a special titanium lithium-ion secondary battery that is charged by a solar cell located behind the dial.  Light passes through the covering crystal & dial to reach the solar cell.  Charge the battery just be setting the watch in natural light.  Just keep the watch exposed to light of any kind to keep charged.  If kept in the dark it will eventually go into "hibernation mode".  Just re-expose to natural light to charge & it will start right back up again.  You never have to buy another battery!   

Citizen Eco-Drive "Petite Palidoro" Watch - $150.00

Beautiful all stainless steel gold tone watch with Swarovski Crystal accents.  Water resistant.  Sturdy deployment clasp with push button.  Comes in original Citizen storage box.
This watch is sized to my wrist but the original extra links are included.  I only wore this watch a few times for special occasions.  Excellent condition.

It retails at $315.00 and you can find more info on the Citizen Palidoro web page.

Citizen Eco-Drive EW9142-61D Watch & Bracelet Set - $175.00
Beautiful all stainless steel gold tone watch & matching bracelet, both with Swarovski Crystal accents. 
Watch is water resistant.  Sturdy deployment clasp with push button.  Lovely Mother of Pearl dial face. 
Bracelet matches watch with similar band pattern.  Sturdy jewelry clasp. 
Set comes in original Citizen storage box which is a beautiful lined cherry-tone wooden box.
The watch is sized to my wrist but the original extra links are included.  Bracelet is original size.  I only wore this set a couple of times for special occasions.  Excellent condition.
This set is no longer available through Citizen but originally retailed at $335.00.

Citizen Eco-Drive "Lucca" Watch w/Diamond Accents - $200.00
Beautiful all stainless steel two-tone (silver/gold) watch with 28 diamond accents. 
Watch is water resistant.  Sturdy deployment clasp with push button.  Lovely Mother of Pearl dial face with date window.  Hour, minute & second hand.  Cabochon crown. 
Watch comes in original Citizen storage box. 
The watch is sized to my wrist but the original extra links are included.  Great condition, only a couple of small minor surface scratches on the crystal.  These are not noticeable unless you turn the watch "just right" in the light.
 Retails for $425.00 and more information can be found at the Citizen Lucca web site.

I use Paypal, unless you're local and want to just pay cash.  If you're not local, you will pay shipping and I'll just add it to the Paypal invoice.  (I won't charge any extra, just the exact cost of shipping.)  So contact me as soon as possible through the email listed above and I'll send you an invoice through Paypal or we'll work out the details if you're local.  No spam, please!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

It's Just a Cartoon....It's Just a Cartoon.....It's Just a...Pass the Tissues!!

Tomorrow is my birthday and my son thought it would be fun tonight to go and see the new Toy Story 3 movie--just the two of us.  I thought it was a great idea and was glad my son had thought of it.  We had seen the original Toy Story movie together when he was only three years old, then later Toy Story 2 when he was seven.  I never stopped to think of the irony of it (or the emotional ramifications) of seeing this movie until we were at the theater.  
My son turned to me as we were walking into the theater and said "This movie came out when I was just a little kid, then we saw the second one when I was a little older and now we're going to see the last one just when my childhood is ending.  How weird is that?" weird is that?........(gulp)

  I knew I was in trouble when the movie had barely started and there were flashbacks into Andy's life of him playing with his toys as a little boy.  As I was watching that, it dawned on me that I had seen my own son playing like that with his Woody and Buzz Lightyear toys as a child.  (Yes, he also wrote his name in permanent marker on the bottom of each of their boots and he still has those toys.)  As my eyes started to well up with tears I knew this viewing with my son was going to be different than other movies we'd seen recently.

Thankfully the movie (I won't go into detail for those of you who haven't seen it yet) doesn't spend a lot of time dwelling on the part of Andy going off to college and leaving his toys (and childhood) behind, or I probably wouldn't have made it through the movie.  It's mostly about the adventure of the toys themselves.  But near the end, when there was a scene of his mother walking into his empty room right before he left for college, I pretty much almost lost it.   

I can't tell you (seriously, I'm sitting here trying to think of the right words to describe this) just how special (ugh, not the right word!) it was to be able to see this movie with my son, only a few weeks after he graduated high school and one week before his eighteenth birthday.  It may sound silly, but I honestly won't ever forget sharing that little moment in time with him.  When the movie ended and the credits started rolling, the two of us just sat there kind of taking it all in.  (I even caught my son rubbing his eyes a little.)  I'm sure from my son's point of view it was more about it being a sentimental ending to a movie.  To me though, it was the sentimental end to an era in my son's life.   

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I Miss You Grandma...

On June 10, 1912 my grandmother Ina Mae Cowley was born.  Later in her adult life she became Ina Mae Graves and eventually Ina Mae Pommaz, which is the name I grew up knowing her by.  We lost her in February of 1996, just four months shy of her 84th birthday.  It wasn't until she was gone that I realized how much I had lost when she passed away.  It always seems like we realize in retrospect just how much someone had an influence on our life.  If she was still with us, she would have turned 98 today. 
I don't know a lot about her life as a child.  But I have a wonderful little photo album that belonged to her that I like to imagine gives me a little glimpse into her life as a young woman.  It's filled with old black & white photos of her friends, family members and of course her.  Some of the photos don't have have captions or explanations and I like to make up stories in my head about the men in the stiff suits and big cowboy hats...or the girl standing with her back to the camera all alone with the old car in the background.

But I don't have to make up stories about my memories of her--Like being a small child and playing out in the backyard of her house with my sister, with the hum & rattle of her rock tumbler running in the garage.  Or looking through the large encyclopedias she had, trying to figure out all of the riddles & optical illusions.
The place I have the most memories about though is the mobile home she lived in for years in Long Beach.  (The same mobile home I rode my bicycle to when I was only about 7 years old and got mad at my sister who was babysitting me.  This little trip took me all the way from our house near Studebaker & Atherton to her mobile home park off Lyons Drive, just past the Edison plant!)  I remember sitting at a table in her "goody room" (the extra room in her mobile home that was filled with every kind of craft notion you could imagine), while she patiently showed me how to thread beads on a wire to make a bracelet.  This room was a treasure trove for a little girl.  It's where I learned about Christmas card ornaments, Mod Podge and turquoise & bone jewelry.  I also remember the fascinating knick-knacks in her living room like her Kewpie Doll collection and the interesting things her son (my Uncle David) sent to her from Australia & New Zealand.  I remember the stacks of romance paperback books she had in her bedroom.  And as a teenager, I remember the times that I had cramps so bad they would make me sick to my stomach.  My grandmother would come get me at school, since my mom was working, and take me to her mobile home.  She would take me to her bedroom and put me in her bed, propped up with pillows so I could watch the Twilight Zone & Little House on the Prairie reruns.  She would always bring a hot water bottle in and lay it on my abdomen and make me tea.  

It's looking back on memories like these, as an adult, that remind me what a wonderful person she was and how much I probably under-appreciated her when I was younger.  I'm happy that I got to have her in my life for as long as I did, especially since my Grandmother Heinrich on my dad's side passed away when I was only one year old.  I'm glad I get to have my memories of her.  I've been thinking of her today and just wanted to do something to show how much she meant to me.

      Happy Birthday Grandma...I miss you....   

Friday, June 4, 2010

And The Rain Rain Rain Came Down Down Down...

We are having a miserably wet, rainy day today...this is one of many rainy days we've had over the last month or so.  Where's summer?  Anyway, as I've been sitting here all morning, listening to the rain pattering outside my window, all I could think of was this:

Hope it's a little more dry where you're at today....