Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Memorial To Bryce

Sunday will be a week without Bryce. Although it is getting easier to have him not here, I can't believe how painful it still is. I have never had to deal with putting a companion down. We were both with him and petting him as he took his last breath. That was hard to do and I picture it too many times in one day.

It was a very hard decision, but I decided to have him cremated so that he would always be with me. I couldn't bear to bury him here and then if I ever move he would be so far away and all alone. I feel so guilty vacumming up his fur, cleaning all the towels as if I am just washing him away.

Anyhow, I created an online memorial.
to him but couldn't get the music to save, so I added my dedication song to him on the blog.

It sure is hard leaving Emily alone these days. Of course, she has adjusted very well, its still hard to have her here all by her lonesome.

Glad everyone had a Merry and Very safe Christmas. Love you all.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

In Loving Memory of My Beloved Bryce Jan.98 - Dec. 21 ,2008

For all the times we got upset with you for getting up on the counter, licking the dishes while we were loading them, jumping up on top of the jacuzzi to peak over the fence,

constantly nudging me to give you more attention to rub your bottom and ears, eating the fish food out of the pond, running away when you had the chance to bolt out the door and playing the game of get me get me dad...

Barking at everyone who passed by, having to clean up all your dog hair for 11 years, and for the last week, having to clean up your throw up and bowel mishaps 5 - 8 times every day. The tap, tap, tapping of your nails on the hardwood floor, the staring at us when you knew it was time to eat.

I wish I had all those moments back, without any angry words or thoughts. And now that we are home, I feel guilty washing all the towels used to clean up your messes and all the covers to your dogbeds as if I am washing you away. I should have taken you to the beach and taken you for walks more often. The exercise may have kept you with us longer.... My guilt of so many things that go through my mind just breaks my heart and soul that words can't explaing.

So as you all know, Bryce had been having trouble with his legs, artritis in one and the other we couldn't figure out. This last week he had been on a really fast downward slide. Unable to hold his bowels, throwing up everything he ate and drank.

We took him to the vet early Saturday morning and he got an I.V to re-hydrate his body and some bloodwork, and pills to help him control his bowels and his vomiting. To no Avail. It didn't work. Saturday night, I slept by his side and he didn't sleep all night, nor would he eat, drink and his eyes were distant. He basically had liver problems and he was just shutting down.

Early Sat. morning he started getting the shakes & seizures. The vet called w/the bloodwork and we decided it was time. Bryce had too many problems too be fixed. We took him to the beach (his favorite dog beach) one last time. (he took a crap all over me as I lifted him out-I didn't care) and at 3pm we had him put to sleep.
Even Emily who was kind of mean to you,has now realized you are gone, is sad and very sorry for all of your pain.
It was so hard to see him put to sleep.. Our eyes are so sore from crying. We truly thought you would be healed and tried everything we could do for you baby. May God take care of you.

Life just won't be the same without your cute smiley face.
You were the most handsomest Dalmatian I have ever seen.
Thank you for the unconditional love, companionship and friendship.
You are forever in my heart and soul sweetheart!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Breaking And Entering Christmas

So we have this local radio station whom for 11 years during Christmas has received letters from teachers, about their students who are living around the poverty level. Trying to get their students a house full of dreams. Usually it is a student, who even though they have so little, have big hearts. Unfortunately, they can only pick one letter from all of those sent in to suprise with a Christmas dream.

What they do, is read the letter on the air of the family who will be surprised that year on the radio a week before it takes place. Of course the family has no idea what is going to take place. Here is this years letter. Click on the Breaking and Entering letter for 2008.

Somehow every year, they get the family out of the house. This year, the family has no house and lives in a shed. This breaking and entering will take place this Thursday. It sounds like the family may get a house. Which is way above and beyond what they have ever done before.

Anyhow.. every year, they go in.. decorate the inside and outside with lights, a christmas tree with presents underneath, all over the house, leave them money, a car in their driveway (as most don't have cars) new TV's, beds, sheets, toys galore, clothes for the whole family, a fridge and cupboards full of food, on and on... The letter's make me cry so hard.

Then, the day of the breaking in (730am Pacific time) they broadcast it on the radio (listen live) as it happens (which is usually less then a half hour) The whole house (actually its usually an apartment) is left full to the hilt with everything the family needs. Nobody ever stays behind to see the families reaction. Its always kept private and of course leaves you so happy for that family. How wonderful would it be to come home to everything new.. that people really do care.. I can't even imagine.

Although the reading of the letter is full of stupidity before they even read it, I urge you to listen to it. Every year, when I hear this, I cry my eyes out and wish I could do the same for some unsuspecting family.

Of course, I will post the actual event when it takes place this Thursday. The true meaning of Christmas. Wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to give like this every year.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Tribute to the 80's

So Angie posted on her blog about Lexi's tribute to the 80's. That was so my time, my passion, my life in my very early 20's. Good friends, good music, so free.

New wave music and clothes was my ultimate favorite. I just realized that ever since then I had to be a little bit different. Hence the reason to this day, that I still to this day sign and am known by Jef with 1 F!

That was the best time of my life! I always think back to that time, when I finally had a group of friends who were close and just loved to enjoy and be around each other. I still listen to that music and get a little tear in my eye thinking about the fun we all had together... How funny, I get tears in my eyes looking at this stupid site just looking back. It sucks to get old!!!!!!!!!!

Parachute pants, so gnarly, Michael Jacksons hey day, Madonna look alikes,punk music, mosh pits, mohawks, video arcades, rubiks cube geeks,scrunch socks, ray-bans, etc..., etc... so sweet, so stupid, yet so fun...

MUSIC: Berlin (My Fav) Howard Jones (Hey Jen, remember that messed up concert that I took you to in Park City outdoors?) Tears for Fears, Yaz,U2, Modern English, Go Gos, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, ABC, Bananarama.. OMG!!!

Not to familiar with the 80's? Go here

and you will find everything you need to know about it.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Year Was 1908

This will

The year
is 1908.
100 years ago.

What a difference a century makes!

Here are some statistics for the Year 1908 :
************ ********* ********* ******

The average life expectancy was 47 years.

Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.

Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.

There were only 8,000 cars and only 144 miles
Of paved roads.

The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph

The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower!

The average wage in 1908 was 22 cents per hour.

The average worker made between $200 and $400 per year .
Ninety percent of all doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION!
Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which
Were condemned in the press AND the government as 'substandard. '

Sugar cost four cents a pound.

Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.

Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.

Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used
Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.

Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from
Entering into their country for any reason.

Five leading causes of death were:
1. Pneumonia and influenza
2. Tuberculosis
3. Diarrhea
4. Heart disease
5. Stroke

The A American flag had 45 stars.

The population of Las Vegas , Nevada, was only 30!!!!

Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and ice tea
Hadn't been invented yet.

There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.

Two out of every 10 adults couldn't read or write.
Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.

Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at the local corner drugstores. Back then pharmacists said, 'Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind,regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health.' ( Shocking? DUH! )

Eighteen percent of households had at least
One full-time servant or domestic help.

There were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE ! U.S.A. !

Now I forwarded this from someone else without typing
It myself, and sent it to you and others all over Canada & U.S.A
Possibly the world, in a matter of seconds!

Try to imagine what it may be like in another 100 years.

A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year,
A dentist $2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.

More than 95 percent of all births took place at HOME.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Bryce Is Showing Signs of Old Age

Bryce has been slightly limping on his left leg for about a month now, so we went to Petco and got him arthritis medicine (the miracle cure) which claimed he would be jumping around in weeks.

Well last night he couldn't get up the stairs, so I carried him up and laid him in his favorite chair (the old Papasan)not sure I spelled that right. Well I woke up this morning to Matt crying hysterically and hugging Bryce. I asked Matt three times what was wrong. I though someone had called with news that someone had died. So I yelled at him to answer me for the fourth time, "Matt.. what is wrong"!

(If you don't know what a papasan chair is.. Heres a picture). Apparently Bryce couldn't get down the stairs very well and fell down the stairs. Now his right leg has given out and he was pulling himself across the floor with his front legs trying to get around.

So we headed off to the emergency vet clinic this morning. They felt around and Bryce wasn't wimpering to show any pain, so they sedated him and took X-Rays.

They told us to come back in an hour so we went to Linens and Things going out of business sale.. (spent too darn much money)

So we came back and the doctor told us that he had arthritis in the left leg and that surgery would be best for that leg. (Okay, As far as we know there is no surgery for arthritis)Have your heard of people having surgery for arthritis? Angie? please tell us.. and that would be at a cost of a couple of thousand dollars. His right leg that was giving out, they could find nothing in the X-Rays and told us that they recommended an MRI and a dye treatment that they could shoot into his blood stream to figure out what the problem was. Another $1000.

They did give us joint medication and told us that the problem could possibly solve itself and he could possibly be back to normal in a week or so. So we chose that route to see if it would heal before spending thousands for no reason.

So we have basically gated off the stairs so that he won't be tempted to go up, laid a huge comforter on the living room floor, and placed the outdoor furniture pads on the hard garage floor. Tomorrow morning, I will create a ramp down the back stairs so he won't have to walk down steps to go potty. I am so not ready for him to show signs of age. He is 11, so I knew it would be coming soon.

It really makes you realize how time flies and how short of a time we have to spend with each other. Its so much harder with pets.. I don't think they understand what is going on and why we as owners take them to the vet to go through so much drama.

ON ANOTHER NOTE: Can someone tell me why when I add a picture now, it comes out in this computer bullcrap code that I can't understand instead of just the picture like it used to be? This is what I get when I download a picture now.

What happened to the simple download and the picture shows up as it was intended?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

It's a Day Dream

So I figured out one of Grandpa's (dad's) sightings. He talks about bulls or cows in the corner of their living room. The part of the Living room that the cows or bulls hang out in, is the corner that houses the fabric chairs. Joyce just recently purchased a very nice leather chair for dad to sit in and a couple of leather couches.

Turns out, that the cows and bulls hang out in the corner of the living room where the fabric chairs are placed. So, my take on it, is that they are the ghosts of the cows who were slaughtered to cover the furniture and they are pissed!!! Turns out that they never hang out around the leather furniture. So I told dad to hang around the leather furniture and he would always be safe.

While I visited Dad before I left, he proceeded to walk out onto the deck (very cold) and told me that there were very tiny soldiers (about one ft tall), construction going on at the bottom of the canyon (I told him that they were most likely cutting down the tree limbs for the deer to cross). Owls in the trees, streams of water. I tried to convince him that the drugs were making him see things that didn't exist. (Hey Doctor, can I get some of those drugs? LOL, just kidding) He knows that the drugs are creating hallucinations, but can't quite wrap his around his it. We were out there in the cold for about a half an hour. I proceeded to tell him that it was most likely the drugs and this is why Nancy Reagan came up with the phrase, "Say no to Drugs". Whatever he is taking is probably halluconagenic.

I think that our Thanks for this year is that Joyce is a true angel, and loves Dad so much that she can take care of him, and that we don't have to. I do wish though, that I was around to see, visit, and give her a break once in a while.

Its funny how he remembers those things of the yesteryear, but can't remember that of the present.. He talked to me about how we used to go deer hunting with the Archibalds, etc.. and ran the deer out of the bushes so that they could hunt them down, while camping in the big tents, etc... etc...

Funny how we can connect to the old times.. Makes me cry so hard.

I so enjoyed seeing most of you again, and Matt was very happy to get to know you all a little better then he did.I just wish that I could have spent more time with the all of you.

Now its your turn to visit. I am so thankful that I have such a wonderful family. Love and kisses to all of you.

I was going to add pictures of the Temple Square lights for those who haven't seen or been this year. But Its been too long that I have added pictures to remember how, so I will add later.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Wii Can't Believe It!!!

So we bought a Wii while back in Ohio. I enter sweepstakes every day and have been trying to win one for over a year... So in the meantime, I have won a $500 gas card, A $300 digital camera, various $25,$50 gift cards and of course last week a Wii.. now that we don't need one. Now we find ourselves besides the Wii, addicted to getting as many Mii's as we can on our system. So we might be bringing our Wii remote so that we can download the whole darn family to roam around with us on our system. Matt's mom sent us her Wii so we have his side of the family already..

Its funny how some of them look so much alike the family. Too bad you can't make a doggie or kitty Mii..

Is it possible to send them to each other via the internet as well?

Friday, November 21, 2008

What A Bunch of Flakes

So I was trying to make my blog a little more interactive two posts ago. Make a flake and pick the best one. Okay I get it. Your too busy to have a little fun while you perusing on the internet. And those that had a little fun, voted for their own.. It's all good and I get it. You think yours is the best.

Here are the not so flakey.

Jen Flake # 7000851
Joann Flake # 5676763
Sheryl Flake #'s 6934687, 6930919, 5117827
Me (Jef) Flake #'s 6861530, 6853157, 6853138, 5879990

Jessica and Cynthia made some as well but they seem to have melted. I can't find them.

Even though you flaked out on me.. I still love you and can't wait to see you. Only four days left until we arrive and 6 days to Thankgiving. I can't believe how fast it arrives.

So Jo... You want us to spend the night. What night is best for you? We are ready!! You have the Wii right? maybe not. If so, we need to transfer your Mii's so that you are always roaming our screen here at home. Happy 16th Emily. Would have been beautiful (just like her crazy mother, smart (4.0 student), and put Colton in his place... Love and Kisses.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Another One Bites the Dust

Well my office was the next casualty and we just got the announcement this morning that my office will be closed as of December 5th. Right when I get back home from Utah. Thats 8 offices in the last two years leaving us with three offices left. Fortunatley, since they have laid off so many people, I still have a job in one of our Southern offices. God is truly on my side. All the people in those offices got laid off. So in a way I feel very fortunate.

However, I so love downtown and I am going to hate working in the Burbs. I haven't been told what I will be doing, so I of course am a little scared that I may be doing something totally new to me. I guess I should look at it as if I will have experience doing something else to put on my resume.

If they don't offer me more money, I am not sure what I will do. Stay or leave. All I know is that I have to have a job with Benefits for both Matt and I, since he is his own business.

I guess the good thing about this is, that all those agents who will be leaving the company, I can now hit up to use Matt and I as their Transaction Coordinators. At $400 a sale... thats $400 more a sale that I wasn't making with McMillin. So in the long run we could benefit from this. I would like to get enough people to use us that I could eventually quit working for others and work from home making more money then I thought I could.

One of our agents who left two months ago took 5 of his buyers agents with him and all of them are using our services. I now have 4 deals of theirs. Two of them at the $400 charge and two of them with a charge of $600 because I am doing all the communications with the bank trying to work out a deal with the seller.

I can't even tell you how many people I know that have been laid off from our company and the other real estate offices. And how many real estate offices have closed because these greedy lenders got us in this economic mess!!! What really annoys me is that our government continually helps these idiots who got us all in this mess in the first place and keeps screwing US... the underdogs. What the HELL is wrong with the people we put in government positions? I guess I should be satisfied with my new faith is that all of those people will be punished in the long run for all of their greedy wrong doings!!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Have Fun With This

Go to to make your snowflakes online. Click get started now. You will have to sign up but it is free to join. Cut out your own snowflakes. Just drag your mouse where you wish to cut. You can start, preview or reset until you get the desired effect. You can also view other peoples snowflake cutouts by clicking on the large or small dots to see what others have created. You can comment on them as well.. check mine out from this year and last year by clicking on Find a Flake on the lower left and do a search for Jef in San Diego. You will be amazed how creative people are. Find me crazy, but I think it is very cool...

Compared to others, mine stink. When you create your own, give us your name and location in my comments so we can view yours and then vote on my blog as to whom has the best. (survey at the top right hand of my blog)

Now isn't that a fun interactive blog? LOL!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tagged By Kellie

I was hoping I wouldn't get tagged, but since I am most likely the weakest link now it gives me a chance to post something... Sure makes you think hard about yourself though doesn't it?

By the way, Grandma Jeni passed away last Wednesday morning, and with all that Matt has going on business wise, he decided to stay home and not to go the funeral. He is handling it a lot better then I thought he would. He's a pretty tough cookie anyhow. (He has to be to put up with all the continual crap I put him through). I always kept crying for no reason when Grandma Clair died and I couldn't make it to her funeral.

So anyhow... Here are my crazy and random things.

1. I've got the Sniffles - Because I used to Ice Skate, I would constantly be sniffling to hold in the snot (ewww gross) To this day, I still do that from the habit all those years. People are always asking if I have a cold and only then do I realize that I still do it all the time. I think I do it less often then I used to.. But then again, I never knew I was doing it before so who knows.. and really, who cares. At least they don't ask if I have a problem snorting cocaine after work.

2. Chicken Fried Steak - My ultimate favorite food with gravy on top of it and on top of the
mashed potatoes. Whenever we go out to eat, I always tell myself I will get something else,
but if it is on the menu.. It usually ends up in front of me for dinner.

3. Driving my car - for the last few years, I have really had bad anxiety when driving anywhere.
having to check three or four times before turning, changing lanes, always watching the
people behind me to make sure they don't hit me, etc...

4. Afraid of heights - I can't even watch someone on TV who is somewhere high or I have
to turn away from the TV and hide my eyes from it. I get that same feeling in my gut watching it on TV as I do in reality.

5. Shots - and no I am not talking about the alcoholic shots. Dentists/Doctor kind. I hate them
and will do anything to avoid them. Whenever I go to the Dentist which is very rare, I inform
them ahead of time, that if you need to drill or whatever. NO SHOTS!! I will just make a noise
when you need to stop drilling for a bit. (here is the sad part... I hadn't been to the dentist in
10 years). They decided that they wanted to take out all the silver and replace with the white
fillings. Looks alot better but yes, I had to have shots.. TWELVE of them to deaden me
enough. I should have gotten the sleepy pills, but insurance wouldn't cover them. I had
already warned them about my fear. And now because of that painful situation
I will definately not be doing that again!!

6. Shopping - I HATE IT!!! Yes we all hate grocery shopping, but I hate any shopping. Clothes,
furniture, buying things for the house, for myself, Home Depot fix up shopping. All of it. In fact, I do all of the shopping I can online, if I have to do any and if I can. Which is stupid because of the shipping charges, even if you do get a good deal it costs more. I guess most of all, I just hate crowds and people who are so into themselves they can't see straight to get out of your way.

7. Lobsters and cockroaches - I just found out yesterday that Lobsters and cockroaches are
related. Now I am not much of a seafood person but I will eat lobster once in a while. Not any
more I won't.. That is disgusting... Do you know the reason that Lobsters have to be cooked
by throwing them in a hot boiling pot of water? I used to think that was cruel until yesterday
when I found out why. Lobsters spew out a chemical that is poisonous and would kill us, but
when they are thrown in a boiling pot of water, they are killed almost instantly and don't
have time to release that chemical, thereby letting us enjoy thier meaty little bodies..
Quite educational aren't I?

So there ya go... My seven crazy, wierd and fun facts for the year 2008!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Wii's Back From Ohio

While we were in Ohio, Matt's mom (Mary & Ken) celebrated their 33rd Anniversary. They had a Nintendo Wii and Mary mentioned that she would like the Wii Fit. So we went to Target and Gamestop with no luck. Toys-R-Us was nearby so we stopped in and they had one Wii fit left. Much to our amazement they also had the actual Wii system. Since we can never find it here we figured what the heck, lets buy it and take it back home.

Later that day we were visting Grandma Jeni while Mary sat by her bedside and Mary had asked us to go to Walmart to buy some more yogurt for Grandma. Soft food is about the only thing she can get down. While we were there we figured that we would go see if they had another Wii Fit. Much to our amazement they had four that had just come in. So we bought one for ourselves and brought that home as well.

We set ourselves up on her Wii and Oh My.. My Wii fit age is 60! What? Okay, I know I haven't exercised in over 15 years but come on now. Give me a break.

Like dad/grandpa has been, Grandma Jeni travels in and out of reality, but I must say she is a fighter and is not willing to go anywhere as of yet. She did realize every now and then that we were there and I am glad that Matt got to see her before she was completely out of reality. We learned the first day that we couldn't say goodbye because Grandma Jeni would start crying uncontrollably. The last day was very hard. We told Grandma Jeni that we would see her later, gave her a kiss and she would reach up and stroke our face and hair. She told us to be careful and we left telling her to take care of herself. It was so hard knowing that it was final and that we wouldn't see her in this life again.

Take care Grandma. You are such a beautiful person, we love you so much and thank god that you were a part of our lives. May God bless you, keep you, take care of you and show you the glory of all the wonderful blessings that we will all share for eternity together in our next glorious life.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The So Sad and the So Glad

So we are leaving for Ohio on Tuesday for a week. (How I hate leaving the doogies that long) It might seem like a vacation, but its not going to be. Matt's Grandmother who just turned 90 in August has been in the hospital for a while terribly weak and feeble. Thank God Matt had the chance to talk to her for bit a few weeks ago but the sad thing is she said her last goodbyes (and unfortunately it was only for a minute or so). As I told Matt; its amazing how those who are very sick will hold on until they are able to visit, in person, the last family member, which I believe is Matt. I have been praying that she will hold on until we have the chance to visit with her (I feel terrible asking God of that) as she is in so much pain. She is such a joyful, beautiful, and all loving person. I truly wish I could have gotten to know her better.

It takes me back to when Grandma Clair passed away. I did get to see her months before she passed away, but I felt so much guilt because I couldn't attend her funeral. Especially after all the good times we spent with each other and Harvey. Playing cards, watching Johnny Carson late at night and having my friends stay at her house to enjoy all of her love and joy. She was such a good person.. Grandma Clair is so much my ULTIMATE HERO!!! I have struggled ever since she passed away that I dissapointed her!!

So on a happier note. Eat fish and save the turkeys. And thank you for sticking with me past the sad times.

We will be coming to Utah for Thanksgiving. We were going to fly out, but I can't deal with all those traveler's, so we will be driving across the desert plains. Did I say plain? It would be so nice to have everyone there as a sort of family reunion. All get together and thank God for living in the U.S. and enjoying all the blessings that we have. Letting go of any hatred or ill feelings for one day and being together. I so would love to see everyone (too bad that Kelly isn't due until May. I would love to hold and smell the newest member of the family). Okay, somehow that sounded wrong. You know.. the new baby smell.

Okay, I am now going to show my dorkiness here, so please forgive me..

Think how blessed we are.. Clean water, electricity, food to eat, all the comforts of technology, no war in our own country, freedom, we don't grow up thinking that we have to be martyr's to kill others, knowing God and Jesus as our Saviour, cherised memories, should I go on and on?

Its amazing how much we in this country complain, but we have been truly blessed. Even thought the economy is going down the tubes, people are losing their houses left and right, and our presidential candidate are (DORKS) we still live in the land of opportunity and freedom to do as we wish.

Now spend a few cents and post your comments.. LOL. If you dont' understand the spents cent at the end of my post.. Its just a cute way to post your comments on my blog. I do have to be different after all.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Since I couldn't figure out how to get my page that way it was, I just added a new background befitting the upcoming Elections. We only have 43 days left for this important election, so if you haven't registered then do it. I know both candidates aren't the best but we should all vote for someone. I may just vote Libertarian to prove a point ( and how about the fair tax to quit taxing us to the point of poverty...

Nice to see Kain and Kelly have joined the clan... Welcome you two.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Labor Day Trip

So here's the proof that I did indeed make it out to Phoenix.

Our vacation got off to a rocky start. We didn't leave until 5pm friday night, so I took the whole day off for nothing. We stopped in Yuma for dinner and I ordered the Chicken Fried Steak which quite frankly looked like roadkill with gravy on it. When we finally arrived we thought we were staying at the Camelback Inn which is $500 a night room. I kind of knew that we had booked the wrong place as soon as I entered the address into our GPS at the beginning of the night. Kept my mouth shut not to ruin anyones faith.

So we arrive at the Camelback Inn around midnite and they tell us that the room we booked is the Camelback Resort, which is basically a timeshare of condos. It was still nice and the rooms were three times as large as we would have gotten and were less then $80 a day. They had a saltwater pool and jacuzzi, a volleyball court with sand, croquet, a game room with pool, miniature golf course. Although we didn't stay at the Camelback Inn we spent a lot of time there at the pool, having breakfast and what not. The town of Cave Creek is our favorite spot to eat though. So many cool places. We had dinner at the Cave Creek Coffee Company. (good wine, beer, eats and live music). The music wasn't as good as last time so Sheryl suggested, "The Satisfied Frog". Great music. And isn't that a great pic of us?

We got up early on Saturday and did 3 mile hike around Pinnacle Peak, shown here. The houses at that base of this place are huge. You can see one of them at the bottom of this picture. I can't figure out why anyone needs a house so big. They probably only spend the winter months in them as well.

I started to get grumpy on Monday night. I just can't take the heat. I don't know how anyone can be totally satisified in that. Although it is green, the plants are beautiful and you actually get thunder, lightning and rain which would be nice. All in all, it was a good time.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Other Side

Short but sweet. We finally finished the other side of the office. Heres a looksie.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Happy Birthday DAD - August 16th,1930

When I visited last in Oct 2006, Dad wanted to take me to see a few things. It was an awesome bonding experience. We headed up the Ogden mountains and ate a little cafe up in the hills. Then we headed to the ski resort that has been used for the Olympics. It was the perfect day. The leaves were all turning the colors of fall. Headed down the old freeway... can't remember what he told me about that but then all of a sudden we were in tremonton. We drove by the farm he grew up on (which is the picture above) in Garland. The farm was huge and still quaint. We drove by Grandma Claire's. Has been fixed up a bit. The big tree in front was gone. Just wasn't the same as it used to be. He told me a story about the invasion of rabbits on the farms and how they took care of that situation, but I won't elaborate. I was in horror at hearing the whole ordeal. And of course we had to stop at the old shop off of the Freeway to have the Ice Cream before we left like we always used to do in the old days. It was a very special day I won't forget.

Here is dad in 1932 with his mom and in July of 1943 with his father bringing in the milk.
Not sure what the picture is of Dad in the (sports uniform?) but it was taken in 1951 and then we have the lovely Wassom family with the hip glasses and gangsta wear in 1967.

I still don't understand how to get these darn pictures exactly where I want them. And why that darn text is way up there. So frustating. Anyhow, I had to throw a picture of my cute little self with dad in. Afterall it is my blog, and it was taken right before my baptism in Feb 1972.

Dad was in the Korean war between 1948-1952. This picture in his dapper uniform was taken at Fort Ord in 1949.
I am very glad that me and dad took that time to get to know each other a little better. Upon until then we only spoke every 6 months or so and never had anything to talk about. Since then we have talked about every month and couldn't stop talking. I have only talked to him once since his fall in Nevada. Its just too painful to sit in almost complete silence and hear him going in and out of reality. I know and pray that he is getting better. I do plan to come out later this year. Most likely for Thanksgiving. I was going to drive out for his birthday and surprise everybody today, but so much going on right now that I couldn't take the time off.
Happy Birthday Dad. I miss and Love you very much... I just got teary eyed there. what a wimp.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Requests are always taken...

Okay... So Steph and Ang requested to see us working our butt's off in our new office. The request is honored. And as always.. Bryce is always up for the challenge as well. He is such a good boy. Always helping the Dad's work on the house or getting his spotted Butt in the way. He is alway's following me around and getting or laying in the way. So faithful and full of unconditional love. By the way Sheryl... I wish I could be a design star. But Not!!!! It only has to do with the melding of the minds.

Emily..... the small one is such a princess. Always on security duty. Barking at the neighbors or those walking by. Makes her so tired that she becomes unsocial and lays around while we work. She could careless whats going on. But at the end of the night, she cuddles with me and always wants to be under the covers... cudding with the daddy. Such a good girl. Looking out for us.

BRAVO!! Sheer Genuis.. get it?

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Office 95% complete

And finally here is the 95% complete home office. I still have trim work do to around the sliding glass door and to move the furniture in against the back wall but the major part is done.. Yee Ha.. One more huge project under the belts. Matt put his laptop in the corner of the room with his flat screen moniter and brought down the flat screen TV from the upstairs bedroom (15.5 inches by 25.5 inches) to use as my monitor. It is so awesome!!! The websites are huge and are actually readable . Once we move the furniture in we can also kick back, watch TV on it, and feel the cool breeze from the outside. Its another part of our little piece of heaven. Life Is Good!!! Now all we need is a Wii that we can play. Then everyone will have to come visit. We can relax, play, enjoy the cool breezes, eat good food, site see and enjoy. I feel like a new man.. Funny how a revamped room will do that for you huh?

The Home Office

Here are the office windows before & after the trim. If you haven't discovered Power Grab yet, it is my ultimate favorite new find. Comes in a tube like caulk. Put it in your caulking gun, place on the back of your wood & glue it in place. I didn't use any nails to put this up. Saved me so much time nailing, patching, sanding it to be smooth & toucking up it up with paint. Only took me 30-45 minutes to glue it on, caulk it and touch up a few spots with paint..

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


A 5.4 earthquake hit near LA
yesterday and it rocked and rolled us here in San diego for 20-30 seconds.
Doesn't seem long, but trust me when you are thinking to yourself; is this going to stop, keep going, get worse, what should I do next? It seems longer. It definately put a jolt in my pacemaker for a good 20 minutes. It is very unsettling to fill the earth under you roll back and forth.

The map on the right shows all the earthquakes in CA and Nevada over the last week. (477 total). Which is pretty normal. You can pull up this map any week of the year and it looks like this always.

The big blue one at the bottom is the one that hit yesterday. I believe there were 70 aftershocks and they say another one could hit today.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Slowly but Surely it comes together

Here is another during picture. The office/garage is painted and the desk is going in. We need to complete installing the desk, trim the windows and baseboard, hang pictures, hook up the scanner, printer, fax, and hang the fan. (I think I need Jen to help with the fan). You can't quite see it but to the right is shelving we installed to hold all the tools; which we will cover up with a curtain to hide it all.

We painted the ceiling the same color as the back wall. Scary. I am so used to always painting the ceiling white. Very hard to get the whole room in the picture but this is the better half of it.

I will take a final once all the trimwork is done. That will probably be next weekend. Still too much to do tomorrow. I shouldn't work on Sundays, but we gotta get it done so Matt can start to focus on building the biz.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Well I must agree with Jen that this is painting purgatory. This is the garage after the priming process.. I am certain that those who are sent to the depths of purgatory will be made to texture, prime, tape and paint walls for eternity. How I hate the painting process. I will admit though, that the garage looks a heck of a lot bigger.. but man is it bright. Next step.... Painting!!! UGH!!!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Our Latest Project-The Garage/Home Office

When we added on to the house, we knew that since the garage would lead directly to the pond/deck area we wanted to turn it into a family room. So when the city came out to sign the final permit, we told them that the delivery of the garage door had been delayed and we would install it upon delivery. OK... so we lied. We actually had a sliding glass door being delivered. Well as you can see from this pic.. the family room never got done.

Coldwell Banker just closed Matt's Real Estate office three weeks ago so he was laid off. We both decided this was his push to go independant, get his business going and work from home. My company had closed 6 offices in the past two years so they had a sale on July 18th to get rid of all the extra computers, desks, chairs, desk mats, etc......Hence the push to empty the garage and turn it into Matt's office. We scored big time!!! For $430, we came out with a computer, keyboard, monitor, 2 desk chairs, 1 large 2 drawer file cabinet and 5 small ones, 4 desk floor mats and a huge desk that will wrap around half of one wall and corner off and extend the full 15 ft. length of the other wall. WooHOO!!!!

Since it was a garage, the construction workers drywalled it, but didn't do such a great job on the taping of the drywall. So off to Home Depot we went to buy some drywall mud and we spent
most of the weekend texturing the walls and ceiling to hide the bad tape job.

During and after shots to come....

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Our Tiny Piece of Heaven

Our yard is only 2500 Square Feet but we have made the most of it. A sitting area near the pond and another on the deck to the right of the pond with a jacuzzi....
Oh!!! Heaven.....

The goldfish that we bought for only $.29 are quite amazing. I have mixed gold ones with tan ones and black fish and what is so amazing is that over time, they all take on each other characters and start to take on the other colors of the fish in the pond. If you have ever seen Koi fish; they have spots of all kinds of colors. Just like Bryce in the picture above. LOL!!!!

Here is the new trellis that we built above the deck and jacuzzi. When I first remodeled the house back in 1996, I dug a hole and placed the jacuzzi so that it was even with the deck. I miss stepping down into it. It felt like a built in Jacuzzi. But this one!!!! Oh YEA baby.... more jets, more powerful and after working on the house all day, it feels GOOD on the body!!!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

My Personally Handcrafted Fireplace

During the renovation, we had to tear down the old brick chimney. Instead of building a new one we tore out the old fireplace and found fireplaces on the internet that were gas and vents outside like a clothes dryer does. No need for a chimney anymore. So they installed the fireplace and I found a mantel on the internet that matched the craftsman style of the house and instead of buying one, I build this myself. I also decided to add shelves on each side to hold DVDs & CD's.

Took me a while to figure out exactly how I was going to do it. It was a lot of wood cuts, staining, sanding, sealing. Most of the outside had to be glued on, as I didn't want nail holes showing and I didn't want to fill them because I wasn't sure the putty would stain right.
This is so much nicer then the old wood burning fireplace we add. Old ugly brick from the 1920's when the house was built.
I sure will miss all the craftsman style of this house when we move. Houses these days are just thrown up with Home Depot crap molding, all looking the same and as drap as the next door neighbors. I always wanted to own one of those old Victorian homes in Salt Lake. Guess thats why I fell in love with this place.. Our house is one of the few in our neighborhood that have character. All the others have been stuccoed... YUCK!!!
This is our house before we started the MAJOR renovation.
We found a really cool program that would allow us to build the walls, put in furniture, change all the interior and exterior colors, flooring, the whole nine yards. When you were done, you could do an actual tour of the house to see how it would
look. We spent many months changing the floorplan umpteen times until we finally got the end result.

And here is the end result. It was such a mess. The whole back half of the house plus the garage had to be torn down, do that they could pour a better foundation and be able to build up two stories. We were building in the big firestorm of 2004 that took hundreds of homes and the smoke and ash were coming into the house through the large hole we had in the back for months. I will post pics of the project here soon.