Saturday, November 28, 2009

Disney World, "The Magic Kingdom"

After a brief visit back home, I traveled from San Diego back to the east coast to spend the holidays with Deb, Steve, Nick and Girlie. One of my birthday gifts this year was a trip to DisneyWorld so we decided to go just before Thanksgiving. We departed Folly Beach, SC for Orlando, FL on Sunday morning, November 21st.

St. Augustine, FL was one of our stops along the way. The old fort was fun, the weather was beautiful, christmas lights were everywhere! We found a great little bistro for dinner. The scallops were delicious and all the while we were entertained by some of the best guitar music and song.

Our next stop...Orlando and the Westgate Village, our home for the next few days. We got a good nights sleep so we could get to the Magic Kingdom early in the morning the next day. Two full days at the park from opening to close at 11pm! It was the best ever!

Girlie and Nana rode the Carousel 8 times in a row! It's Girlie's favorite ride. Nick and Mommy, Deb, were riding Thunder Mountain and Space Mountain while Girlie and Nana rode the magic carpet! The biggest thrill was getting to see Johnny Depp in person...we love him! Because it was late at night and very dark and scary, no one wanted to go to the Haunted Mansion except was fun. The second day we went to Huck Finn's Island and explored the caves and mines and had fun climbing around the rocks. We loved the People Mover, the Hall of Presidents and the Carousel of Progress, we laughed a lot at the Monster's Inc. Comedy show and at Big Al at the Country Bear Jamboree. We rode everything!!! Pirates of the Caribbean was a favorite.

We managed to eat a few turkey legs, cotton candy, pineapple shakes...and some assorted other goodies! Mickey Mouse Ice Cream Bars were so creamy and tasty.

One of our other hightlights of the day, beside the parades, was meeting Minnie and Mickey Mouse. Girlie and Nick got to talk with them and get their autograph in their journals. Tigger and Winnie the Pooh also signed their books. We left the park on the Monorail and went back to the Westgate for some rest. We spent the better part of the next day at Downtown Disney at the Lego Store, lunching and have a chocolate sundae at Ghirardelli's, and buying a few Disney gifts for Christmas presents.

Nick and Nana celebrated their 7th and 70th birthdays. We were treated to special badges and all day long people said, "Happy Birthday!"
(pictures to follow)


I piled up my plate and I ate and I ate.

But I wish I had known when to stop.

I'm so crammed with turkey, gravy, and yams

that my buttons are starting to pop!

I'm full of potatoes and French's Green Beans.

My stomach is swollen and sore,

but there's still the pumpkin pie

so I guess it won't hurt

if I eat just a little bit more!

Hope you all had a wonderful day. We missed the ones we couldn't be with this year.

It was a wonderful day in Folly Beach, SC.

Girlie, Nick, Deb and I drove back from Disney and arrived home about 2pm. As we walked in the door, the aroma of the bird...hit us in the face! We had a fabulous Turkey Dinner prepared by the Doctor himself...who knew he could cook, too!

It was so good we all sounded like Bill Murray in "What About Bob".....hmmm hmmm hmmm! Steve outdid himself....a dinner complete with turkey, relishes, chestnut stuffing, orange sweet potatoes, gravy, and brussel sprouts with chestnuts. He prepared it all! We want it to become a tradition!!! After dinner we all went for a walk on the beach....the sunset was beautiful. Such a great day.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The New House

The renovation is complete...from the ashes the Phoenix arises!

The new stairs are awesome!

The JOURNEY: 8 weeks in the making. A lot of planning , a lot of bruises and cuts and splinters, a lot of trash, a lot of stress and construction, a whole lot of paint, a lot of money and a whole lot of sweat!!! But it was worth it.

Our first visit to the house with our wrecking bars uncovered a treasure from the 1940's. The original wood walls in near perfect condition in the two main rooms. That was the good part! Then came the surprises!

Surprises behind every wall we tore down. Termites, dry rot, black mold, marsh rats, leaking roof, ants, termite damage, water damage! Bad plumbing, old wiring, no insulation, no heat, no air. So much work to do!

The boss, Deb, in her office on her iPhone. She's a real slave-driver! Getting the job completed in just under 8 weeks!!! And they all said it couldn't be done. WOMEN POWER!

I could be seen daily carrying my wrecking bar and hammer! We completely gutted the house, removed all the walls to bare studs except the two main rooms, we saved the original wood beadboard. It left 1000's of nails to be pulled. Great workout!!!

The two most important tools on the job, our iPhones! What would we have done without them!
And we had a lot of help. I think they call it "Child Labor"! Girlie carried wood, pounded whatever she could find and did a lot of sweeping.

Nick hauled wood and bricks from the old chimney to the huge dumpster in the back yard. We actually filled 5 of them during the demolition!

Another dumpster load leaving and a new one coming in!

All new electrical and plumbing had to be installed.

Is it pretty yet? That question was asked a lot during construction by our little supervisor!

Hidden beneath the old drywall, uncovered with our trusty wrecking bars, the old 1946 bead board was in great shape and ready to be restored to a nice shiny lustre.

Black mold was found in a couple of the rooms and had to be treated before new insulation and drywall for all three bedrooms could be put in.

The old windows are ready to come out! They're scraping and cleaning the exterior in prep for paint.

The new windows have arrived. Note: You can still see the old porch railing which has not yet been demolished.

Dining room and living room walls and ceilings, painted and ready for new fans and light fixtures. The transom window is a signed original, etched glass pane of the Morris Island lighthouse from 1946.

The old kitchen had one cabinet with a sink and another small one at the other end of the kitchen. The middle door lead to the master bdrm. That door was removed and a solid wall was created. Everything in the kitchen was in poor shape and it was gutted.

The new kitchen cabinets and appliances. This view of of one end, the other end of the kitchen is the breakfast bar, refrigerator and other cabinets. We're still unpacking and the place is cluttered but still pretty. Yes, Girlie, the new house is pretty now!!!

Rebuilding the old porch with new beams and columns. Trying a new color of paint on the old yellow siding.

Girlie, watching construction, and not very happy with all the noise the electric saws are making!
Old steps are being replaced by White Oak, 3 inch thick boards. They haven't arrived yet.

The old porch railing. We actually saved some of the spindles and had them cut to make candle sticks to be used for our Christmas table decor in a couple of months.

The new porch and railing is awesome...they are working on the eyebrows at the top of the square columns.
The new beach house....Folly Beach, SC....minus new landscaping! That's next! Still unpacking and we need a vacation!!!

......INTERMISSION.....a trip back to San Diego for 12 days to repack for winter!!!
And now, a little time off to play! I'm on my way back to SC for the holidays.

We're going to spend Thanksgiving at DisneyWorld to celebrate my birthday. We didn't have time to do it until birthday was in May! Some of the best gifts are belated. We're so excited and Girlie & Nick can't wait to see Minnie & Mickey. I'll be posting pictures soon...stay tuned!


Tuesday, November 10, 2009


*How about this this year we do NOT ever be politically correct,
but correctly call this coming season CHRISTMAS?

*Twas the month before Christmas*
*When all through our land,*
*Not a Christian was praying*
*Nor taking a stand.*

*See the PC Police had taken away,*
*The reason for Christmas - no one could say.*
*The children were told by their schools not to sing,*
*About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.*

*It might hurt people's feelings, the teachers would say*
* December 25th is just a 'Holiday'.*
*Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit*
*Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!*

*CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-pod*
*Something was changing, something quite odd! *
*Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa*
*In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.*

*As Targets were hanging their trees upside down*
* At Lowe's the word Christmas - was no where to be found.*
*At K-Mart and Staples and Penny's and Sears*
*You won't hear the word Christmas; it won't touch your ears.*

*Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty*
*Are words that were used to intimidate me.*
*Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen*
*On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton!*

*At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter*
*To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.*
*And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith*
* Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace*

*The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded*
*The reason for the season, stopped before it started.*
*So as you celebrate 'Winter Break' under your 'Dream Tree'*
*Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.*

*Choose your words carefully, choose what you say*
Not Happy Holiday!*

I say, all Christians join together and
Wish everyone you meet

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Halloween is over...Deb, Steve & the kiddies have moved into their newly renovated house...and last night I flew back to California. Today I couldn't wait to get into something creative!!!

I've missed my art toys! It's so nice to be home to visit with all of them!

Another demented toy was the order of the day. It didn't take long for me to start digging in my stash of treasures for just the right items to create her. I grabbed the glue and playtime was on!

The silver goblet is the image of 3 skeletons twisted together. I added one of my precious doll heads and embellished her neck with antique pearl trim. Her wings are made from a used coffee filter! I love her!!!

Goblet Angel
(Click on the image to see it up close and personal!)

I still have another doll to create but not sure if I'll have time before I go back to SC for the holidays. After the new brakes and oil change, visiting mom in the nursing home, some needed winter clothes shopping, unpacking and repacking, doesn't leave much time to play. I'm going to try and squeeze another one in, hopefully!

While I was in SC, Girlie, Nick and I each worked on a journal. We had such a good time and the journals are awesome, filled with lots of memories and artwork.

I just purchased 3 more journals for us to create for the holidays. We'll be journaling about our trip to DisneyWorld for the Thanksgiving holiday and I'm sure Santa Claus will take up several pages!!! I'm looking forward to more quality time with the grand kiddies.

I'll be heading back to SC next thursday. We're going to DisneyWorld to celebrate my birthday (we didn't have time to go before now because of the house renovation). Yay, a vacation finally!!!

Life is good.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Flying High in the Sky!

I'm flying from coast to coast (as I'm posting to my blog, thanks to free WiFi from Delta Air!)

Folly Beach, SC
Sea Oats on the beach are protected by law.
Such a beautiful site!

Nick, Nana and Girlie being silly!

Girlie, Deborah and Nick.

Girlie having fun! She loves the beach
(just like her Nana!)

Nick clowning around!

I've spent the past 2 and a half months in SC with my daughter and her family, renovating a 1946 beach house. What an experience! It was fun and exhausting and now that it's finally finished and they've moved in, I'm on my way home for a short rest!

Deb's family live on the Atlantic Ocean and I live on the Pacific Ocean. Thanks to Delta, I have plenty to do on my laptop while en route to San Diego from Charleston. Right now I'm searching for my pictures of the's so beautiful! Posting more when I get home...I think the pics are on my iPhone or still in my camera!...........
Here it is! So beautiful and the view of the ocean is awesome. You can see more pictures on my other blog "Picture This".

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Little Bag that Could

We're traveling again! This time we made a stop in SC for and extended stay:

(My favorite bag: I made this tote in black and white cotton over a canvas bag.
I added lace and a bead trim around the top.)

Leaving San Diego for a "3 Hour Tour"!...actually a 3 week vacation to Charleston to see my grandchildren and the new house my daughter and son-in-law bought at Folly Beach. It's an old beach cottage, built in 1946, across the street from the Atlantic Ocean!

My ticket was extended for a "3 Month Tour"!!! My daughter asked if I could stay and help with the restoration. Lots of work to be done. We've gutted the house and are in the process of restoring the old bead board interior.

You can find me daily behind this mask and goggles, wielding a hammer and crowbar!

The house was just a cottage and not meant for year round living so heating and air had to be installed along with insulating the entire house. Insulation is tomorrow and on thursday the drywallers will be here to do the walls and ceilings in the bedrooms and in the carriage house (the children's playroom above the garage).

Then Deb and I will let the games begin!!! Lots of painting! Every day Girlie asks if the house is pretty yet? And we reply, "Not yet!" "But soon!!!"

And then of course, comes the move!!! Like we don't already have enough on our plate!!!

I'll post some pictures when I get a minute....we've barely had time to eat and sleep so I'm behind on my blogging and pictures.



Sunday, September 13, 2009


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Monday, August 10, 2009

My Demented Toy "Sun Goddess"

Remember, my friend, Jackie, and I have been trying to take a road trip ever since the beginning of June! We finally hit the road last Friday heading to La Maison's Barn Sale. It's about an hour and 15 minutes, 62 miles to the Barn in Temecula, CA.
Sometimes just going for the ride, browsing the great antiques and crafts, and visiting with the talented artists who run the sale is a days outing. You don't always get that treasure you're looking for and hoping to find. But today, was a GREAT DAY! I found just what I was looking for...doll heads for my demented toy project!

Some great doll heads!

This one in particular caught my eye!

Well, doll heads are like can't buy just one! I had to have all three and came away with my bag of goodies, one happy camper! FB friends have been taking Michael DeMeng's "Demented Toys" class and the pictures taken by Kathy Engen Malkasian are great. I have been so inspired!

I found this body (minus the head!) in a trash can at the swap meet!!! (dumpster diving anyone?! LOL) I have been looking for a doll head for weeks! I added the gold cording and sunburst medallion around the neck with E 6000 found at Michael's Craft Store.

I added the head and an ivory cameo on her forehead to complete my art piece, she's my " Demented Sun Goddess". I just love her!

We're heading out to find some more thrift shops and flea markets very SOON...just think of the goodies we're missing! I'll be working on my other art project, my "Demented Dolly Machine" from the other parts I picked up on our road trip. And Jackie has plans for that wheel chair she found!!! LOL

STAY TUNED for more Demented Toys!
(Screen capture from Robert's iPhone!)