Monday, August 31, 2015

There are things I always stop for …

I have a pretty big collection of (flower) frogs because they remind me of my mother-in-law.

I will always stop for religious figures, old cameras, globes and clocks…

I go straight for anything rusty I can plant in and old tonkas - of course…

There are usually a few things I overlook… I don't really like glass (though those f-ing chicken bowls are messing me up with that) and I don't like dolls.  I've talked about it before - most of my childhood dolls have teeth marks on them because I would bite their noses. I was way more a stuffed animal girl. That's why all the deasy boys would bite my nose when they were little. Payback for all the dolls I tortured.  Anyway, even though I still have horrible thoughts of Sharon's howdie doodie doll (which even right now spell checked to "how die" which is kind of freaky) I do love the creepy dolls - especially decapitated ones or ones with missing legs or arms… When we were in the one store the other day checking out, Cara was like did you see all the doll heads? No, bitch, but don't you think you should have told me that real time? ;-) We all walked around again and never found them but I did come across this beauty.

How could I pass it up with a tag like this…

I want to put her under a cloche or in a birdcage with webs all over it. Too bad I don't have any place to do that. She'll probably end up in storage but for three dollars I couldn't pass her up.

Lily isn't too sure about her…

Seriously - what is this thing, mama?!?

Sunday, August 30, 2015

I haven't been sleeping very well… Even when I'm not on a whirlwind weekend of special events, I'm lucky to sleep maybe three or four hours a night.

Olivia's baby shower was today...

…then it was over to The Knapp's for a spectacular dinner, as always, for Brother's friends.

I want to go to bed for a week or two… or at least a few hours.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

A couple of my co-workers and I went to a birthday/retirement party for our friend.  Her daughters surprised her with a shindig at her place on the island near the Hulton Bridge.  We had to take a boat over...

… to the house.

They are just as creative as their mama - we'll miss her and her expertise.

One of her daughters is a wine specialist so there were lovely drinks being made all night…

and the tiki bar was hopping all night long.

Friday, August 28, 2015

So, we had about five different ideas for Cara's birthday extravaganza… Nemacolin and Ligonier and West Virginia to name a few… she couldn't decide where to go so we ended up here…

 Irwin. Do we know how to party or what?!?

My boss has been telling us about a few places we needed to check out -  so we had breakfast…

and shopped till we dropped.

We checked out some kid art… I was especially fond of the pug and seahorse!

Then we got a little snack…

We shopped some more - until the car was pretty much loaded and just re-organized it and went and did some more shopping…  I don't think I've ever seen a school desk I didn't love.

We exhausted our day in the lovely little town and, of course, ended up at Marshall's.  I got Cara this little lady.

… and these guys for myself.  One for you - two for me.

We went into Greensburg to the French restaurant that used to be in Ligonier… which is how this whole day ended up the way it did.

Bon Anniversaire, Cara!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

I met my ex SIL, June, at Pamela's before work… We had coffee and pancakes and caught up on what's going on in with each of us. It was fun. We were leaving and we gave each other a hug and said it was good seeing each other… she said how we grew up together and a hundred memories went through my head in an instant.  So many years...  It was sad and sweet - and delicious.  ;-)

Monday, August 24, 2015

One of my co-workers retired so we all met for dinner at The Mighty Oak Barrel.

… she used to call Bingo and her "thing" was 22.

She would say toot toot and everyone would repeat it and laugh. It's funny what amuses you late afternoon!!!  My thing has been equally corny if not even more.

It's in the Bs…

Low number…

I'll say I could've have had a___

and the crowd goes...

(wait for it)


Sunday, August 23, 2015

I got The Dad a fire pit for Father's Day. My cousin Kenny came over this morning to build it.

I was in my room getting dressed for work and I heard them calling Alexis and my Dad was singing Happy Birthday. Then it dawned on me - it's my mother's death anniversary. 21 years today. I completely forgot but when I heard them singing to Alexis I remembered -  the 23rd.

I haven't gone up to the cemetery in I don't know how long. I didn't put any spring flowers up and I carted them around in my car for months.  I took them out before we went away and just rediscovered them yesterday and thought - forget about it now - I might as well wait until fall.

I stopped at community on the way home and got Jax. My mother's favorite. I haven't had them in years  - they are probably not made from non GMO corn and I have to wipe all the extra orange stuff off of them but they are sort of comforting. I sat on the porch and ate them right out of the bag while the pup roamed the yard.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

I have been furiously trying to get my class finished… I'm not sure I'm cut out for non classroom learning. I can not manage my time as many are aware.  I waited until the last minute to start/finish it and this past month has been exhausting. This class was crammed with a lot of information… from the history of nursing homes to Federal Regulations and Quality of Life issues… there was also a lesson on making balloon animals. I'm serious. ;-)  There was a practicum component and extensive homework.

With that said…. everything is in the mail. I just have to wait for my final exam.  Can I get a Wahoo?!?

Friday, August 21, 2015

You know I haven't had time to get to  my own blog let alone any others... I've been working a lot - and working late nights and trying to get my class done - by the time I get back and do what I need here, I'm pooped.  I always used to check in on two blogs in particular - for years.  Lisa Leonard and Erin Cobb's Princess PigBear.  Lisa Leonard is the girl behind lisa leonard designs, the fab jewelry company  .  Erin Cobb is a super talented photographer in Alabama and started her blog when her baby was a finalist (and then winner) of a Baby Gap contest in '07.  Besides being inspiring and savvy business women they are moms and share the joy of family in their blogs which really is the appeal for me.  I still get their emails and see their facebook posts.  I saw one of Erin's studio/cottage the other day and had to spend some time looking around.  And then I cried for ten minutes. I haven't been on (either) blog for months.   All the kids seemed so grown up...  The cottage is adorable... I saw the summer trips they went on...

We would have had two kids around the same age as my ex-SIL. I always thought it was interesting to see them grow up - it was also heartbreaking.  I still, every time I pull into Miracle Mile, get a twinge in my heart because I remember sitting in the parking lot crying when we got the phone call she was pregnant.  It was shortly after one of my miscarriages.  It was not because I wasn't happy for her - I was just sad for me. For us.   I think this was told to her and got lost in translation somehow... "You don't know what he had to go through." What did that mean? I still want to know. There's still a lot I want to know.

You would think I would be settled by now. Truth is, I'm not.  I'm not sure I will ever be.  Some days are better than others.  Some days are really, really good.  Some are really, really bad. This is all that I wanted.  If I followed my bliss it would have been exactly what I was doing.

This divorce was a set back... not necessarily a new beginning but I see how that could be and eventually will be. I love what I'm doing and I think I'm super good at it but we all know what my first choice would have been.  It's still very, very difficult to know that that's not going to happen.  At times, it all becomes a little too much to think about.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

I got this in a takeout order…

Are Dave and Steve decorating cookies at Eat N Park?

I think it's a little off from what they are supposed to look like!

Monday, August 17, 2015

…when you run into JC at Goodwill.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Chrissy mapped out our adventure for the week and we ended up in North Huntington.  It was a cute dead end street with a bunch of ranch homes. This one house had a ton of stuff in a big double garage.  I found these trucks under a chair - I asked how much and she looked at me funny and shook her head and said I don't know - one dollar each.



They were from her son who is my age so they are from my era. We ran out of there before she could change her mind - we were walking to the car and I was like go, go, go… keep moving. I felt like I stole them!  They had to go directly to storage but aren't they fab?

Saturday, August 15, 2015

I had to run to Morniglory the other day for a gift so I met one of my co-workers at Goodwill. I found a "Walda."

There's a Pinterest board for the doll.

And check out this video on this info page.  Very interesting.

I actually found another a few days later at an antique store. $5 for that one and $3 for the one from Goodwill - still in the box.  This could be the start of a big problem. I mean collection.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Chrissy came over to help me downstairs… we started going through some things in the game room/garage.  She was down there for awhile before The Bud heard her.  Lily came running down and was howling and barking and just spinning around in circles.  She kept jumping on her and was so excited.  She finally settled and we all sat on the couch and she says…  Do you miss your daddy?

What the f*ck, Chrissy?!?

I was like where the hell did that come from!?!

We were just sitting there cracking up. I said she probably doesn't even remember him anymore and then I got to thinking about all those soldier and dog reunion videos you see on youtube and was like, I don't know - maybe. ;-)  I said she does really, really like that last toy he brought over for her - that martha stewart chickie/duck.  She always digs down deep for it in her toy box and will hunt it down.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

A friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer. She called me because she had some questions about treatment, etc… I answered what I could and gave her some information… I didn't want to sway her in one direction or the other because the decision should be hers. I got off the phone and I looked down at the folder I took out and kind of went numb.  I couldn't believe I was looking at this… and it was mine.

The surgeries and all the shitty side effects -still.

I question every day if I did the right thing and if I'm doing the right thing now.  For as much pain as I'm in at the moment I would say I made the wrong decision. I don't know.

I don't know.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

This little pup and her tongue…

Seriously - is she not the cutest thing you ever did see?

She's always so excited to get to work and can't wait to go in and see all of her friends!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Parsley would be a cute name for a pug - wouldn't it?  Every time we go out to get some parsley I think of that.

Lily likes to come out to the veg trug and get the veggies with me…

She's going to be 7 soon. I can't believe it. It makes me kind of sad knowing that RoseBud was only 8 when she died. ;-(

I don't want to think about it… Here's what we made earlier today.

Sunday, August 9, 2015


I found these circus figurines at the dollar store awhile back and didn't really have a place to put them so I figured I would just plant them.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

I found a couple pennies on the floor while we were cleaning. I put them on the table with the other trinkets and little stuff just sitting around. K & Other J had a lot of stuff - little things with big meaning - to them, at least. Kids after my own heart.

It was kind of sad… I felt like I had to say goodbye to everything. My favorite house - the one across the street from Lizzie's old place on Pugh...

… and my second favorite one - down from Katherine's on South Allen.

I also took pics of my third and fourth (and maybe fifth and sixth ones) but I'll spare you those.  Cedarbrook - same pic I've taken countless times - no more trees… McLanahans, of course… the place where the chinese place used to be… the farmers market… the mac machine where I used to get money. It was kind of ridiculous. Especially since this isn't the first time I did that. ;-)  Regardless, we were acting like we were going to ride out of there and the town was going to explode behind us and we would never see it again. I mean it's like two hours away. It's pretty do-able to ride up there for a cheesesteak and come home. Anyway, long live nostalgia.

I was a little surprised before we left… I  was upstairs vacuuming while the guys were organizing the furniture in the van.  I came down and saw this:
The comforter I used in my dorm 25 years ago now covering my grandmother's chest of drawers to make the journey home….
… or, at least, to storage. Chrissy grabbed it out of the unit without me knowing and I couldn't help but smile when I saw it peeking through the U-Haul window.

PS. I left a penny on the floor in a corner of the closet - I'm hoping the next person or couple that moves in will discover it and keep it and one day, years later,  will pull it out of a box and say - "remember when we found this penny in our apartment when we moved into our first place…"

Friday, August 7, 2015

We're headed back to PSU.  It was up in the air last week whether or not we were going to stay. We decided not to, but this time was different.

Bags were packed...

Snacks were in the car…
Hello, experimental paint lines. I love you.
I wonder how many times I've said "tie your own shoe laces" when I passed by this sign...
Or cheered when I got to this one…
Our first stop was here…
My mother would always get the silver dollar pancakes…
We've been trying to stop at this antique store for the last few years and never got around to it. Finally, we did. It was so disappointing, but at least we can check that off of our places to stop list. (We do actually keep a list.)
This trip wasn't all fun and games… we were at the final countdown. We had 24 hours to finish packing up and do all the cleaning.  We got that place cleaner than it was when they moved in. We made friends with the new girl downstairs and actually brought her up to see if she wanted anything and we may or may not have asked a few other strangers that crossed our path if they could use extra furniture. We didn't think we would be able to get Glo's stuff in the car and, honestly, I didn't know what I was going to do with everything if I took them back. My storage units are already loaded and this would just add to the mess.
It was a difficult decision. I debated for awhile - like hours. I felt like I had to do it... 
We ended up taking her tables and lamps to Goodwill!  Can you believe it?!? I actually parted with something. I'm hoping some mid century modern loving student will love them and give them a good home. 

Exhausted and starving, we made our way to the hotel to drop our stuff off.
Then we went for a late, late dinner at The Allen Street Grill. We sat at the cozy corner table for two and I have to admit that we were teary eyed, on occasion, for many reasons.. 
It looks like no one is out and about but it was actually quite busy. I must have just shot this the second no one was around. We watched both the students and old folks in alumni shirts making their way back and forth and my head was spinning. 

You know, the whole day was kind of weird… 
It was this constant in and out of moving trucks, old furniture and the sounds of bottles being thrown in the dumpster.  I kept stopping to look out the window. It was hard to tell which were the kids that have been there and were on their way home to start a new adventure versus the new kids that were coming in replacing them - soon to start their next adventure.   I never would have known it wasn't 1993. Except maybe for the obnoxious dad with the "left shark" t shirt on bro hugging his son's old roommates before they left.  Even still, it's like time stands still there. I stood in awe and in sadness.   I've moved the Murphy children in and out of quite a few places. It's always fun and exhausting. This time, it was a little hard to catch my breath.

My saving grace was knowing that I had a bunch of brochures and the Town & Gown and hotel coffee waiting for me back at Days Inn...
...and a few hours of sleep before we'd be back at it again in the morning...