Saturday, June 28, 2008

Old Photos

One of the advantages of being at Lyndsey's AND having passed on my old computer to her is that all my older photos (up through 2006) are stored on her computer. This picture is from October 2003, Makayla and her Pappys at Rawhide. I am constantly amazed at how fast these years have gone by. One day the baby face just disapears.

I'm recovering from my long drive yesterday and resting at Lyndsey's with Makayla and Izzy, while Lyndsey runs errands.. I can say resting, because Izzy fell asleep. I'm also enjoying the approximate 25 degree drop in temperature. Glad I remembered my sweater for evenings.
Izzy is like the energy bunny who'll just suddenly tip over. :).. SHE"S TIPPED.
Oh, I found these pictures from August 04, the Day, Lyndsey, Victor & Makayla became Family.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog today.

Friday, June 27, 2008

I'm Practicing Avoidance

I'm headed off to California today.. Aly, my beautiful niece is getting married next month and Sunday there's a wedding shower going on. I CANT MISS THAT. Well actually I'm sitting in front of my computer, AVOIDING getting dishes done, me dressed and packed and out the door. I really have to keep the treasure at the end of today's desert journey in mind and GET OFF THIS CHAIR.
Here's what's waiting for me.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog today. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I've Added a New Site

I've decided to go with it and try to "Take Pictures On a Larger scale".
I helped my good friend Julee make up some brochures yesterday and thought..why not try it too Betty. So I did. I've added the link to my page and hope you'll drop by and have a look.
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog twice today.

More BackYard Fun

Ricky came over Monday afternoon for a swim and a barbecue. Very relaxed and a lot of fun. More affirmation for me that we'll continue to have barbecues (Paul's passion) throughout the summer months; despite the awful heat and the distance we've moved. Good to know.
He brought his new dog (a chuggle - pug and Chiuawa (sp)) over too. Even taught her to swim. She's quite fearless with both our Collie and Border Collie. Mom had a great time.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog today.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Is it Monsoon yet?!

This Storm appeared far away - Gold Canyon 2004
I know it's not monsoon yet, despite what the weathermen are saying this year; using dates, not dew points to determine the start of our violent summer storms, they've announced we're in Monsoon. I love the summer storms we have here; as long as I'm not out in it. As long as all my loved ones are safe inside. Violent storms; lightening I'd never imagined before--constant flashes; thunder non stopping and the worst part, the walls of dust that will on occasion proceed the storm, sometimes the wall is part of the storm. Paul and I did not respect the Auto Club Warnings of a monsoon,  when we came to the valley. We do now. We thought we could out run the storm one Wednesday night in August of 2004. We were on our way to So California for Lyndsey's wedding. We very nearly didn't make it. But for the stranger on the road (so surreal in my memory now) with the t-shirt covering his mouth waving his arms we would have
 crashed into an accident already on the road. I warned Paul and he stopped the car. I still remember the poor man in the car who didn't survive that day. We had to keep going and made it over to the side of the road, between our two angels.. Big Rig Trucks, and later followed them on the now empty Interstate 10. My strongest memory of that trip was the fear that Lyndsey's parents would have died on their way to her wedding....That was not ok. We did make it that night but never again traveled I 10 in the afternoon/evening during Monsoon season. I don't think of that late afternoon without offering a silent prayer for that man and his family.  We brought Makayla out to visit that week, while Lyndsey and Victor went on their honeymoon. These pictures are another storm.
Makayla's not liking all that noise
She'll sneak a peak now from Gran's window
Now I warn, re-warn and warn again, my children, friends and other family members that afternoons during Monsoon is NOT when we drive and when they see the black wall coming.. get off the road, turn off their lights.. oh yeah and Say their Hail Marys until the storm moves on.. Mostly they ignore me now.
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog today.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Incredible Hulk

Today was day three of Paul's 3 day weekend. We decided to take Sabby to see the Incredible Hulk. I've got a little 12 year old boy in me I'm afraid, because I loved it. Not as much as the Iron Man. I don't really know these characters because I wasn't a comic book reader as a kid. I did read Brenda Starr, Reporter and Mary Worth in the daily paper.We drove to Westgate, where the Cardinal Stadium is. Real exciting to have our city's team play that close to us.. about 20-30 minutes from here. I love Westgate and the Theater makes me think of what we imagined the future would be back in the 50's and 60's. The heat makes it hard to walk around long but the water fountains are a great way to cool off a six year old. 
Ricky's come over for a barbecue and I've snuck away while Paul cooks chicken on the grill and the rest of them (including Ricky's new puppy) swim for a while.
Have a good evening everyone and thanks for taking the time to read my blog today.


Paul had three days off this weekend and we wanted to do something. Then reality swung by to say, NOT enough money, so we decided on a Barbecue yesterday. Kathie and Robb joined us along with Katie & Sabby. Barbecue's aren't all that easy when it's 113-115 outside. We all sat around in the pool which though no longer cool water, is still refreshing. This is necessary so we cool down enough to get the food cooked later. When it's 115, we still eat inside even with the wet bathing suits cooling us down! It was a great day; not a lot of pre-planning - it just came along.

I miss the days when we all lived closer; and these impromptu Barbecues remind me how much fun we can still have. Fourth of July is turning into quite a party. So again, I remind myself what I tell Lyndsey so much; All this may not be how we always thought it it would be; but that doesn't mean it can't still be good.
Have a nice day everyone and thanks for taking the time to read my blog today.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

To My Out of Town Family; Your Rooms are Ready

Rob, Carla; Lyndsey, Victor; Julee; Scott, Lanette; Sandra, Steven; Peggy, Dennis; Aly, Saul... Hell All of you.
Your rooms are ready.
We have Four Bedrooms and a Sitting Room(my office) in our home. Kind of big for "Empty Nesters" like us,however, even before Ricky and Katie moved to AZ, we needed lots of bedrooms for family gatherings (I'm lucky we still have them - they are weekends now though). It's also possible to get more bedrooms since home prices are not that high in the "oven". I gave up assigning bedrooms a few years ago and told the kids; it was first come first serve. Ricky got his own place 5 weeks ago and I'm finally almost done with the "Guest Room" in it's 5th incarnation since we moved here 2 years ago. First it was Katie & Sabby's room; When they moved back to CA, it became the guest room; They moved back 7 months later,  and I gave them each their own room, moved my office to the sitting room and turned my guest room and bathroom into Paul's "Cowboy Room". Then Ricky moved in and it became his room with Cowboy stuff and Paul's desk in it. NOW, it's Paul's Cowboy Room with a Futon and guest bathroom AND the treadmill Paul bought "ME" a few years ago. My office/the sitting room, also has a Futon. So we're set, pretty much, now for family gatherings.  
I still need to paint it but Paul has opted today for only a barbecue instead of "getting that room painted this morning" as I suggested. In RAN off to the market just a few minutes ago saying something about other errands too.. Oh well.
Oh and I've kept the air mattress for those expanded family gatherings.. Kids - It's still first come first serve!!!

I'm giving thanks today for our A.C. and keeping the rest of the country in my prayers, with the flooding in the midwest and the heat and fires in CA. 
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog today.  

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Mamiya

In 1973 or 74, my dad brought a super cool camera while he, mom, Kathie & Jim lived in Japan. I remember hearing about his excitement and once my brother Jim mentioned he'd used this camera to take all the pictures for the yearbook at his international school in  Nagoya where they lived. 
Dad used it rarely once they came home to the states in 74. When they died, we found the camera and as neither brother or sister wanted it, I have it. Jim didn't have time to teach me how to use it so despite my many attempts to sit down and figure out the instruction manual and the many lenses and lens covers and even the loading of film; it has all remained a mystery to me. I photographed it yesterday as with money pretty tight right now, I'd like to try selling it on E-Bay. I'm still trying to figure that part out too.
It's probably not worth much now adays with  digital out there. It's a medium format film. I remember, in 1998, purchasing the film but now have forgotten how I put it in... Did I load the camera. If ANYone out there who happens across my page can give me a rough estimate on what I could get for this well preserved beauty? It'd help a lot when I figure out what I'm doing on E-bay. HELP.
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog today. Have a good weekend.

P.S. My   niece Aly e-mailed telling me she would buy it; Don't sell it! So I'm giving it to her for a wedding present. Part of her family's history. Love you honey.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Bridge

This is my sister's house. The Bridge has a history. Dad built it in 1964/65 to cover a drainage situation which cut across our driveway and front yard. He was very clever. Many neighbors used our home in their directions, the big red house with the bridge... three doors up on the left.  Now this is the second bridge, built after they returned from Japan. There's more of an asian garden look to it now. When they died, My brother bought the house and after a few years made some changes in the front yard landscaping. He called Kathie and me, asking if we wanted it. I was still in Murrieta then and Kathie and I drove down in her truck, loaded it up (or watched my brother load it?) I stuck the bridge off a side deck in our yard.   Madi & Makayla loved playing on it and I used it, as my dad had for 30 years,   a place to gather the family for pictures. 
When we moved to Gold Canyon, and I mentioned to the landscaper (the deliverer of Rocks) that I wanted to use the bridge in the front... as my father had... he smiled and handed me the rules and regs BOOK. Basically i'd have to kiss some one who had nothing better to do then tell people how to decorate their own property on the BUTT to use the bridge. 
So, Kathie took it and  here it sits in her front yard. I've taken a few family photos at Kathie's but the bridge no longer serves the purpose as a walkway.
And, Because I have a lot to do today and am practicing the art of avoidance, I've created a slide show with just a brief history of the bridge.
I like to think Kathie, that dad would be happy we have such a record of the bridge; but then I realize, he's probably now focusing on other things. I remember the thousands of days, walking over that bridge to the front door; after school,  (Hey remember when you drove that old station wagon into the front brick planter box.) after a date, for nearly 20 years on family visits; Walking to the limousines twice in early 1998. 
Thanks everyone for taking the time to  read my blog and watch this slide show today.
OK... The adding a slide show is a hit and miss so I'll just add the photos. :)
Kathie... I want the bridge back if you ever move! :)

Circa 1964

Mom and my Grandparents, 1964

Family on the Bridge 1966
Me, and my brothers 1965
A very sad day in December 1967
Aly 1980

Lyndsey, Aunt Kathie's Wedding Day 1983
My Four  Thanksgiving 2001 The Bridge had moved to Murrieta

Katie & Sabby, In front of the bridge
Sabby 6/08 on the bridge in it's new home

Monday, June 16, 2008

It's 8:00 here and 105 and I'm whining

View from My Window Sunrise 5:30

It's 8:11 PM here in Buckeye AZ and it got to 112 today. It's still 105.  Once Summer decided to get here this year, it hit with a vengeance. It's not cooling off this week much either. It's dark outside my window now but the heat rushed in when I let the dogs out a few minutes ago. I used to get annoyed by people who talked about where they came from but geez, it use to cool down in CA. I needed a sweater at night for pete's sake! 100 degrees at night is NOT OK.
Then I think about earthquakes, a tornado last month; the Tornadoes in the MidWest; The flooding in WI and Iowa and I guess I can handle the heat.

They've changed the start date of Monsoon this year. It started yesterday (June 15th) instead of the 3rd day of 55% dew point (which usually happens in July). So we're officially in Monsoon :) Technically that means we should be cooling off to 100 or so. NOT.

I'm whining tonight, I know; I get bitchy when it's hot; so Paul and I decided to move to an oven. He apparently decided he hadn't suffered enough our first 25 years together. 

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog today.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

What a Horrible Loss

I know it's ridiculous; I know I didn't "Know" him but I felt like I did. I've watched him for years on Meet the Press; and on Election Nights; and through the day on MSNBC. Friday I was shocked to hear that he'd died suddenly.. of What nearly killed me. I think he was a great man and I've been so sad this afternoon.  After Friday, I've avoided my favorite network.. MSNBC. It was hard to watch. Tim Russert was Paul's age; class of 68; Way too young to die so suddenly. It's so  final.

Lyndsey has been laughing at me like I laughed at her when she was "heartbroken" for years when Brandon Lee (the Crow) died. Repeating what I use to say to her all those years ago. I said it was different; it is different. Tim Russert was not an actor. I'm pretty much a political junkie and news junkie and really liked his position that his political background had nothing to do with his position as Moderator on Meet the Press. 

 Meet the Press today, was all about him with long time friends talking in tribute to him. Tom Brokaw and Mike Barnacle (two other favorite newsmen and, I understand, his two best friends) cried when they tried to talk about him. What a loss to his family; what a loss to journalism; what a loss to his friends; what a loss to America. Election Night will never be the same; Sunday Mornings will never be the same. 

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog today.


To all the Dads I love; Their Children, and Their Childrens' Children
Happy Fathers Day!

Blake Welstead and Mary 1946
Herman Flocken & Family Circa 1955

Blake & Geraldine Welstead, Kathie & Me 1952
Blake & the "Twins" 1955
Paul & Herman Flocken 1968
Blake Enloe Welstead 1972
I miss you every day Dad
Paul & Rob Flocken 1979
Paul & Robbie Flocken June 1979
Paul & Katie Flocken
Paul & Katie Flocken
Robbie, Paul, Lyndsey & Katie Flocken Christmas 1981
Carla, Madi & New Dad Rob Flocken
Conner & Rob Flocken

Happy Fathers Day everyone; Thanks for taking the time to read my blog today