Monday, January 31, 2011


I know a lot of you might not be interested in this narrative, but I thought it might be helpful to someone who is facing cataract surgery, so here goes.

What a day!

First we got up at 5:30am, which isn't my favorite way to start the day.

No coffee, no tea, no breakfast, then it was into the hospital.

Technically called out-patient surgery, there was still a whole lot of preparation. Into the prep room, into the lovely designer hospital gown, tests run, then hooked up to several machines. At least four people (nurses, technicians, anesthesiologist and whatever) came in, most asking pretty much the same questions with minor variations. These folks wanted to make very sure that we were all on the same page, working on my right eye and implanting a lens for distance vision.

I laid there for about an hour, talking to all these people, then my Doctor came in and we had pretty much the same discussion. Then it was time to go in.

So they wheel me into an operating room, where they tell me that I'll be very relaxed, but definitely awake. They'll numb my right eye and use some device to keep it open, but they would like me to keep my left eye open during the procedure (I'm a little leery about this,but it isn't near as hard as you might think).

They squirt something dreamy into my IV and in no time, the procedure begins. At first all I can see is a bright light (kind of like they talk about when you die, shudder) but I know it's all right because I can hear all the OR chatter. Then suddenly, I see a yellow color, then shortly thereafter, I start seeing a couple of shapes, almost like looking through a microscope. Then, they taped an apparatus that resembled a small kitchen strainer to my eye, and quick as a flash, I'm wheeled out.

The whole thing took about twenty minutes.

Within another ten minutes, I'm leaving the hospital in a wheelchair.

I can already tell that my vision has improved, even though I'm looking through a small colander. We make it almost all the way home before I have to look, and you know what? For the first time in probably twenty years, the distance is clear without my glasses.

Wowie Zowie, this is cool. I put my hand over my left eye and the sky is quite blue and the trees are green, no haze. Then I cover my right eye and the old haze returns and I realize something. Not only is there a haze, but it has a slight yellowish brown cast to it. I never even thought that my cataracts might affect my sense of color, but it certainly seems like this is the case. My vision through my right eye is considerably brighter and richer than the vision in my left.

I'm happy as a clam. We get home and I set up the alarms on my iPhone to remind me to put in all my eye drops (3 different meds, each four times a day, at least ten minutes apart). In addition to this, I'm to continue my regular glaucoma meds, which add another three applications a day, also at least ten minutes apart..

I'm going to be squirting my eyes a lot for the next month.

Now it's time to put in my first set of drops. All of a sudden, the vision in my right eye clouds over. The distance is still sharp, but there is a definite fog.

I'm completely freaked out. It's like that old Night Gallery (the pilot was a trilogy starring Joan Crawford and directed by a young whippersnapper named Steven Spielberg. The title is Eyes, and it's worth checking out).

Anyway, I look through the ton of paperwork they've sent home with me, and one thing stands out. They say if you have an immediate degradation of vision, call immediately. So I do.

I get one of the ladies who had helped with my surgery and she says she thinks it's somewhat normal, but she'll talk to the Doctor and get back to me.

Of course, I'm worried. My precious vision, restored so sharp and clean, snatched away after such a short time.

Fortunately, they called back within a very short time and said that this is quite normal as my eyeball has been traumatized, and it will take it a while to settle down. That said, I have a follow up appointment tomorrow and they will check it out then. But they assure my I shouldn't worry.

A bit later, my vision clears and I am one happy camper. But again, it clouds over, but this time I don't worry.

So all in all, I'm quite pleased. I'll let you know the final results in a few weeks when everything has cleared up and healed.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Tomorrows the Day!

We have to get up at 5:30 am (boo!) to be at the hospital at 7am.

I'm really excited and just a teensy bit nervous. I know the odds are good, still, I value my eyesight so much. How would I do my photography if something goes wrong?

But that's just a small 2% nag in the back of my head. Mostly I'm looking forward to better vision.

We've spent the last couple of day in the house, sorting through things. It's a tiresome process, then we'll find something that strikes such a chord, I am truly stupefied. I told Terry, it's like we're dismantling our old life, which we are. Lets just hope that I take the lessons I'm learning into our new life when we finally get back on the road.

Tomorrow night , I'll hopefully be posting how much better the vision in my right eye has improved!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

the World's Best Blue Cheese Dressing

Just a quick recipe today.

We love blue cheese dressing, it is our very favorite. The problem is, I can't seem to find one I really like. Bob's is OK, also Marie's, but really, they just aren't quite right, at least for my palate.

Then I look at the ingredients and I know I could do with less of the additives.

So I keep going back to an old tried and true recipe I've had for years. While rich in flavor, it's low in carbs, and since we thin it a bit and use a pre-measured amount, we're really comfortable using this instead of an oil and vinegar dressing.

I believe this was in one of the first low carb books I read, probably Atkins, but I can't say 100%.

What I can say is that this the the best blue cheese dressing we've ever tasted, and the one against which all others are measured.


Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing

3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 teasp dry mustard (I usually use a whole teasp)
1/2 teasp black pepper (I usually use a 2 teasp, we like the pepper bite)
1/3 teasp garlic powder (again, I usually use a whole teasp)
1 teasp worchestershire sauce
1 - 1/3 cup mayonnaise
4 oz crumbled Blue Cheese (or more if you like)

To Mix

1. Combine sour cream, mustard, pepper, garlic powder and worchestershire in a mixing bowl and blend for two minutes at low speed. I use my stick blender and mix it in a long tall container so it doesn't come up over the sides. Mix it till it's well blended.

2. Add the mayo and blend at low speed till incorporated, then increase speed to medium and blend for two more minutes (or again, till it's all smooth and creamy)..

3. Slowly add blue cheese and blend at low speed no longer than four minutes.

You can blend longer than four minutes, but if you like to have chunks of blue cheese, stop when they're still visible. Otherwise, the taste will be the same but you wont get those tasty chunks.

4. Refrigerate for 24 hours before serving. You can use it immediately, but it really is better after it sits for a while. It also gets really thick so we thin it with a bit of water to the consistency we like. The water doesn't seem to dilute the taste at all.

That's it! I guarantee you'll love this. It's not only great on salads but also perfect as a dip.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Yesterday, then Today

First off, I'd like to thank everyone for their comments and emails when I posted about my concerns with my eating. I guess that's the difference between blogging and talking face to face. Several people seem to be concerned that I'm depressed about the whole thing. Well, I'm not thrilled, but I was just blowing off steam. It is hard, and I was hoping someone would have a magic potion that would make it easier. Alas, it's not to be, so I may just pipe up and complain every once in a while.

Now to today's find.

We're still cleaning out the garage, which was a solid wall of boxes and such. I mean you could not step one inch into it. Now it's getting much better, and we're thinking we'll get it done by the end of next week. It's a strange process. Most of it is boxes of things we used to sell on eBay or take to the flea market. Much of it hasn't been opened in years, so it's kind of like a treasure hunt. Then, every once in a while, we find something that really means something to us. How did it end up in the garage?

Today, we found a beautiful redwood burl cribbage board that Terry made probably 35 years ago. We both decided we should keep that.

Then we found this box that truthfully, I have no idea where it came from. I'm also not quite sure what they are! I can tell you they're this amazing collection of what I believe to be woodblock type stamps.

If anyone has any further information on these, I'd appreciate a comment or an email.

This one is actually metal,
and is obviously machine made.

All the rest are hand carved
and mounted on rough wood.
Doesn't this have that Craftsman era feel?

Some seem to be carved
from a hard rubber.

Others seem to be carved from a
bi-color linoleum type product.

And still others seem to have a woven backing,
kind of like carpet.

What amazes me
is the intricacies of the carving.

Some are kind of hard to make out.
This is a cowboy on his horse,
lasso in the air.

Most are about the size of a pack of cards,
some just a bit larger.

Tomorrow, I'm going to get a large ink pad
and see what they look like
when pressed on to paper.
This is just a small sampling,
there are over fifty in all.

And I'm going to add one to the motorhome,
because, I love them as art.

Which one would you pick?

This one came loose from it's backing,
can you see the bears?

Here's a small set of cowboy items,
two boots, a horse and a saddle.
The wood mounts are also hand carved.

Here's a whole set of tiny animals,
most are about the size of a half dollar.

I'm just fascinated with these. Someone put a tremendous amount of time into this, and had a good deal of talent to boot. I'm sure I picked up the whole box at a thrift store (because, had it been a yard sale, I would have gotten a story). I sure wish I knew more about them.

I really feel that these are art.

If anyone cares, once I've applied them to paper, I may post a few more pictures.

I have one more bit of good news. My cataract surgery was scheduled for the end of March (the soonest they could fit me in). I asked to be put on the cancellation list, since after the first surgery, I will have to wait another month to get the other one done.

I got a call today, and I will get my first implant on this Monday! Is that cool or what?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Why is it SO Hard?

Life lessons, do we ever really get it?

If you have a secret, please share, because it seems to be a lifelong battle.

All my life, I've struggled with my weight. At eleven years old, I was hauled into the Doctor and put on a diet. I don't think it's ever ended.

I've gone through years of not caring, and then tried everything that's ever been offered. Things work for a while, then it's off the wagon.

One thing I have learned, my body does very well when I eat low carb. No sugar, very little wheat, no rice, potatoes, etc. I like meat, I like cheese, and I love giant salads filled with greens and yummy vegetables. I love broccoli and Brussels sprouts, green beans and avocados. This way of eating suits my mouth and my body.

When I eat low carb, I can tell the difference within a couple of days. The brain fog lifts, the sluggishness disappears, I sleep better and generally find myself obsessing a lot less about food.

Last April, we went back on low carb after a couple of years away. Like before, the change was almost immediate, and slowly the weight started to come off. We stayed with it, and all was good.

Then we got here back at the house and the stress began. I could feel myself wanting to slip. A burger here, a small bag of popcorn there, you get the idea.

Suddenly, I couldn't sleep through the night, I would be up at all hours, never able to pinpoint the problem. Then I couldn't seem to wake up in the morning, often sleeping till 11:00 or so. My stomach started bothering me, and my pants were again getting tight.

In my heart, I knew the problem but I chose to ignore it. Why is that?

But once again, I'm back to this way of eating, and I feel SO much better, I have to ask myself why don't I eat this way all the time?

It's been close to a week now, and for the last three nights, I've slept through the night, waking up naturally at 7ish. I wake up with no hangover, I'm alert and feel well. I'm ready to go out and do things, and my attitude is great.

So why can't I seem to learn this lesson? Is there a lesson gene missing in my brain?

I sure wish I could figure it out.

Monday, January 24, 2011


I am hooked.

I am addicted.

I have a monkey on my back.

And it's all Costco's fault.

You know how, when the holidays roll around, all of a sudden, they carry something like a hundred new exotic cheeses? And every time you go, there's someone there, offering you samples of creamy goodness that you can't believe you've lived without all these years?

Well, that's exactly what happened to me. This woman offered me a sample, and honest to God, I was transported.

Cambozola (and don't you just love that name?) is a creamy mixture of Gorgonzola (very similar to Roquefort) and Stilton cream, resulting in something that tastes like a richer cream cheese laced with a slightly mild Blue Cheese. Bad description, I know, but trust me, this is the best cheese I've ever tasted.

It's incredibly tasty spread on crackers or toast, unbelievable with pears and apples and it's also bliss all by itself.

Now I live in the fear that every time I go to Costco, they won't have it anymore. I really do fear the pain of withdrawal.

Trust me,
if you see it in a store,
just pick it up.
It's a guaranteed party in your mouth.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


I know that not many of you are interested in musical theater, but it's (obviously) a passion of mine. I seem to go through stages, and right now, I'm right in the middle of Broadway-Land.

I love it here among the musicals (if I can't be in New Mexico, I guess I'll settle for this), so I'll probably be posting more about my favorites. Sorry for those of you who are expecting RV info, but Broadway and musicals is what I've got right now. Maybe when we get back on the road that will change, but right now, I've got to take what comes.

So, for those of you who are still reading, have you ever seen Broadway's Lost Treasures? Wow, what a find this is! It's a series that was on PBS and it's completely made up of performances from annual Tony Award shows of years past. Apparently whoever runs the Tony's has had the foresight to keep all these tapes. If you love musical theater, here's your chance to see live performances, almost like being in the theater. All singing and dancing, it's a treasure.

We found this three session set at the library, and I think I'll have to add this one to my permanent collection.

On another note, tomorrow, I go for the measurement/fitting for the replacement lenses they'll be using when I get my cataract surgery.

Wow, will I be able to see better? I sure hope so.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

the Auction (Pt 2) and More

Our first auction is over, and I have to tell you how pleased we are. Assuming everyone follows through on their bids, we should get close to $900! The best part is there isn't one thing I will miss from this lot. The only piece I had put a reserve on was my Esther Hunt bust (the Chinese lady) and she failed to meet reserve. But that's all right, she is one of my "special" pieces and if she doesn't hit the sweet spot in the next auction, I'll just keep her.

The auction started promptly at 6pm and went on till almost midnight. The auction is quite lively and a lot of fun. In the end, we made almost as much money on the silent auction (which closes after the first 100 lots), which goes to show that there's never any logic at an auction. I stayed for the entire event and didn't buy a thing!

We have already taken two more loads in for the next auction, and today, I swear I saw at least four square feet of the back wall of the garage! I don't really expect to make this much every time, but a bit of money every time coupled with the bonus of getting rid of everything is a winning combination in my book.

After all this work, we decided it was finally time for us to go and see True Grit. I'm a huge fan of Jeff Bridges and have loved most every one of the Coen Brothers films. Added to this, the film was shot in New Mexico, so we decided to see it on the large screen. I completely loved it, especially Jeff Bridges' performance and the cinematography. Terry had a harder time letting go of the image of John Wayne as Rooster Cogburn, but for me, it was an entirely different film, and quite wonderful on its' own terms.

Now a bit of health news. For some time now, I've been developing cataracts. It's getting progressively worse, kind of like I'm looking through an incredibly sheer piece of China silk. The good news is that my opthamologist has given the go ahead for me to have both eyes done (albeit one at a time). I go this Monday for my first measurement. Apparently, they will insert new lenses that may help improve my vision, as well as getting rid of my cataracts. I will still need glasses because of my astigmatism, but I'm looking forward to any vision improvement. I've especially noticed the "fog" when I'm taking pictures, so I have high hopes that this will help in that regard also.

And until then, we'll continue working on shedding ourselves of all this stuff!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

the Auction

Tomorrow night is the first auction, I'm so excited.

There will be a preview tomorrow afternoon, then it starts at 6pm. Of course we're planning on going.

We stopped by today to put a bulb in the 1960s lava lamp we're selling. We figure it might bring more than a buck or two if someone could see that it actually works. We got a preliminary catalogue and we were pleased to see that we have about forty lots entered in the live auction (out of a total of 284 lots). The rest will be lotted out in the silent auction which is fine with us.

We already have a couple more carloads ready to take down, but they will have to wait until at least Friday (possibly Saturday) before we can take anymore in. That place is jam packed full!

We don't really think we'll be making much money out of this, but it's just so darned convenient to be able to pack up all this detritus and actually have someone else take care of it, I love it. No yard sales, no flea markets, just cart it away (just like you would for the Goodwill) but this way there's a chance to make a little money.

And it's gone, that's the very best part.

If you're at all interested, you can take a look at the auction website here, and if you'd like to take a gander at the catalogue, it can be found here.

I'll let you know how we did on Friday (after we take another load down for the next auction)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Now that we're back at the house, I have all my DVDs available to me (we can't travel with them all), so I've been indulging.

I love musical theater, I love Lerner and Loewe. And most of all, I love Camelot.

A bit of history here. When I was a freshman in high school, I had an English teacher (I'm embarrassed that I can't remember her name, because I can still see her face). Anyway, every other Friday we would have theater day. She had typed out all of the lyrics to the songs of a particular musical, copied them on a mimeograph machine (remember those?) and we'd sit there and listen to the record, and read along with the lyrics. I loved it so much, I made sure I had her again in my sophomore year.

This was my first introduction to musical theater, and how wonderful it was. I wonder if any teacher would do that today? It certainly enlarged my young horizons and started a lifelong love of musical theater,

Especially Camelot.

I remember the very first time I heard that music. The sonorous tones of Richard Burton, the amazing range of Julie Andrews and the rich baritone of Robert Goulet.

It set me soaring. It made me fall in love. Then it broke my heart. I was in tears.

And it still has that effect.

Undoubtedly, the music from the original Broadway production is the best, it really can't be beat. But then there's the 1967 film of the play.

Hmmm, I remember thinking, can Vanessa Redgrave sing? For that matter who is this Franco Nero guy (I already had a firm grasp on Richard Harris). So I went to see it with some trepidation but high hopes.

I remember that I was horribly disappointed with the selection of Guinevere, since I had the lilting tones of Julie Andrews so firmly entrenched in my mind. So I went home and put on my copy of the Broadway soundtrack, convinced that it was the better choice,

And musically, it still is, but I have to admit that over the years I've softened for the film version.

Part of it is that I still love the music, but mainly, I find myself drawn into the film because the whole thing is just so gorgeous. The sets, the incredibly sumptuous costumes, the rich score. And yes, Vanessa Redgrave is also gorgeous. So is Richard Harris (even if he is a bit heavy on the eye makeup, hey, I forgive him). And Franco Nero is truly one of the great beauties of the screen. Apparently, Redgrave and Nero were falling in love in real life during the filming, and that certainly transfers to the screen.

But in the end, it's the story that grabs me. They meet. They fall in love. They get married (in a beautiful candlelit scene). They have wonderful plans to change the world. Their sphere expands with the entry of new people. Then their world comes crashing down. It's just amazingly beautiful, happy, sad, loving and tragic, all at the same time.

I really love it, can you tell?

As a side note, we recently saw a film called Letters to Juliet. It also stars Vanessa Redgrave and Franco Nero. The story's a bit trite, but they're both marvelous in their roles.

It seems that after some time together in the 1960s (after filming Camelot) they went their separate ways. Then, in 1996, their affair rekindled and one year later, they got married. And they're still happy to this day.

So some fairy tales do come true. I love the idea of Lancelot and Guinevere living happily ever after.

But I still feel really bad about Arthur.

Monday, January 17, 2011

French Onion Soup

How I miss the times when we were footloose and fancy free.

No plans, no work, we'd get up when we wanted. Go take pictures four to five days a week as we pleased. I had time to try new recipes.

Life was indeed very good.

Now it's like I'm back at work. When we're not working on the house, I feel guilty, like I should be working on the house.

And I have no doubt that my blog entries were a lot more interesting than they are now. I loved writing about our travels and the new things we discovered . I loved looking at my photographs and learning new ways to manipulate them.

Now, I'm not sure I should keep up the blog while we're clearing the house. I'm pretty sure everyone isn't interested in all the junk we're selling, and it sure seems like we're not doing much of any interest these days.

But I still cook.

Not like I did when I had nothing but time, but I still find myself looking for new recipes. With the abundance of fresh vegetables here on the central coast, I find myself looking for new ways to serve them.

Today, we went grocery shopping at Costco. I love Costco, especially since we have the big refrigerator in the house. With that available to us, I'm much less reticent to buy in the large quantities that Costco demands.

Today, onions were on the shopping list, but the smallest amount we could buy was ten pounds (for just $3.50). It would take the two of us forever to use up ten pounds of onions, but then I remembered French onion soup.

YUM, I threw the onions in my cart.

Then I got home and looked at my recipe. I haven't made it in years and somehow I forgot that I'd have to stand over a pot of sweating onions for close to an hour to get them started for the soup. Not my idea of a good time at all. No wonder I haven't made it in so long.

Hoping for some kind of reprieve (and some good soup) I went on the internet and found a recipe where, instead of sweating and caramelizing the onions on the stove top, you do it in the oven.

Hey this looked do-able.

By the time I got home, it was close to 7pm, way too late to start the whole project. But wait, the recipe says you can caramelize the onions in the oven, then put them in the fridge and cook the soup up to three days later!

So that's exactly what I'm doing. The rig smells like sweet roasting onions. They're turning into a nice caramel colored mush, and in a day or two, we should have soup.

I'll let you know how it turns out.

One more culinary note . . .

We haven't been able to find whole chiles in the can since we've been here in California, hence, no green chile stew. We miss having chile all the time, (shades of New Mexico). Then today, we discovered a Mexican market down by the ocean, and there they were, my beloved chiles. They were kind of expensive ($3.70 a can) but by buying a case, I was able to get them at $3.00 per can. Even though we have the onions for the soup ready to go, tomorrow it will be pork with green chile.

So for a day at least, we can pretend we're back in New Mexico.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

the Klutz, and Lemony Ginger Goodness

I'm embarrassed to say that in my haste to work around the house yesterday, I somehow lost my footing and took a dive into the floor. One leg went one way (twisting my ankle) and the other another way, scraping my knee to the bone.

Good thing my bone density is high, nothing broken but my pride.

Am I the world's biggest klutz or what?

Anyway, that put me out of commission yesterday, and when I woke up today, I was sore everywhere, so we decided another day of taking it easy was in store.

Since the day was to be spent in the house, we decided it was a good day to read and watch a little television. I'm still enthralled with the Kindle and Terry loves whatever he can pick up,

So we read for a while, then we decided to start watching Carnivale. It's a two season series from 2003, first shown on HBO. Somehow we missed it when it first aired, so when I saw it at the local library, I checked it out.,

Wow, what a strange trip this one is. Part depression era story, part supernatural thriller, it's quite intriguing. Strangeness aside, there are several things about it that keep me watching. The cast is superb and the photography. The look of this show is so beautiful. The light, the color, the period, they really nailed it.

Then there are the actors. Lacking real "stars" it boasts a cast of excellent character actors that add a realism that is in too short supply in most movies today. Some of my favorites are Robert Knepper, Patrick Bauchau, , Michael J. Anderson, Tim DeKay, Clea DuVall and Amy Madigan.

If you haven't seen it, for the acting alone, I'd recommend it.

Sitting around all day with aching legs set my mind to cooking (don't ask me why, since standing for any length of time was pretty painful). I thought about what I would like and finally remembered that, here at the house, we have an electric ice cream maker. Looking in the fridge, I saw that we had brand new container of plain yogurt. And remember when I talked about Nellie and Joe's Key West Lime Juice? Seeing it, I decided that frozen lime yogurt sounded like a real treat. When I went to get the frozen canister out of the freezer, I noticed I also had fresh frozen ginger (I always keep my ginger in the freezer). I decided that would be the perfect compliment.

I took three cups of plain yogurt, about twenty drops of liquid Splenda, a bit more than two tablespoons of lime juice and about a teaspoon of vanilla, then added a couple of tablespoons of fresh ginger (grated with a fine micro plane). Mix all of this together and put it in the freezing bowl of your ice cream maker. Let it go till it's nice and thick and smooth and YUM!

If you don't like it really tart, you might want to cut back on the lime juice, and if you don't want the slight heat, cut back on the ginger.

But if you make it just like I did, you're in for a wonderful party in your mouth!

Tonight my legs are feeling a bit better, so tomorrow, I'll try to use them some more, and hopefully by Monday I'll be good as new.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Roy and Dale

In a comment on yesterday's post, Donna talked about how much she loved Roy Rogers when she was a child. We must be soul sisters because I know just exactly how she feels.

As a child, I watched the Roy Rogers Show every day on our old television. I can't begin to tell you what an impression he made on my young mind and heart.

It's a memory I still carry with me. In fact, here's a picture frame we have in the rig, and as you can see, Roy and Dale are prominently displayed. The other pictures change from time to time, but Roy and Dale are a constant.

One of my favorite memories is of a visit we made to the Roy Rogers Museum, back in 1996. Below is an excerpt from my Disney newsletter that recounts the whole experience (and I apologize in advance, the writing would be different today, but I just did a cut and paste).

-the Roy Rogers-Dale Evans Museum-

This isn't exactly Disney, but it touched me (Kate) in such a way that I wanted to share the experience.

On a recent trip to Southern California, we took a little side trip up to Victorville to visit the Roy Rogers-Dale Evans Museum. These two have always been special to me, embodying a philosophy that has served to remind me of the standards and values that I consider so "Disney".

Not only have Roy Rogers and Dale Evans shared a long and illustrious career, but they have maintained a loving marriage, raised a family and spent a lifetime putting their money where their mouth is. Just in case you are unfamiliar with the pair (outside of their careers), they have always made time in their busy schedule to give of their time, visiting children's hospitals and orphanages, sharing of themselves wherever they went. And they not only talked a good game but they also adopted several children in addition to raising their own. They have worked tirelessly through the years, setting a wonderful example in both word and deed.

So we went to the Museum, not really knowing what to expect, but excited none the less. When we got there, we found it under heavy construction, but still open during the renovation. We wandered through, looking at the many tokens of their careers. In addition to their memorabilia, we found a thorough representation of the Western entertainment industry, as well as such personal mementos as the truck that brought Roy Rogers and his family to California back in the 1930s. The original NellyBelle is also on display. All of this was a great experience, showcasing not just the public lives, but also affording a glimpse into the private lives behind the public facade.

Then we came upon what is the really personal part of the museum. It's here that you have the chance to see all the family memorabilia that Roy has saved over the course of a lifetime. In the brochure for the museum, he states that "Everything we've ever done is right here for everyone to see" and it truly is.

As we wandered among the family photos and such odds and ends as tools and books, we began to get a strong sense of how important the family and tradition was to these two people. As we looked at the personal photographs and memories we couldn't escape the feeling that we were getting an "up close and personal" look at this couple. It's obvious that their love of life is not just something they talk about but something they've lived in their daily life. And they are willing to share it with everyone.

I actually felt like I was getting a chance to know these people.

Then I wandered into a little nook that brought it all home in a way I wouldn't have thought possible. There is a small part of the museum that's devoted to the children Roy Rogers and Dale Evans have lost over the years. Such things as birth certificates, report cards, and booties are on display. They also share such items as personal letters from the children and their own personal observations from these early lives. After I was there for a time, I found tears in my eyes, the pure love and generosity I felt from this display was that moving. It made me feel like I was a real part of these lives, sharing in not only the highs but also the lows, involving me in a way I find all too rarely in this modern world.

And I thought to myself how I would love to have the opportunity to meet these folks, for I'm sure that they are just as warm and dear as can be.

Then we heard the Roy Rogers himself was in the museum. I thought how nice it would be to shake his hand, but when I saw him come around the corner, there was such a push and ruckus that I didn't have the heart to impose on him further. I felt he had already shared more than most people do in a lifetime.

So I just stood back and watched, and said a silent "Thank You" to this most special man. I only wish I could have had the chance to see Dale also, but that's all right. I feel they have already shared more than enough.

If you ever find yourself in the area, make a special effort to visit the museum. Its right off the highway in Victorville, about 90 minutes away from Disneyland, but very close in spirit.


a note: we again went to the museum some years after both Roy and Dale had passed. They had moved it to a new facility and it had somehow lost it's charm. After that, it was again moved, this time to Branson Mo.


We went to the auction house again today and we're told that they are very close to full for the auction next Thursday. With that news, we're going to start boxing up pieces for the next auction that will be held on Feb 3.

It actually feels like we may be making some headway.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

More Auctions

I am getting so excited, the first auction will be next Thursday (January 20). We already have over nine six foot long tables of items they will be selling for us!

We took more in today, here's a few shots.

I have a lot of animation artwork.
I thought I'd start with a cel of Smurfette

More glassware.

This is a set of old bakelite or celluloid poker chips.
They're embossed with someone's name!
They come in their own fitted box.

A framed poster from
a most memorable exhibit.

An older fringed leather jacket.
Shades of Hank Williams!

A lot of old bar mirrors
(and we have more!)
The mirror in the upper left
is from a 1950s
Roy Rogers bedroom set.
We sold the set years ago
and just found this in the back of the garage.

This is an old photo album.
The roosters and flowers
are all hand carved stones and shells.
The cover itself is lacquered wood.

Another vintage photo album.
This one has a sticker that states
it is entirely hand painted.
When you open it up, it's also a music box.

A pair of Japanese paper screens.

Jabba the Hut!
Still in his original box.

We've changed our plans a bit. Instead of renting a shed, we've decided to clean out the garage and use that as a storage shed for sorting all the "stuff". This is where we've been stashing yard sale and flea market boxes forever and it's kind of fun (and scary) to go through it all.

Once it's clear, then we'll work on the outside room (which is also full), then the attic (which is also full), then the house (which is also full).

Will we ever finish??
We will soldier on
till the task is done

Sunday, January 9, 2011

the Refrigerator, Patsy Montana, Mario Lanza and How to Fix Your Nose (circa 1925)

I've discovered a new blog that entertains me every day. It's called Diary of a Midlife Cruiser and I love the way this lady writes. I suggest you give it a look, it's always entertaining.

ANYHOW, a while back, she issued a challenge to other RVers to "Show Me Your Fridge" (it's the Jan 2 post). If you've spent much time around RVers, these are the kinds of subjects that are often discussed (along with dumping, but that's a whole other topic).

I wasn't going to play
but then I thought, what the heck,
so here's my fridge.

It's taken me five years, but I can actually fit most things in the fridge now. That said, while we're here at the house, we do go to Costco and use the fridge inside the house for extras.

Okay, my blogger duty is done for the day.

Here's a few pictures
of today's finds.

Have you ever heard of
Patsy Montana?
I just love her voice,
not to mention her name.
And take a gander at this outfit!

She wrote and sang this song.
It's one of my favorites.

I also found this piece of sheet music.
If you're of a certain age,
you'll remember this.

Ross Bagdasarian was also
the creator of
Alvin and the Chipmunks.

In among a pile of old menus,
I found this signature.
Do you think it's
the Mario Lanza???

And finally, I found a
Photoplay magazine from 1926.
I didn't even realize they published
Photoplay in the twenties.
It's pretty entertaining,
all the movies are silents.

Then there's the ads.

So just how hard up
would you have to be
to wear this?

I guess this is the
Ladies version.

More boxes to the auction tomorrow!

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Another load of boxes for the auction today. I thought I'd share two of my favorite pieces we're selling.

This sweet piece is a bust of a young Chinese girl. She's from an artist named Esther Hunt. This is one of the pieces I hate to part with, but I feel the need to divest myself of treasures, so away she goes!

This is an interesting pair of "paintings" Actually, they're serigraphs printed on acrylic. Each is two pieces of art, layered about an inch apart, which gives them a real sense of depth.

They're quite large, approximately thirty inches square.

We took many more pieces, but these were the most interesting.

When we got home, we worked some more, and I gathered up my collection of inlaid wooden boxes.

This technique is referred to as marquetry. I love the precision of the designs. Most of these are from Japan, and originally sold for very little.

This is my very first piece. I remember when I was in the eighth grade, my home-ec teacher sent home a list of required items, one being a recipe box. This one caught my eye and was the start of the collection.

I bought it for $.89 at a Sprouse Reitz. Remember Sprouse Reitz?

Many of the marquetry boxes are puzzle boxes.
You pushed a panel here,
tugged a panel there,
slid pieces around
until the whole thing opened
to reveal an inner box.

Lots of these pieces feature Scottie dogs.

Many of them were cigarette boxes.

This one slides back
like a roll top desk.
then three cigarettes would slide out.

This is a piece of doll furniture.
It's about five inches tall.

Another cigarette box.
Again, a Scottie dog.

The detail just blows me away.
Even the inside of the drawer is inlaid.

This next piece is an amazing box.
Somewhat larger than the other pieces,
it's also a music box.

When the music plays,
the pictures in the little window
changes to different scenes of Japan.

When opened,
it's like a whole vending machine
of smoking paraphernalia.

The cigarettes in the holes
move up and down,
like a calliope.

These next pictures are all puzzle boxes.

Most have a different scene
on the top and the bottom.

These used to be somewhat common

but now they seem to
have mostly disappeared.

I wonder how much these would sell for
if they were still in production today?

This is the final one,
a small roll top pencil box.

All of these fit in a box
about the size of two shoe boxes,
so this is most likely a collection
I'll be keeping.

Or maybe not,
we'll just have to see how the auction goes.

This is beginning to be a bit of fun.