Thursday, March 28, 2013

Plumbing 101

 Maren, the plumber. Push handle up for liquids and handle down for (errr) solids.

The toilet guts had to be replaced.  Maren decided that she would read the directions and install the new DuoFlush device - in her Sunday best. 

Hmmm, let's see now. . .

Surf & Sand

We spent 2 days playing in the sand at Pacific City with cousins.  How did my boy cousins have all these girls?  The weather was gorgeous and the girls braved the chilly water. 

Nicole & Milah

Beach Bums

Squeezing Haystack Rock

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Up in Smoke

The demolition occurred yesterday.  Dad started the process and Scott took great pleasure in lighting the mess on fire. 

Now that the trailer has been "gutted" (really don't like that word) - we can begin the construction phase.  As you may guess, I am considering paint colors and floor plans.  We are planning to "peak" the roof the entire length so that will allow 2 sleeping lofts.  

Friday, March 15, 2013

Mare Mare

Mare has been bumped to level 4 in gymnastics.  It is at this level that she will begin to compete.  She goes 2 nights/week and (surprise surprise) immediately made friends.  Her favorite teammate (in her words) is the girl with the perfectly oval shaped face with matching ovalish shaped hair. 
Maren was student of the month in February and won an exceptional student award for the district.  She met the School Board members and admitted to being nervous.  Her? Nervous? Nah.
The vintage outfit is compliments of the GW.  She wore this to school and was certain that she would be unrecognizable. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Shop Monkey

Last week, while doing schoolwork, Sten mentioned that he would rather be elbow deep in an engine. Wish granted. 

Apparently the 6.0 l Powerstroke engines are notoriously flawed.  He installed an EGR Delete kit and upgraded the oil cooler. 

Just to toot Sten's horn - he scored in the 99th percentile of all 11th graders in the nation on his mechanical and industrial knowledge.  Him's a smart feller (and a very handy creature)!

I know when the gas gets low, you must fill.  Obviously, he didn't get his genius from his mother. 

Teeny Tiny Digs

Isn't she a BEAUTY?  My family is hesitant to agree.  Maren took a zippy tour of the 8x25 former job shack trailer and hollered in disgust, "It's hideous!" 
We need a tiny pad to call "home" at Bucks for the occasional late late night.  A Buck's Bungalow, if you will.  To borrow Martin Luther King's famous words - "I have a dream!" 
Scott has bought many trailers over the years but this is my first trailer purchase. Paid 500 smackers for this ole girl and she's gonna be perfect.  Ok, it's going to take some work, but, hey - it's gonna be awesome!  Right?


Can you visualize the immense designer kitchen and bath?  

Hmmm, let's see if this wiring is gonna work?  Not. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Cardboard - it's what's for Lunch!

Scott requested 2 sandwiches for the morning.  Turkey, cheese, mayo, mustard & CARDBOARD.  Sure is tasty, but a little rough to get down the gullet

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Smartie Pants

Milah is off to Portland this morning on an achievement awards trip.  She is rockin' the Junior High and her report card sports a list of A+ (& 1 A-).  Way to go Milah!  Keep it up girl! 

I have been shopping at the GW lately (yeah that's news).  Milah is now wearing a women's small and that gives a girl some options for high fashion.  Not up her alley AT ALL, but I'm easing her into it. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Rusty, Dusty and MINE!

I was invited invited myself to peruse a gal's stuff. Her family is moving and she wanted to lighten the load. It was a public service really.  I'm not collecting anymore, I recently muttered to myself.  Nevertheless - I could not resist and I came home with a few treasures. 

The endorphin rush kicked up a notch when she said, "let's go down to our old barn".  Hmmmm, my mind was racing.  Yipppeee, I skipped behind her like a 3 year old.  An ordinary Wednesday morning turned awesome!

A HUGE galvanized mailbox that has survived multiple baseball bat beatings
 And, drumroll please . . .  who could resist an authentic cattle brand?
Especially when it has our initials!  The kids can now have cowbells and brands!  Tattoos are for sissies, we prefer branding!  OUCH!

Not so Sweet!

I'm currently working on a remodeling project. 

We'll get to the before and after photos at a later date (perhaps MUCH later).

The remodeling project is close to home and is personal.  VERY personal.  I'm attempting to remodel this sugar addicted body into a healthy one.

If it seems like I'm being harsh using the term "addict" - think again.  Watch Dr. Lustig's youtube videos, I guarantee you will come to the same conclusion.

If you eat sugar, you will crave more.  PERIOD!  And sugar is a poison.  PERIOD!

What?  I thought those warm chocolate chip cookies were another word for love?  Think again.  They are essentially "telling" your family that you wish they would die young with rotten teeth, possibly from complications of diabetes or heart disease.

So, my name is Lisa and I am a sugar -holic.  But all that's about to change.  Stay tuned.   

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Life Lesson

Traveling home last night, the freeway came to a stall.

"Drat! Gonna be later getting home" was my first (selfish) thought. 

You know the drill . . . I maneuvered the car a little trying to glimpse the cause. 

Red and blue lights flashed in the distance of the chilly evening and we discussed exiting the freeway and taking a detour.  We decided to continue on I5 southbound as traffic was moving a little and the scene was not too far off. 

Traffic was diverted onto the right shoulder and a SUV was on it's side in the middle of the two lanes, looking like it had been on a wild ride.  As we passed, we witnessed a group of officers in the median holding up a yellow tarp.

The lighthearted mood in our car turned somber as we surveyed the scene.   Not good.

Turns out our assumptions were correct.  The crumpled body of an 8 year old boy was on the other side of the tarp.  He had been ejected from the vehicle and had died at the scene.

My heart and mind keep returning to that place.  At milepost 234, a family forever changed.

As I was doing laundry on Sunday evening, his mother was probably sitting at the bedside of the 13 year old brother that had been seriously injured in the crash - heartbroken with tears streaming down her cheeks.  While I whisked the children off to school the next morning, she was planning a funeral.  

When was the last time she told him she loved him?  Held his hand?  Made him his favorite dinner?  Read him a story? 

We never know.

There's a message for me . . . Make it count. Be kind, be patient, be loving and embrace even the simplest things. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Christmas Break

I've grabbed these brown/cream plates over the years at thriftstores and have quite a stack.  My family complains that I have so many decorations on the table there is barely room to eat.  Priorities Man, priorities Man!
Our friendly staff, taking orders and delivering dessert
An extremely happy little girl -  now the owner of her own balance beam!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Not much sleep

1 motel room
2 beds
5 occupants


This is how it went.  Papa and Mama Bear switched usual sides of the bed (think it had something to do with Papa Bear wanting to doze and FINALLY giving Mama control of the remote).  Teenager Bears are together in the other bed- not excited about the arrangement.  Baby Bear is in a makeshift bed assembled by pulling 2 uncomfortable chairs together.

Lights go off.

Father Bear begins snoring loudly, steadily increasing in volume

Mother Bear is restless.  Tells Father Bear to turn over, tells baby bear to stop singing, fields questions from the other two about Papas snoring.  Gets up to adjust thermostat on the wall. 

Still restless.  Wakes up Papa Bear and "suggests" that they switch sides of the bed as "they" do not seem to be sleeping.

Papa Bear cooperates. Continues the snoring

Baby Bear still talking.  Upon questioning, she confides that she is rehearsing her "sales speech" for tomorrow's Bridal Show.  She is excited and says she will tell Mama in the morning.

Just drifting off . . .

Teenager girl Bear (chronic sleep talker) hollers loudly, "RAIN!"

Baby Bear gets out of makeshift bed and peeks out the window.  "No rain", she reports.

Mother Bear gets up to adjust thermostat again.  Her eyes ain't what they used to be and she has to stand 3 ft away from the controls and attempt to decipher their meaning.  Fan kicks on - all is well.

A few hours pass . . .

Baby Bear touches mom on shoulder - "Can I please get in bed with you - that is a horribly uncomfortable bed?"  Baby squeezes between Papa & Mama.

Mama gets up to use the restroom and check the thermostat. 

Mama crawls in the opposite end of the bed, so her head is at the foot end of the bed.  Both Papa and Baby Bear touch Mamas feet and legs, stumped as to the situation.  Finally . . .  some sleep. 

Baby Bear gets out of bed, stopping at Mama's head to alert her, "I'm gonna barf!"  She then scurries to the bathroom to get rid of her supper. 

Never so glad to see light peeking through the curtains signaling that night was O-V-E-R!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Fa La La La La!

Maren is a girl of many talents . . .

Sing it Mare! 

First piano recital - she played "Up on the rooftop".  She actually didn't play it - she rocked it!   Hooray Mare!

Photo Op

Official Christmas card season - here's our attempt!  Happy Holidays

Monday, December 10, 2012

2012 Wrap-up

Saving quite a few stamps . . .

We’re certainly glad to close the door on this year.  There are a few weeks that we’d like to erase completely, a patch that we don’t even remember, and some we’d like to declare a “do over”.  We aren’t skinnier, wealthier, fitter or more beautiful at the end of this year, but we’ve weathered many storms together, so I suppose we are “richer” for those experiences.

It became obvious at the first of the year, that Advanced Waste Automation was not going to be a long term option.  We were a dealership and service center for a company that was sold.  The new company (Labrie), had an existing service and sales relationship in Oregon that they chose to continue instead of including AWA.  Scott’s customers were beyond disappointed and we were devastated (irate, miffed and betrayed), but we were powerless in the situation.  

“Knock Knock”, another door opened.  In April, we bought Buck’s Sanitary Service—a business we previously owned.  Summer is the busiest season for Buck’s and we went from a mellow, halfway predictable life to chaos.  Add a 2 hour commute each day and there wasn’t much time for sleeping or laundry.  We were in a primal existence mode for most of the summer and are finally able to catch our breath and dust some cobwebs (who am I kidding?).  Sten was terrific help, and the girls did their part, holding the outhouse doors open or restocking toilet paper and soap. Strange that none of these people can change an empty roll of toilet paper at home, but they have no problem changing hundreds of rolls for Bucks! Huh?!

Sten is a senior in High School.  Not a fan of academics, Sten has been resistant to higher education.  However, he is entertaining the idea of College, possibly an agri-business degree through Oregon State at their LaGrande campus. His passion is farming.  He excels at mechanics, welding, and an industrial common sense.  He increased his hay production by 150% this year.  After spotting a John Deere cutter (mower) discarded next to a barn this Spring, he tracked down the owners who were uncertain of its mechanical status.  Sten purchased it dirt cheap, fixed the minor issues and it has been an incredible addition to his hay operation. 

Milah entered Junior High this year and is thriving.  She loves the options and the freedom, the challenges and the larger choice of friends.  Milah is a dedicated student and is intent on maintaining a 4.0, which she has achieved.  She checks her grades multiple times/week to make certain that she is on track.  She continues to be a soccer fanatic and participated on a few teams this year, typically playing in the forward or midfield position.  She desperately wishes for a growth spurt and complains about the “short” genes she’s been dealt.  Milah is the quietest one of the bunch.  She is helpful, sensitive, organized, responsible, and conscientious.   
Maren is in the 4th grade and isn’t inhibited by a single thing.  She throws her soul into whatever she’s doing and she loves to be with people.  She’s a multi—talented creature.  She’s a competitive soccer player and has recently taken up piano and gymnastics.  She is going to wear out the edge of our coffee table as she uses it for her constant “beam” routines.  Reading is her favorite school subject and she is known for her “off the wall” comments and insights.  A teacher recently stated, “You never know just what Maren is going to say”.  Uh Huh!  Entertaining for others, at times a cringe factor for the parents.
I found myself working nearly full time at Bucks this spring/summer—answering phones, selling toilets, and interjecting my creative 2 cents whenever I could:)  Scott and I work well together—I never once slammed a door or threw a shoe at him.  Ok, I wanted to (sure it crossed his mind too).  Our working relationship works best when we stay out of the other’s area of expertise.  I don’t tell him what to do with the employees/equipment (except when he’s wrong) and he doesn’t tell me what to do with company branding/design. 

Scott has worked physically harder than he has in years, and he’s wished his body was a bit younger. As the owner/operator, the loose ends and extra work get thrown in his basket.  He is the CEO, the mechanic, the public relations persona, the human resources department, and the grunt.   It’s impossible to close the door at 5pm and hope everything gets accomplished—this business is extremely competitive and if we don’t meet expectations, the customer has other options.   Our goal is to hire a few more employees so Scott doesn’t have to work as much, but it’s difficult to find the right people for the job.

This summer, Heidi and crew came to the States for a month.  The cousins were together everyday and it was hard to see them go.  In the past, intense fights have broke out, complete with hair pulling and lots of tears—but they were a rambunctious, loud, hungry, loving group this time.  Puts a little ache in your heart that there are so many miles and an ocean between us. 

Scott’s Grandma Patty (Leslie’s mom) passed away in October.  We will miss her pleasant, cheerful spirit, but know that she has gone onto her reward. 

As always, we look forward to hearing from each of you.  Happy Holidays . . . until we meet again. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Maybe you're a weirdo like me.  Maybe not. 

Yesterday I finally spotted the end of a rainbow on the road just ahead.  I checked several times, expecting a pot of gold.  What?  No pot, no gold, nada. I was bummed.  Sorry to blow it for you.

Once again - in the car.  I battled to get a fly out for several miles.  15 miles from home - it finally escaped.  At which point, I was overcome with guilt.  I had broken up a fly family and they will never be reunited.  W-E-I-R-D-O

Hooray for 24 hour service (NOT!).  We forward the Buck's phones to Scott's cell phone when we leave for the night.  I'm not certain why some folks choose 3 am to chat about their toilet service, but it is not conducive to a full night's rest.  Do they really expect to pay their bill in the wee hours of the morning or is a broken toilet seat an emergency that needs to be discussed at 2am??  For pete's sake people, have you not heard of 8 in the morning??!! 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Crazy Week

RETRO DAY! She doesn't look too peace loving - looks like she could take a chunk out of your leg if you let her get too close.