Shabby blogs

Thursday, May 29, 2008

It's all a Blur

What a wild ride this trip was. We had so many people to see and so many things to do. We tried to visit with as many people as we could, but there was just no way to fit it in. We saw Prince Caspian with the Curles, I went to my dentist, hit the thrift stores (which are really good in CA, but also really expensive), ate at Rubio's twice, ate at taco dives at least 4 times, Did not eat sushi with my husband (ahem, he ate with others - not fair), Went to In N Out (do I see a food related theme here?), went to Trader Joe's and Henry's (I so miss those stores), visited the Friends of the Library Book Store (the establishment that I miss the most), bought and ate lots of great salsa and hot sauce, went to 2 parties that sweet friends held in our honor, hit the beach, and sold 8 bison - and that's just a sampling. We cannot wait to do it again. As much as we love Montana and are so thankful that we moved, it was still more difficult leaving than I imagined it would be. We have great friends in San Diego and there is something wonderful in being familiar with places. I loved driving on auto pilot - I know exactly how to get where I am going. I have been in my friends' homes, and the other places we frequent, so many times that there is a lot of comfort in that. That was a strange longing that I wasn't expecting. We are moving in the direction of familiarity in Montana - we have some wonderful friends, but it takes time to establish routines and close ties. And, driving away from Kimberlynn Curles (who still insists that I have sinned in moving to MT and is mad at me - she calls me Miss Meanie!) was miserable. I am so thankful that Brad's business is still in San Diego and that we will continue to sell bison there. If we did not have ties that will take us there twice a year, I'd be really sad. So, I'd say we get the best of both worlds - we get to live in Paradise and visit San Diego! :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Beach, glorious beach

We Dunhams LOVE the beach. I know you think that sounds crazy since we now live in MT, but that's just how it is. We LOVE the beach and we used to spend a lot of time there when we lived in San Diego. Since the great outdoors here in Montana is spectacular and there are so many things to do in each season, we haven't really had a chance to miss it - until now. On Memorial Day, we were planning on a full day at Torrey Pines. We go there with the Curles on holidays. Before we started joining them on these holidays, we thought they were out of their minds (because they went on Saturdays and holidays). We LIVED in SD and didn't need to experience the beach on days when 300,000 other people would be joining us. We were smart; we went on weekdays instead. One 4th of July we decided to join them (against our better judgement). We had to eat humble pie; down at that far, south end of Torrey Pines there is nowhere to park except for the pay parking lot and when it is full - you are out of luck: no streets to park on and walk from, no nearby neighborhood, nothing - just big, tall cliffs. Limited parking changes things. The crowd was like a regular weekday at the beach. We were amazed. Hence began our holiday beach days with the Curles. Just as a side note - the Curles, one day, tried out La Jolla Shores on a Saturday and disgustingly left after a very short stay because it was so overwhelmingly crowded. They then realized why we thought they were nuts all those years - we thought that's what they were doing every weekend!!!! Anyway, I am sooo off track.
Back to the beach on Memorial Day THIS year. We woke up to a cloudy and awful day. We decided that regardless of the weather, this was our one beach day and at around 1pm we were heading out with swimsuits on to freeze, take a quick walk on the beach and head home. As we neared the coast we became so thankful that we had come. It never did clear up inland, but it was the most sunny, beautiful beach day we had seen in a long time. It was so clear, that both La Jolla to the south and Carlsbad to the north were perfectly visible. The water was lovely and there was NO crowd probably because everyone, like us, thought it was surely cloudy on the coast. It was even a great shell collecting day which is rarely the case. What a day. Days like that make me wonder how we will ever live without it - the waves, the sand, the unmistakable smell of the ocean - deliciously lovely. I felt like God made that glorious day just for us - now that is terribly self centered and I know that He had many reasons (non-ME related) for unravelling that day as He did. I was just glad that He chose to bless us so thoroughly with it.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Photographic Proof

On Thursday, we were going to sew all day. We got up, fed everyone, and saw that they were all busy with something to do (video!). Then Kimberlynn tells me that she is going to have to go get a Coke.....all the way in McDonald's where they are 59 cents for a large. You have to realize that the Curles are out of town and the nearest place to get a fountain drink is IN town. It is a 20 minute drive to town. Kimberlynn has a coca-cola addiction. But she doesn't like them from a can - it has to be a fountain drink. And it HAS to be Coke - not Pepsi. She doesn't ever drink Pepsi. I thought she MUST be joking, but she was not. She really meant to drive all the way in town to get a Coke so that we could drive back and sew. I teased her and made fun of her enough that she relieved her desperation by drinking a Pepsi - a DIET Pepsi - out of a can even. I had to catch the moment on film because I knew that no one would believe it. I would never have had I not seen it. She says that her husband and I are in cahoots because he makes fun of her Coke problem too.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

When we lived in SD, we were very involved in Rancho Bernardo Little League. For years, the boys played and Brad coached or managed each of their teams. They were all in different divisions, so we spent many hours at those fields. The boys and Brad LOVE playing ball. We have made some great friends and had such fun going back to see everyone and watch some of the kids play that Brad had coached. We saw old coaches, former team mates, and good friends. Josiah used to eat, drink, and breathe baseball and the boys miss RBLL more than anything else. I think that it was the favorite event of the week for them. After the game, we went to The Soup Plantation with the Garbarinis, Coffmans, and Kelchlins. Great fun.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The beginning

We drove into San Diego on Friday night and went directly to Shaun's softball game. After we had been sitting there for 5 minutes, it seemed as if we hadn't driven those 18 hours, but had merely tootled across town to Kit Carson Park. Odd. It seemed so strange that it didn't seem strange being there; as if we had never left. After the game, we went to Chitos - a local taco dive - the best kind. One of our goals is to eat so much Mexican food while we are here that we won't miss it until we get back in the Fall (just to let you know, it'll never happen! One cannot possibly eat THAT much Mx food.). We finally made it out to the Curles house where we were treated to spectacular hospitality. We are so excited to be here.

Saturday was CRAZY. We got up early and headed out to our first bison drop off location in Rancho Bernardo. It was really fun meeting all of these folks that I have emailed and spoken with over the past few weeks and putting faces to names. It would be 100 degrees for our little venture, now wouldn't it? Miserable San Diego weather. Drop off location number two was a blessing. A new friend, and bison customer, Jan Batten let us use her garage (and home and bathroom!) to set up shop. The Gonzales' family came by to spend a couple of hours with us - and pick up their bison. I wish I had taken photos. I find myself always wishing I had taken photos. I should just take photos of everything and then just delete if I wish I hadn't. As soon as our last bison was delivered, we blasted off to Rubio's (more Mx. food - fish tacos to be flipper...just yummy) for a tiny snack and THEN off to a party. The wonderful Mizel's had a get together for us so that we could visit with people from our old church - Green Valley. It was such fun seeing everyone. We have such lovely friends in San Diego. We all ate bison burgers and gabbed while the kids swam. I was pretty humbled that so many people wanted to give up their Saturday evening to come and see is so nice being loved. That night we went back to the Curles and flopped into bed. Now that the bison is out of our hands, we can relax and enjoy ourselves. Looking forward to a great week. It started off with a bang.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Trip to San Diego

The drive down was long and a bit stressful - driving a 10 ft trailor packed to the gills with frozen bison meat that you are trying to keep frozen (in 100 degree weather) isn't on my list of favorite things to do. The days were long and we always had that fear in the back of our minds that the bison would thaw. Praise God, the stuff stayed rock solid!! All this is new territory for us and we learned a lot about what we will and won't do next time.

Won't - stop outside of Vegas for any reason (major culture shock and way too many people)
Will - buy a reefer unit for trailor so that we won't have to worry OR buy dry ice.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

On the Road Agaaaaiiiiiiinnnnn

On the Road again, I just can't wait to get on the road again ...............................................nope .......................................I'm trying to feel Willy Nelson's sentiments here, but it just isn't working for me. The idea of getting back in the car to drive for two lllloooooonnnnnngggg days just doesn't sound fun. Visiting San Diego sounds great and it will be loads of fun as soon as we have all that bison meat unloaded and into the hands of its new "owners"(well, for me and the kids - Brad has a week of work ahead of him). We are staying with my dear friend, Kimberlynn, and her family and cannot wait to spend time with them (and many other friends as well), but for now - all I can say is UGH!

Friday, May 9, 2008


I know that this won't help my case in convincing some of you that Montana is not like Siberia, but I had to post this.....snow this morning, IN MAY!!! Realize that I am posting this because it is so ODD and UNUSUAL. Everyone here is laughing at this crazy weather. Two days ago it was 70 degrees and sunny with people everywhere donning capris and short sleeves....and now this! ha. It goes to confirm the MT saying "Don't like the weather in Montana? Stick around 5 minutes; it'll change!"

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Long Trip Home

Day 1: The long drive home started on Saturday morning, May 3rd. My parents sold us their fully loaded, dream-of-a-rig, Expedition for a song (well, actually, less than a song!). We set off packed to the gills. We started in VA and drove through WV, KY, IN, and IL. We had 2 "issues" that first day.
1. We stopped at a Starbucks Travel center. I ordered a tall, half decaf, latte with an extra shot and whipped cream. They thought I said make it with heavy cream.....have you ever tasted a latte made with heavy cream? I wish I hadn't, because it makes nay other latte taste like it's made with water! I drank a few decadent sips and then set it down at the car to help someone (kid) with something. One of the kids (who will remain annonymous) kicked it over and spilled it all over my seat and purse. So, we broke in the car with it's first spill. It's always the first that is the worst and we figured we ought to get it over and done with. I suppose I didn't need all that fat anyway! It ran through the seat and underneath onto the was a good one. I put someone's t-shirt under me to sit on, but at the next potty stop I was still looking like I didnt make it in time! :) Nice.
2. Somewhere on a KY freeway one of the top suitcases flew off the car! Praise God that it didn't hit anyone. We were in a road work area and had to get off the freeway several miles up, turn around and go back to the location. I had visions of undies all over the freeway, but can you belive that there was not one piece of clothing on the road? The suitcase had ripped in 1/2 and there were clothes and things strewn about the far side of the guard rail. Brad looked all over the embankment and found all that he could. We still aren't sure what is missing except for one of Josiah's church shoes and one of his flip flops. His church shoes were getting too small and he had been vying for new flip flops for a long time! Other than those two mishaps, we made it to IL all in one piece.

My cousin, Donna, and her family live in Mt. Carmel, IL and put us up for the night. My Mom grew up there and many of my relatives lived there. We moved across the country just about every two yearsI was a kid, so we spent part of each of those summers in IL. Donna and I spent lots of time togehter during those summers. She was so much fun and had a propensity for getting us into trouble (not BIG trouble, mind, you, but trouble non-the-less) Over teh years, she had all sorts of crazy animals, including a skunk (de-smelled) and an opposum. Donna drives a bus for the local school district now (has for years) and also works for a man that runs estate auctions. She is one busy, hard-working gal with tons of energy.

Day 2: We started off early the next morning for Ogden, KS. Our oldest son, Drew, is stationed in Iraq. He is an air traffic controller in the Army. His dear wife, Christina, is stationed in KS where she goes to school and works full time in management at Target (I would not make it home with much of a paycheck if it were me!). We took Christina out to dinner and stayed with her for the night. Day 3: We made it to Casper, WY. On the way there, my friend, Julie Cochran, who lives in Denver, met us at Chik-Fil-A for dinner. It was so nice of her and her sweet, darling girls to drive all the way out there for such a short little visit. In WY, we stayed at the C'Mon Inn - this great, Montana-looking motel where our friends, The Millers, had stayed when they went through Casper the week before.

Day 4,699 4: We were SO ready to be home. We decided to call our good friends, the Behrendts and Olsons, when we were just 20 minutes outside of Bozeman to see if they happened to be out and about and could meet us for coffee. They were and they did. It was so much fun seeing Colleen, Jeannie and the kids. It put wind in our sails for the last 5 hours of the drive.

Home is where the ................bed is!!! The really comfy, soft, warm, Select Comfort bed (with an electric blanket!!). It never looked so good! Home, sweet, mobile home (our rental never looked so good either)! It was a long four days and the funny (funny?) thing is in just 8 days we get back in the car again and drive to San Diego to deliver bison!! Who's crazy? WE ARE!!! WE ARE!!!! PICK US!!!!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Trip to Wirtz

My folks have lived in Alexandria, VA, since I graduated from high school. Even before that, we lived there off and on because of my dad's Naval career. They have recently built a home in southwestern Virginia in Wirtz. Wirtz is near Smith Mountain Lake and about 20 minutes south of Roanoke. Beautiful country. We drove down on the 30th, the day after Brad arrived in VA. It was so good to have Brad back with the family - it is hard being away from my honey (and daddy) for a whole week. The drive was beautiful and VA has so much history associated with it that I wanted to stop and see everything, but we didn't. Monticello is a must next time, though.

My parents' house is beautiful and so is the property. My dad has a dream shop for his wood working. He has a tractor and a riding mower and a golf cart and lots of fun toys. The kids were in heaven. Mike and his kids came down the same day we did. Kendra, Asher and the Hills (Kendra's folks) came on Friday afternoon.

The second day that we were here, we all went to the Booker T. Washington Memorial State Park. It was the plantation on which Mr. Washington was a slave until his release at the end of the Civil War. He was instrumental in starting technical and vocational schools for black Americans and he was an advisor to three U.S. presidents. He encouraged blacks to earn the respect that they were worthy of by working hard and becoming educated. He was quite a man. He is known to have said that as evil as slavery was, black men could thank God that He pulled them out of their heathen existence in Africa and used it to expose them to the gospel.

Dad was doing a wood turning demonstration in a nearby town, so Brad and the boys all went to watch grandpa do his thing. They had a ball and I am sure that my dad enjoyed getting to share his incredible talent with them all. We ate, made tons of noise, rode all of Dad's machines, visited, looked at a zillion (or maybe it is only a billion) wooden works of art in the basement and picked out our favs.

While I was there, I went through boxes of stuff that my folks had of mine from high school and college to decide which items I wanted to keep and take back with me and which things were headed for the dump. Funny stuff. A whole box of letters from old friends that I finally pitched. I had a 6 inch thick stack (and I'm sure those were only some of them) from Janet (Taylor) Enright. I read through some and laughed hard; we were such goof balls.

We took so many photos and laughed and just enjoyed each other's company. when we left, I am sure that my parents enjoyed the silence but they would rather have had us there - noise and all. It was a great trip. We didn't get half of what we wanted to get done, done. Next time, we will have to stay longer. Brad already figured out that there are twelve CSA (community supported agriculture) groups in just the D.C. area alone. Hm. I feel a business trip coming on - bison anyone?