Monday, September 29, 2008

Paradise to Paradise

Grampa Barstow was one of the most generous and sincere people I have ever met. I know very little about his life when he was younger but I do know that he was kind and considerate with a fantastic sense of humor. The home he and Grama built for themselves, in Paradise, California, is a testament to their love and dedication to their dream. There isn't a single bush or vine that wasn't put there by the two of them together.

The first time I ever met the Barstows was Easter of 2004 and Kris let it slip that I hated HAM, which, of course, is what we were having for dinner. For the rest of the day Grampa kept ribbing me about it and I was mortified. If there was ever a deal breaker this was it and I would forever be labeled "The Girl Kris Dated Who HATED HAM". But, instead, Kris and Grampa made a quick run to the store to get me something else to eat which was totally unecessary, I would have gladly eaten the ham and kept my opinions to myself because that falls under the heading: When Meeting Potential IN-LAWS You Do, Say, Or Eat Anything That Keeps You In Their Good Graces.

" Grama & Grampa Barstow"

Grampa may have had a body that was old, scarred, and tired but his spirit was a vital, healthy young man that liked sweets. A LOT. But after three severe strokes in just a few short months, his body could no longer support him and his health deteriorated fast. Grama's care for him at home contributed entirely to Grampa's ability to hang on for so much longer than any of the doctors expected.

We were fortunate to get a chance to visit Grampa less than three weeks before he passed away and while it was one of the most difficult and painful visits of my life I am so glad that we were able to see him and say our goodbyes. I know that whatever grief we have felt over Grampa's passing, it can only be that much more unbearable for Grama. I can't even begin to imagine the heartache that comes with losing a spouse after so many years. It doesn't seem fair or right that one person should have to exist without the other.

I have long since abandoned the idea of knowing what happens to a person's soul when they die, but whenever I think of Grampa I can't imagine his spirit anywhere other than Paradise.


" I have the goggles now I wish I had an auto."

Kris and I popped by one of our many Antique Malls this past weekend and I stumbled across this huge display of vintage postcards from the early 1900's. I spent about 40 minutes flipping through all the categories and settled on these two. The first, because I'm a sucker for photographs like this (in your FACE, Anne Geddes), and I fully intend to exploit my own children in this manner when I have any. The second, because the inscription on the back references the illustration on the front. There is a giant yellow moon with an even larger spoon floating in front of it and in the corner is the word "Chums". Penned on the reverse side, in beautiful script, it says:

You're the Moon

And I'm the Spoon

Guess I'll have to

visit you in a balloon.

I don't know about you but that would have made my day.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


"The most charming 3 year old I have ever encountered"

We spent this last Sunday with Victoria and her parents at the local Octoberfest, where anyone with an extra $50 lying around can sample authentic German Cuisine like Bratwurst and Funnel Cake along with a herculean Stein full of Coors. While we were standing around chatting about the inflated prices of the Tilt A Whirl ($5 per person) a somewhat inebriated Carny gave Victoria this stuffed dog. After checking to make sure it wasn't filled with razor blades or cocaine Victoria's mother agreed to let her keep it. Moments after this picture was taken, the dog saved Victoria's life by cushioning the impact between her body and the sidewalk when she tripped over Kris' gigantic feet and smacked into the pavement at about 70 mph. Luckily, neither Victoria or the dog were seriously injured.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Switch

While Kris and I were in Reno this past week helping my mom get ready for the new windows to be installed in her house, I found "The Switch". This ridiculous device was introduced into our household around 1989. A suggestion from Dr. James Dobson himself as a way of curbing your children's exposure to mind-altering and soul-damning propoganda on television.

I don't remember any conversation introducing this new invention that was going to change our lives and keep our hearts and minds pure. What I do remember is having to knock on my parent's door in the wee hours of the morning to ask if I could watch Saturday morning cartoons. If my mom happened to be in a gracious mood and I was granted permission it would be to watch Looney Tunes and ONLY Looney Tunes. Temptation was great, however and on several reckless occasions I managed to stray to neighboring channels and glimpse the vulgarity of Fraggle Rock or Scooby Doo.

We didn't even have cable and for the longest time I was under the impression that the moment the clock struck midnight every channel, even PBS, was filled with violence, profanity and sex. This simply had to be the reason to monitor our exposure to the "boob tube". My brother on the other hand rebeled and after failing to jimmy open "The Switch" he simply went out and bought his own TV. My parent's weren't sure how to approach this and thought it wise to just pray more diligently for his soul now that it was lost to the filth of The Simpsons.

How I envied anyone who could flip on the television whenever they felt so inclined. I was left out of any and all conversations regarding Full House, Who's the Boss, and Family Ties as my parents considered any show lacking in spiritual enrichment as the work of Satan. I was instead resigned to watch The History of the Civil War which showed one battlefield after the other while a somber narrator relayed the horror of Gettysburg over quivering violins. As if grainy photos of corpses strewn over a hillside was more enriching than the hollow laughter of a studio audience. Whenever I would go to a friend's house the only thing I would want to do is watch all the contraband I could squeeze into those precious hours. I would stay up all night mesmerized by "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" and "The NeverEnding Story", exhilarated by my daring.

The company that created this stupid contraption, Positive Impact Marketing, no longer exists, THANK GOD and I was unable to find "The Switch" for purchase anywhere online. I'm almost tempted to have it bronzed and mounted for posterity, a relic from my deprived and sheltered youth.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Pillow Talk

R: How was your day?

K: My ankle hurts.

R: Why? What happened?

K: My dick's been bumping it all day.

R: Did you come up with that all by yourself?

K: Yeah.

R: It's pretty good.

K: Thanks. I'll be here all week.

R: Good Night.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Aviator

"The Aviator"

This is the first successful picture I took with my new camera while we were on our trip to Paradise, California. This whole digital thing has been a bit of a trip, which makes it sound as if I'd been carrying a box camera around for my entire life, and it doesn't help that my introduction to the digital photography world is with a camera over a decade old. It still takes over a minute for my photos to upload to the viewing screen and it weighs so much I think I may just stop going to the gym altogether.