Year 2013 & Year 2014 2

Year 2013 & Year 2014 2

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

The Funkie Junkie Boutique Challenge #17 (A Second Entry!)... "Ode To Dr.B"

   This was a year for a lot of changes in our family; the first Baby Girl in 54 years, a second Baby Larimore (It's a BOY!) due this fall, and, for myself, a lot of upheaval in he health aspect of things. This past winter was not the best I've had and getting through the changes in my meds was nothing short of horrible. But, I am very thankful it's bee quite some time since I've had such a rough year- with several surgical/invasive procedures. The meds are all back on schedule and I am finally settling in somewhat better. But, I'd be remiss if I didn't thank one particular person who's been my main PCP (Primary Care Physician) since the Fall of 1983- we've fondly called him "Dr.B" ever since the boys were small and saying his full name was a bit much for them. So the nickname stuck. There was only a short period of time when we didn't go to him, for about 18 months during the time our firstborn Son came along, simply due to a health care plan change that was forced on us by the ChiefHubby's job at that time.  Once the Dr who delivered him, of course- clear in another county- dropped his practice on us 6 weeks after delievery, we contacted our then-Insurance to practically BEG to be able to go back to Dr.B. They agreed, especially after the sudden drop with a preemie baby! We'd begun seeing Dr.B in the first place because the doctor I had was who delivered me when I was born, and was actually past retirement, already having told me that he didn't expect to deliver my babies. So after making the rounds of available doctors, the ChiefHubby's Mom told me about this guy. She'd gone to see him once: he was fresh out of Med school/Residency, was nice, was young (not too much older than my CH actually), and had a young family of his own. So our plans of having kids would fit right in with his own experiences that I felt were a bonus. Not too long after my first visit with him, CH's Mom got upset with him and refused to go back. He'd told her the plain truth; move it or lose it. She was very obese and didn't like to be physically active. He was right- she'd had severe problems the last 5 years of her life, and died 3 days after her 70th birthday. We've made it our own goal to always be active- with our kids and now with our Grandkids. But, she started me going to Dr.B, and I'm grateful to her for that. 
         Last Fall, when I had another appointment to help figure out all the problems that were cropping up, a KID walked into my room! I knew it then; Dr.B was OVERdue for some time of his own- retirement was coming up. He'd walked in after the kid did, and replied to my question about it- June 2019 would be his last month. I guess you could say that I felt a bit sucker-punched, even though I knew it was coming at some point. But, how do you replace a true, one-in-a-billion GEM?!
He'd helped me find my RA Specialist, took awesome care of every single one of our family of four when each of us were hospitalized, and was usually more right than wrong, without lording it over me with he was right, and the first to admit he might be wrong. He helped me through the rough parts of Mommyhood, while having my back with "Whatever gets you ALL through the night- so that you ALL get some sleep," when I had others actually picking apart what we did with our kids when we had the younger Son on a breathing machine 24/7/365 for 4 years. He usually tried to get us to try a  'home remedy" first, then try this on the next appointment until it healed, and not just pile on the "take 2 pills and call me next year" the way we heard so many other folks speak about their caregiver.  Oh yeah....he actually saved my life.
       The year 2002 was the start of some tough years in my life; beginning with the loss of our 2 sets of Grandparents (1 each year for 4 years), and then falling off the tread mill from severe chest pains in the fall of 2004 led to a couple of surgeries I was NOT ready for. But then, when you look forward to a certain age saying "This year- my 40th- is gonna be FANTASTIC!" while on your 8 mile a day run... only to have it all come crashing down; sucks to put it mildly. Turned my world upside down. EVERY PERSON has skeletons in the closet- especially us Christians; the worst of all sinners among who I am the worst. And I thought I'd kept those things far from my life and they didn't "bother" me anymore. But as I was supposed to be healing from the surgeries, my body had other ideas. I got down to 98 pounds (I was 5 ft 6 in) and could hardly move. And...I didn't really want to, either. Here I was, living the American Dream: a happy marriage, two gifted/talented boys, a nice home that I stayed in as a Housewife with a ChiefHubby who had a very good job with excellent benefits and free family Insurance to cover all the problems that mostly just the younger Son and I both had. But, I couldn't get "back into the Saddle of Life". On a post-op visit to Dr.B, I finally was able to just crash and burn- I spilled my guts out and felt so ashamed that even the love I feel for my own family just....wasn't enough to make me think life was better being ALIVE. He sent me to the Christian Counselor who worked in his office. And she helped me help MYSELF see there was a light at the top of the deep hole I was in. She helped me understand that I had a CHOICE, and more importantly: I HAD to MAKE a CHOICE, and I DID have something to still live for. It's still one day at a time- even 15 years later. But I know GOD still has plans for me- even when the plans get a little off the track. HE still has a great life for THIS life planned for me- as well as an offer for the NEXT life, as long as I take HIM up on that.. each and every day.
          So, THANKS, Dr.B!!! And THANK YOU! to your family for all the times you were called away from them. For all the things you missed (and even that golf game the ER paged you from when the train hit me in Clymers in 1991). For all the times you wished you could just NOT answer that phone, but you DID because you cared as a Doctor for others. And- for all the money that you paid for the training you took to become a Doctor. So many others pass that up, and I know it takes a special person to choose that field. 

                                       Here's what I made:

      The Funkie Junkie Challenge Blog asked everyone to include some kind of metal in their project. Since I worked with foil in the other project entered I wanted to do a second with Tim Holtz IdeaOlogy- my fave stuff! So, let's get to the photos...

Finished Photos:

There will be another Challenge posted soon and then the one after that...
I'll be Guest Designer!!
You can check out the other entries, and even see who won the PRIZE from
Challenge Blog Sponsor; The Funkie Junkie Boutique.
ANYONE can join the fun- ANYTIME!

Till next post...

Be Safe and

Saturday, August 10, 2019

The Funkie Junkie Challenge #17; Marvelous Metallics... A Real EMERGENCY!

  Recognize those guys in the photo at the left? Hint: They are all characters who formed the A Shift at Los Angeles County Fire Department's mythical Fire Station 51. Another hint: two of the characters portrayed 2 of the first Paramedics in the USA...Roy DeSoto and John Gage. Ok, now you've got it:
"EMERGENCY!" was the name of the television show that debuted in early 1972 as a replacement show on NBC network. Most folks these days think that all TV shows are made-up plots scripted entirely by writers who are out to simply sell their own ideas. But this particular series- which lasted 6 Seasons (beginning with a 2 hour movie pilot, and ending with and several more 2 hour movies)- was based on real people who did real jobs and made the very real Emergency Medical Services we know and depend upon today! Being from a "firefighting family" I can look back in awe and think about how this crossed paths throughout my life. In short; from the moment I watched this show, at the tender age of 6 years old, I was in love with Firefighter/Paramedic John Gage. I wasn't a dummy... while I LOVED firetrucks, fire stations, and was one of the first kids to give chase, but I also knew that GIRLS can't be firefighters, Not back then, and there still aren't any in our county seat. I even knew a "for real live firefighter" already: my Cousin had just started on our city FD. I knew that was too dangerous for GIRLS like ME. So instead, I was the proud owner of Squad 51 (and accessories) and both dolls (Johnny and Roy) for Christmas 1973. I could cry thinking of not still having those things now! But what I ended up with is better! I had promised myself I would marry John Gage one day. In 1984, I married into a FF family- the one belonging to my ChiefHubby, who became a FF himself, now retired. I can say with all positivity: the seemingly unbelievable things that happened on the runs of the guys on fictional Station 51... are NOT too far off the truth. The things that have happened over the 26 years he served, watching my guy dash off in the middle of: the night, dinner, holidays, and the things he saw- you can just take my word for it; you'd have to have LIVED that crap in order to come up with some of those stories! And they DID! The writers took the stories from actual FD log books.

    And then, one day, I grew up, got married, bought a house, and started raising kids of our own. While being a stay-at-home Mom who still chased after a firefighter in his fire trucks (Hey, at least they were "mine"!), I helped a lot at the school, our boys were both in sports, Cub and Boy Scouts, Band and Marching Band, we were in involved in Church- where ChiefHubby served as an Elder, then- & currently still- a Deacon, he also attended Seminary for a Theology certificate. I literally had no time to be handicapped! And certainly no time for television- let alone keeping up with anything that had been my favorite actors; Randolph (Randy) Mantooth and Kevin Tighe. My generation either saw a show or missed it. If you were lucky, you caught it over the summer months in reruns. But until things came out on VCR... we generally just kept the memories in our heads, and in our hearts. But the internet and new hand-held technology changed all that! Suddenly, we were able to find out recent news about long-ago things we grew up with. Indexes like Wikipedia and IMBD made it possible to check out where everyone was currently and what they were up to. Then, Oh, WOW: Facebook arrived on the scene! Kids these days... I'm 53, so I can say it.... have no idea what it was like to actually VIEW news of people you only heard about from far, far away in the magical land of the black and white tv screen. Then, you could connect with and actually talk to them!!

 I majored in Speech and Drama in HS, and I had plans of going into the Military to pursue radio and tv arts and media. Ahh; the best laid plans are always the ones that go awry, and deafness at age 15 put most of that into the trashbin. (Hence the fun of my own WLYLAFridayHits that is on hiatus for this year.) My S/D Teacher once told me, "Don't be overwhelmed by important people in your audience; they poo and wipe just like every other person. Keep that in mind as you speak and you'll connect on the same level." Very humbling advice! That has come in handy a few times when I've connected with news media or other folks that leave mouths hanging open. 

    In April of 2015, Randy Mantooth was scheduled to appear at FDIC International ( Fire Departments Instructor Conference ) in Indianapolis, Indiana. Although my ChiefHubby had been a participant in several years past, as well as showing off the new Pumper in 2005, he had just retired in January and had no plans to return to FDIC after having taken me down in 2014 for my first- & his last- visit. Two very special friends on Twitter convinced me I had to go, and I was NOT disappointed! I got a text from Rich that said "Randy's ready for your hug!" and it stopped me in my tracks. ChiefHubby was still thinking it was a joke, but by the time we reached Randy up at the ChiefHubby was holding onto my shirt. I was thinking he was afraid Randy would run off with me? No; he was afraid I would take off with Randy over my shoulder in a fireman's carry!! lol Meeting my 2 friends, Rich and Jaime, who helped me meet Randy.... was like a dream come true; not only for me but for my ChiefHubby, who was also transported back to a time we each remember very fondly, yet separately. And how it criss-crossed so much in our lives; amazing! And yes, I was able to talk to Randy like he was a long-time friend; he makes you feel like it, too. I told him how my CH had just seen him pass by us eating a hotdog?! Are you kidding me?! I missed the chance of a lifetime to give RANDY MANTOOTH the Heimlich maneuver ??!! He had a good laugh at that. 
And I was able to share a bit of my talent with him.... I brought him a set of the dolls I had made ahead of time. My set was going into a box with photos I planned to keep of the meeting.
                  So finally; here we are with the long-saved project finally posted!!

The dolls are the newer Sizzix Dolls and Clothes were die cut from matching Sizzix Dies
with some customized cutting by hand.
Yeah, I even added Johnny Gage's little red sport shorts underneath. lol

The dolls have mat board as the base, with cardstock back and front.
The clothes were glued with Glossy Accents in 3 layers to give them a firm handling.

Each set had 2 sets of clothes: full turnout gear and full uniform.
I used clear Velcro round stickers to the dolls and clothes for set changes.


The backside background was made to hold heavier cut cardstock frames..., hide the program inside the back for keepsake. 

The MARVELOUS METALLIC is shown here- the very same item that was
to be showcased originally!!
I diecut cardstock-backed foil into a Tag,

and used a diffuser to add a flat space into the "firetruck metal"!

Casing it together with the photos of THE meeting and the dolls....
and of course; I used the Tim Holtz Alterations Die Old Jalopy to fashion
"The Old Engine" Johnny and Roy fixed up and hoped to show off
in one of my fave hilarious Episodes; "The Parade"-
you can see the old engine better in the next pic...

The ChiefHubby has a good hold on  me- actually giving me the push for the hug!
LORD, I do love that man !!
(And yeah, I still love Johnny Gage, and Randy's not too bad either! lol!)

Yes, I was bawling like a baby... the memories were so SWEET!

Rich Mistkowski, myself, and Jaime Shine

                    This project had been itching in my draft box for the past 4 years! I had
                      originally planned to put this out as a Tim Holtz's CC3 Challenge on this same
                                                   Funkie Junkie Boutique Challenge Blog ,
                                           which was still sponsored with prizes by the same
                                                                 Funkie Junkie Boutique        
                                            but, again, best laid plans, and it never made it in.
                         So here I can finally show it off since it hangs in our walk-thru office that is
                   decorated with all the FF memorabilia we've collected over the years in our family.

                                 But... I hope to make one more piece to enter.
                                               Just because I have a bit of time on my hands!
                                                                  So, until the next post:

                                                Be Safe & 
                                    HAPPY BLOGGING!!

*First 3 top photos: property of NBC, Universal, & “EMERGENCY!” et al.
** 4th photo: Pinterest & ditto above.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

The Funkie Junkie Boutique Blog Challenge #16 It's Heating Up!...Uncle Sam Marches On!

      July 4th is my favorite holiday of the year,
and we ended up being out of state (again) during the time I would also love to do some Americana crafting. So instead, the current Challenge actually helped me back up a bit and have a re-play, so to speak! I dug right in as soon as the idea hit on me as I was making the first panel (Click Here). And my Muse just took off; almost without me!
      Again, the theme for this Challenge calls for the use of reds, yellows, or oranges that are 'warm' and give the impression of the heat of summer. There's no shortage of heat here, and I absolutely LOVE it! Summer is my Happy Place, definitely. As I posted before, this set of panels is done EARLY (do the early dance!)
and you still have time to join in at
The Funkie Junkie Boutique Challenge Blog, which means you still have a good chance of being a Top Pick, or winning the Drawing for a $25 Shopping Certificate from The Funkie Junkie Boutique. Best hurry- deadline is July 30th!

                                     So let's see what I have this time...

Using the good old R,W,B in Distress Regular Inks Fired Brick and Faded Blue Jeans,
and Distress Oxide Ink in Antique Linen, with some Tarnished Brass Distress Spray;
I inked up a good background by making my pattern onto the TH Glass Mat.
I did a few earlier practice sheets as well, but here's my take- I needed 2 backgrounds
for this project just like I did in the first panel last time.

Then I used Distress Regular Inks in Black Soot and Tea Dye,
with Oxide Inks in Antique Linen and Vintage Photo to fill out all around any blank spots.
I added Distress Powder in Vintage Photo onto the second sheet to start some serious rusting.

Since I was planning to use the TH Thinlits United States Die,
I knew the area that would need rusting. The Thinlits tend to tear as they are
very delicate, so I chose to try and do the faux rust before cutting, and it helped.

Also, before cutting, I added some odd stripes in the Antique Linen Oxide-
just to clarify the lines a bit better.

Then cut...

                                                                ...and the resulting cut.

TH Alterations Die Festive Gent was my Uncle Sam- altered a bit here and there
with Tonic Scissors. Thinlits Die Stenciled Numbers made the 1776 and I used
the razored TH Distressor to rag out the edges of the year.

Cutting up a small 4x6 US Flag is not considered 'bad' by me...
as long as I am honorable with disposing of the rest of it properly.
Besides...She was still gonna FLY proudly!!!

Distressing the US Flag...
 think the War of 1812 and Francis Scott Key looking up at Her.
She's burned, cannonballed, torn, ragged, and worn.
But proudly; She still WAVES!!

A bamboo skewer made a smaller "flag pole" by cutting to size with Tonic Scissors,
edging the top in (a very OLD Gold Ranger Dabber) and staining the rest with
TH Distress Stain in Walnut.

And here's the final product...

Uncle Sam marches on!

I was careful to add Alaska and Hawaii, though most people leave those out 
when it comes to an outline of the USA.
(But man, those tiny islands were TOUGH to make!)
I also chose to make Uncle Sam keep his 'edges' instead of smoothing him out.
I put a white mat board in between two black cardstocks, then
fussy-colored the edges slightly with TH Distress Crayon in Black Soot.
The white shows just a bit for some extra dimension.

For me, there is no better color scheme than Old Glory's!
She's definitely on fire and still marching for the freedom She stood for when
She only had 13 stars on her. And we need to support those who fight to protect Her.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by!
Until next time:

Be Safe &