Sunday, May 31, 2009

Disneyland - Sentimental Sunday No. 13

If you know me, you probably know that my Dad worked for Walt Disney for 30 years. He was involved in the building of Disneyland, DisneyWorld, and all of the live action films that Disney produced from 1954 – 1984.
Johnny Porter - Walt Disney Studios - 1981

Dad was a prop-maker, by trade, and a member of I.A.T.S.E. Local 44. He was a talented machinist and wood worker. Of course, being his ever loving daughter, I’m a little partial to how talented he was. But, I thought I would share with you – on this installment of Sentimental Sunday – some of his handiwork. All of the images being shared were gathered from Google Images.

All of the fancy wood turnings (called "Gingerbread work") on the Mark Twain Riverboat were made by my Dad.

The original wooden book stands in Sleeping Beauty's castle were made by him.

For the original "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln" my father and my Godfather, Orie Carfagno, made the chair that President Lincoln sat in.
Dad was charged with creating the staircase banister for the movie "Mary Poppins". It had to come apart so that a seat could be placed in for Mary Poppins to appear to be riding up the stair case. But, when the seat was not present, the banister needed to appear to be one solid piece. He worked on this project for quite some time.
You can still see much of my Dad's work at DisneyLand and Disney World. All of the fancy woodwork on the buildings on Main Street U.S.A., and cabinets inside the shops, were made by my father. I am so proud of the work that he did and the legacy that has been left behind.
We're going to Disneyland in about a month. I haven't been there since J.J. was little. I am looking forward to sharing these things with him and pointing out the work that his Papa created.

Friday, May 29, 2009

I Wish I Was....

... going to be here this weekend! It's our favorite beach in Hawaii. Oh Well! August will be here before we know it, and I'll finally be enjoying those tropical breezes. (And a Mai Tai wouldn't hurt either!)
Have a great weekend everyone!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Canadian Geese

I love this time of year in Salem. The Canadian Geese consider Salem to be a "destination vacation" spot - and this is where they have their babies. The baby geese are so adorable. I get very happy whenever we are lucky enough to have a family of geese cross the street in front of us. Unfortunately there are SO many impatient people. They get mad because they have to wait a couple of minutes for the geese to get across the street safely. I just always feel so blessed that I had the opportunity to see the little family and the adorable babies.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Breakfast Anyone? - Sentimental Sunday No. 12

My (Cindy’s) Mom and Dad were a couple of characters. Here is one of my favorite stories about them…

Mom and Dad were married in 1941. They were very much the typical husband & wife of the time… He worked; she stayed home and took care of the house and my sister. Dad had to be up very early for work each day, and he suggested to my Mom that it would sure be nice if she would get up with him, make him breakfast and spend some time with him before he left for work in the mornings. This wouldn’t have been an unusual request if it weren’t for the fact that he got up at 4am and had to be at work by 5am!

Mom was not what you would call “a morning person”, but she dutifully got up with my Dad the next morning to make him breakfast. While Dad was in the shower Mom cooked eggs, bacon and toast for him; sat down at the table and ATE IT! Then, she promptly went back to bed. By the time Dad got out of the shower Mom was sound asleep and there was nothing for him but the dirty dishes! She wasn’t being a smart aleck… she didn’t remember a thing about it. She basically “slept walked” her way through cooking breakfast; eating it and going back to bed.

Needless to say, Dad didn’t ask her to get up with him ever again!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

An Evening with Jerry

We had a really fantastic time on our Friday night outing to Portland. We arrived at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall (Affectionately known as "The Schnitz") fairly early because we wanted to eat dinner... but where? So we walked around for a bit and discovered this restaurant - DragonFish. VERY GOOD food. I would call it Asian Fusion. If you are in Portland - check it out. There is one in Seattle too.After dinner we headed to the show!

Jerry's good friend, Larry Miller, opened for him. He was very funny. We truly enjoyed his act. After Larry's set the theater darkened - and then Jerry came running on the stage - greeted by thunderous applause.

Jerry was extremely funny - but we wouldn't have expected anything different. Jerry's humor is very topical and we enjoyed that his routine is pretty clean. He talked about marriage, and family, and spent a lot of time making his observations about life in general. It was SUCH a fun night. All three of us had an awesome time!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Funny Friday

Can't wait for tonight....

we're headed to Portland to see Jerry Seinfeld. I have a feeling my sides are going to hurt from laughing and my cheeks will hurt from smiling. Going to be a funny Friday nite!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


When I have to travel for my work, I get a little lonely. Being an only child, I do enjoy my own company. And, I do like having some alone time when I have to be away from home. But, usually my trips are only for one or two days. This time is for four days - and three nights. I have friends that I life to visit in Olympia - but I'm missing Richard and JJ. I'm glad I will be home tomorrow night with my family - and in my own bed. Not looking forward to the drive - but looking forward to driving in my driveway. Cheers!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Lazy Sunday Afternoon

We don't often take advantage of a beautiful lazy day. We're always running around, trying to get things done on the weekend that the week days don't give us time to accomplish. But, yesterday we were LAZY. It was a beautiful day for it! The sun was high in the sky, there was a slight breeze and it was in the mid-80's.
My view from under my umbrella where I was reading

Richard enjoying a good book and the sunshine

Assorted views from our deck
John enjoying his room and a video game!
and - to satisfy my friends Kim and Laura - here's a self portrait of me - just in from the warm sunshine. See! I do exisit!

Hope you all had an enjoyable and relaxing weekend too!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Legally Ours - Sentimental Sunday No. 11

June 13, 1996 was a momentous day in our family. In fact, it was the day we became a family. Legally anyway. It was the day that we dressed John James up in his best clothes and met our attorney in family court. It was the day that we listened as the Judge announced, “From this day forward he shall be known as John James Mulligan, son of Richard James and Cindy Lynn Mulligan.” It was one of the happiest days in our lives. Having not given birth to this spectacular young man – this was our equal to giving birth to him. In our hearts he was ours from the day he was placed in our arms, but having it be pronounced legal that we were a family was joyous. Here is the poem that I wrote in honor of the day:

Legally ours,
Officially sealed,
Now we are one
So happy we feel.

In our hearts you have been,
Our son from the start,
But now, you are legally ours!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Saturday Movie

Richard and I saw "Angels and Demons" today, starring Tom Hanks. It was a very well done movie. I have not yet read the book by Dan Brown. I typically don't like to read the books before the movie. Usually, when I read the book first, I am disappointed in the movie. So, this time I waited. However, Richard did read the book first. Although he enjoyed the movie - he says the book was better. Big surprise! I tried to warn him. We do both still recommend the movie. A lot of action, great story line, excellent directing and acting. and an enjoyable 2 hours and 20 minutes.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Our Newest Addition

We are thrilled that our neice Holly has given birth to the very handsome Canon Lucas. He was several weeks early, but is progressing quite well. We are happy that he has surpassed his birth weight and is thriving. You can check out his progress here.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mulligan's Wild Animal Kingdom

OK - maybe not "wild animals" but the term can be relative. It appears we are the new proprietors of "Mulligan's Home for Wayward Cats". This little beauty has adopted us. He knows a soft touch when he sees one.
For the third year in a row a family of robins have built their nest outside our bedroom window. Yesterday the babies flew out of the nest.

Yesterday evening we were enjoying a nice jacuzzi when "kitty" climbed over the fence to visit with us. He was hungry and I was planning on getting him some food when I went into the house. Unfortunately he saw something that appealed to him more than Friskies. You guessed it - baby robin. I can't even being to verbalize how upset I was seeing him run off with the baby in his mouth, and the mother and father robin squawking loudly at him. Other birds started diving bombing him as he scurried back over the fence. I'm just not cut out for things like that. I'm no "Marlon Perkins" and we aren't being sponsored by "Mutual of Omaha".

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day - Sentimental Sunday - No. 10

We interrupt this Mother’s Day celebration to honor two very special Mother’s. Sylvia and Jeane. They were instrumental in shaping Richard and I into the adults we are. Our lives are richer for having been blessed with two such incredible women that we call Mom!

Sylvia Maurine – Cindy’s Mom – June 7, 1922 ~ October 14, 1986
Her laugh – dancing with her in the middle of the living room – going to lunch and shopping together – when we watched movies, if there was anything risqué in them, she would cover her eyes, but would always peek through her fingers – the day she made pecan pies for a party and dropped them as she took them out of the oven.. she was SO mad… but we laughed together and made more – the way she would rub my forehead when I didn’t feel well – the way she could always find something funny to say, even in inappropriate situations… like a funeral… she would lean over to me, say something funny in my ear, and then sit stoically with a straight face… all the while I was doubled over with the giggles – the way she could start a conversation with ANYONE… ANYWHERE… - she was such a talented artist - the day she came to my third grade class and helped us all make papier-mâché dolls for a class project – her lack of sense of direction – the day she lost the car in a mall parking lot… because we were looking on the wrong level… a security guard had to drive us all over the parking structure to find it – going to the ballet together – how much she loved my Dad – how open she was with me about life and love. Her cooking – her hugs – her kisses.

Jeane Louise – Richard’s Mom – April 16, 1915 ~ September 2, 1994

She was an independent hard working woman. She educated herself and supported my sister and me after she and my dad divorced. No matter how busy she was, she made sure to attend all of my sporting events and was my biggest cheerleader. She loved the musical “South Pacific” and played the soundtrack repeatedly. Her love of family and friends – she was an excellent Bridge player. She was very competitive, but in a good way – and she enjoyed all types of sports. I remember bringing my “new dad” home to meet her for the first time. My older sister, Sue, and I “set them up.” They fell in love and married a few years later. And a few years after that we were all surprised and thrilled to learn there would be an addition to the family – my sister Kelly. She could “rough it” on a camping trip – or be pampered in a nice hotel. I remember one vacation – we were all exhausted and looking for a roadside motel to spend the night. She made my Dad drive from motel to motel until she found “just the right one.” She was a lady in the truest sense of the word – she had excellent taste and was extremely proper. I miss her always – but especially on her birthday and Mother’s Day.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the Mother’s out there – and especially to the memory of two really excellent women – our Mom’s.

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Celebratory Day!

We had a fantastic day of celebration for Richard's birthday yesterday.
We went to Bridgeport Village to see "State of Play" with Russell Crowe and Ben Affleck. It was quite good and had a lot of twists and turns.

Then we went to P.F. Changs for dinner. It is one of our most favorite restaurants. We had our usual - Changs Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Mongolian Beef, and Kung Pao Shrimp. Richard was surprised by a a little birthday dessert.

We came home and had a small celebration with just the three of us - enjoying the always requested homemade Lemon Cake. (click here for my recipe on my Gumbo Ya Ya blog)

It was a wonderful day and the three of enjoyed the low key peaceful celebration with just our little family.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Happy Birthday Richard - Sentimental Sunday No. 9

Today is Richard’s birthday. Happy Birthday my handsome husband!

Looking at this photo of him as a three year old boy – I wonder what he was like. He looks like an angel in this photo, but having heard some of the stories of his childhood…. My guess is that he was a handful!!

There was the time that he drank ant poison and had to be rushed to the hospital. Well, he would tell you that it wasn’t his fault. He was only three and the poison was in a Coca Cola bottle in the garage. He thought it was a Coke. I’m sure that trip to the hospital took a few years off his Mother’s life. During that hospital stay, he got lost in the hospital. (He is sitting over my shoulder right now saying “I wasn’t lost! I knew where I was!”) He decided to go “sight-seeing” and left his room for a fun elevator ride. His Mom came to the hospital to see him, and his bed was empty. There went a few more years off her life!

Around four or five years old he decided that he wanted some Jello. And apparently he wanted it NOW! He boiled the water himself, made the Jello and put in the freezer. His Mom was very surprised to find that he had made the Jello all alone. Of course he hasn’t cooked a thing by himself since then… but that’s beside the point! (Again, he is over my shoulder and wanted to be sure everyone knows that he DOES know how to boil water!)

When he was about seven he and his family were at a lake. Everyone was having fun and enjoying the sunny day when suddenly all the boats began floating away from the dock. “Somehow” they all became untied. Hmmm… could it have been the small boy that was practicing tying knots for his cub scouts badge with the ropes that secured the boats? Nah!!

We could go on and on… there were hornets nests with rocks being thrown at them – subsequently being attacked by hornets, and a 21st birthday celebration that involved a beer keg being dropped on his big toe, and crabbing in Florence Oregon when a crab got a hold of his finger and would not let go, and hiking to the top of Mt. Lassen a few years ago without letting anyone know where he was… but you get the idea! Richard has had an eventful 66 years. Sometimes we wonder how he has made it all this time. But, we sure are glad that he has.

Love you honey! Thanks for the memories. (And the laughs!)
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