Momma Told Me: October 2011

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Christine’s Wild Ride -Trick or Treat? You Decide:

Today is the 5th anniversary of an event that I will never forget. It all happened on Saturday October 26th 2006. The time was 6:26 p.m. David and I had been shopping for our “perfect motorhome” for quite some time; and a month earlier we had, finally, found her. This 33 foot motorhome was in pristine condition and sitting in the drive-way of a family in La Canada, California. This vehicle had, obviously, been well taken care of. The husband was meticulous in its maintenance and upkeep. This motorhome was like one of his kids; it meant that much to him. As we are about to find out; "she" felt the same.

Cosmetically; she only had (one) little scratch on her rear bumper. Other than that; she was beautiful! The husband (owner) was very attached to this motorhome. I think that he, really, didn’t want to sell it. After many negotiations (mostly due to the fact that the owner wanted to make sure the “perfect couple” got his “baby”) we put the down payment on her and made our way back home.

As agreed; we arrived at the seller’s house on Saturday the 26th, with cash in hand. Upon arrival; I had noticed that their front yard had a huge graveyard display with ghouls, goblins and gravestones. That is when I noted that Halloween was only a couple of days away. In the spirit of Halloween; I turned to the wife and, jokingly, said “This thing isn’t haunted or something, is it?” To which she, also with jest, replied “Oh no! I just had it exorcised when I had the Suburban done last week; the lights on the Suburban kept coming on/off when the neighbors used their remote for their car”. With joking aside; we completed our transaction and the husband (owner) pulled the motor home to the property’s edge and just through the gate (again; he was very proud of this motor home and didn’t want us to scratch it). Or maybe he just didn’t want us to take out his fence. We’ll never know.

Just as my husband jumped into the driver’s seat of the motorhome; he turned and asked for directions to the nearest propane place. We needed propane for our trip to Joshua Tree National Park. As instructed, my husband, headed just (4) blocks up Foothill Blvd. For those of you familiar with the Rose Parade; it is on Foothill Blvd. in Pasadena. At this point; in La Canada the four lanes of road (two each way) are separated by a wide median of grass with 100 foot tall trees down the middle. The street is lined with “Rodeo Drive” style storefronts; which all have these huge potted trees on the edge of the sidewalks. The big potted trees are there for aesthetics, as well as, to keep an out-of-control vehicle from coming through their storefront windows. As we are about to find out; that’s a good thing.

I followed behind the motorhome, in the Jeep, with my sidekick “Miss Jazzy” (our long-haired black/tan dachshund) up to the propane station. Initially; when I pulled in to the station, I parked “nose-to-nose” so that I was facing the front of the motorhome. But; when I looked up; I got this eerie feeling. The motorhome was sitting on a slight hill and looking ominously down on me. It looked like Godzilla getting ready to pounce on the Jeep. It was just a little scary. As I exited the Jeep; Jazzy became agitated, jumping back and forth in the Jeep and barking. At that point; I felt so uncomfortable with the Jeep being parked there; that I got back in and moved it. It’s a good thing that I did that.

Once the propane was filled; my husband and I engaged in a light conversation with the gas station attendant, inside of his office. I had mentioned that “we had just bought it (the motorhome) a couple of minutes ago and that we were heading off to an adventure.” I also brought up the fact; that recently, my husband and I had seen the movie with Robin Williams (RV). The attendant noted that he hadn’t seen that movie yet; so we were sharing a few of the, hilarious, highlights of the film. (This is all; not so funny to us, anymore). In a moment that is engrained in my memory forever; the attendant points his finger toward the front window and says “Isn’t that YOUR motorhome rolling down the street?”

Unbelievably; the motorhome was slowly gaining speed and heading, directly into two lanes of oncoming traffic! Instinctively, my husband goes running down the street, after it. At that moment; I turned to the attendant and yelled “Call 911, someone is going to get killed!” Then I continued down the street, myself. At this point; cars are peeling right and left and honking their horns at the motorhome heading straight at them.

As my husband is, feverishly, running after the motorhome; a lady-jogger says to him “What’s going on?” to which he replies “It’s a Runaway!” Then she says to him “Somebody should tell the Owner!” To which my husband yells at her; “I AM THE OWNER!” as he continued in pursuit.

At the next intersection the motorhome made a right turn heading directly towards a full Taco Bell. Just at the last second; again, the motorhome turned (this time left) and began heading in the direction of the proper lanes of traffic. As it travelled past some very expensive cars, which were parked on the street; it just barely “brushed a mirror” knocking it to the ground. After passing 20-30 parked cars (and not hitting a one of them) it slid over to the right and took out an entire line of those huge potted trees on the sidewalk. In the process of hitting the trees; it proceeded to rip off all of its awnings and gash holes in the roof from front to back. It was like a can opener had peeled her open. She wasn’t “pretty” anymore.

Less than a minute later, and over 3.5 blocks down the road, she finally came to rest in what was a “perfect” parking spot; with her wheels lined up at the curb. Immediately upon catching up with the vehicle; my husband pulled open the driver’s door, fully expecting to see who had “stolen” the motorhome. This is where it gets very strange. There was NO ONE INSIDE.

A couple of minutes later; the police arrived, blocked traffic and were helping us pick up all of the carnage. We were pretty sure that we were going to get some kind of a ticket and enormous bill for all of the trees that were hit in the process of the accident. But; when I managed to mumble a few words to the policeman stating that “We had JUST bought the motorhome 15 minutes earlier” he felt so sorry for us that he just kept handing my husband the pieces of the motorhome to put through the back window as he said to me; “I’m very sorry to hear that, Ma’am”.

Here is where it gets even more bazaar. The “driverless” motorhome had not only navigated directly into oncoming traffic, made a right turn at the first intersection and a subsequent left turn (avoiding the Taco Bell full of people), missed hitting all those fancy parked cars on it’s right and “parked itself” perfectly against the sidewalk; that’s amazing enough. But; it had come to a complete stop within a ½ block of where it had been sold, just 15 minutes earlier. If it would have made just (one more right turn) it would have been able to park itself, right back into its own driveway.

Maybe I shouldn’t have made the joke about her being “haunted”. This motorhome obviously had decided to head back “home”. We now lovingly refer to her as “Christine”; appropriately named after the movie featuring a haunted car. So; do you believe this story about “Christine’s Wild Ride”, or do you think that this is just a very good Halloween tale that I concocted for your Halloween pleasure? Trick or Treat? What do you think? Happy Halloween!

Note: This post is in no way sponsored, it is simply a piece of good old fashioned blogging! Enjoy!

Momma Mondays: Mom, You can have my old Moccasins! - The Comfort and Beauty of Manitobah's NAPPA Mukluks

As most people; when I thought of moccasins; I remembered the ones that I wore, proudly, in the 7th grade (everyday). They were lightweight, loose-fitting, and not particularly flattering. Don’t get me wrong; my mom couldn’t get me to stop wearing them, everywhere. The only thing that finally stopped me was the two, big holes, in the bottom of my right shoe. I had resorted to putting a shoe pad inside of the moccasins to keep the elements out, but to no avail. In afterthought; they probably had needed to be discarded long before they met their demise. I’m not sure what ever, really happened, to those moccasins. I have my suspicions; but can’t prove a thing.

Just as I have grown up and almost forgotten those moccasins; my daughter, Jenna sent me the link to Manitobah’s (68 Page PDF Catalog). This catalog makes my fond memories of those childhood moccasins, nearly disappear. Their moccasins and mukluks are nothing like the ones that I wore in the 70’s. In fact; they are not even in the same league. I couldn’t have been more “blown away” and impressed with their offerings. This company doesn’t just (make) mukluks and moccasins; they put their hearts and souls into every, individual pair.

There is so much thought that has gone into each design. They’ve even designed the soles to tell a “story”. For instance; My NAPPA Mukluks feature a “Tipi” Sole. The art, yes I said art, on the sole; has (5) components. *See Photo of Sole: (1) The Sky represents life-giving water falling as rain and snow. (2) To the right are the western mountains. Trees to the left of the tipi represent the Woodland People. (3) This is the doorway we walk through together as modern hunter-gatherers. (4) Fire tells us our People will always survive. Prairie plains, behind, are home to the Great Horse and Buffalo People. (5) The swirling Four Winds cleanse, as the Sun circles, our Mother Earth. The soles are made from Vibram® (developed by the world leader in high-performance rubber soles; these soles are not only pieces of art, but they are designed to withstand the effects of extreme cold and highly abrasive environments). It’s almost a shame to walk on them; they are that cool!

Now that I’ve properly described the soles; let me tell you about the rest of my brand new mukluks. They are constructed of Black Cowhide and Black Rabbit Fur. The NAPPA’S that I chose arrived in a box with artwork on the cover, depicting a “Tipi”. When I opened the box I found the Certificate of Authenticity; noting that they were made in Canada and in fact, real Manitobah Mukluks. These mukluks are a nice, 15’ tall which is just perfect for me. They retail for $329.00 which is what one would expect to pay for something that is hand-made with high quality materials and, for all intents and purposes, pieces of art. It’s so much more than the materials, though; it’s the camaraderie one “feels” with the Aboriginal People. It’s an honor to be included. The front of the mukluks has intricate beadwork, not too much, just enough to accent them, in small purple and white beads. The interior lining of the mukluks is really comfortable due to the thick (in this case dark grey/black) sheepskin shearling.

As I slipped my first foot into the right mukluk; I couldn’t believe how well it fit. As Jenna had said to me; “I don’t want to take them off!” Now; I understand what she was talking about. My husband is the one that photographed this pair for me, in order to share pictures with this review. I was the model, for lack of a better term. This was an easy “assignment” for him. It’s not too difficult to provide excellent photography of an item of superior quality, stunning workmanship and rugged, elegant beauty.

Just as Canada’s first peoples and now (me); you too can have your very own pair of mukluks or moccasins. Thanks to M├ętis siblings Sean and Heather McCormick we all have the opportunity to own and enjoy this Aboriginal made footwear. I could go on and on about my new NAPPA Mukluks; but it would be better if you were to just order a pair for yourself. That way; you can start “gushing” about them, as well.

We invite you to return during Blog POP!'s upcoming Christmas Wishes Luxury Gift Guide (November 4-7) to catch Jenna's counter review and our Manitobah
Mukluk Giveaway!
While you're waiting, swing on by the Manitobah Mukluk Facebook page and 'like' them to stay in touch!

As Required by The FTC: Momma received no monetary compensation for her opinions. She did receive a product sample to conduct her review. All opinions expressed therein are hers, and hers alone. All photography for this post was provided by David G. Rigg of Select Photo Prints.

Momma On: Bunk Beds and "Little Brothers"

As a mom, I’ve always wanted a really nice bed. Being the shopper that I am; I’ve looked at a lot of different styles of bedroom furnishings. I have considered everything from the “old-style Victorian” frames and wooden pedestal beds to a bedstar leather bed. After a long day with the kids and the chaos of the household; we deserve a special place to rest our weary heads. I figured; I have an exquisite leather couch out in my living room so, why not have a leather bed to go along with it? It all makes sense to me.

On the subject of beds; it was my “Baby Brother’s” Birthday recently. Well; he’s not so much a baby anymore, considering that he just celebrated his 50th. Happy Birthday Bro! Milestone events such as this make one reminisce about all those years ago. I remember him, as if it were (quite literally) yesterday, my little brother. The cool thing about my brother is that he’s always had a great sense of humor.

Due to a lack of available space; it became evident that my little brother and I had to share a bedroom. Our little sister had just been born and she was monopolizing the only other one. In order to accommodate the two of us; my parents decided to install a set of bunk beds. My brother and I could not have been more excited! Of course; this led to the big debate. Who gets to sleep on top? After a great deal of drama; my little brother (using his charm and wit) got his way. That happened a lot.

That night; my parents kissed us each “good-night” and off to the top he went. As far as we were concerned, that was that, or so they thought. Just as I was dozing off, I heard this loud, earth-shattering CRASH! Any guesses as to what that might have been? Well; evidently, in their excitement, my parents had forgotten to install the safety bar. They had left it in the back of the pickup truck. Little good, it does, out there in the drive-way! As my brother rose up from the floor and “shook it off” he, quietly whispered to me, “It’s o.k. Big Sis; you can have the top!” True story.

As required by the FTC: This post is in association with All opinions expressed are hers and hers alone.

Real Steel: A Boy, His Robot, and That Guy From X-Men, Giveaway and Review~ 10/20

Real Steel? Chances are you fall into one of 2 categories when it comes to this October 7th (that's this Friday) releasing title; either it's been on your calendar and you've been counting down for weeks, or you're sitting here now asking what on Earth I'm talking about. If you fall into the latter I'd expect you live a very media absent life. This film has been highly hyped and all over every PR channel all summer! If you're female, not to stereotype but, it's likely you'd blow this film off as a quasi Transformers-Meets-Digimon testosterone fest of carnage void of any real plot. In fact, even after having seen the movie, I highly suspect Director Shawn Levy cast lead Hugh Jackman (Charlie) with foresight on this matter. Crowned People magazine's Sexiest Man Alive, 2008, this actor most known for his X-Men endeavors is certainly eye candy for the millions of girlfriends, wives, and mothers who will be drug unsuspectingly to see this film.

Set a few decades into the future, Real Steel is set in a very modern, relate-able, world where carnage seeking fight enthusiasts have pushed the sport of boxing into a mechanically fueled metal-sport. Instead of human boxers with carefully honed skills and talent, giant robots are sent into the ring, manned by their lazy human owners. Much like present day wrestling and MMA, the Robot Boxing World is a highly profitable industry, for those on the winning side. Jackman's character, Charlie, is an out-of-work human boxer turned robot fighter of questionable morals and little impact. Out of money, and a robot, Charlie learns he is to inherit his 11 year old son, Max (Dakota Goyo) when his mother passes away unexpectedly. While neither seem pleased with the circumstances the two find a common bond in their shared interest for Robot Boxing. What unfolds throughout the rest of the film is a series of edge-of-your seat cinematic matches and a sprinkling of emotionally bonding moments.

The hubby and I had a chance to watch Real Steel at it's World Premiere on October 2, 2011, and were torn going into the experience. The film is rated PG-13 for violence (it is about boxing after all, and these are robots- expect limbs to fly), and a sprinkling of adult language. Surprisingly the tumultuous relationship between Charlie and his on-again-off-again ex/childhood friend Bailey (Evangeline Lilly), is done with absolutely no crude or awkward moments. I have to tip my hat to Dreamworks for the true class and execution they've demonstrated in telling a story, without all the 'extras' you'll usually find in action based films. However, while many of the previews in months leading up to this billed the film as 'Rock'Em Sock'Em Robots', I daresay some men may be a little disappointed. I consider Real Steel to be a family film, barring inappropriate language and excessive violence (no worse than your average video games), I can see many families with kids 8+ walking out of this film feeling satisfied.

As a woman who loves both action and family films, I consider Real Steel to be well worth the average admission price today. My husband, who was on the fence going in, was expecting something much different than he got yet still, came out raving about how he 'Wouldn't mind seeing it again'. And, while the crowd at the premiere was on the edge of their seat cheering for underdog lead robot Atom as though it was a live fight, this may not be the film X-Men enthusiasts want to flock to. While the CG graphics and mind-blowing fight sequences are amazing, the true star of this film is Haley Joel Osment doppleganger Dakota Goyo (Max) and his relationship with absentee father Hugh Jackman (Charlie). In between each and every fight is a meaningful look inside the awkward reconciliation and fragile relationship of each character. I can say with certainty, mine were not the only eyes tearing up by film's end!

In all, Real Steel delivers somewhat predictable, yet extremely satisfiable, outcomes I would normally gripe about. Unfortunately, with a headliner such as Jackman, and the true feast for my eyes (of the magnificent and extravagant fights) this cookie cutter film seems to transcend to a sure-fire box office hit. You have robots, bad guys, romance, danger, comedy, headline actors, and adorable breakout actor, and warm fuzzies for a formula that has me asking, "When's the sequel coming out?" Take your tweens, take the teens, take your friends, your date, or simply yourself and get lost in the fantastic world, and impressively realistic characters that bring Real Steel to life!

Be sure to catch Dreamworks' Real Steel with Hugh Jackman, Evangaline Lily, and Dakota Goy in theaters nationwide October 7, 2011!

One Momma Told Me follower will win a Real Steel prize pack including:

- REAL STEEL t-shirt in adult sizes of S, M, L, XL
- REAL STEEL bottle opener
- REAL STEEL stickers REAL STEEL temporary tattoos