National Parks America’s Best Idea – Mini-series

Have you been watching this new mini-series on PBS ?

We just watched the first episode and it brought tears to my eyes several times. There’s just something about the majesty of the nature in our National Parks that makes me so thankful that these pieces of earth were set aside and preserved for us and future generations.

I’m so glad that we’ve had a chance to visit many of these parks and to take our children there. I look forward to someday being able to share them with our grandkids as well.

Did you realize that there are almost 400 National Parks and Monuments? Wow! Here are a few of the parks that we’ve visited that will be covered in the series, with links to more info about each one:

Acadia (Maine)
Denali (Alaska)
Grand Canyon (Arizona)
Yellowstone (Wyoming)
Yosemite (California)

And here’s a link to a list of all of them. See how many you’ve visited. What’s your favorite? I know it’s hard to choose.

One of mine is probably Yellowstone because of the wide variety of things to see and the sheer size of the park.

I also love the rustic architecture in the parks. Someday, I’d love to be abel to stay at all the different lodges in the parks.

I hope you’ve had a chance to visit the National Parks in your area and beyond…if not, please make a point to go and take your family. You won’t regret it!

Coffee Cup History – Continued…

I’m sure this coffee cup will be familiar to you. It’s from “Friends“, the TV Show.

I bought this cup at NBC studios when I had a chance to go to a taping of the show with one of my own friends (Kathy Oatey). We were there in one of it’s last seasons in production. It was a special privilege to see the cast and their relationships with each other in real life while on the set. There were many laughs and a long night of taping, but I’m happy that I had the chance to witness that little bit of history.

Garage Cleaning & Coffee Cup History

As is the tradition in the Hann household, Monday holidays are reserved for big projects at home. Not that it’s a requirement, but it just seems to work out that way. So, I didn’t mention it, but sometime last year (we think it was Memorial Day) Terry and I painted the inside of the garage before it got too hot to be in there.

We knew the garage needed a thorough cleaning and organizing, but I wanted the walls to be painted and in better shape before we got everything organized and put away. Besides, I KNEW that it would probably be decades before we ever did anything with it again.

So, nearly 9 months ago we pulled all the stacks of boxes, decorations, yard tools, camping gear, old paint cans and junk away from the walls and painted everything. We used a couple of cans of “Oops” paint so it doesn’t all match exactly, but it’s close enough for a garage and looks MUCH better than the old dirty white paint that was probably done when the house was built. The photo at the top is pretty much what it has looked like since then. We had just enough of a path from the front to the back to get thru if we needed to, but really no space or order to accomplish anything in there.

Since last May, we somehow just couldn’t find a full day to work on the next step, which was the organizing. Finally we were motivated to get some things together for our nephew, Daniel’s fund raising yard sale (which is this weekend) so on President’s Day we were able to get to it.

The 2nd pic is what it looks like now. We add more shelves and got rid of some stuff, and were able to get about 99% finished with just a few more racks to hang, but it looks and functions so much better. We’re actually thinking that we may be able to park a car in there soon! Wow!

So this brings us to the coffee cups. Some of you know that I used to collect coffee mugs back in the 70’s and 80’s before many of them were broken in the 1994 Northridge earthquake. I never counted exactly how many I had, but it was probably somewhere in the range of 200. I used to have many of them hanging on pegs around the top of our kitchen and dining room and many fell during the earthquake. It was quite a mess!

So after that, since we still lived in earthquake country, I decided to collect something a little less breakable (like birdhouses). Now I don’t really collect anything specifically (except pictures).

Anyway, when we were cleaning the garage, I decided to go thru several crates of coffee mugs to see if I could whittle down the collection that I kept. I decided to just keep mugs that had personal significance, like belonging to someone who had passed on, or had historical significance, with dates or memorable info on the mug (like the ones I’ll blog about). I have several others that I’ll post later, but since I’ve been so long winded today, I’ll start with just one.

This is from a restaurant named Sambo’s. Do you remember it? It was a coffee shop, like a Denny’s or Bob’s Big Boy-type place. The tops of their walls were covered with murals from the story “Little Black Sambo“. (Did you have that book growing up?) I don’t remember the specifics of the story, but I seem to recall that it wasn’t very politically correct, which apparently led to the end of the restaurant chain.

I was amazed to discover that the original Sambo’s wasn’t really even named after the book and that the founding restaurant is still open in Santa Barbara. We’ll have to visit sometime.

The Sambo’s I spent the most time in, was the one that was on Indian School and around 28th Street in Phoenix. That’s the one that was closest to our church, “Open Door Fellowship” (now in a different location) and the outreach ministry “Hand in Hand“. Large groups of high school and college age kids would migrate to Sambo’s. We would drink gallons and gallons of coffee mostly and sometimes scrape together a few bucks to get a salad or fries. If we were really rich, we’d actually get a burger! I’m sure the servers dreaded having to wait on us, because we were all poor and no matter how much we wanted to, never tipped very well. We had some deep and meaningful conversations there and I got to know many who are still my friends today, including my husband (before he was even my boyfriend).

I have wonderful memories of those times when we could just sit and chat for hours on end till well into the night or the wee hours of the morning. What a precious season that was…

Another one of our talented friends:
(I worked with Allen for a few years when we lived in California.)

Here’s a message he wanted me to pass along to my friends. That’s you.

I wanted to send out this general message to everyone to publish the fact that I will be returning to television beginning this fall. Some of you know that I am the Producer for the nationally-syndicated remodeling show, Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford ®. Our tenth season of airing nationally kicks off the first week of October and I will be co-hosting the show. You can check out the company web site at and click on the “Today’s Homeowner” link on the far left side to see a list of the 9th season shows.
I also wanted to send out this message to see if anyone out there would like to submit a video question to be shown on the show. One of the new elements I’m incorporating into the 10th season is a segment called “Ask Danny.” Homeowners from across the country will send in a video (it can be a Windows Media File emailed to me) asking Danny a simple question on the trials of home ownership, such as why can’t I keep mold off the bathroom ceiling or how can I save more on my energy bill, etc. I can email anyone an example showing you the first question of the 10th season from Jan Prouty of Irvine, KY (by way of Mobile, AL).
At any rate, if you could spread the word among your friends, I’d love to start processing some of these questions right away. For those whose questions are used on the air, we’ll be sending you a Today’s Homeowner cap or T-shirt. So get your camcorders out and tape a question (must be under 10 seconds) and email it to me at !

Please tune in for the show. You can check the local listings for your area on our web site, too. Or, if it doesn’t come on wherever you happen to live, we’ll be having the full episodes online the week after they air nationally.