Dec 31, 2008

Big Bear Vacation

We had a wonderful week in Big Bear with Claire's extended family. We played games, shopped, laid around and caught up on the happenings of the last year.

One of the shops in Big Bear that we have become fond of over the past 3 visits is the Art Gallery of Timothy Wolcott. I was drawn to Tim's photographs the first time I stepped foot in his small gallery on the main street in Big Bear. The photos, upon first looks, seem to be "lit" from behind by a light source within the frame. But, it's just natural beauty caught at the perfect moment by Tim Wolcott.

This year, we couldn't leave without one. We decided on a newer piece that the gallery hasn't even put into full print yet. The copy we have is an Artist's Proof and is entitled "Forest Tranquility". The photo was taken by Tim in Sequoia National Forest in June of this year, 2008. This valley has a hidden abundance of Dogwoods that don't normally grow at this altitude, so it was a pleasant surprise and apparently photo worthy. The photo is actually 7 photos spliced flawlessly together to give you a 180 degree view and the detail is unlike anything I have ever seen. Tim is using a cutting edge technology to print these photos and his techniques will actually be showcased in a PBS TV special airing in November. We were so impressed with the quality of work and Tim's patience in helping us choose the perfect piece that we can't wait to go back next year to possibly pick out another piece.

We just got it hung up in our living room on the blank wall that we have been looking to fill for over a year. This photo doesn't do it justice, so we encourage you to come over for dinner and to have a closer look.

Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year.

Dec 17, 2008

30 !!

Unfortunately the Postal Store I carried my jewelry in changed owners and the new owners don't want any gift items anymore. SO I decided to add what I had in the store to my website for everyone to enjoy! I just added 30 more items and there are more to come!

Buy Handmade

Dec 5, 2008

Hale Centre Theatre

This past Valentines Day Tyler gave us season tickets to Hale Centre Theater! It has been so fun going to this small local theater! I dont think there is a bad seat in the house! Here is what we saw:
Singin' In the Rain (Mar 22)
Man with the Pointed Toes (May 10)
Dear Ruth (Jun 7)
The Music Man (Aug 2)
Wait Until Dark (Oct 4)
Camelot (Nov 8)
A Christmas Carol (Dec 5)

For more info:

Jun 6, 2008

Small Favor?

Dear Friends and Family...and future customers!

I have a promotional give away that you might (read: BETTER) be interested in. I recently purchased a handful of car window decals. I have placed them on both of our cars; Tyler is super excited about them on the 4Runner :)

I have 15 smaller stickers available for give away. Here is the deal; the first 15 people who reply to this email (there are 90 people getting this email) and are willing to put my sticker on the back window of their car will receive a FREE pendant, the pendants are made on the back of a scrabble piece and are really nice! These will be retailing in my store for $6 without a ribbon, or $8 with the ribbon. I will send you the pendant and ribbon Free of charge...even shipping is free! Do you get the deal, FREE!!! Here is the stipulation, you must place the sticker on your car, and then you have to email me a photo of the sticker on your car before I ship your necklace.

The first 15 people get the deal, if I have enough interest I will consider more stickers, but they aren't cheap! Just email me at ( with your address you want the sticker sent to and it will be on its way!

Thanks! Claire

May 24, 2008


I would like to introduce the newest member of our family, Topo, pronounced Toe Poe, as in Topographic Map.

Here is a long story with a happy ending. Since the hike with Nelius, Tyler has been wanting to replace Issy with a new hiking partner (a tough task since she such a great hiking partner). Tyler has been visiting the humane society on a regular basis and had our friend who works there keeping an eye out for a dog that would make a good hiker. Tyler went into the shelter in north Phoenix early this week to check out a couple candidates in the "Hospital Kennels" (which means they had just come in to the shelter, and weren't available for adoption, or for the public to see). In the hospital kennel Tyler spotted a 2 month old Border Collie puppy that had come in as a stray. It looked perfect, but he wanted to check the other shelter first.

Fast forward two days. Tyler went into the south Phoenix shelter and found another dog that seemed like a perfect fit. We even went through the dog introductions with this candidate. Over a night of "thinking about it", we went in yesterday morning to pick up our new dog. To our surprise and disappointment it had been adopted the night before while we were "thinking about it". Unbelievable. The lady at the front, who knew Tyler from his frequent visits said there were 7 more dogs coming in from North Phoenix any minute and that we were welcome to wait for them and see if any of those appealed to us.

Claire spotted him first, and said she thought she might have a winner. When I walked up to the kennel I couldn't believe it. There staring back at me was the 2 month old Border Collie I had seen a few days earlier at the other shelter. He had just come off the truck from the North Phoenix shelter and they hadn't even posted his paperwork yet. It was meant to be.

We adopted him yesterday from the Humane Society. We made his birthday March 23, 08 but he could be anywhere from 2-3 months old. His paper work said "dog came to house, could not keep, friendly with dogs, cats and children". He slept in the kennel last night and didn't have one accident or make one peep!

Now it's time to strap a back pack on him and get him into hiking mode!

May 12, 2008

Even the animals like the trailer!

We had to drag him out. I think he might be just as obsessed about the trailer as the 4Runner. Bentley loves it!

another touch up on Pop Up

We added carpet to cover the old 80's vinyl flooring and what a difference! Now Claire would like to figure out how to replace the orange curtains and paint the cabinets and it will look like new!

May 10, 2008

Bulldog pot

Ok So most of you know we love Bulldogs and I found this unique pot out shopping one day and couldnt resist! I probably carried it around the store for 15 minutes just trying to figure out where it would look ok in the house so I could buy it :) At first it I thought it could go in our London themed bathroom but when I got home I saw my bamboo plant in the corner of our kitchen and thought that would be cute there! It was such a great find, that I just had to share!

May 8, 2008

Pop Up Update

Well, the last two days have been productive! In my opinion, this thing is ready to go camping! We should have time to get a few more things completed before we leave for our first outing. Yesterday I redid the water system from the ground up, new tank, new hoses, works perfect now. I also updated the propane tank, regulator and hoses. So we can cook and do dishes now.

Today we went out and purchased of the things that was farther down the "to-do" list, but it go rushed to the front when we found a super cheap fabric store in Tempe. We went with a fabric that we thought was both exciting, but didn't kill the resale value if we decide to part with the trailer down the road. All we have done so far are the dinette sets. We bought a nice solid khaki color for the beds, but that fabric is being shipped to Idaho were my Grandpa is going to sew new bed panels for us. Here are some photos of the before and after photos over the last couple days.

note: I don't have before and after photos of everything, like the water and propane.



May 7, 2008

1980 Coleman Saratoga Limited

Claire and I decided that after several years of talking about it to pull the trigger, and buy our first RV. It's a 1980 Coleman Saratoga Limited. Amenities include a sink (hand pumped water), 3 burner propane stove, and interior and exterior lights. It sleeps 8 people! A king bed on one end, a queen on the other, and then there are two dinette tables that each fold down into a full/twin. It's not much to look at, but for $500 we didn't expect much! It needs a serious bath on the inside and outside, as well as new tires, new propane tank, and a little canvas work but nothing that we can't handle! It's perfect for us! We bought it from a family that had bought it in 1981 after the original owner only took it out a few times. It has been handed around their family and used on and off over the years, with the last outing being about 5 years ago. It's time to get it back out and in use. I will get some pictures of it set up tomorrow when we start cleaning. Here are some teaser photos from tonight. We take it out on it's maiden voyage May 17th. We have that long to get it road worthy.

Apr 6, 2008

They made it!

Well Tyler and Uncle Nelius made it home safe and sound Sunday night. Here is Tyler's narrative on his hiking experience...

I have been pondering the best way to share our experiences on this hike, and I figured an email with 150 photos attached would be boring. So I spent most of the day creating a blog. It's long, but hopefully entertaining and thorough. Feel free to pass it along to anyone that you would like to, hopefully next year we can add onto it with another hike!

Here is the website:

Apr 5, 2008

New Update on their Hiking Trip

I received another phone call today from Tyler. They were at an actual camp ground and they were thinking they might stay there tonight so they could have a fire for the first time. I believe Tyler said they hiked 16 miles today and a good portion of it had a view of a lake so it was nice. He said they weather couldn't have been better with blue skies. He said is it taking lots of photos so we will post those later. They only have 12 or 13 miles left until they get to the car so they will be home late Sunday. They both are healthy and doing fine and I'm sure we will hear more stories later, but I just wanted to let you all know they were doing ok. I will let you know when I hear from them tomorrow!

Apr 4, 2008

Update on Tyler and Nelius's Hiking trip!

Well I got a phone call today from Tyler saying they were having a great time! They hiked about 12 miles yesterday and were sitting near a water damn when he called. He said everything they brought it working out fine (except he brought my hiking pants instead of his) and that the weather was great so far!

From the map below they started at Van Dusen Canyon Rd and were at Deep Creek Hot Springs tonight. So far they are on track! I don't know if the picture below is 100% accurate but it looks as if they are already half way tonight! Good job guys!

Here is a picture I got on my phone today of Uncle Nelius...

Apr 3, 2008

Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail

At this very moment Tyler and my Uncle Nelius are hiking part of the Pacific Crest Trail. They will be doing about 50 miles in 4 days, starting in Big Bear, CA and ending near Pasadena, CA. I believe it has been a dream to do the PCT of U. Nelius's and Tyler is excited about doing this big of a trip. I know they both bought and made new equipment that would be light weight enough and warm enough and are excited. They headed out this morning (Thursday, 4/2) and will hopefully be arriving either Sunday or Monday. I believe they spend on taking a half day to visit some hot springs sometime during their trip too. I assume Tyler will update this when he gets back with photos and more but wanted your prayer request for their safety! I believe this is a picture of the part of trail they will be hiking... If I hear any news I will be sure to post it too!

Mar 25, 2008


This year for Easter my parents were able to join us in sunny Arizona!! We kept them busy by going to a local theater and saw Singing in the Rain, going to a Mariners Spring Training game on Easter day, hiked up Squaw Peak (The route is 1.25 miles one-way to the top, with about 1,200 feet of gain, for an overall consistent grade.) and much more. They even helped Tyler and I take a large (or Zoo like) family photo!

Mar 6, 2008

Back to the puppy store for Claire!

Well I have decided that I am going to go back to work at the puppy store (Animal Kingdom). At Protection One I had a commute of at least an hour each direction and that was tolling. I am happy to go back and work for Oscar once again and assume my old position of Assistant Manager. My last day at Protection One is March 4 and my first day at the store is March 6th. I decided to give myself a little break on my birthday :) Below is a picture of the hike Tinker and I did in celebration on my special day. I think I even got a little sun burnt, but luckily my Scandinavian skin was a nice tan the next day.

Feb 26, 2008

RIP Ryan Keith Jones

Ryan left this earth on February 26th, 2008 at the age of 27 in Tempe, AZ. Born May 12th, 1980 in Seattle, Ryan grew up in Bellevue attending Chinook Middle School and Bellevue High School. He attended college at Central Washington University and Arizona State University.

Ryan is survived by his parents Genie and Terry, sister Kylee, brother Dustin, "Brother" Uncle Shawn, niece Kavara, nephew Kovey and the absolute love of his life, his son Caiden. Ryan has extensive family and friends from Washington, British Columbia, Ellensburg, Arizona and Florida that are all incredibly important to Ryan and are all deeply saddened by his passing.

Ryan's main occupation in life was to make people have fun. He loved his family, the beach, the sun, mountain-boarding, music, a good party and animals of all types.

Ryan was our roommate since end of October 2007. Ryan decided to accepted the invitation to come live with us after a long year or two in WA. For some reason it seemed that Ryan always listened to what Tyler had to say so it seemed to be a good fit for him to join us. He was a great friend of Tyler's throughout college and afterwards as well. He was an usher at our wedding and also caught my garter at our wedding. The great memories are way to many to count and he always could put a smile on your face.

A note from Tyler to Ryan on his myspace...
Last night you were driven to an act that I will never understand, and I'm sorry it happened. I feel like I did every thing I could to help you better your situation, and get on a path to success. I hope you know that everything I did was just the surface of what I would have done for you. You have been a very close friend of mine, and I have always been here to support you, and motivate you. I will miss you, I will miss the good times, and I will always wonder what could have been. Wherever you are now, I hope you are happy, I hope you can see the love everyone has for you, I hope you can watch out for your son, I hope you can be stress free and not worry about some of the tough hands you have been dealt throughout life. You are missed my friend. And the song "Apologize" will forever have a different tone after today. Rest in peace my friend, I will see you someday...and we will mountain board the biggest mountain the heavens have to offer. -Tyler

Feb 20, 2008

Camelback Mtn

Well Claire, Candace and Tinker decided to explore Phoenix City park trails and did the summit trail on Camelback Mountain.

Camelback Mountain towers above Phoenix and Scottsdale, is a well-known and prominent landmark. The 2,704-foot peak, the highest point in the Phoenix Mountains, is a two-summited mountain that looks like a kneeling camel to the imaginative eye. The higher, eastern summit forms the camel’s hump, while the lower summit to the west is called The Head. The mountain and its hiking trails are easily accessible, offering a quick getaway that feels far from Phoenix’s teeming freeways. The 1.2-mile Summit Trail, one of the most popular hikes in the area, is a steep, well-maintained path that climbs to the summit of Camelback Mountain.

Feb 18, 2008

Tyler Matney is promoted to West Region Sales Trainer

To: West Region
From: Vice President Residential Sales

RE: Tyler Matney is promoted to West Region Sales Trainer

We are pleased to announce that Tyler Matney has been promoted to the position of Sales Trainer for the West Region.

Tyler has been with Protection One as an FCR in the Phoenix Branch since July of 2006. Prior to joining Protection One he spent almost four years with United Natural Foods in sales, sales management and national accounts. He graduated from Central Washington University in 2003 with a BA in Psychology.

Tyler lives in Phoenix with his wife Claire where they spend their spare time enjoying the outdoors by hiking and camping.

Tyler will report directly to Jim Boots, Vice President Residential Sales.

Please join us in congratulating Tyler on his promotion to the West Region Sales Trainer. We are very excited about the positive impact he has already had on his region and are confident that he will continue to be a great asset to the Protection One team.

Jan 13, 2008

Rock N Roll Marathon

Nicole came out to AZ to run the Rock N Roll PF Chang's Marathon and Candace and I went to cheer her on. Nicole ran the 18+ miles in 3hrs and 45min. Go Nicole!
These races always amaze me how many people actually race and how many actually follow their friends/family and cheer them on. The picture below is a little pre-run celebration at Salty's Senoritas.

Jan 12, 2008

RIP Issy

Well this is definitely not a dog year for us! I am sadly posting to inform everyone how important Parvo shots are for puppy's! Unfortunately, Issy our Australian Shepherd passed away from Parvo. It was a scary couple of days trying to figure out what was wrong and then a few stressful days of up and downs while she was at the vet getting treated. It started off when we noticed her acting weird and throwing up in her kennel at night. Tyler took her to the vet and since we had just taken her hiking he thought she had Guardia. We gave her medicine for that and when I got home that same night I could tell she wasn't her normal happy self. So I called the vet and explained she was very tired and wasn't eating and so we made a vet appointment the next day. Guardia medicine shouldn't make a dog extremely tired, if it has any reaction the vet said it should make her more hyper. So I put her in our master bath room and separated her from our other 2 dogs not knowing what was going on or if it was contagious. I spent that whole night on the bathroom floor trying to comfort her and trying to get her to drink and or eat. I was making everything from boiled chicken and rice to giving her some baby food. I think what I made for her was nicer then what I made for myself that day and she still wouldn't eat it! So after a long night I stayed home from work and took her to the vet appointment later that afternoon. As soon as I got their and gave her what I could of a stool sample, they tested her for Parvo and she was strongly positive and was immediately taken in the back and was hospitalize. Parvo can be a fatal virus and we were hoping she would recover since she was an older dog. Everyone I talked to said this years Parvo virus was nastier then before and it was just getting puppies anymore. Issy was almost 2 and got it so I hope this inspires others to get the Parvo vaccine if they haven't already. Issy was there for 3 days and didnt make it through the last night. Tyler and I got a phone call early the following morning with the sad news.
Issy was a great hiking companion for Tyler and was a great lap dog as well. Even though we only had her for a few short months she was a very loving caring dog. She would smile at you and play none stop. She loved playing with her balls and getting attention. She is still missed greatly and will be remembered forever!

Jan 1, 2008

Silver Dapple is now in business!

Its official!
I am now the official owner and president of Silver Dapple Jewelry! Website should be up soon!