Our Very First Home In California

When we first moved to California in 1961 we lived in a motel until we could get military housing on Camp Pendleton. We had left our belongings with hubs' parents and didn't get them for a couple of years so we basically had to start from scratch. We went to a local hardware store and bought 2 plates, 1 mug because I didn't drink coffee and we only needed one, 2 forks, 2 knives and one spoon as I didn't need a spoon. We had to be frugal. We somehow had a radio and I listened to that all day long. It was very boring for several weeks before we got housing.

Then we received word we had a place to live in on base—a trailer that slept four people. That's one bedroom and a fold-down sofa with a tiny kitchen and a tiny bathroom that we couldn't get in together. The shower was the bathroom. We were thrilled to get it even if it was tiny. We even had a clothesline though. Geraniums lined our little path from the street and we loved it.

Then a couple of months later our plumbing backed up and since there weren't any 4 sleeper trailers, we were given a 6 sleeper trailer. We loved the extra bed. We didn't qualify but since I was pregnant and would have our daughter soon they let us "upgrade" to that trailer. We were stylin' then!

When we were still in the motel room we lived just a few blocks from the beach and I remember we walked along the beach on Christmas day. It was wonderful. And the very first thing we noticed when we arrived on the train was the orange trees and the smell. It truly did smell like orange blossoms. To this day when I smell the orange blossoms, I remember stepping off that train.

We looked at rentals on the beach but they were so far out of our budget it wasn't even funny. I think they were $125 a month. Today they're probably that for 1/2 a day! But we loved it. We were so young and stupid then. ;-) Much wiser now.

A quilted-type sofa.

Notice th' rug...th' rug!!!

Darling wall sconce. See what you can do with a little imagination!

Another gorgeous decorated bottle.

Another quilted-type sofa.

Elegant living room staircase.

Another cute sofa.

Bavarian homes.

I really do like that pinkish counter top.

Requisite roses. ;-)

Beautiful living room.

I love this old mannequin with the handmade roses on it.

Christie Repasy is one of my favorite artists. I wish we lived near enough to her to attend her Flea Markets.

Sweet little shop in Europe

Love this darling chair and the homeowner was very brave in her colors.
In Chico, California, the city council enacted a ban on nuclear weapons, setting a $500 fine for anyone detonating one within city limits. (Your tax dollars at work.)

My Answer To Hubby's Questions

Even though my hubby is wonderful, there are a few things that irritate me to no end. One of them is this: When he's away from home during the day, sometimes teaching a class and sometimes volunteering for something, he'll call me when he's on his way home. He's very good about keeping in contact so when he occasionally forgets, I get worried, but that's not common. Anyway, it's gotten to the point of this discussion verbatim.

He: I'm on my way home.
Me: Good. Drive carefully.
He: What's for dinner? (Can you hear my teeth grinding here now?)
Me: Not sure. But be prepared to travel. (Dine out, get it?)

Another thing is when we eat out he never, ever leaves enough food on his plate to bring home. For me, most dinners out at a restaurant are at least two dinners, not for th' hubs. He eats it all. Incomprehensible to me how someone can eat all that food on the plate.

Another thing is dessert. Usually I don't order dessert, but when I do, I don't share. I tell this to hubs beforehand. Invariably, he'll try to take a bite of my Black Tie Mousse Cake at Olive Garden. The last time he tried that I snatched it away so fast it almost flew over my shoulder into the wall! I said I don't share dessert. Of course, there have been times when we're trying to lost a bit of weight that we order dessert and eat it together but the waitress cuts it in half for us so there's no fight. (This one waitress at Olive Garden knows us well. ;-) ) When I'm as hungry as a painted cannibal coming off a fast, you do NOT want to mess with my food.

He graciously helps me make our bed now that he's retired. I never really asked him to do it but with the things I've gone through this past year he just does it or helps me. So, here's the conversation:
Me: Make sure you have enough blanket on your side.
He: I do.
Me: I think the quilted bedspread needs to come over to my side a bit. Get the 3rd ruffle even with the edge.
He: No, it's perfect.
Me: I'll tell you when it's perfect. ;-)

I think I'd better stop while I'm ahead here on this discussion. ;-)

I was on the treadmill the other day and had the radio on out in the garage while walking. I couldn't believe it but I heard a commercial for borrowing money. It was pretty much the ones you hear with low or no interest if repaid by a certain time. It had a few more creative things, which I can't remember now. But when it gave out the name and phone number, I was stunned. It was an Indian Casino! Since Indian reservations are sovereign nations they don't pay taxes and can do pretty much what they want, but that was a new one for me.

If you are ever in London, this is the place you want to visit for yummy cakes.

Clever idea using vintage wallpaper.

Beautiful vignette using perfume bottles.

I used this photo to do one of my own. I had all the basics and didn't have to buy a thing. I love mine! You can do this also.

A gorgeous living room. Love just about everything about it. I'd put in pink of course.

Stunning winter display.

Vintage tins.

A magnetic tray.

Old doors set up in a garden. Lovin' it!

Pretty office in an old loft.

Beautiful ranunculaceous.

Pretty pink clock.

I fashioned the chandelier in my dining room after this one. A few differences but I couldn't find the chandelier shades like this one has. Had to adjust my thinking!

Darling, darling home office out of a closet.

Love these old trailers but don't want one or Love Bunny would insist I go camping and we all know how I feel about camping!

Walter Anderson's two claims to fame: inventing the hamburger bun and co-founding White Castle.

A Few Stories About San Diego

In the mid sixties we lived in San Diego. I loved San Diego. Hubs was a Marine drill instructor at Marine Corps Recruit Depot and used to come home with the weirdest stories. He and our son, who was also a Marine, would sit and tell stories in the later years and we would laugh and laugh together till tears rolled down our cheeks. It's really fun sitting and listening to those two talk about the Marines.

He came home with a story about the new recruits. When they would arrive they had to send every single thing on their body, except a wedding ring and a watch, home to their folks.

Hubs told me about young men arriving there on the bus without shoes even. Some had never even worn them. Some had never worn a belt. They were then immediately taken to have their heads shaved. He said once there was a kid with an open sore/cut on his head full of lice. There were other stories I'll have him tell me and post here again later, but that's the few I remember at this point. We're talking really "green" recruits, first time away from home.

He also came home one day with lice. Yes, lice! I discovered them on me one evening and since we had never had them even as children I didn't know what was crawling on me. Hubs, being a Marine and having been versed on those kinds of things as all military men are, knew immediately what those tiny things were. I was appalled and in shock and couldn't sleep that night. But the next day he went to the base and got medicine for both of us. We also stripped all the beds in the apartment and went to the laundromat that night. We figured he got them from the toilets at the base because we were both faithful to each other and, after checking our two kids, didn't find any on them but they weren't even school age then. He was much more careful after that.

But we lived across from MCRD and near a small Mexican take-out-type restaurant that sold taquitos for ten for a dollar. Actually, at that time we could get tacos at Tico's Tacos ten for a dollar also. But I'd run down there in the next block and buy them for me and the kids all the time.

That small house was backed by a huge hill with a retaining wall that came tumbling down in a terrific roar during some heavy rains one year. If my kids had been out there, they very likely would have been hurt at the least. It also sent a huge wood beam through our bedroom in the back of the house. The landlord lowered the rent for us but we had to find another place relatively soon. So we moved up to a house near Kensington. It was fun living in that house because it was bigger than any place we'd lived in previously in a real neighborhood and was close to Mission Valley, which was great shopping for us then, even if we were too poor to buy much.

One day my cousins and I decided to go downtown San Diego. We just wanted to window shop. We dressed in nice pants but a policeman stopped us downtown and told us pants were inappropriate for downtown! We were floored and embarrassed. San Diego is a tourist town with a Navy base and a Marine base in it. We couldn't believe the policeman. I think he might have been flirting but here I was a mother of two kids and didn't even think about someone flirting with us but it was inconceivable that we weren't dressed "appropriately" for a beach town. I imagine now they go into town in their bikinis with the way things have changed! We're going down there next year for a convention and I can't wait to see how things are. We were down there a few years ago at UC San Diego when our grandson was going to school there.

This is an antique servants bell. I think it's beautiful.

A beautifully clean street somewhere in western Europe.

Glittery handmade flowers with jewelry in the centers.

Just a bit of froufrou today.

This looks like it was or is a porch by the looks of the walls but it's beautiful just as a living room also.

Cute idea for extra cups around the house.

Italian coastline.

More eye candy but actually real so you can eat it!

Lovely arrangement for a cookie party.

Another darling birdhouse.

I couldn't tell if these were fabric or edible but they're fantastic looking no matter what.

Another beautiful road in Europe somewhere.

I thought this was a decorated bottle but it's a jewel with more jewelry around it. Stunning. Maybe it's a pin.

Wish I had a sign like this for my front porch.

Just some romantic roses and peonies.

Conakry, Guinea, in West Africa, is the world's wettest capital city with over 12 feet of rain per year.

Jubilee Furniture Friday update for February 22nd!

I received a call last week from someone who had seen the Jubilee Furniture truck and was curious as to who we were and what we did. I love talking about both Jubilee Furniture and Outreach Community Ministries and so happily started doing so when this caller interrupted me with…

“Did you say you have service sites in Wheaton, Warrenville and Carol Stream?”

“Yes I did.”

“HA – that’s ridiculous!  Those are wealthy communities with little to no need for any help.”

“Actually, though there are areas of great wealth in DuPage County there are also…”

“Thank you for your time.”

As I sat amazed that I had just been hung up on I also found myself mad that I couldn’t explain how great the need really is and how important every donation* and every sale is.

In the last year Outreach helped:

  • stabilize 1,532 families in crisis
  • 423 at-risk youth engaged in positive activities
  • 2,156 people attend community events

And the hardest part of these statistics are the larger number of those we couldn’t help due to lack of funds.

We aren’t lacking anything at the furniture store this week!  Inventory is large and selection is fabulous!  Don’t let a little snow stop you from coming in either today from 1 to 8 or tomorrow from 9 to 4!

What follows are photos of SOME of the new-to-us furniture which was donated this week:

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totally fun animal print fabric covered chaise in excellent condition priced $195

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and another animal print fabric on this ottoman priced $35

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sweet round side table – there are two of them – priced $25 each

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wicker and metal wine rack for $25

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gorgeous table priced $95

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here’s another really interesting table – the top lifts for easy storage – though who’d want to store such a pretty table, I don’t know! – can anyone tell me what the holes around the perimeter of the table top are for? – priced $175

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super nice Child Craft dresser priced $135

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two 7’ tall (30” wide) bookcases  priced $75 each (Tricia – these are the ones I emailed you about)

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nice trestle table with one leaf – top has some damage – priced $95

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there’s something about this square coffee table that I love – priced $40

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I labeled this neat piece “half of a sofa” and priced it $75

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fabulous credenza – would make an excellent media cabinet – priced $145

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very pretty blue sofa for $195; matching chair for $95; black painted night stands (there are two of them showing back-to-back in this photo – missing some hardware) priced $85 each

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oak barrister bookcase priced $135

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here’s another cool piece that I’m not 100% sure what it is – it’s heavy, the round pieces are made of stone (granite?) and the metal supporting them is also heavy – one of my volunteers thinks it’s a plant stand and I couldn’t come up with anything better – so plant stand it is! – priced $50

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amazing retro side chairs priced $85 each

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cool round end table with glass top for $40

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café height table with one leaf and four chairs priced $245

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IKEA desk/table with half moon piece that can be placed anywhere on the surface (in other words, it’s not attached to the top) priced $65

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gorgeous dresser with hinged mirror in top drawer – priced $195

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glass topped sofa or hall table priced $75; magazine holder for $3

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two zero gravity outdoor chaises for $45 each; four nice stackable outdoor chairs for $80 for all four

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Weber Spirit gas grill priced $75 – retails for $399 and our price includes a cover which retails for $50!  Clean this puppy up and you have a very nice grill!

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nice table with one leaf priced $125

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lovely make-up table for $80

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cool wingback chairs priced $75 each

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we received some neat artwork this week – this piece is priced $35

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very nice table, one leaf and four chairs for $195

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I love the colors of this sleeper sofa for $135

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wonderful leather rocker/recliner with fabulous nail-head trim – but, oh no!, one of the seams is coming undone! – priced $85

If only my caller had stayed on the line a bit longer I could have convinced him of the big need within Carol Stream, Wheaton and Warrenville for the programs and services offered through Outreach Community Center, Wheaton Youth Outreach and Warrenville Youth and Family Services (the three service sites under the Outreach Community Ministries umbrella).

I could have wowed him with the fact that each month at Jubilee Furniture :

  • volunteers average 500 hours of work
  • our warehouse guys make – on average –  95 donation pickups


  • People believe in the work of Outreach
  • You can make a difference – and collectively that can be huge
  • The free cookies

What?!  You thought it was all self-sacrificing, dear reader? 

* though I appreciate every call – we do screen our donations looking for furniture and household items which fall into a good-to-excellent category and do not accept all donations.  Click here for a list of “no, thank you”s.

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