Thursday, August 26, 2010

Living the "EXTREME" - Part 2

Okay now.... Where was I?...

EXTREME ADVENTURE #4 - The Print Predicament

It's Sunday evening. Erica (field producer) asks if Randy will be available at 10:00 in the morning to be filmed with the visiting music artist, Kylie Mignon. Randy's finished prints are ready for pick up at Pixel's in Salt Lake and need to be to Pocatello and Lisa Marie's design department by 10:00 in the morning also. Hmmm... We need help!

We called our son, Michael. No problem, he would pick up the prints and drive them up himself early the next morning.

He and his cute little family arrived with time to spare.
Thanks for coming to our rescue, Michael!

The three canvas wrap prints EMHE selected looked great!

"Michael, where are the other four mounted prints?"
"What mounted prints? This is all Ray gave us? We didn't know there were more!"

(Phone call to Pixels)

"They're ready and waiting at the store in Salt Lake. Ray didn't know about them last night."
Hmmm... We needed help... AGAIN!

We called our daughter Emily who was just heading out the door to go camping in the Uintas with her new husband, Joe. "We can pick them up! We'll just go camping in Idaho instead. Do you know where your dutch oven is?"

We knew just the place for them to go camping! Scout Mountain! :o)

They were in Pocatello by 2:00.
With the other four very stunning mounted prints.
Maybe seeing Randy's name on these prints will make Jane feel more at home.

We took Emily and Joe to see the house and they were immediately put to work hauling wood away. They didn't mind a bit - they were excited to help.

The Not So EXTREME (but we didn't mind) ADVENTURE #5 - The Time that Got Away

The filming with Kylie? We had to stick around all day for Randy's moment in time... So we just watched all the other segments being filmed.

Who can compete with dogs... Besides, it was Jane's dog, Betsy who alerted the kids as to the house fire!

Kylie visits with Ty about her own battle with Breast Cancer.

Jillian, Paul, and Ed are there too.

I spotted Aunt Marga'lee and Uncle Glen (Jane's parents) at the other end of the park and sprinted over to see them. Marga'lee has MY mother's mannerisms, and smile, and dimples. I hugged her like I would my own! I miss my sweet mother... I hope she is watching all of this!
Marga'lee was adorable and witty with Ty and Kylie. And Glen was as handsome and sweet and polite as ever.
Just being Goofy

As the day came to a close, it was evident that there was no time for Randy's second segment. And his first segued into the second, so the idea has probably been cut. But that's okay; the dogs will be "a keeper"!

By now the house was finished inside and out.

It was time to fill it with all kinds of surprises!

and that brings us to --

EXTREME ADVENTURE (that we happily shared with my brother) #6 - The Doggy Dilemma

Demetrius (an associate producer and the nicest young man ever) found us. He and Kathy (Family Producer) had been looking for us. They had a problem. Betsy, the family dog had been on vacation with Jane and children in Key West. She (the pup) could not fly on Jane's connecting flight in St. Paul because the cargo bay was not temperature controlled. Jane and family would fly into Idaho Falls at about 9:00 pm and Betsy would end up in Salt Lake at 11:20 pm. Jane had told Kathy, "I have cousins, Randy and Kathryn, who live in Salt Lake! Call them - they can pick Betsy up and bring her to us!" Demetrius told Kathy, "I know Kathryn and Randy and they aren't in Salt Lake, they're here! Jane doesn't know that!"

They asked if we would be willing to drive to Salt Lake by 11:20 pm, pick up Betsy, and drive back by early morning. I replied, "Let me make some phone calls; I think I can make this a little easier."

I had run out of children who could make the drive so I called my brother, Mark, and his puppy-loving wife, Alice. Mark is Jane's cousin too! and SO wanted to be a part of all this. I knew they would bend over backwards -- and they did. Kathy took down their information and booked them a room at the TownePlace Marriott (Jane's hotel). Kathy gave me a big hug and thanked me a million times.

Betsy and Family would be reunited by morning.

(Sorry I didn't get a picture of this; it all happened in the middle of the night and I was sleeping like a baby. ZZZZZZZZ I'll see if I can get a picture of Betsy tomorrow.)

EXTREME ADVENTURE #7 - Breakfast in the Mountains and "I don't think we're suppose to see you, Jane!"

Emily and Joe invited us to come up to Scout Mountain for Dutch Oven Gooey rolls. We invited dog rescuers, Mark and Alice to come along. We went across the way to the TownePlace Suites to pick them up.

I spotted Jane! She came through the front doors to take Betsy out. I opened the car door and darted out. Randy pulled the car visor down to hide and cried, "No! You can't do this! Jane isn't suppose to see anyone!" I didn't care. Who was going to stop me? We hugged and hugged. She looked SO good. Not frazzled or worried... just HAPPY!

I promise I didn't say ANYTHING! Mark and Alice soon joined us. Out came Daniel, Elizabeth, Kate, and Izzy... AND out came Kathy (you know... the family producer whose job is was to keep Jane and her family comfortable AND sequestered the entire time.) Her eyes got pretty big, but she just gave me another big hug and said, "I'm not worried."

We didn't stay long... Just long enough for Jane to tell us a few jaw-dropping stories about their adventures in Key West.

Emily was expecting us. And Randy was supposed to be back on set soon just in case they had time to film. (We knew it wouldn't happen. Today was a VERY BUSY and important day for them.)
Thanks for the gooey rolls, Emily!

EXTREME ADVENTURE #8 - Move that Bus!

Demetrius excorted us front and center. Jane's siblings, parents and daughter Adriane were already there as well as a crowd that stretched as far as the eye could see. Many had been in their places since 9:00 am and were already half-baked from the sun.

Randy was there until 1:00 then drove home for a couple of appointments. He was SO sorry to have to leave. He will be back to do architectural photos of the home tomorrow morning.
The film crew taped the crowd doing this and that for the next four hours while we awaited the family's arrival. I found my hands empty for the first time this week (We were asked to leave our big camera's in the car) so I busied myself when I could passing back bottles of water to a parched crowd and retrieving the empty ones.
Emily brought HER camera!

At 4:00 pm Jane and her children (and Betsy) pulled up in the Limo. From the moment I saw them step out, I cried like a baby. This is all for you, my sweet Jane! They looked so excited!

After what seemed forever they finally MOVED THAT BUS! I couldn't see as well as I had hoped because the crowd had kind of moved in by this point, but I stole this photo from Jane's Facebook Wall. It is Priceless!
Photo from Shellee Christiansen Leavitt - Facebook

They couldn't contain their excitement as they approached the front door. They waved and blew kisses to the crowd as they entered their new place. This is YOUR home, Jane! Isn't it amazing?

EXTREME ADVENTURE #9 - Inside Jane's New Home

It's Wednesday, August 25. The dust and crowds have cleared away. EMHE is packing up to move on to another city. John (Jane's brother) and his wife, Cindy out of the goodness of their hearts are re-sodding and beautifying all the trampled neighbor's yards. Each of Jane's children is being interviewed individually at another location. Camera Crews are filming the inside of the home. Randy has been asked to shoot some architectural still photos inside and out.

What fun to step inside. The interior is beautifully decorated.

Sorry... I'm not going to post photos until after the show airs. Do you think I want to spoil a great surprise?

I will give you just a sneak peak at a couple of walls.

We found Randy's prints in Daniel and Elijah's Room -

And in Ruth Ann and Elizabeth's room. The two outside prints are Randy's from our excursion to the Cherry Springs Nature Area. The inside one is Ruth Ann's own!

Sophie had finished her interview and was enjoying her new surroundings. I found her in the "music room" jamming with the show's host, Paul. They asked me to join them. I picked up the violin Bill had made and played along. It was a HOOT!

Jane, Noah, Sophie, Elizabeth, Ruth Anne, Daniel, Elijah, Isabelle, Kate, and Betsy will all be sleeping in their own home tonight. It's been a while.

It seems my heart has been warmed all week long --
  • When Bill told me about Sophie's cello
  • When I saw Aunt Marga'lee and smelled her familiar sweetness
  • When I saw thousands of volunteers giving all they had hour after hour
  • When Demetrius and Erica personally hugged us, thanked us, and gave us official EMHE sweatshirts.
  • When Cindy (Jane's sister-in-law) told me about the hand-made quilts she had given to Bill and Boris, the instrument makers
  • And about the song she and Jane had composed together for the family to sing for the camera crew.
  • And about how difficult this is going to be for Jane because she is such a "giver". She'll want to somehow repay everyone involved and that will be IMPOSSIBLE!
  • When I spotted Jane and her kids unexpectedly
  • When they moved the bus
  • When the family clung to each other as they entered the house
  • And I saw Betsy's tail wag
When you see the show... you'll cry... And so will I... again!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Living the "EXTREME"

I'm alone at the Hampton in Pocatello, reminiscing about an amazing week. We've been a part of something BIG and WONDERFUL and UNBELIEVABLE! (Not that our summer hasn't already been big and wonderful and unbelievable!) I'll explain...

My cousin Jane stays with us periodically when she comes to town. She has such an unbelievable story -- I've mentioned her in my blog before. She has been through SO MUCH! A couple of days ago it was announced that she would be the recipient of a new home through the TV network series

They were looking for a photographer. I wrote Randy a great bio and volunteered him immediately including his websight as a reference. The Associate Design Producer, Lisamarie, called within a day (anyone need a bio?) and asked Randy if he had any scenic photographs of Idaho. We both spent our growing up years and half of our married life in Idaho, for heaven's sake, and we didn't have ANY photos to speak of, so Randy replied, "Not many, but for Jane, I'll take some!" Lisa Marie was thrilled with the idea of his creating original photos just for this project. They would need the images in a day and a half.


Wednesday 8:30 PM. We made adjustments to our schedule and hopped in the car. It was pretty late to be making a road trip, but time was ticking and we needed to be in Stanley six hours away by sun-up.

Thursday 3:00 AM. We dragged into Stanley, Idaho at 3:00 AM. Rang the nightbell at the closest hotel, waking up the Hotel Manager's Husband, and happily spent the $95 to sleep three hours in a bed rather than our little squishy Civic. Randy was shocked that Frugal Freida here would agree to such a thing. But... you know...

6:00 AM. Up to catch the suns first morning rays, Randy was off to photograph Little Redfish and the Sawtooths.

The day was still young! Jane is from Eastern Idaho. We need to go there! We got the hair-brained idea to drive another 5 hours across the state.

Through Challis
photo by me (I do all the record-keeping kind)
With a stop to climb the hillside (watch where your step!)

For a more-than-ground view of a typical Idaho scene.

And on through Rexburg

photo by Me again
to Mesa Falls
and still another photo by me

ending the day in Idaho Falls
We watched the sun set on the Idaho Falls Temple, then made the 3 1/2 hour drive home. All in all I think we drove about 14 hours in a little over a day and hopefully captured something that would wow the powers that be.

EMHE needed the photos by 10:00 the next morning. They said they would call by the end of the day.

We waited...

No call.

We figured they had decided to go another direction. No problem. We had a great time getting away together for a day. And besides that - we could give them to Jane later anyway.

EXTREME ADVENTURE #2 - On the Hunt for the Perfect Shot

Randy received a message from Erica, the show's field producer, "Please call me back as soon as you can, I have an idea!"

They asked if he could be there that night. They would put us up in a hotel for a couple of days. We were packed up and in the car within minutes.

We dropped by the studio to pick up what Randy needed and received a message from Lisa Marie (design producer) as we were heading out the door. They needed seven images printed for the house and delivered by 10:00 Monday morning. This was getting tricky! Maybe the right hand (design department) wasn't quite aware of what the left hand (video department) was doing! We dropped the images off to Ray at Pixels and crossed our fingers.

We arrived at the Hampton Inn at about 6:00 pm.

Nice Room, huh?!

Randy was given his first assignment. Scout Mountain- Early Morning- Funky, Artsy Macro Shots.One would be used for daughter #2, Ruth Ann's, headboard. She's into photography. Please deliver by 10:00 am. And while you are at it, please find a good outdoorsy nature place to do some filming.

Cherry Springs Nature Area - Mission accomplished.

After all was said and done, we spotted this sign:
OH NO! We had been shooting all morning! :o)

Next assignment: Randy would be filmed "teaching" Jillian (former Bachelorette, now host of this show) how to shoot. Be ready at 10:00 am.

We were given official T-shirts, and Designer Guest Passes to give us free reign for the entire set, house, etc. We waited... and while we waited, we got our first glimpse of Artworld (that's where they create all the original pieces of furniture).

Found adorable Adriane there. She's Jane's oldest child. Jane has nine children - not just eight like they mention on the show. But Adriane is married now, so she couldn't be a part of it all. She is definitely a BIG part of the family. I'm sure she missed them like crazy this week.

Volunteers worked tirelessly around the clock. Jane requested the the windows and doors of her cottage house be salvaged. I think they created a wall or ceiling out of them... We shall see.

This is Bill and Boris. They are violin makers from Southern California. They were asked to restore two of the children's smoke-damaged instruments and ended up working on nine. They have been working 14-16 hours a day. Sophie's cello could not be helped so a foundation that Bill knew about donated a VERY FINE instrument. (I was told the value, but do not feel it is my privilege to disclose the information.) It is an amazing and unbelievable gift. Sophie is going to be thrilled to tears!

I played on Great Aunt Ralphene's restored violin. She would be so pleased.

And another that Bill himself had made and gave to replace one that could not be brought up to par.

I met Tyler who was creating benches for the back yard from SCRATCH.

And a local builder who hand-crafted this wall decor of The Lord's Prayer out of several thousand pieces of wood.

And Snickers who had waited all afternoon for HIS taping. (You will LOVE this show -- it has dogs in it!)

The "Designers" are great and actually DO work on pieces for the home themselves, but the real stars are the great people "behind the scenes." So MANY people giving SO MUCH out of a sense of community and love. It is more than heart-warming.

We were able to see the house inside and out. (No pictures inside the house, please.) This is the house - three days young. By the next day, the landscaping was already in!

Even their chickens get a new home!

It was 4:30 pm. Randy was finally called. He led the film crew up to Cherry Springs Nature Area on Scout Mountain.
Jillian being filmed driving up the mountain.

It began to rain. It began to pour! We waited...

then went ahead and filmed under a canopy of trees.

So... When Jillian made her entrance to meet Randy, she mentioned she felt like she was back on The Bachelorette! I quickly exclaimed, "Oh... NO you're NOT!"

The film crew. Such NICE people!

Randy and Jillian

(She really is VERY kind... and PRETTY too!)

To Be Continued...

Don't you just HATE that?