Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Joy's of Having Grandchildren

Youngest to Oldest

Hey! There's a button! If there's a button, I gotta push it . . . I mean, that IS what they're for. Right?
Did you push the button? Huh? Me? Not me. I'm innocent. Don't I LOOK innocent?

Grandma, I think I want to put this red block right here.

Don't you like this cool fort we made?

Now we come to Grandpa taking Glamour Shots of #1 (and only) Granddaughter.

Cameras are part of my life, you know.

I love you, Grandpa.

You know, I AM only four! (Despite what my publicist says.)

Undaunted, After All

Okay! I didn't give up! See if this is better:

See the people? Still not huge, but you do see them, don't you? Please tell me you see them! (Muttering softly to self, I shall not give up. I am a tenacious person. Usually.)

Okay, I just checked it out: NOW, NOW you can click on the picture and actually get it to ENLARGE so you CAN better see the peoples. Yes, peoples. There's more than one and I'm just going to go take a nap. I'm exhausted!


Okay. I lied--not knowingly, but hence the results are the same. ALL and I do mean ALL the pictures I posted just a few minutes ago, EXCEPT for the ONE I suggested that you should click on . . . YES, every last one of them EXCEPT the Wilson's Arch which should (could if it wanted to) expand for a better look at the details. Forgive me! Again, I don't know what I'm talking about or doing. What a bummer!

If I try again, will it work? Eeeeeehhh?

No, and double no, and now I'm stomping my feet in exasperation! Oh the things I DON'T KNOW!

Okay. I'm slightly more settled now. But at least I hope you can see the little dark specks sort of in the middle of the arch. Those ARE people, actually, honestly and I KNOW I saw them in the picture when I looked at it--and it would ENLARGE for me--but in my Cannon software--NOT in BLOGGER mode. Stupid technology, grumble, grumble, or stupid somebody that doesn't know all the ins and outs of said technology. No names, please!

On The Road--Pictures

Stirring title, I know, but I just downloaded about a 'lebenty jillion pictures and I don't know where to begin or end with sharing them.

As a warning, if I haven't mentioned it before now, I LOVE the mountains! I have trouble understanding my husband's aunt's comment once (after she took a second or third trip out West and I was commenting on how fantastically interesting I found the Rockies to be) . . . she said something like, "I don't see how anyone gets excited about mountains. Once you've seen them, one rock looks like any other one." I like this lady even though she does freely share her opinion about lots of things. Sometimes she can be far more caustic than others, but that's not the focus of my post today.

Everyone has their lists of likes and dislikes, and if I don't push you into the "I hate mountains and rocks" list, I'll be happy. The more I visit the mountains, the more I wish I'd seriously studied geology. I find all the variety of colors, types of rocks, strata variations, hugeness of it all, how the earth has pushed up layers at odd and dangerous looking angles, etc., etc. quite simply fascinating.

Now, just as a disclaimer, all these photos were shot while moving rapidly down the highway. We had like 12 to 13 hours of driving per day to get to our destination (up or back, depending) so we weren't stopping to picture take. That said, you can judge for yourself if you think they're as cool and I do! Even though you can't get the immensity perspective like being there gives you!

All included pictures in today's photo catalog were shot somewhere between Monticello, Utah and Price, Utah--if I remember correctly.

This photo shows the obvious layers of copper--hence the bluish/green color strata.

Talk about HUGE boulders! I wonder sometimes what keeps them from tumbling down on us unsuspecting motorists!

This monstrous sandstone cliff is only one of many. Arches National Monument is somewhere in the vicinity. I have a shot of one of the arches, Wilson's Arch I was planning to share. (Maybe I can find it and include it still . . . Let's see . . .)

Ah! Yes. There it is. You may have to click on it to get a better understanding of how large it truly is. Once upon a time, my husband and kiddos (much younger at that time, you understand) and I hiked up that rock to the middle of the arch. Well, I think I didn't quite make it ALL the way up, but it's lots bigger/farther than you might think. IF you do click on this image, you can see a couple of folks who did make the hike--successfully.

This rock fascinates me. It's so out there and all alone. AND it looks like a funny clay pot! You have to wonder (or at least I do) how it managed to stand there all these centuries while the rest of the rock that used to be part of it blew or washed away. The various color strata also intrigue me. And see the cave at the bottom?

There're a few more humongous boulders for you to appreciate!

Oh, I should probably also mention that all this area was once under water. Don't exactly know all the data--like I thought I did. Lake Bonneville was part of an ancient "sea" the covered a lot of western Utah, some of southern Idaho and eastern Nevada. The Great Salt Lake is the lowest point of what's left of that ancient "lake" and the famous Bonneville Salt Flats are a remnant of it as well. I was thinking this more eastern part of Utah had also been under that huge "lake" but, when I looked it up (on Google) I didn't find confirmation for that, so I don't know what I'm talking about. Thought I remembered learning that all of Utah, and much of the west/southwest was under that BIG lake--you know, back a millennia or so ago when I was in high school. Guess I DO indeed need to take some geology classes! Get the facts straight! Right?

In the South, the Deep South, Part II

I posted the original, Part I, before leaving on my trek so I've been behind on things. Sorry. No one came up with the correct answer yet, but I suggest clicking on the picture to see what might be lurking in the swamp. (I honestly didn't realize I had such savvy readers. When I looked at those pictures, I saw "grassy looking" area with trees, not duckweed covered swamp. Y'all are just too smart for me.)

The scene was really such a neat looking swamp I had to have pictures. It wasn't until looking at the pictures that I realized it might not look like water was everywhere.
My son-in-law kindly pointed out (in his comments) that those trees growing in the water are pneumatophores. Of course, he's the botanist guy, so he would. I had to look it up to find out that pneumatophores are really just ordinary ole bald cypress trees--part of my husband's heritage: Louisiana's State Tree. And they are pretty cool!

I'm really impressed with what the camera picks up that in my haste to capture the shot, I never noticed while standing so closely. But, seriously, there is something there for you to discover, like I accidentally did.

I will print and send a picture (of the winner's choice) to the first one who finds the right thing and reports back! Oh. It's not a Bunyip. I don't think.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tweak Weak Wed.

I don't know what's up with this bloggggg thing--the line spacing went all wonky. EVEN AFTER I fixed it in editing. Like I need something else frustrating to catch my time and attention.

For those of you who might be interested, I'll try to post some pictures (from the trip) tomorrow. Or the next day. Or something like that.

Before I find a copy of Stephanie Meyer's newest "Twilight" series that's due out on Saturday. (My married daughter told me I HAD TO read the first three books. BEFORE we left for vacation.) When she informed me that the book(s) were about teenage love and vampires (I think she forgot to mention the werewolves) I thought she'd lost it. I mean, REALLY! Vampires? I don't think so. My youngest daughter and son then had a heyday with the whole thing, making as much fun out of it as they possibly could--and they're pretty good at that sort of thing. (Hey! They hardly said anything I hadn't already at least thought.)

So, I dutifully went to see what the local library had. They had it. Them. In the juvenile section. I checked out the first with, shall we say, less than much enthusiasm. Then I red it. Ha! Was that a slip of some sort. Red a book about vampires. (Sorry. It was simply a typo!) I READ it. And found it . . . interesting. So, I returned it and checked out the two later volumes and read them on our road trip. Now, I want to read the fourth volume and then -- in the future when it's finished and published -- read the volume chronicling the Vampire's point of view. Apparently these books are quite the huge teenage interest reading--likened somewhat to the Harry Potter craze of a few years back.

I freely admit that I loved the Harry Potter series (and movies so far). Now you know. I'm almost sixty and like reading juvenile books. Hope I haven't burst too many bubbles. (I'm really smiling a genuine smile now.) Thanks for listening.

Weak Wednesday

I'm way behind in posting. First, I left for vacation almost two weeks ago--make that almost three weeks ago! Parts of it were great. Parts were stinky. I'm now struggling with a blue funk I don't normally fall into, but, well, LIFE IS.

I got some great pictures "on the road" or at least I took pictures of some GREAT sights along the road in the Rocky Mountains--one of my most favorite places to stand in awe of the multitude of God's creations.

My grandchildren were so much bigger than when I last saw them--almost a year ago. It's always good to see my grandchildren and their parents! We stayed with them six days. My Mom, sibs and their families were great to visit with again, as well. These people can be a pretty entertaining lot!

The rough patch in the vacation--or should I say patches--came less than a week after setting off on the 1500 mile (2414 k) trip. We left on a Saturday. Sunday I felt the beginnings of trouble in my innards. By Thursday, I knew, without doubt I had to see a doctor. ER that afternoon. Tests at the hospital on Friday. That wasn't so bad. It's a recurring problem--and so far--hasn't proved fatal! That part's good. But by Saturday, husband/sweetheart was feeling a bit rocky--scratchy throat, sniffles, headache. We went to one of my sister's to stay Saturday night.
Sunday we had the big family gathering for food and visiting and I began feeling the scratchy throat. Great! Sunday night we went to my Mom's. That night my husband started the bronchial cough. My nose became a faucet w/o a turn-off valve. (It's peeled now so many times I've lost count! Red and raw, peeling nose. It's a fun thing to do on vacation. NOT.)
Guess what we did on Monday morning! Another trip to a different ER. (Mom live's in another city from where our daughter's family lives.)
Yep! We got the CRUD. #1 Man in my life had bronchitis; I'm on the same path. We got antibiotics and went back to Mom's and basically vegged out. My Mom's got to be soooooo delighted to have us come visit--only to crash. And, #1 Man decides we're going to leave early to get home so we can recoup before he has to return to work, the following Monday.
Now I'm depressed. I only get to visit my family out west like once a year--maybe--and now the trip (too short for my wishes anyway) is now cut shorter.
We left on Wednesday--one week ago today. We did not get to see our grandchildren again. That really bummed me out. We did make it home safely. We're still working on overcoming the nasty crud we picked up somewhere, and have prayed fervently we haven't passed on to anyone else in the family.
And our son is moving out (three cheers for him moving into adulthood--finally) on Friday. My husband and I will celebrate 38 years of marriage tomorrow--or may delay it to Friday evening. We haven't decided just yet. I guess when you've been married as long as we have you can pick and choose whenever you want to, to celebrate!
Sorry for all the whining. I should be happy about a lot of things. I've been very blessed in my life! In SO MANY ways. And I know I have. I just have to work on crawling out of this funk sooner rather than later.
I'm smiling. Really. Not feeling it just yet, but I've pasted a smile on, just for you--wherever you are.

Monday, July 7, 2008

In the South, the Deep South . . .

Last week my husband, brother-in-law and I were driving waaaaaaaaaaayyyyy out in the country. Fortunately we had a camera in tow and, being the very kind husband that he is, mine obliged me by stopping once, to take a few photos to share with all of you myriad readers of mine. (4+1, perhaps? Quite the myriad, no?) We saw LOTS of corn fields on this trip. Tons. Just think of all the ethanol they can make with that stuff. But, that aside, we were hungry and thought of having a couple of steaming hot ears of golden, freshly picked, sweet corn dripping with butter, topped with salt and freshly ground pepper . . . Uuuuuummmmm! (It was very tempting, until I figured it was only field corn, and that's not my idea good eating corn.)

Then, we also saw many fields of soy beans. The picture below is only one of them. Isn't it rich and deep, dark green? It was a really nice looking field.

Then, right next door (more or less) there was this grouping of trees, etc. Care to guess what's lurking there not too far away?
Check out the "bear grass" palmetto plant sort of in the middle at the bottom of the picture below. That's reputed to be murder on those trekking through wooded areas like this one. (It would've been rough going on those early Spanish, etc., explorers of the "New World." And that's not mentioning all the vines of poisonous plants, spiders, snakes, mosquitos, etc. So . . . let your imagination run wild! I'm sure I've not even come close to identifying half of what might lurk just out of camera range . . . or maybe even IN camera range, just undiscovered!
Have you guessed yet, what should be a bit more evident in this picture than the previous one?

No? Well, how about in this next one . . . [I'll take Bush Babe's (of Granite Glen) tack and leave it open to your wit and wisdom, even though her pictures are professional and mine very amateurish.] If interested, I'll print one of these and mail them to the first one who acurately guesses what these last three pictures are recording. I'm sure you'll figure it out.

I thought this area was very beautiful and was glad I got to take a few pictures!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

More Idiocy

OKAY! I just realized that I've misspelled ASPIRIN multiple times. So, I'm now correcting it. Aspirin NOT asprin. I was, obviously, just doing the fonetix thing.

SMILE!!!! ;-}

Anti-Itch Stuff

Forgot to mention yesterday that the recipe for the "anti-itch stuff" (yesterday's post) works on anything you want to dry up--like mosquito bites, fire ant bites, spider bites, and as mentioned, poison ivy and poison oak.

Think of it this way:
Asprin--salicylic acid--is included in many acne treatment products--to dry up oily skin.
Alum is what makes you really pucker--don't know why they use it making pickles, but if you know, you can tell me.
Alcohol will dry out your skin as well.

So combining them . . . well what else would you expect but terrific drying potion? (Don't know if that's what kills the itching or maybe the asprin's anti-inflamatory nature does that. Hmmmmmm.) I just know it works. Thank heaven and Nola Ann--the recipe giver!

I just get the heebie geebies just thinking of being covered in poison ivy rash! (Shivers all over.) My poor older sister apparently got into poison ivy on an Easter egg hunt just before her 7th, I'm thinking, birthday. Then we both came down with measles. That was NOT a good time for either of us! I bet she coulda used some of this stuff then!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Not So Smart

Today started out well . . . at least at reminding me how my brain isn't in a particularly grand working fashion. Our outside temperature was a little cooler today that it has been recently, so I thought, I'll go out and water all the plants before it gets too hot. Sounds reasonable, right? Well, it was. It was wonderful out there watering our myriad of needy plants--some in pots, some not. Then I noticed one of those pesty (related to Dracula) kind of insects. I blew them away and went about my necessary business--watering plants.

A little while later, I noticed that my ankles were stinging, itching, and all that kind of fun stuff. I went on watering, paying little notice to the slight diversion around my ankles. Brilliantly, I skoffed at the growing itch and sting. When those discomforts became nearly unbearable--against my stoic resolve to go on--I looked down at my bare ankles and legs. Eeeeeeewww! There were all kinds of lovely welts already formed without any scratching to increase the histamines in my skin doing their thing. I, in an effort to record my lack of wisdom in failing to apply any insect repellant--see I told you: Not So Smart. I did take pictures. It was just so bad!

This is my lower leg and part of my foot--in case it's hard to figure out! My foot is resting on the chair that's almost visable. (I'm sorry my leg is so large and ugly, but that's just the way it is. You can close your eyes and move on, if you like, of course. I am.)

Fortunately I had some great stuff to put on the bites and haven't itched since! Now if I could only find 24 uncoated Bayer asprin tablets, I could make another batch of this great solution that stops itching and dries things up--even poison ivy attacks! If you know of a source of UNcoated Bayer asprin tablets in the U. S. , please let me know where I can find some! Debbie, at Life's Funny Like That, could you come capture these stinkin' mosquitos for me? PLEASE?

Would you like the recipe for the great STUFF that dries up all kinds of wicked skin problems?

14 fluid oz. Isopropyl Alcohol (in a 16 oz. bottle)

1 oz. powdered Alum

24 uncoated Bayer asprin tablets

Add the alum powder and Bayer asprin to the alcohol remaining in the bottle, and shake it well. Leave it alone for a couple of weeks before using it. It will turn purplish due to the alum, I think. Shake it before each use and it will dry things up like you won't believe! (The older it gets, the better it is.) I have one bottle that I made up more than 10 years ago--YES--MORE than 10 years ago. My daughter, who is HIGHLY alergic to poison ivy, got into some recently. I gave her the "stuff" and I think her rash and itching were gone in less than one week.

OH, before I forget. If you get into poison ivy or poison oak, wash the affected area VERY PROMPTLY with Dawn dish detergent and water. The grease cutting action works on the oil based irritant of the poison ivy/oak to "deactivate" it, according to a lady I know who's a professional chemist. Plus it has something to do with the pH levels of each. It does work. My husband and two of our daughters are very sensitive to the stuff and the girls have had it so badly in the past they had to have cortisone shots! (Before we knew of these two GREAT things to help. Cortisone shots are not fun--or cheap!

If my mosquito incident wasn't enough to confirm my "not so smart" status, I'll give you another example. I'm feeling so "smart" today, let me tell you! My son is working at a fireworks stand, as I mentioned in an earlier blog. I took him lunch today--as I usually do--and visited with him for a few minutes. When he was through eating, I left to get some other errands done--but I went home first to deposit his dirty dishes, etc. After getting back home I realized I'd left my purse in his stand. That includes everything one would usually find in a woman's purse (maybe), including my cell phone. I felt so smart--again.

I went back to retrieve my purse and give him a bathroom break. I'd brought a little grocery list with me and thought of something I needed to add to the list. So, I opened my purse to get a pencil so I could write down what it was I needed to pick up at Wal-Mart. Then, after I got my pencil, ready to write, my mind went blank. Seems to be a growing problem, doesn't it? I called my husband to see if he could think of things I might need to pick up while shopping. He mentioned a couple of things, but not the one lodged (irretrievably) somewhere in my brain.

You just have to love those situtions, right? One, two, three--so far today. Lovely. After I returned home with most of the stuff I'd set out to get, I finally DID remember what I'd forgotten: Clorox and Clorox wipes. The ONLY reason I actually remembered either of them was that my kitchen sink smelled to high heaven because I'd discovered a couple of rotten potatoes earlier and stuck them in the sink while I cleaned out the basket I usually keep them in, until I could dispose of the nasty things in the compost pile. I needed Clorox to clean up the mess and smell, thank you very much!

So, I've exposed to anyone who reads this little blog that I am certainly not smart. Sob. Truth. :(