Monday, April 30, 2007

Musing on a Monday

Denny had a birthday last week. April is a busy birthday month for us; Denny, both our sons, Denny's sister. He says it's just another day so I made no mention of it. But with going home due to the increasing frailness of his father, my currently misbehaving knees, and Denny's birthday, age has been on my mind.

Maya Angelou on Aging

When I was in my younger days,
I weighed a few pounds less,
I needn't hold my tummy in
to wear a belted dress.

But now that I am older,
I've set my body free;
There's the comfort of elastic
Where once my waist would be.

Inventor of those high-heeled shoes
My feet have not forgiven;
I have to wear a nine now,
But used to wear a seven.

And how about those pantyhose-
They're sized by weight, you see,
So how come when I put them on
The crotch is at my knee?

I need to wear these glasses
As the print's been getting smaller;
And it wasn't very long ago
I know that I was taller.

Though my hair has turned to gray
and my skin no longer fits,
On the inside, I'm the same old me,
It's the outside's changed a bit.

But, on a positive note...I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: A rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life.

I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as making a "life." I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.

I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.

I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one. I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.

I've learned that I still have a lot to learn. I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Another Hot Lazy Sunday

I thought being up here near the mountains would bring cooler temperatures. Although we are cooler than Las Vegas which has reached record breaking high numbers this week, it's still hot, hot, hot.

Therefore, today's Lazy Sunday pictures will be of cool, clear water, water, water, water. For you young'uns, that's a reference to the song Cool Clear Water made famous by the Sons of the Pioneers back in the 40s. Which, of course, was before
my time but the song was one of my father's favorites.

All day I face the barren waste
Without the taste of water, cool water
Old Dan and I with throats burned dry
And souls that cry for water, cool, clear, water

Keep a-movin' Dan don't ya listen to him Dan
He's a devil of a man and he spreads the burning sand with water
Dan can you see that big green tree
Where the water's running free
And it's waiting there for you and me?

The nights are cool and I'm a fool
Each star's a pool of water, cool water
But with the dawn I'll wake and yawn
And carry on to water, cool, clear, water

The shadows sway and seem to say
Tonight we pray for water, cool, water
And way up there He'll hear our prayer
And show us where there's water, cool, clear, water

Dan's feet are sore he's yearning for
Just one thing more than water, cool, water
Like me I guess he'd like to rest
Where there's no quest for water, cool, clear, water

The Pacific Ocean on a misty morning in Ilwaco, Washington. We were visiting the lighthouse at the North Head State Park.

While wandering through the North Head State Park we discovered this hidden cove.

You'll find Sunbeam Creek Falls right beside the road in the Stephen Canyon entrance area of Mt. Ranier National Park. The waters are so clear and the air is so clean you don't want to leave.

We overshot the turnoff to Narada Falls while in the Mt. Ranier
National Park and almost didn't turn around since it had been a long
day for us. That would have been a mistake because a short, steep walk
takes you down to the base of the falls where on a sunny day you are
bound to get a picture of a rainbow in the falls.

The Wenatchee River outside of Leavenworth,
Washington. It's too bad we weren't there long enough to try a white
water rafting trip. (Yeah, like Denny would go for that!)

The Bad Water Lake in Death Valley, California. It's
hard to see, but all that grayish area is a one to two inch deep
"lake". The clumps of white on the right side of the picture are salt

This is the marsh area of the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge. You can drive for miles through the refuge where the terrain varies from basalt cliffs to marshland to
desert to hidden lakes.

You knew there had to be a sunset, right? This shot of the Pacific Ocean was taken at Long Beach, Washington.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Nothing Doing

Yawn. This has been a bad week for receiving early (like 6 AM) phone calls from people back East who don't really know us. Because, of course, back East it's 9 AM and therefore a reasonable hour to call. I can accept that for the most part, except for the early morning automated message reminding us that we need to bring the truck in for service. Sigh.

The elevating and icing down of my knee with the strained ligament seems to have helped. My orthopedic guy back home told me to lose the brace (thank you, thank you!) and use the leg. Okay. I joined the water aerobics group at the pool yesterday and did a much gentler version of my normal routine and it felt good and later Patches and I went for a short walk and the knee did okay. Of course, walking is fine, it's the sitting down/getting up/going up and down stairs that hurts.

This weekend is the Over the Hump Car Show here in Pahrump. According to the publicity announcement, there will be between 170 and 190 antique, classic and modified cars, trucks and motorcycles in town. The gals at the pool said it will be impossible to drive into Pahrump this weekend, so I guess this is a pretty big deal. We saw a few cars in town at the Sonic drive-in on Thursday and if they are any indication of the quality of cars coming in for the show, this should be a great one. The Art & Sol Fine Art and Craft Show is going on at the same time at the Bob Ruud Community Center but I don't know if they are going to be able to compete with the car show. However, I don't think I'll be able to drag Denny out of the air conditioning--it's going to be hot, hot, hot here. The snow has even melted off the peak of Mt. Charleston since we arrived here less than a week ago.

We're getting our travel route mapped out for returning to Ohio and Denny has asked his dad to pick up some extra tomato plants for planting in his garden since we'll be there all summer. We may even arrive back in town in time for strawberry season (and sour cherries and peaches and raspberries and sweet corn and popcorn later). Mmmm. Okay, I've just made myself hungry. Time to check out the fridge.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

That Magnet Called Ohio

Denny's dad isn't doing too well. According to Denny's sister, their dad is becoming more and more frail and dementia is starting to set in. We had been talking about returning to Ohio to take over the lawn and garden for his dad, because the garden is what the senior Braun lives for. And when I discovered today that no orthopedic surgeon in the Las Vegas area wanted to deal with me if I wouldn't/couldn't promise to stay in the area for at least 3 months, well, the decision was made. We're going back to Ohio.

We're going to stretch it out a bit, five days here, one there (and a couple in Amarillo, Norman, if you've got the time for a drink) a week at another place so that it will take us about a month to get home. If the knee gets worse, we'll ramp up the itinerary and get there sooner. That way I can see my own doctor and he can even recheck the work he did on the other knee.

We're a bit disappointed because there were friends in Wyoming we wanted to see, as well as Glacier National Park, a return trip to Medora, ND and the Theodore Roosevelt National Park and much more, but it's not the end of our travels, just a hiatus. The tentative agenda is a three month stay, which of course is flexible. Who knows, maybe I'll go be a greeter at Wal*mart while Denny slaves over a hot lawnmower and roto-tiller. Heh. Goodness knows I
can't do that--my father always told me I'd cut my toes off if I tried to use a lawnmower. Sounds like a pretty good reason not to offer to help to me.

In the meantime, we have another ten days here, so we're going to enjoy it. Mt. Charleston is still snow covered even though the temperatures here in town are in the mid eighties. Waiting to leave simply gives all those Eastern states the opportunity to get that last little bit of winter out of their systems, because goodness knows in Ohio we would have that random ice storm/freak snow that would freeze all those lovely flowers we always bought too early in anticipation of warm weather.

Back we go.

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Thinking Blog Meme

Congratulations, you won a
Nancy of My Garden Spot tagged me on the Thinking Blogger Award meme. According to the Thinking Blog the rules are simple:
1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think.
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme.
3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote.
The author of the Thinking Blog went on to say to nominate those blogs with real merit, i.e. relative content and that really get you thinking. So I suppose I should bow out of this because the blogs I follow are written by everyday people who I admire for the ability to turn a phrase, or deal with adversity or make me laugh or cry. Therefore my list of five would be;
1. Crazy Aunt Purl. A knitter, a cat person, a gal young enough to be my daughter who shows wisdom beyond her years. Laurie writes about her life as a divorced person in L.A., owning four cats, drinking too much wine and her love affair with yarn and knitting. I never know when I sit down to read her blog if she's going to make me laugh or make me cry. But she's shown me that you can be honest about your foibles online and folks will love you anyway.
2. Like Nancy, I always check on Soulknitting. Kim makes me think when she posts her lovely poems as I try to interpret them and again when she posts articles about global warming and the horrible things we're doing to our planet. But Kim also opens another world for me when she and Luna go sailing on Lake Mead on weekends and lovely photographs show up on her site. And someday I might even buy a pair of knitting needles.
3. Colleen's Corner. My favorite Canuck. A woman after my own heart, who is happiest when she is out walking her dogs with the sun in her face and a breeze in her hair. Reading about Colleen's sons and all her family members, her pets and house reminds me that people from other countries are no different from us here in America--they have the same hopes and dreams and day to day drudgeries and worries at times. Pictures of Bear, Coco and Sadie make me smile and there's occasionally lovely closeup photos of her yard and garden to drool over.
4. A Mark on my Wall. Sometimes you stumble upon someone's website by accident. I came across Vickie's site as she was in the process of moving to Chicago--it was like coming into a room in the middle of a conversation but I was quickly hooked. Vickie is learning to be a docent at the Chicago Zoo commuting from Florida (!!). She shares her learning with us as well as the most marvelous pictures of the flora and fauna around her home in Florida. Therefore reading Vickie's blog when she's writing about the Cooper hawks who nest in a tree in her yard is an education in all things hawk--nest building, mating, feeding, etc.
5. Lazy Blogger. Now THIS is a travel blog! As in world-wide travel. Well written with beautiful photographs you can't help but learn from this site.
Okay, now it's someone else's turn.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Lazy Sunday Redux

I realize I've been posting Lazy Sunday pictures of things we've seen and done in the previous week, but since I've been stuck here in the rig icing the bad knee/stretched ligament I've gone back to pictures from our past travels. I'm sure you won't mind too much, right?

One of a series of three pictures I took of a particularly stunning sunset on the outskirts of Gunnison, Colorado a couple of years ago.

When you've spent the day walking the trails and inspecting the primitive cliff and cave dwellings of Mesa Verde National Park in the high heat of the afternoon you don't expect to stop at a scenic overlook and see snow in the distance. That always amazes me.

Red rock formations line the roadways north and south of Sedona, Arizona. All of the area is park land so you are supposed to have a permit to park and wander around.

This is a chipmunk I fed every day at our campground near Gunnison, Colorado. Yes I know I shouldn't be feeding the wildlife. Chipmunks don't count (and I feed them sunflower seeds not crappy bread).

Way out in the middle of nowhere, south of Willcox, Arizona is the Chiricahua National Monument. There are walking trails galore, an old settlement, and rock formations in amazing shapes. It's a great place to birdwatch and enjoy a quiet afternoon. So, does that center formation look like a knight in a chess set? Or maybe a pudgy seahorse?

More of the rock formations at Chiricahua National Monument in Arizona.

Of course I had to stick in a picture of the cute kitty. We were trying to sneak a picture of her sleeping with her bunny but she heard the camera and woke up. Someday.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Smile on Saturday

Since I'm kind of stuck here on the couch again while icing down my swollen knee, I looked for something on the Internet to make me smile. And here it is:

Meet The Zimmers, a group of elderly people gathered from nursing homes in Britain to create a remake of the song "My Generation". I guarantee you can't watch this without smiling (especially at the end). The group even has their own Myspace page with brief biographies of all those youngsters who participated.

It's going to be a beautiful day here in Arizona and it looks like spring is finally arriving back East for all our friends and family members back "home". Which is nice for our oldest son who turns 35 today. Happy Birthday, Steve! Pretty soon both boys are going to catch up to us in age, because goodness knows WE'RE not getting any older, simply better and better.

Okay ya'll, stop gagging.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


When we first started coming to Lake Havasu City, the area behind our campground looked like this:

According to local maps this was Havasu National Wildlife refuge property and there were rabbits and quail and roadrunners to watch. This year when we arrived, that same area looked like this:

It is now The Refuge, a housing development and 18 hole golf course designed by Arnold Palmer. The golf course was being built the first time Denny and I ever stayed here, but it was about a half mile south of the campground. Then houses started popping up around the golf course itself and now this. So I e-mailed a young lady who worked for the Bill Williams River NWR and she responded with this: "This property you are speaking of was involved ina land trade in the early 80's. The Havasu NWR is the boundry (sic) refuge and they are working closely with the developer/development on Fish & Wildlife Issues. If you'd like further information, please contact John Earle at the Havasu NWR."

The line I like? "they are working closely with the developer/development on Fish & Wildlife Issues." Seriously? You really expect me to believe that? But she and Mr. Earle were both kind enough to respond (Mr. Earle's e-mail said in part "
Regardless of how the land came to
be developed, when any adjacent property is developed, we use what avenues are available to ensure that refuge resources are protected".) even if I didn't like the answers. Because the wildlife has disappeared no matter what they say.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Here We Go Again

Crap. Just crap.

I've had knee pain in my good knee all week. I've been doing my water exercises consistently, walking in the evenings with Denny and haven't pulled, yanked, fallen or prodded my knee accidentally, but each day the pain was worse. I thought maybe it might be arthritis, but it came on so suddenly that didn't seem to be the answer. Last night the knee was really swollen so I knew I'd better get it checked.

So a morning sitting in the local hospital's ER netted the information that there was no fracture per X-rays and the doctor seemed to think I might have a strained or possibly torn ligament. Which means a knee brace to immobilize the knee and crutches. Since I have a perfectly good $600 brace (we know because it was the one thing the insurance company didn't cover except for a pittance) back in Ohio, we called my mother to have the brace and crutches shipped to us rather than pay for a whole new set. So here I am in the meantime, back on the couch. It's deja vu all over again.

So Denny will have to walk Patches for a few days--now that should be interesting.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Don't Always Believe Those E-Mails

I received one of those "OMG" e-mails from my cousin. You know the ones--someone died or developed a horrible disease that could have been prevented with a simple test. This one was the CA-125 blood test for ovarian cancer e-mail. The originator of the e-mail was a real person and she did have cancer and the CA-125 test did discover her cancer but she has since revised that original e-mail due to further study.

Folks, when you get these gloom and doom e-mails or the ones about the guy waking up in the bathtub filled with ice or whatever, check them out on Snopes before you start forwarding them to everyone you know. The CA-125 e-mail has been around since 1999 obviously is going through another reincarnation as it were.

The Internet provides a lot of wonderful information and it can also ensure that you get the facts straight. It only takes a few moments to check the facts before you forward that e-mail, no matter how well-meaning it is.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Another Lazy Sunday in Arizona

It's been another very quiet week for us. The western states have had a lot of strong winds, which means blowing sands, which means cocooning inside for us. For two days our fifth wheel rocked as the winds gusted through and even the cat didn't want to go out. But when the winds die down and the sun comes out it's been lovely. The saguaro cacti are close to coming into bloom, the oleander bushes are in full bloom and the locust trees are scenting the air oh-so-delicately. It's spring in the desert.

Did you know palm trees have teeth?

The first of many blossoms to come.

Sunset through howling winds and blowing sand. At times we couldn't even see these mountains through the dust.

A more normal sunset picture of the same mountains near our campground.

Last night was the official "last hurrah" at the campground. Folks are starting to pack up and head north or east or farther west. For a dollar per person you could have all the hamburgers, hot dogs and Polish sausages that you could eat, as well as a few snacks and dessert of s'mores at the campfire. We spent the afternoon with Bobbie and Paul who will be returning to Washington sometime next month. Bobbie and I do water exercises together and Paul is a fellow geocacher. Note how empty the campground is behind them. Our section is almost full, though, as they are moving campers out of the east half and over into the west half of the campground as the managers work to close down the campground for the season.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


The phone rang early this morning and the caller asked to speak to Denny. It seems someone tried to use our debit card to wire a very large amount of money in Las Vegas. Fortunately, it was more than was in our account so the credit card company called us to confirm we were authorizing this transfer. Since we were not attempting to transfer money, the company immediately cancelled our debit card to prevent any further use of the number.

The thing is, Denny has the debit card in his pocket--it has not been stolen. Whether a wait staff person made a copy of the number (Denny tends to allow the wait person to take the card to the cash register for him--no more!) or what, we don't know. Monday we'll have to call our bank to arrange for another card.

In the meantime, I've placed a fraud alert with Equifax as advised by this site. This will allow us to obtain a free copy of our credit report also. It's a very good idea to obtain a copy of your credit report annually. You are entitled to one free and the fraud site advises using this website rather than going to one of the three credit reporting services directly (they'll lure you into buying credit protection and annual reports for a fee, etc.)

For the most part, I'm comfortable with ordering items online and we use our debit card for all our purchases wherever we go. We'll just have to be a tad more cautious in the future and keep a close watch on our credit report to see if there are anymore attempts at abuse, although since our debit card has been de-activated we're hoping this will nip any future fraud in the bud.

We're just glad that the criminal who tried this got greedy and went for too much, otherwise they could have cleared out our account quickly. Small favor.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A Quiet Week So Far

This fellow was resting on the capstone of the wall beside the campground early yesterday morning. I guess this is the Arizona version of a rooster because he was calling out at full voice, which actually sounds nothing at all like a rooster. But he was full of himself nonetheless.

We haven't done much that's exciting since we arrived in LHC (Lake Havasu City) on Monday. Shopping and more shopping and routine and not so routine maintenance on the fifth wheel. When your house gets moved every couple of weeks over what are sometimes very rough roads, things tend to get jarred loose, screws become unscrewed and seals are no longer sealed tightly. If you are lucky, you find these things before they become a problem. Many times we check screws and bolts and nails but sometimes something will come loose that we don't think of or see. So today Denny got to do manly man things while I did water aerobics and walked the cat. Hmm, I think I like that kind of division of labor!

The high winds that were predicted for our area haven't appeared here, at least around the campground. That's just as well since Denny is trying to get a coat of wax on the fifth wheel this week. The desert heat is tough on the exterior of both the fifth wheel and the truck, although I have to admit people still ask us if our truck is new which is a compliment to Denny's hard work since it is seven years old now. Of course all of this weather is certainly preferable to the sleet and snow that the rest of our family is getting back east. Spring is teasing them badly with temperatures of 75 degrees one day and snow the next.

Perhaps I can find some geocaches here that don't require the use of a 4x4 or an ATV to reach them. Getting ourselves stuck in a sandy wash in the desert once was enough. Sometimes we learn the hard way, but we do learn. Now we have to start worrying about rattlesnakes out there--doesn't geocaching sound fun?

Monday, April 09, 2007

Moving with the flow

In an hour or so Denny will amble out of the bedroom and we'll start our moving day morning routine.

I'll miss the river here; early morning provides clear pink skies and green rushing water upon which the coots and mallards float. This morning the hummingbirds are competing for a spot at the feeder in an aerial dogfight. Soon I'll be taking it down and they'll have to move down the row to another feeder. There's always a hummingbird feeder at a campground.

Mornings and dusk have been the best time to sit and watch the river. Californians with their need for speed careen by on Sea-doos and Ski-doos or blast through with the throaty rumble of high horsepowered engines. Even those who own pontoon boats streak by a speed fast enough to tow a skier. What are they racing towards? Isn't the simple pleasure of being on the river and watching the birds, flowering trees and bushes and deep blue sky enough? It just seems so frantic and frenetic to me--where's the pleasure in it?

Our next stop is Lake Havasu City. We won't be close to the lake, the spring break teens and young adults will have returned to school and part of the campground will be closed since this time of year is considered "off season". The snowbirds are starting to move home or northward since the desert is heating up quickly and that's where we're eventually headed also. But for now, the desert is still our home.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

It's Going to be Hot This Lazy Sunday

Did your local news program carry the film clip of the children collecting Easter eggs in a snow storm yesterday? I missed the name of the city where that occurred, but that certainly would create fodder for a "funniest video" film clip. Then I got to thinking, how do you hide Easter eggs in a cactus?

Who knew a black bird could be so striking? The aptly name yellow-headed blackbird. Note the bird on the left side of the picture doing a turkey imitation.

Another appropriately name fellow, the black-necked stilt. Aren't ornithologists smart?

This little guy I believe is a Costas hummingbird. He arrived three days ago and would sit on the feeder for two and three hours at a time, barely moving. I think he is an old bird and when he disappeared one afternoon I was so concerned I went outside to check the ground underneath the feeder, figuring I'd find him dead. I wish I could have gotten a picture of the hummingbird that got so impatient waiting for this guy to leave that the second hummer actually flew in between the sitting hummer and the feeding blossom and ate on the fly, never touching the little old guy. Naturally, I was out walking the cat and Denny didn't think to try to get a picture of the action.

This is why the third hummingbird had to horn his way in in front of the chubby hummer--there was a black-throated (again with the names!) hummer on the other side who also wouldn't give up his seat.

This bank of clouds glowing in the sunset reminding me of Superstition Mountain in Apache Junction, AZ.
The obligatory Sunday sunset picture. Surely you didn't think I'd end the post without one? I'm going to miss sitting out here each evening watching the evening show, but it's time to move on.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

What We're Doing To Our Planet

While Stumbling on Firefox, I came across this. And while I've cut up my six-pack plastic rings and recycled my grocery bags for years, this article shows we need to do one h*ll of a lot more.

Nothing Special Going On

Thanks to Kim for this one.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Gone But Not Forgotten

I told you earlier this week about the death of my friend and former co-worker, Marilyn. Her children did a wonderful thing; in lieu of flowers at her funeral, they asked that people donate to a dance scholarship created in Marilyn's name. What a wonderful way to memorialize a lifelong passion for teaching dance!

But on a more personal level, I realized that I'll remember Marilyn with each movement that mimics a ballet position in my water aerobics routine or when I see a film clip of a child's dance recital or a great tap routine. Once a year on a Sunday Marilyn would bring in the video tape of that year's recital from her dance studio and we'd watch and critique all the performances. And laugh over the bumblings of the darling 2 year-olds trying so hard, or sometimes not trying at all!

I have time for reflection while doing my water aerobics routine and it occurred to me while thinking of Marilyn and of others that are no longer in my life that I still carry some part of them with me. My Aunt Dona who passed away last week was a reflexologist and life long believer in the healing properties of herbs. I use the pressure points she taught me to ease sinus pain and am always willing to try a homeopathic method of healing as well as a standardized form of medicine.

My father lives on when I take apart something that is broken and fix it. It was a family saying that my dad could fix anything but a nylon zipper and it was true. By watching him I became familiar with tools and their uses and saw the satisfaction Dad got when he was able to make something function properly again.

Darby's father and I spent many an hour on his motorcycle. From Joe I learned to love the feeling of the sun on my back and wind in my hair as we'd just hop on the bike and take off with no set plan in mind but to enjoy the open road. And to this day I can tell you the year of any Chevrolet from 1952 to the mid-70s just by looking at the rear end of the car, thanks to Joe.

When I pull a freshly-baked, made from scratch dark devils food cake out of the oven and ice it with caramel frosting, or make snickerdoodles, my grandma is there. Never a box mix and not even a recipe card around, Grandma's kitchen always smelled of spices, fruit or chocolate. To this day, I'm a "from scratch" cook.

I can pick out a shaggy-bark hickory tree or a black walnut tree in the midst of a grove of trees thanks to my grandfather. Because of him I've rolled in a field of wild mint, learned to look closely enough in a field of wild violets to find the one white violet in its midst, eaten a pawpaw fresh from the tree. I learned how to seine for minnies (minnows) in a crick (creek) so we could go fishing later. And weekends were for long drives in the country where Grandpa would point out birds and trees and flowers and show me which wild mushrooms were safe to eat. So today, that's why I wander this marvelous country and stop to look long and hard at what's around me.

Now I'm not so sad.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

You Knew This Was Coming, Darb

My young'un turns 30 today. He blogged about it first, so he's opened the door. Of course, last year I documented the events surrounding his actual birth, so this year I thought I'd just toss in a few early pictures. Why only the early pictures? Because he who turns 30 today has all the family albums and is still working on scanning all the old photographs and putting them on CDs for his mother who has no room for photograph albums in her 400 square foot home on wheels. Whew, that was a bit of a run on sentence, wasn't it?

Darb says that turning a year older is simply that, and he's right. The law says we're adults at 18 but at what age do we truly become adult? For some, it may be 30, for others, never. Having the trappings of adulthood--a wife, a job, a house, bills, doesn't necessarily mean that you're ready to grow up. And hey, who said that being a grown up was so great anyway?

This was taken in the pediatric ICU unit--it was the first day we were actually able to hold Darby, five days after his birth.

At 13 months his smile for the camera is natural. Not so much in later years.

Darb's first attempt at shaving. I think he's up to about once a week now, right Darb? Heh.

When Darb says birthdays aren't a big deal, he means it. He's felt that way since age three.

It was so much easier to buy birthday gifts for Darby at age 5 than it is now.

At age six, birthdays are fun and he's cool.

By the next year, birthdays are not high on Darb's list of fun things again. Sigh.

Okay, I think that's enough teasing for one day. Happy Yet Another Day in Your Life, Darby Joe.

Monday, April 02, 2007

The Great Escape

Imagine our surprise yesterday morning when Denny and I returned from our Sunday morning breakfast outing to find Patches running towards the truck as we parked! I looked towards the door to see the screen in the window of the living room slideout pushed to the side. Obviously, the cat had figured out how to hook her claws into the screen there and slide it sideways so she could jump down the five feet to the patio below. Great. Now I have to come up with "kitty lock bars" on the screens or remember to shut all the windows when we go out, which is not a good thing in the desert heat.

Hmm, if broomsticks work in the tracks of a patio door, perhaps my manicure orangewood sticks would work in the tracks of the sliding windows. Denny's vote is to have the cat declawed, but that's a bit extreme, although not as extreme as throwing her out in the desert which was his first choice (kidding, folks). So today we'll be working on a solution to keep our kitty escape artist inside the fifth wheel.

Life is always interesting when you own a pet.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

I Wish I Wasn't Writing This

On a shelf in the closest of the room we use at my mother's house when we go home for Christmas sits a gaily wrapped present.

Each year while Denny and I are in Ohio, we make plans to meet with Marilyn, who hired on at the police department with me in 1979 as a group of five new civilian hires who were going to replace the police officers who manned the police dispatch section. We have lunch at the China Cottage and exchange birthday presents, because I was born a few days before Christmas and Marilyn was born a few days after and we've always felt a bit slighted in the birthday gift department due to being born so close to the holiday. Marilyn was also a dance instructor who always decorated her Christmas tree with ornaments relating to ballet, so it became a tradition for me to buy her the most unusual dance related ornaments I could find.

This past Christmas Marilyn and I were unable to arrange a suitable day to meet due to her work and all the craziness that is Christmas, so her present still sits on the shelf.

Now I'm going to ask my mother mail that present to me and I'll unwrap it and hang that ballet ornament over my desk as a reminder to make time for our friends and family no matter what seems to stand in the way.

Marilyn passed away at 1:20 AM this morning from complications from the recently discovered cancer in her brain.

A Lot of Lazy Sunday Sunsets

We've been working on "detailing" the fifth wheel this week. Two big dust storms left the inside and out pretty grimy since the fine sand filters through the smallest cracks and crevices. The good news is that with only 400 square feet to clean inside, it doesn't really take that long to do. Except one has to take breaks to walk the cat, lay in the sun and chat with the neighbors who are from Australia. Such a life!

I had to rush to get the color of the sunset on these mountains north of Yuma. The intense yellow was striking.

The same mountain range ten minutes later. The moments for the perfect picture are fleeting.

Looking west toward Yuma in the daytime you'd see hundreds of acres of lettuce and cauliflower and the many migrant workers picking the fields. At dusk, it's quiet and peaceful.

Our fifth wheel is the second one from the left in this picture. The Colorado River is right behind us. See why we like the rving lifestyle?

This is what we see on a nightly basis here in Ehrenberg. Add to that a few hummingbirds stopping by for a last minute snack, a few tiny bats diving for insects and the sleepy call of coots as they ride the river south and you have the perfect end to your day.

Notice the ring in the clouds just above the tree line? I have no idea what caused it but it lasted a long time.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...