Photo Friday

(Above photo, ooh sparkly rock with fern.)

This week I actually went out on an expedition to take pictures. And to keep small child busy since he was out of school for six days with the Arizona teacher walkout. Yikes!  It is always lovely to go up to 8000′ and feel the crisp air and smell the pine.  Added bonus was getting away from the pollen which my sinuses really appreciated.

We didn’t walk far but it was a scenic, if rocky, stroll.

One of the reasons we didn’t stay very long was there was a lot of tree cutting going on by the Forest Service.  We kinda felt like we shouldn’t be in the area though there were no signs or anything forbidding it.

Bridge photos are always good.

Looking up is good too. It was such a beautiful day.

There is a stream here (this is the view off the bridge), not much water which is bad, there should still be some snow melt flowing this time of year. This is more how it looks in early July before the monsoons start.  Hope we get some rain this year.

Keep your focus!

Photo Friday

A few of my favorite car pics from Laughlin.  I love the license plate above “horseless carriage”!

 

1915 Ford Speedster. I wonder how fast it went.  Twenty mph?

This is my type of Harley!

There was a corvette club having some sort of shindig over the weekend.  That is a lot of corvettes.

Keep Your Focus!

 

Old Glory

Here in the United States today is Flag Day. Thank you Betsy Ross!

Sadly a walk around the block revealed we are the only house flying our flag today:

I am going to go out on a limb and say we are also the only house where peanut butter cookies were baked and decorated with red, white and blue sprinkles. “The colors red, white, and blue did not have meanings for The Stars and Stripes when it was adopted in 1777.”  I read somewhere that Betsy Ross just used whatever scraps of fabric she had lying around.

And I may be the only person wearing a flag shirt at my doctor’s appointment this afternoon:

And for dinner we are having Patriot’s Day pancakes from Katherine Hall Page’s book “The Body in the Bog”.  All red, white and blue all day today, despite the fact that flag colors weren’t really planned out!

HAPPY FLAG DAY!

Quiet Time

I have been thinking of this week end as the calm before the holiday storm begins.  Even with all my planning and lists and trying to keep social outings to a minimum things will get hectic.  Tis the season after all.

Having embraced my introvertedness I realized I wanted to do something to carve out a little pocket of quiet time each day.  A few moments to breath and sit in peaceful solitude are essential to my happiness.  And to ensure this happens I devised a project.

Each day I will sit down and color one picture for my son.  A Christmas countdown.  Starting on December 1st he will get a picture colored by me counting down the days to Christmas.  He might get it in his lunch or find it in the bathroom when he gets up or in his room after school. I selected 24 pictures from a couple of old holiday coloring books we have.  Some will be easy to color, others may take a bit more time. I’ll add the date and remaining number of days until Christmas.

I have to confess I have already colored a few.  For all my good intentions I know there will be some days when activities and travel won’t permit me to sit down and color. But they will be the minority.  And riding the Polar Express?  Totally worth missing a day of coloring!

I find this project very soothing and akin to meditation.  I don’t find it a chore, one more thing on my to do list but rather a chance to pause my day. I find my mind slows down and empties out.  My focus is on what shade of green to use, or finding what colors I can use besides red and green.  Afterwards I am relaxed and recharged, ready to tackle the next item on my to-do list.

Take time to enjoy the peace of this holiday season.  Remember, it is a whole season, not just one day.

 

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Bet you thought I forgot about trying this Hodgepodge thing.  Nope, here it is.  (And it was harder than I thought!)

Hodgepodgebutton

 

1. On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate your summer so far? Why?
(1=eh and 10=best summer ever)  

I would say an 8.  It has been good except I missed doing our mountain camping trip much more than I thought I would.  Swimming has been really good this summer.

2. July 26th is National Aunts and Uncles Day. Did you have many aunts and uncles growing up? Were you especially close to any one or maybe all of them? Are you an aunt? (or uncle for the men who join here on Wednesdays) Share a favorite memory relating to one of your own aunts or uncles or relating to a niece or nephew who call you Aunt (or Uncle).

Ten Aunts and Uncles total and we all lived in the same city but seldom saw each other, once or twice a year typically.  While we were never a close knit family I do remember my Uncle Bob playing tag with all us cousins at a playground and taking us on hikes during a one time multi-family camping trip.

3. What’s your favorite food dipped in chocolate? What’s your favorite food dipped in cheese?

Almonds or coconut dipped in dark chocolate.  Dipped in cheese?  Hmm, not sure I have one.

4. When were you last astonished by something? Explain.

I fished a dead mouse out of the pool Monday morning and not only did I not blink an eye,  I didn’t think twice about getting in the pool right after for a swim. I am terrified of live mice, but apparently okay with drowned ones.

5. Surf board, paddle board, ironing board, Pinterest board, score board, clip board, bulletin board…which board have you most recently encountered?

Ironing board, when I made some more progress on my first attempt at quilting. I am making a  dresser scarf.  “All” I have left to do is the binding!  I am hoping to start work on the binding when school starts again in a few weeks.

6. What’s your favorite story from scripture? Why that story?

Luke 2:8-18   A baby, angels, shepherds, peace on Earth, what more could one want?

7. If you were to travel from the east coast to the west coast in your own country, which five cities would you most want to see?

I would take route fifty from Ocean City, Md  all the way to Sacramento, Ca and enjoy every little town along the way.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

It is too hot for thinking today.  I’ll stick with iced tea and a good book inside the air-conditioning. Just starting “Everyone Brave is Forgiven” by Chris Cleave. I loved his novel “Gold” and found “Incendiary” disturbing to read but not in a really bad way, more in a this story could be all  too real kind of way.

Here is the link to the Hodgepodge lady!

 

Z is for Zero

Z is for zero posts missed in the A to Z Blogging Challenge!

Z is for zero posts left to do for the A to Z Blogging Challenge!

My favorite post to write was “F is for Fiction from Fact” (and great alliteration in the title).

What looked to be my most popular post was “I is for Introvert”.

The post that I hoped would have the most impact was “L is for Lumpy Breasts”. I was hoping the catchy title would lure a few more readers. Hopefully it led at least one person to do a self-exam.

After a short vacation (say a week to ten days) we will return to our regular posting schedule.

zero

 

Y is for….

Youtube – where you can learn to do a multitude of things. My personal examples include treadmill belt replacement, how to do the ladder stitch and how to darn a sock.

Yawning – which thanks to my allergies I seem to be doing a lot of lately. Along with blinking due to very itchy eyes.

Yellow Carnations – a small treat for myself since I have been doing so well on the Whole30 and conquering the A to Z Blogging Challenge!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Sometimes I like to pretend Richard Gere sent the flowers 🙂

H is for How

As in how I am tackling this blogging challenge. Not easily. I feel like I have been behind the power curve all week.

I wrote my first two posts ahead of time knowing I was going to be away all of last week. (I thought I had ‘A’ scheduled to publish but I did something wrong. I think I know what and will test it out Saturday to see if now I know what I am doing.  No betting please.)

Anyway, when I decided to do the challenge in mid-March I printed out a calendar for April, labelled it with the letter for each day and then jotted down topic ideas as they occurred. Some boxes are overflowing, some remain stubbornly blank. I have a few (okay, three, no four!) drafts for various letters written but much of the alphabet is left to be done.

The plan was to write each post the day before it was due.  On the day of,  I would review, edit and publish before beginning work on the next day’s post.  Only I didn’t write the post I planned on writing  Sunday and hence have been playing catch up all week.

The plan is to once again use Sunday to get a head start on the week. Especially this next week as I have three blank letters staring at me. Thank goodness I have the emergency back up plan. I fear I am going to need it!

Tears of Joy

100_3282

It is embarrassing to admit but I have a tendency to tear up over sporting events. When I attend in person I almost always have to blink a bit during the National Anthem. I know how lucky I am to live in such a great country but really listening to the words of “The Star Spangled Banner” reminds me of how hard we have had to fight to keep it free.

 

gabe york

Photo by  Casey Sapio of USA Today Sports

Often I feel a lot of reaction to great plays in sports.  I think it is weird but I can’t seem to do anything about it.  I know it is just happy emotions spilling out my eyes.  This weekend? University of Arizona basketball.  Senior Day.   Gabe York firing four threes in a row?  Three of them in 54 seconds?  The celebrating joy of the entire Wildcat team?  Visiting the “A” center court as he left his home court floor for the final time? I had to grab a tissue.

 

broncos

 

Today Peyton Manning is announcing his retirement. Has there been a better professional athlete?  What if all athletes with Peyton’s level of talent also exhibited his other attributes: work ethic, sportsmanship, charity, devotion to team, gratitude? It is hard to stop listing all of the positive things Peyton Manning exemplifies.  Can you imagine a NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB and Nascar completely populated with players like Peyton Manning?  Yes, there are some other great players out there, Stephen Curry comes to mind.  But there are too many players who are only playing for their paycheck.  Too many who don’t appreciate that raw talent isn’t enough and so they squander it.

It can be a challenge to find good role models for my son.  I hope whoever takes over for Peyton Manning realizes it is not just about what you do on the field, but how you do it.  That with the big paycheck comes a responsibility off the field as well.

I am hoping to watch Peyton Manning’s press conference.  Will I cry?  Maybe.  But they will be happy tears for a career well played and a life well lived.

BIO_Mini-Bios_0_Peyton-Manning_0_FIX_SF_HD_768x432-16x9

Photo from:  http://www.biography.com/people/peyton-manning-37880#related-video-gallery

Thank You Peyton Manning!!