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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A rose by any other name...

Juliet:  "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."
 
My father in law loved his roses.  He tended them in Yuma, Arizona, which if you've ever visited there, you'd wonder how a rose could possibly live there.  When he passed away suddenly, almost three years ago, a family member went to Yuma & dug up his roses to give to my husbands siblings.  Ron & Brenda arrived in Flagstaff with five gallon buckets, each with a rose plant in it.  "It's never going to make it in Flagstaff", I said.  The roses arrived when snow had already started to fall.  So we left the rose neglected in our garage until spring.  In a five gallon bucket.  In the dark.  
When we planted it in the spring time, we really had no hope of it living.  It was a short stub with no signs of life.  But we planted it anyway.  Imagine our surprise when it bloomed the first time!  And our surprise that what we were told was a yellow rose was, in fact, pink.  It's never been a healthy rose plant.  I think I really need to look into what it needs for fertilizer.  But every year it struggles to produce just a few blooms.  The one in todays photo is the first bloom in months.  The stalks (is that what you call them?) that the roses grow on are very slender & weak looking.  But still it blooms.  I think there's a lesson here...perseverance.

per·se·ver·ance

[pur-suh-veer-uhns]
noun
1.
steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.
2.
Theology . continuance in a state of grace to the end, leading to eternal salvation.



Monday, August 29, 2011

Wii Dance Party

My brother had a combined birthday party at his house last weekend (his/my dad's).  We brought out our Wii Dance Party 2 game.  When the sun went down, we put on our dancin' shoes!  Or in this case, took off our shoes, shed all worry of looking stupid & got down & boogied!
Look at that blur of activity!  That game is so much fun!  I feel totally stupid every time I do it (those of you who know me well know that I have NO sense of rhythm...it's quite embarrassing, actually).  But it really is fun.  So if you've been telling the kids no you don't want to play, give in just once.  You're going to love it...I swear!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Bees...

yellow jackets...I have no idea what these little suckers are.  But I can tell you that each summer they infiltrate Kendall's old sand box.  I'm sure you're thinking that we should just get rid of the sand box.  Well, if you'd like to help us move 19 tons of sand (totally not kidding!) then buy all means, come on over.

They live in the sand.  I think, anyway.  We've never found a nest.  They dig holes all over the sand & there are so many, we are hesitant to use the trampoline.

They also dig up the dirt between our pavers.  When they're busy, you'll actually see sand flying out behind them.  It's crazy.

We've called an exterminator to come out & he said that they don't deal with bees.  But if you sign a contract for us every three months, we'll fill your sand box with toxic chemicals that maybe will work & maybe they won't.  It's so frustrating...

I tried that cool glass jar to catch them

Pretty?  Yes.  Does it work?  No.  Unless you like to catch nats...& then have it fill up with disgusting maggots.

Looking for solutions here...so if you have any, please leave me a comment!  The bees are so bad that we're having Kendall's birthday party at her Aunties house.  Well, that & now I don't have to clean, so it's win-win!

First Day of School

The first day of school (August 18th, if you were wondering) went something like this:

me:  "have a great first day, sweetie!"

kendall:  "mom, aren't you going to take my first day of school photo?" 

me:  "oh, crap, I totally forgot!"

kendall:  "jeez, mom!"

How does a mom forget to take photos on the first day of school? I've done it every year for 12 years.  And this one I forget?


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Creatures

This lovely turtle lives at the Monterey Bay Aquarium...one of my very favorite places to be. 

This facinating thing is a mermaids purse.   They are hard shells (kind of) that house skate embryos.  Somehow the Monterey Bay Aquarium cut a section out & covered it with a window so you can see the skate embryos inside.  It it utterly fascinating.

These reminded us of "Kendall Hair".  Ask her about it some day....haha!

My Garden

I shouldn't even call it "my".  Really, it's my dads.  Honestly, if it weren't for him, there would be no garden.  He built the fence to keep the bunnies out.  He tilled the soil for me, because, well, I'm too lazy...plus I was sicker than a dog that day.  He helped me plant the plants.  All I did was watch it grow.  (My husband did most of the watering...)  The results are just fabulous...
I love my garden.  Thanks Dad!  (And happy birthday, too!)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A busy little weekend

My Uncle Bob came up to visit last weekend from Tucson.  I don't get to see him much, which is a bummer, so we packed a lot of stuff into two days. 

Saturday morning we woke up early (for him, I think!) and went for a hike around Kendrick Trail. 

I say around Kendrick Trail, because once again, we missed a trail head.  The funny thing?  It was to the right of this sign.  We ended up following the green line to FR 171 & realized that we had gone the wrong way.  Headed back to the car & saw the trail head...right next to the car.  So don't count on us for directions, that's all I'm sayin'. 

Even though we were on the wrong path, we had a lovely 10-12 mile hike.  Audra brought Dutch along & he was so excited he could barely contain himself!


Maggie loved having a friend along.


After the hike, we parted ways with Audra & picked up my dad & Kendall to head to the Grand Canyon.  Not typically a place I want to go on a Saturday, but Kendall participated in an art show on her Grand Canyon Youth river trip & we wanted to see her pictures.


Hers is the butterfly.  Plus, she took an awesome photo in the canyon & wrote a nice poem.  The girl has talent that she never even knew she had!

And really you cannot go to the Grand Canyon & not SEE the canyon, so we hiked a little trail to check it out.  If you ask my dad, it was five miles in the sweltering heat.  Really, it was maybe a mile, and yeah, it was a little warm.


That's my Uncle Bob on the left and my dad on the right. 

My husband likes to scare me half to death because I'm afraid of heights.  He thinks it's hysterical that my knees go weak & I want to collapse at the idea of being near the edge.  So what does he do?  He goes to the edge.  Before I had a melt down I got a couple of cool photos:


Kendall looks all grown up now...{heavy sigh}.


And she looks nothing like me.  It's ok.  I've come to accept it.

After a whirlwind trip to the canyon we went to my brother's house for a BBQ.  I should have gotten all sorts of photos, but I was so dang tired all I managed was a photo of Ray taking a photo of me, taking a photo of him:


Ray thought it was hysterical!

We had family breakfast at my mom's the next morning, which is pretty chaotic.  The food is delightful & my brother & I rarely fight at it.  (Mostly, we fight at his house...this time because I told him he couldn't shoot a deer...but that's another story for another time.)  It was such a good weekend...a whirlwind but so much fun! 

Uncle Bob, it IS always crazy at family gatherings...I hope we didn't scare you off!  As a matter of fact, I hope you come back soon...there are many more trails for us to find!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What inspires you?

I tend to be inspired by the odd...I find this wall to be hugely fascinating.
I liked this mailbox so much I wrecked my bike to take a photo of it (the only thing hurt was a bag of kettle corn). 
And I like the ridiculous. 

What inspires you?

Cruising

I am obsessed with these bikes ever since we rented them in Oxnard.  We rode 20+ miles...all over the place.  The wind in my hair, the ease of the peddles, the cushy seat.  Probably my favorite part of our road trip.  Every day my husband asks me if we can go again tomorrow.  Ahhhh, wouldn't that be lovely?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Year in Review Class for August

Here's my Year in Review class for August 13th at 1030 am at About Memories and More.  We're using an adorable patriotic line from Bo Bunny.  Hope to see you!


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Probably the best...

I'm pretty hard on myself for the photos that I take.  My vision in my head & what come out of the camera never match up.  I expect myself to be so much better & then end up mad at the result.  Plenty of people think I take great photos...unfortunately, I'm not one of them.  But even I have to admit, this is probably the best photo I have ever taken.  I had a quick print made at Wal-Mart (the processing was awful by the way) & imagine my surprise when I pulled out what looked like a post card...
I may blow it up & hang it on my wall!  Don loved the elephant seals down the PCH the best on our trip.  Did you know they only come ashore 2 times a year?  We were lucky enough to see them when they came ashore to molt.  And did you know that male elephant seals weigh up to 5,000 pounds?  The females only weigh up to 500 pounds.  Fascinating stuff, I tell you!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Dreamy Diana

I've had this Dreamy Diana plastic lens for my camera for a bit.  I honestly didn't know what to do with it.  I pulled it out for a few photos while on the beach in California...man, do I wish I would have played with it sooner!  It gives photos such a cool retro look!  See for yourself:




I think I'm in love....