Friday, September 30, 2005

Eastern Box Turtle - Male

One Eastern Box Turtle found Posted by Picasa

This guy was the impromptu topic of our homeschool day on Tuesday when our son found him and saved him from being run over. He's a male. You can tell by the colorful shell and eyes. Females are much more drab. You can also tell by checking under their tail. I'll let you research that more on your own. That's how one learns best!

Holding a turtle

Holding a turtle Posted by Picasa

He's small, but full grown. They like to eat bugs and slugs and worms. We released him back into the wilds of urban Nashville close to where we found him. He did well enough to get full grown, so I guess he knows what he's doing and he'll be okay.

This shirt's a chick magnet

I'm My Son's Dad Posted by Picasa

I had this tee shirt made special for my husband on Father's Day about seven years ago. He still wears it.

This photo was taken at the doctor's office. Our son loves to work at straightening things so he's arranging magazines. Next, he had his dad help him organize the brochures that were in a display case against the wall.

They went to the cafeteria while I was seeing the doc. On the way home my husband said his shirt is a definite chick magnet. lol! No wonder he's kept it so long.

My cousin

My cousin Posted by Picasa

My cousin wears cotton panties. Hehe!

Monday, September 26, 2005

Now it's no-see-ums

I should have known about these. I depend on the news organizations to get the news to me and I've never heard any mention of no-see-ums on CNN. Now I've been bitten by no-see-ums and these bites are worse than the mosquito bite. What is a no-see-um? It's a midge, a sand fly, a punkie:

"A minute two-winged insect that sucks the blood of mammals and birds and other insects."

I have seven of these bites now, one the size of a welt. Apparently the fly is so tiny, about 1/16th of an inch in length, that you don't see them and so they successfully escape notice until after they've bitten you and have gotten a nice blood meal out of ya. Ugh!

Friday, September 23, 2005

Mosquito bite count: 1 today

There's a mosquito in here. He's been hiding all day just waiting for the time when he can bite me. I HATE mosquito bites. I got one outside today on my left elbow. Now this one thinks he's getting me inside my own trailer. I'll tell you what, he's got another thing coming.

I tried three times to get him today. Just now, he escaped again. He's hanging out at the window by my bed. I'll get him though. I mean, her.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Shopping at The Body Shop

For the first time ever, I went to a Body Shop store. I saw, I smelled, I bought.

I dropped Leia a line to make sure the Honey Conditioner for hair was the one she liked. It's a good thing I wrote her because it wasn't the one she tried. She had used Hair and Body Honey Mud and that's the one she liked. Just so happens the Africa Spa is a discontinued line but! they had some in the back room. Yay! I'll try it soon.

Also purchased monoi oil called Spa Wisdom. It has the faint fragrance of gardenia in it. I do so much like gardenia. When we went to Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora there were gardenia flowers blooming everywhere. They grow wild in Tahiti. I brought one home and kept it on my nightstand for three years. Picked it up and sniffed it whenever I wanted. One day it was gone. The dog ate it. Well, she partially ate it then spit it up. It was on the floor.

Also purchased a bar of sesame soap. I don't know how sesame anything can smell good, but it does.

I put some monoi oil on my hair and my hair so oh so soft. I like it. But I think the fragrance may have given me a little headache. I'm so sensitive to fragrances. It's such a bummer. Will I have to smell like nothing for the rest of my life?

I told the girl in The Body Shop that she had a beautiful tummy. She rightly beamed as she patted her belly. She's seven months along with her first baby and she definitely had the whole glow thing going on. She placed a dab of a body scrub product on me saying it was her absolute favorite. She was real attentive and rubbed it on my hand then washed it off in the tap with water. Usually I don't want somebody touching me, but I felt good with her. She told me to sniff it which I did, and phew! It stunk. I told her it smelled like throw up and in the cutest southern drawl she said, "Well! You won't be buying any of this now will you!" She was a real doll.

Feels like life is back on track and back to normal after my run in with the breast cyst. Breast cysts are no good. You have a 50/50 chance of recurrence. Or rather, I have a 50/50 chance of recurrence.

My son and I had our teeth cleaned today and check me out. No cavities. That is a first! It's the first time evah, in my life, I've had no cavities after a check-up. Wonder if my eight crowns in the back have anything to do with it. ;) When my husband retired I went to our dentist and said do everything you can because I'm gonna be uninsured after this. He did a good job for me.

My husband and I just loved the dentist. Young guy, striking blue eyes. Seems like the doctors and dentists are all getting younger these days, doesn't it? He was fascinated by our lifestyle on the road and talked about a trip he made to California once. He lived in Los Gatos for awhile. Los Gatos is a fine community in northern California. Los Gatos was my White Whale - ya know, like Moby Dick was for Cap'n Ahab.

I interviewed for a job there. Competition is extreme in that region. I had diarrhea for two days preparing for this interview. Yeesh! Los Gatos is an upper crust community and at that time, 1996, the median home price was $800,000. Median. Home. Price.

So I interviewed. One interviewer was aggressive and he had a very in your face questioning style but it didn't bother me. It was all a test of course. You have to deal with that at the counter everyday. There was a blond, female interviewer too, and we connected. I think she's the reason why I got the job offer.

Four months later the blond called me at home and offered me the job. The position was City Planner. I had to tell her I was four months pregnant. Somebody else got my job.

So I'm not a city planner. Not even close. I'm a Stay-At-Home homeschooling mom traveling fulltime and livin' in a trailer. I'm a reader, a beader, born-again Believer, and a middle-eastern dancer. It's turned out interesting though not what I had in mind all!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Home education compliment

I thought of one more thing tonight.

Today the RVers across the way were talking with my husband. They commented on how our son is such a putterer. He's a busy body, very sociable and a real worker bee. He sweeps our campsite, he polishes his bike and washes his bike trailer. He arranges and rearranges his toy cars, sweeps neighboring campsites, shuttles laundry to and from the laundromat for us, buys orange juice at the little store for us, takes the trash out, helps his dad. I never have a problem with him saying there's nothing to do. That's a major reason why life on the road is working out so well for us.

Today the RVers across the way said that from chatting with our boy and watching him outside they just knew him to be home-schooled. That's what they said to my husband. It made me feel good to hear that.


We're going to see if our insurance will cover the cost of our awning that blew off. That way it would cost us $50.00 instead of $1000.00. Well, in the short run that is. In the long run the Hartford will probably raise our insurance by $2000.00.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Junk mail from my friend in Canada

1. Vancouver: 1.5 million people and two bridges.
2. Your $400,000 Vancouver home is just 5 hours from downtown.
3. You can throw a rock and hit three Starbucks locations.
4. There's always some sort of deforestation protest going on.

1. Big Rock between you and B.C.
2. Ottawa who?
3. Tax is 7 percent instead of approximately 200 percent for the rest of the country.
4. Flames vs. Oilers.
5. Stamps vs. Eskies.
6. You can exploit almost any natural resource you can think of.
7. You live in the only province that could actually afford to be its own country.
8. The Americans below you are all in anti-government militia groups.

1. You never run out of wheat.
2. Cruise control takes on a whole new meaning.
3. Your province is really easy to draw.
4. You never have to worry about car roll-back if you have a standard transmission.
5. It takes you two weeks to walk to your neighbor's house.
6. You can watch the dog run away from home for hours.
7. People will assume you live on a farm.
8. Buying a huge John Deere mower makes sense.

1. You wake up one morning to find you suddenly have beachfront property.
2. The only province to ever violently rebel against the federal government.
3. Hundreds of huge, horribly frigid lakes.
4. Nothing compares to a wicked Winnipeg winter.
5. You don't need a car, just take the canoe to work.
6. You can be an Easterner or a Westerner depending on your mood.
7. Because of your licence plate, you are still friendly even when you cut someone off.
8. Pass the time watching trucks and barns float by.

1. You live in the centre of the universe.
2. Your $400,000 Toronto home is actually a dump.
3. You and you alone decide who will win the federal election.
4. There's no such thing as an Ontario Separatist. Separate from what? You are the centre of the universe.
5. The only province with hard-core American-style crime.
6. Much Music's Speaker's Corner - rant and rave on national TV for a dollar.

1. Racism is socially acceptable.
2. The only province to ever kidnap federal politicians.
3. You can take bets with your friends on which English neighbor will move out next.
4. Other provinces basically bribe you to stay in Canada.
5. You can blame all your problems on the "Anglo *#!%".

1. One way or another, the government gets 98 per cent of your income.
2. You're poor, but not as poor as the Newfies.
3. When listing the provinces, everyone forgets to mention yours.
4. The economy is based on fish, cows, and ferrying Ontario motorists to Boston.
5. No one ever blames anything on New Brunswick.
6. Everybody has a Grandfather who runs a lighthouse.
7. Just as charming as Maine, but with more unemployed fishermen.
8. You probably live in a small seaside cottage with no television.

1. Everyone can play the fiddle. The ones who can't, think they can.
2. You are the "only" reason Anne Murray makes money.
3. You can pretend you have Scottish heritage as an excuse to get drunk and wear a kilt.
4. The economy is based on lobster and fiddle music.
5. Even though it smells like dead sea animals, Halifax is considered Canada's most beautiful city.

1. Even though more people live on Vancouver Island, you still got the big, new bridge.
2. You can walk across the province in half an hour.
3. You were probably once an extra on "Road to Avonlea".
4. This is where all those tiny red potatoes come from.
5. The economy is based on fish, potatoes, and CBC TV shows.
6. Tourists arrive, see the "Anne of Green Gables" house, then promptly leave.
7. You can drive across the province in two minutes.
8. It doesn't matter to you if Quebec separates.
9. You don't share a border with the Americans, or with anyone for that matter.
10. You can confuse ships by turning your porch lights on and off at night.

1. If Quebec separates, you will float off to sea.
2. In the rare case when someone moves to the Rock, you can make them kiss dead cod.
3. The economy is based on fish, seafood, and fish-related products.
4. If you do something stupid, you have a built-in excuse.
5. You and only you understand the meaning of Great Big Sea's lyrics.
6. The workday is about two hours long.
7. You are credited with many great inventions, like the solar-powered flashlight and the screen door for submarines.
8. It is socially acceptable to wear your hip waders on your wedding day.

My lump is benign

It has been a ten day meditation for me. It must have been one I needed if my Lord sent it to me.

Life is one big trial. No matter where you are in your life, you're either entering one, in the middle of one, or coming out of one. This trial began for me on the morning of the September 9th when I found a lump and ended today, the 19th, when it was removed.

My breast lump was benign. It was a cyst. (What an attractive word.) The physician I went to, (I think I got a mighty good one), aspirated it. That means he stuck a needle in and removed the fluid. He took out six cc's. I thought that was quite a lot. The liquid was murky brown. Yuk. I thought I saw a blobule of fat too and hey, I don't want any fat removed from there. From my behind, yes, but not from the top! Am I right ladies? But I am glad it's done and over. I'm like new again and I don't have to walk around with a lump!

The doc did an ultrasound to determine that it was a cyst then he used the image on the screen to guide him as he inserted the needle. I watched the black spot on the ultrasound get smaller and smaller and smaller until, poof!, it disappeared. Technology is wonderful, incredible. He was a good doctor because he knew we're traveling and so he took care of the whole caboodle at once for me. Cost = $486.00.

I am emotionally drained. Thank you for your prayers. I felt them. It made a difference.

Tomorrow will be delicious.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Spending the night with my cousin

Tonight I'm doing a sleepover at my favorite cousin's house. Woo hoo! Tomorrow we're going out for breakfast. It's strictly girl time!

Friday, September 16, 2005

Finished my Lewis and Clark book

Finally, I finished The Journals of Lewis and Clark by Bernard DeVoto. It wasn't the easiest reading. I shopped and shopped and shopped before I chose this book. There are so many books on the topic and especially in the national park bookstores it seems like anybody can write a book and get it on the bookshelves. You have to be a very discerning book buyer. Like me. Heh.

This book consists of the real, live journal entries of Lewis and Clark. The only thing better to read than this would be the genuine journals and those would be somewhat dull to regular, non-scholarly peeps, such as myself.

Imagine if Meriwether and William had kept no journals. We might be speaking Russian or flying the British flag right now. It's incredible that they made it to the Pacific and back at all. It took two years and everyone thought they were long dead. They called prairie dogs barking squirrels. Heh. And how they met so many Indians and never got killed surely is a miracle.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Amazing Third Grader

Our son calls himself The Amazing Third Grader. I didn't think he cared about the new school year, but I guess he does! He took out his literature books and read two stories already. I'm all wound up! Been reading, printing, organizing. The curriculum is a little different than last year, so I can't just wake up and start teaching with my eyes closed. I have to, eeek, prepare. Today he did so well on our first day. There's a great deal more writing in third grade than second. I thought he'd really buck at that, but he didn't. Maybe when the newness wears off I'll see that side of him again.

To increase his automaticity in arithmetic I found a useful little site at where I can print out drill sheets and answer sheets. I like the answer sheets because he can check his work himself. He likes their SuperKids vocabulary word of the day too. And I spent an hour typing a printing simple index sheets here. They have good (free) templates.

Well, I must get to bed. I'll be all dreary eyed in the morning no doubt, or is that bleary eyed? It's miserable hot and muggy here in Tennessee. It's currently 69 degrees and it's 12:30 in the a.m.

I have a doctor appointment on Monday. I get to pay cash too because my insurance doesn't work in Tennessee. I've had an attack of malaise today.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

People I've met

He's livin' in the '60s! Posted by Picasa

This is Thomas. Thomas and his sweet son Claude, my husband and son and I, spent a day together at Great Sand Dunes National Park. I had to get a picture of his trailer. I look like a doofus because I'm telling my husband how to operate the camera. Have you ever seen such a trailer? I love it! Thomas worked as a radio show host (he has a fabulous deep voice) and now he's a farmer. His wife is a belly dancer and so he and I had plenty to talk about. Would you believe, he decorated that there trailer himself! What talent. You can't see all the wonderful symbols on every side, but they're all genuine ancient southwestern Indian symbols. The spiral for example means life.

I post this particular photograph because I realize how miserably I have failed at keeping any record whatsoever of all the unique people we've met between California, Alaska, and Tennessee. I have snapshots of them in my mind but I know I'm going to forget too many.

We've met other full timers who have been helpful and full of information. At Anza Borrego a couple rolled up our awning for us when we were brand new to trailering. We didn't know you should put the awning up when you leave for the day because winds can come up any time and pull it right off. There was a French lady in the Yukon Territory of Canada, about eighty years old, who took a liking to our son and hugged him a lot and taught him some French words. There was George White who helped us get our satellite dish working.

One woman stands out in my mind. She and I were taking pictures of our families in front of a welcome sign. I don't even remember which sign. Now this is bad! But we got to talking and she said she was on her way to Montana to be in the place where her father grew up. They had been extremely close and now he had died and she was lost without him. She was hoping to feel close to him, to feel better, if only she could go to the place where he was born and grew up. I remember now. We were in Utah. And we talked about the media and I said I was surprised to hear God mentioned on the radio as his name is not usually mentioned on the radio waves in Southern California and she said, well, the language on television in Utah was as bad as she'd heard anywhere. She said she was in such disbelief she even took notes on it! I told her I didn't know that as we have no television. We parted. She walked to her truck and we to ours. But she turned around and came back and hugged me. It's something that I cannot put into words, but we were connected. At that second, in that space and time, we were defintely connected.

I climbed into the truck and immediately wished I had something more. Why am I so slow? But I'm bad with words and I said nothing. My husband said "What did she do that for?" and I said her dad died. She was wearing a blue summer dress and had medium length blonde hair and she was my age, maybe a little older. I hope she found what she needed and what she was looking for. She stands out so much in my mind.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Third grade is coming

I love the beginning of the school year. I being a product of the public school system, associate new clothes, new crayons, fresh notebooks and paper, new pens and pencils to starting the school year. You have an A in every class. Everyone has an A in every subject the first week. But for my son it's pretty much business as usual because education is ongoing at our house. Actually I don't think he misses out on anything in particular. He gets to go on field trips with the homeschool group once in awhile, and of course now that we're on the road every day is a field trip! But I'm the only one who gets really excited for the new school year around here.

So I rearranged! In one place I put all my school books together so they'll be easy to reach. Up to now I've been using a 'homeschool box' but it's not very convenient. I hate having to pull it out and open it. I know it doesn't sound tough, heh!, but opening my homeschool box entails taking all the junk that has accumulated on top of it off, placing it, uh, somewhere else in here, then dragging it out of the corner, opening it up and then, yeah, now I try to find what I'm looking for in this mess of a box.

I'm all perfectly rearranged now. I put the stuff I use less often in the box and put my frequently used stuff out on a shelf. Good thing we're staying in one place for a month because naturally, when we move I'll have to rearrange or else it'll be all over the floor. My language arts material were shipped today. Those are my favorite items to receive and it's one of my favorite subjects to teach. I like to teach history too.

Which reminds me. We found a crack in the sheet metal of the trailer at the bottom corner of the door. Cracks in your exterior are never a good thing. We'll see if the RV place can put a gusset on it. That's what my husband said. A gusset. Ya know, to hold things together.

I need a gusset too. Ha! The specialist's office person phoned and said they're already overbooked and she'll call me back and she didn't. That doesn't give me warm fuzzies. I'll call again tomorrow. I did a little research on the web and learned that cysts and breast masses are more common as women get older. And I was comforted to read that smooth edges are often a sign of a benign mass.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Need pictures, eh.

Boy this blog needs some pictures. It's bald with no pictures! I don't have anything new so I'll just have to take some photos of something tomorrow.

I phoned my medical coverage company and the good news is I don't have to go home to California to get a mammo and the bad news is it is covered as emergency/urgent care which means I got to go sit in the Emergency/Urgent Care Waiting Room for three hours, then sit in a patient waiting room for two hours, then the physician told me I need to call a specialist tomorrow to make an immediate follow-up appointment for a mammo. I can't really complain though. I am blessed to have medical coverage, I saw many people in discomfort and pain, and the hospital workers were working so very hard. So what I had to wait five hours.

When I was done I was famished. As I returned to the main lobby in search of a phone to call my husband to pick me up, who walks in the front door? My husband and son. They got worried so they came to get me before I called so I didn't have to sit and wait for them drive back to pick me up! My husband has an uncanny knack.

The doctor remarked that my lump is mobile and he said that's good. He said it's quarter sized. I wish I had more resolution today, but it is what it is. My head hurt so much with a most splitting headache from the moment I woke and all day long. Aspirin didn't touch it. I have a better feeling now though. I think I'm just going through the motions as every woman does. The medical community takes lumps very seriously. I just need to get the mammo, then they'll tell me it's nothing, then I can be fine again.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

15 hour drive

We kept thinking we were closer to our target destination than we were so we kept driving a little longer. Our son was so excited to get to Granny's house he could hardly contain himself. So fifteen hours straight driving on Saturday and we made it. Today was pure recovery time.

More bad news on our wittle trailer. Apparently the high winds of the previous day loosened some parts on "trailie" (that's our pet name for the trailer) but we didn't notice. Soon as we got on the freeway someone waved us to the side of the road. Husband got out and checked things over and the awning was gone. Clean gone! It's only held on by a spring and apparently when it shook back and forth in the wind Friday which was coming at us broadside a rip in one side started and then traveled all the way across till the awning fell away. We can't leave our garbage along the freeway so we drove back and looked for the parts. Got 'em.

As for me, myself, I'm gettin' along. I'm keeping busy so I have less time to think about me self. I just finished cleaning the bathroom really, really good. That toilet is the bane of my existence. Half of my grade three curriculum has not yet arrived and our official start date is the 15th and that's annoying.

Tomorrow I call a doctor.

Friday, September 09, 2005

One lump in Strasburg, CO

We're zooming to Tennessee. The driving day is long and there hasn't been much to see here in the great state of Kansas anyway. It's called the Wheat State but all we see is miles of corn! Our truck is gulping down the fuel as we drive against a strong wind from morning till evening. The moulding fell off from around our trailer door! Last night we slept at a KOA right next to the interstate. Geez. But tonight we're in a lovely campground. It's warm but there's a nice breeze. The trees are big and green and the sound of cicadas fill the air. I'm fond of the midwest. It's so midwestern.

This morning I felt a lump in my breast. I can't believe this is me. In a rush to get on the road, I put on my olive oil in one great sweep from neck to the top of my breasts, and there it was. It was unmistakable. It's so big. I don't know how it can be so big so all of a sudden.

There's no breast cancer in my family. My mother and younger sister both have benign lumps and I fully expect this one is too. But now I have to see a doctor and get a mammogram ASAP and that's not exactly great. My medical coverage in California is perfectly useless in the eastern United States. I am essentially uninsured.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Coffeepot thoughts

When we packed and prepared for our extended travels we decided to deep six the electric coffeemaker and replace it with a low tech alternative. We brought along an old metal percolator coffeepot instead. You know, the kind that heats water into steam that pushes the hot water up a tube where it falls through the coffee basket and into the main compartment? We haven't missed the electric coffemaker at all. And how sweet to my ears is the sound of the percolating coffee that my husband prepares each morning!

From my husband you'd get a different story. He was sick of breaking the glass coffee carafes and having to buy a whole new coffeemaker just because the carafe was broken.

My Aunt Arline had a percolator coffeepot. One of my favorite childhood memories of her is when she made me a bowl of vanilla ice cream and absolutely drenched it in Hershey's chocolate syrup. Chocolate was my favorite and I was in hog heaven.

If you were to speak to her she would very soon point out that her son is perfect, everything her daughter-in-law does is amazing, and woe unto you if you inquire after any of her grandchildren. They are the best, the smartest, most clever, prettiest, etc. They are truly the light of her life; the center of her heart and her being. And for twenty years she took the best of care of my Grandma, her mother. They lived next door to each other and Aunt Arline's daily assistance enabled my grandmother to live a contented, independent life long after my grandfather passed on.

Aunt Arline has Alzheimer's now. She's been placed in a nursing home. I feel so badly for her. Like a broken record, over and over she constantly demands to go home. She claims she has got to go home to take care of Mom and Dad. This wears out her family. Her home has been sold. She hasn't been told it's been sold, but even if she was she's no longer coherent enough to understand what it means.

She kicked a nurse and demanded to go home and again they've readjusted her medication. My heart breaks for her and for my cousins.

So when I scrub the coffeepot each night I think of her. All my memories of her wash over me. I bend down to empty the coffee grounds in the garbage can and I wonder how many times she must have done the very same thing. I recall the dozens of summers we lounged in her air conditioned living room wasting the days, because we had days to waste. How many hot Nebraska days did we all spend sitting and talking around her dining room table, while she kept the coffee cups filled? I would like to relive one of those days now.

I remember I was struck by how soft her cheek was when I hugged her at Grama's funeral and how nice she smelled. I ponder the sad ending that Alzheimer's brings. An ending no one deserves.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Mesa Verde National Park, CO

Scenic overlook Posted by Picasa

This and the following photos are from our one week stay at Mesa Verde. It's one of our favorite parks. It wasn't very crowded at all. The park workers kept saying they were expecting crowds for Labor Day, but they didn't materialize. Perhaps the fuel prices kept people home.

There are only 15 sites with hook-ups and they tend to fill up this time of year, but we got the last one on the day we arrived. It was quiet and beautiful. It's mighty sweet being in the middle of nowhere and having hook-ups to boot. Usually for a stay like this you have to dry camp (as in no water, no electricity, no sewer hook-ups).

A rockin' awesome hike

A rockin' awesome hike Posted by Picasa

On our last day in the park we hiked to the top of the mesa in the background of this photo. The sun set when we were at the top though so we had to hurry back down. At night the darkness is very dark in the wilderness!

Hemenway House

Cliff dwellings Posted by Picasa

Check it out. Would you live here if you didn't have to? How many people fell to their death just trying to go home? No one knows for certain why the ancient Anasazi lived in the cliffs, nor does anyone know for certain why they left the region in 1300 A.D. as they left no written records. My guess is they were afraid of something, perhaps attack from another tribe.

One of the best dwellings to see is Step House. There was no sun the day I went so my pics are, meh! But it requires no ticket, it's a self-guided tour, and there's a ranger present who can answer questions. It's a fair hike getting there, pretty steep. The tours to the major cliff dwellings are $2.75 per person but we thought our eight year old wouldn't be too keen on the ladders. He's reluctant to get on a regular ladder let alone a ladder with a sheer cliff underneath.

This dwelling is named after Mary Tileston Hemenway. She was a wealthy woman back east who saved Mesa Verde for all of us...and she never even got to see it herself.


Petroglyph Posted by Picasa

The spiral symbolizes life.

Asters Posted by Picasa

Gambel oak burnt

Burned Gambel Oak Posted by Picasa

There's lots of Gambel Oak throughout the park. There have been fires. I was fascinated by the burned remnants of these trees. They remind me of the joshua trees in Joshua Tree National Park in California. I lived in 29 Palms for four years. In 29 at sunset the shapes of the joshua tree resemble people. The burned oak look like they had a story too. I would like to hear....

Mano and metate

Mano and metate Posted by Picasa

Used by ancestral puebloan people to grind corn, or rather maize. Not good for the teeth!

Monday, September 05, 2005

Goldie in my husband's dream

Goldie Hawn. I liked her so much on Laugh-In and in the movie Swing Shift. I don't think Goldie's cute anymore. She lost all her cuteness when I heard on the radio about her unprincipled lifestyle and her defective advice on how to keep a man happy for twenty years. Yeah, I wonder how many tears of "happiness" she's cried over the past twenty years.

But while I was waiting to get my hair trimmed the other day I picked up an old magazine and perused an article about her. Funny I can't remember a thing about it, but there was no mention of her happy, open marriage with Kurt Russell.

And the weirdest thing happened. My husband dreamt about her. He woke up the next morning and told me he had no idea why he would dream about Goldie Hawn. He was really perplexed. My eyes got big and I told him I had read an article about her the previous day! I never mentioned it to him. He didn't see the magazine. He didn't know I'd read about her. Then I heard the tune from the Outer Limits!

My husband has this thing where he reads my thoughts. I'm mostly used to it now after twenty years of marriage, but he still freaks me out once in awhile.

Wildflowers on a cloudy day

Wildflowers Posted by Picasa

I know it's a plain picture, but my eyes like it.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Ends trimmed, 2 braids

My feet, my feet! What happened to my feet! Aw, they're there, ya just can't see 'em.

My sweet little boy took this picture of my two braids this morning. He's my best little picture taker. He makes me smile.

I got three inches cut off on Friday. The ends are totally healthy now. I must take goooood care of these ends now. I have to figure out microtrimming and S&D.

I woulda, coulda, shoulda been at 33" this month, but I couldn't bear to look at these frayed ends. They were bothering me all the time every day, even when I was sleeping. I begin anew with 30". Or do I continue anew? I dunno. Both!

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Rock squirrel in a juniper tree

Cute! Posted by Picasa

My handy fold-out pocket naturalist guide tells me that this is a rock squirrel.

I was lucky I saw him and he turned out so sharp! The following photos are all wildlife pics taken during our stay at Mesa Verde National Park. Scenic photo and pictures of the ruins to be uploaded manana.

One lizard

One lizard Posted by Picasa

He's not just any lizard. He's a Sagebrush Lizard. (I know, there are lots of them.)

Cottontail rabbit

A cottontail Posted by Picasa

Desert Cottontail.

A proud turkey

A proud turkey Posted by Picasa

There's a herd of these in the park. ;)

Flock crosses the road

Flock crosses road Posted by Picasa

One of them dropped a pretty tail feather on the street which I picked up and kept.

Mule deer fawn

Mule deer fawn Posted by Picasa

Still showing spots. They got their name because of those great, big ears. Lots and lots of deer roam through the park and they cruise right through the campsites. The mamas though, they aren't too photogenic. I hate to say so, but they're downright ugly. Their faces, those doe eyes and big ears are pretty, but their fur is very bad. It's spotted and discolored all over.

Son and I

Son and I Posted by Picasa

We're learning about pictographs which are painted on rock walls, and petroglyphs which are carved in rock. Those photos coming tomorrow night...

We have a nice couple camping in the space next to us. They're from Washington state. I heard them playing patriotic music in their camper van today. I was sittin' in the street (well it was the best vantage point at that moment) waiting patiently for a set of twin fawns to walk by (which didn't pan out) and when they ran away and I walked back to our site he came over and gave me some dried lavender. It smells wonderful and he says he grows it himself. He said I looked earthy (I do?) and he thought I'd like it. We all like the fragrance, even my husband.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

My latest neurosis

I shall add this one to the growing collection my husband in jest refers to as 'Liliana's many neuroses.'

Our hot water tank holds a whopping six gallons so I no longer enjoy those nice 30 minute showers or relaxing baths that a woman needs now and then. I use the teensy shower in our trailer often because every thing I need is right here. Plus I don't have to wear flip-flops or worry about touching the walls, or horror of horrors, fear dropping my wash cloth on the floor of a public shower. But once in awhile I do use the campground showers, like when I want more hot water or a better shower head than we have in the trailer.

Is there anything nicer in life than pulling into a new campground, using the head and everything looks shiny and clean and smells good? Well, some things in life could maybe be nicer, but you have to admit a hygienic restroom rates way up there. I tell you it is disgusting how disgusting some people can be in the bathroom.

But my very little quirk is this; I hate to see hair in the shower and I hate to leave hair in the shower. That's actually fairly normal but now that we're traveling fulltime, and this is worse, I hate to leave hair not only in my own shower (which again I say is normal) but in any public shower. Having longer hair than many I'm always afraid the camp host or restroom cleaning person will look at me and think, "Oh THERE'S the long haired culprit."

So. I've developed this tendency to wipe up hair off of the floor. I end up bending down umpteen times, squinting at the floor picking up first all my hairs. Okay, that's cool, but then I go back and pick up every single hair of every length and color of anybody's hair. Why? Because any of them might be mistaken for being mine. It's a little disgusting I might say. I'm aware of this and yet I can't stop. I will even wipe the hair off the drain if necessary. Once I did this in the tiny village of Beiseker, Alberta, Canada and a giant gob of hair from the past three months, who knows maybe from last summer, came up out of the drain.

Then on my way out of the restroom I stop to wash my hands and I wonder to myself, "What if someone comes in after me. They'll think I left this blob of toothpaste in the sink." I get a paper towel and wipe the whole sink. Then I think, "Did a flock of ducks just pass through here?' The counter is all wet and so I wipe the entire counter from end to end. Then, how can I forget, my dad always said, "A bathroom is not clean unless the faucets are shining." My conscience tells to get a few more brown paper towels and rub those faucets till they sparkle and shine. I must be a bathroom cleaner's dream.

Really, people should be thoughtful and wipe their pee off the toilet seat, put toilet paper where it belongs, deposit used paper towels in the trash receptacle, and turn the water faucet off all the way. It wouldn't be such a reeking, stinking world if people would take the time.