Thursday, August 30, 2007

Everyday hair

Pics to share with my long hair hobby grrrlfriends. Hope it doesn't make anybody seasick. It's a bit off-kilter. I made thirty-nine inches. Whew. Go, me! Didn't think I was going to make it. I keep expecting a no growth month. I'm due one anytime because last year I had a no growth month in August.

I know. It's not a neato pic or anything but I did say it was everyday hair. Son took this one of me. I'm fond of his POV. I'm wearing my pajama top which is why it's PiNk! I wanted a light colored top and searched all my cubbies which took all of two minutes because I have three little cubbies, and all I own are dark tops. I do own a pink sweatshirt now, but it's too hot to wear it yet.

Who ever enlarges this pic and sees the dust, they have to come to my trailie and dust. View the details at your own risk!

And I have one more. In my hand is my dad's rosary given to him by his dad. My grandad was a serious Catholic. All six kids are Catholic but for some reason with my dad it didn't take. My dad, he's never prayed on the rosary once. He showed it to my sister and me, and I asked if I could have it. He said sure. So I pray on it sometimes. During Lent I go the extra mile and pray the Mysteries on it - Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious, Luminous. It's an excellent way to remember and recall the life of Jesus. I have a booklet to do it. Ya gotta have the booklet. Can't remember all those events without it. Wish all my hair had slid off the sofa, but oh well.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Upcoming lessons

Last night we were watching the wildlife and I commented on the lack of baby jackrabbits. We've seen lots of baby cottontails and lots of baby quail, two young roadrunners, but no small jacks. My husband said he thought he saw one that looked pregnant and I said, no, I don't think so, and then we argued a bit about how late is too late in the season to have babies in the wild.

Son was listening in and he pipes up with, "Mammaaaa, there aren't any jackrabbits because they haven't been launched yet." We laughed! Then tonight I mentioned how we've seen a single gnarly old squirrel but no cute baby squirrels, and my son informed me that they didn't hatch any this year! This time I took a double take, gave him my stern mom look and said, "Now you know mammals don't hatch out of eggs." Anywho, I think we'll do some brush up on the reproduction of birds and mammals this week and perhaps, rocket ships as well.

Monday, August 27, 2007

A milestone

My husband bought us two new cots and we're sleeping under the stars tonight!

Our ten year old son has a special stuffed dog that he won at the fair when he was six years old. Its name is Rainbow because he's all the colors of the rainbow. Rainbow is still colorful and in pretty good shape despite how floppy he is. His floppiness just makes him more lovable, like the Velveteen Rabbit.

Rainbow was on the new cot that we just set up outside. Son picked him up and tucked him under his arm and as went up the steps into the trailer he turned round and whispered sort of sheepishly, "I don't want anyone to see me with Rainbow."

Awwww. It's the period at the end of a sentence of time. My husband and I looked at each other and we both sighed.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Do or do not do

I couldn't bead anything that looked at 2:00am last night I ordered more beads and findings.

Here's some very bad, bad advice. If you cannot bead something pretty, order more beads.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Mother Teresa's Crisis of Faith

I want to devour the article at Time Magazine entitled Mother Teresa's Crisis of Faith. I want to absorb it into my very cells and understand all of it. I want it tattooed on my body. Oh wait. I'm not doing any more tattoos.

A few years ago in a Bible study during a discussion I mentioned that even Mother Teresa fought within herself, in her soul and her consciousness, with her own faith and her feelings. It was a dead end as far as discussion, but I wonder if the pastor would remember that day now! A book is coming out September 4 - Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light. I want it.

I did a study on it today with our son. Brief, basic, an introduction for a ten year old.
  1. She was born as 'Agnes' in 1910 in Macedonia. Five kids born, two died. Father died when she was only eight. Perhaps poisoned by political foes.
  2. At age 18 she went to school in Dublin, Ireland, to learn English. Never saw her mom again.
  3. She taught history and geography, happily, for about 15 years.
  4. On a retreat, Christ spoke to her.
  5. She began the Missionaries of Charity to help the poorest of the poor in Calcutta, India.
On another note. I've watched Annie Lennox' new video, "Dark Road", from her upcoming album called Mass Destruction. The video is here at Amazon.

She's Buddhist, or sort of a Buddhist. I wager she's quite familiar with the Scriptures. I see Christian references in her video. I was never crazy about the Eurythmics because I was metal, but some of their tunes were catchy. Who can forget "Sweet Dreams are Made of These." I never did go for the androgyny, but that's her thing. It works for her. If I could look so good with one inch hair I'd go for it! But anyway, my point was going to be, it's an awesome video. Great to see a mature woman not trying to look 24 and still rocking some badmojambo, serious lyrics. It's going to resonate with a lot of people. I'd like to listen to more popular music than I do, but anymore with the lyrics...I have to be so careful what I listen to. Garbage in, garbage out, or better yet Philippians 4:8.

Hey, it's Friday. In Kara's inimitable way lemme say, "Have a super-d-duper week-end!"

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A day

Tonight we sat outside and watched the sun set in magenta, orange, yellow, warm grey and blue. There was lightning in the distance and I could smell the rain. Mmmm, the smell of rain. We only got a few drops here but I stood outside and let them fall on me.

I'm signing son up for a science lab class. It's only one hour a week. I'm hoping something may work out so that he can go in for art also. I'd hoped for a few more hours a week, but even one or two will be enough to make connections, friends, widen our circle here. He loves hands-on experiments and those are hard for me to do in the trailer. I don't have the storage space for odds and ends and I don't have unlimited shopping in this region either. I do miss having a homeschool room. I don't want a house yet though.

My husband might get us a couple cots. We want to sleep outside. I wish I could sleep outside tonight. The wind, my lullaby. I know that's not a complete sentence but that's what I want to say and that's the way I'm going to write it. I bought two cots at the beginning of our travels but they were quite large and didn't store well. They had big, thick pads like lounge chairs. Duh, I wasn't thinking very space economically. I want army cots this time.

Huge news. Wore my hair down all day till dinner. I put it up to make dinner. We had steak and baked taters and corn. Yum! I still feel full. I rather liked wearing it down. I think it gave me a dose of some sort of strange confidence. Hmmph. And I realized today...I...routinely put too much oil on my ends. I often don't like how piecey my ends are. I like fluffy ends. But fluffy is a by product of dry hair (for my own hair, that is, I think), so I'm compelled to oil my fluffy ends and they're no longer fluffed. Well, I've been stuck in this loop, this cycle, this syndrome, not even realizing I'm in it. This morning I did something new. I oiled from below my ears and stopped about six inches from the bottom so my ends kept their fluff! What an epiphany! It took a lot of self control.

Veronica has blogged her hair today. She was doing it with flying colors until I read her Part 2. She said:
And one of the most important factors in maintaining healthy hair is trimming it every 6- 8 weeks.
She goes on to say:
That doesn’t mean chopping off your long locks that you worked so hard to grow, it just means cutting off the very ends that are all broken. Go on, take a look at the tips of your hair. If you see that a lot of the strands are split, broken or thinned out at the ends, it is time for a trim!
I think she may have a good point there because some women do dust every month, but she's got wide readership consisting of pre-teen and new teen chickadees and this info is just not detailed enough. It can be easily misconstrued.  More accurately, it should be said that some women with pretty hair trim rarely; a few not at all.

I told my husband Veronica looks pretty darn good for being around for 66 years and he said, "Oh yeah. She works out. Keeps herself in shape." Gimme a break!

I noodled around MySp*ce last night. Yeah, I said I'd never go there in case anyone wants to remind me of what I said before. But I don't go back to that one page. It was ugly. Anywho, I got the bright idea to just check on a few people I know. Just for the ducks of it you know. Late night time on my hands. I found no fewer than five people, all family members. Get out of town! One page was basically empty though and one was set to private, thank you very much. (I think that's a good step when you're naming your whole family and town you live in, replete with photos!)

MySp*cers tend not to be dedicated bloggers though. It's for social networking primarily which is surely not my cup of tea, besides many of the pages being eyesores. One of the five did have some interesting blog entries and I now know more than I knew before and I have a window of understanding into her being that I did not have before. I won't rat them out though. I could, but I won't. They all used their true surnames and exact city they live in! I couldn't believe it.


I have an appointment at 3:00 at a Christian private school. They're going to tell me what they have to offer, and if they have something that's a good fit for us, for our son, I'll sign up. I'm hoping they'll have a science class! I know they have an opening in Spanish but he wants to learn French, not Spanish. The Canadian kids are bilingual in French and English. That's why he's interested in French.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Can't sleep

I'm going to be so sorry tomorrow!

I was drifting off and a church song I like floated through my head. I got up to blog it and it flew right out of my mind. I can't remember a single line of it now.

Maybe I'll go lie down again, but I hope that little squeaky noise is gone. I think it was the awning making a little squeak squeak squeak squeak squeak sound. It was really bugging me.

I was thinking about Sharon Coffey. Sharon had very straight dirty dishwater blond hair cut in a deep, deep U shape. I liked her hair. She was funny and we laughed together. She was thin. We always wore dresses back then and I can see her skinny legs with brown knobby knees as if it were yesterday! I see her in a cotton dress with a sweater over it.

One day she stopped coming to school. I asked my teacher, "Where's Sharon today?" and she acted kind of strange. She never did answer me. I wish I had asked my mom to find out for me but a lot happens at school that you never talk over with your parents.

Looking back, I remember she had dark circles under her eyes. I noticed but never said anything about it. I think about that now. I wonder why a little girl would have dark circles under her eyes. Did she move without telling me? Did she get sick? Did she die? But if she moved I think my teacher would have said so and she never did say Sharon had moved. I was bewildered by her absence.

I finally stopped asking my teacher where she was and I never did find out what happened to her. She was the closest to a best friend I had if I could have had a best friend. I don't remember any other kids from my third grade class that year, except for Sharon. I missed her and I wondered what happened to her for a long time.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Without success

I've been beading all day, without success. I can't even do a daisy chain.

I did do one and a half hours of belly dance warm-ups and what they call fat burning with the twins, Neena and Veena. I feel good about that. Had to turn off my vid before I got to the end though because I plumb run out of gas.

Washed my hair. I can tell the air is dry in New Mexico. I think I like my old Giovanni better than my new shampoo.

Am going to church tomorrow and am looking forward to seeing my favorite pastor. I've never talked to him. I should have last year but never did. I was going to tell him last year about how one of his sermons resulted in increased prayer time in my family, in our son especially, but the day I was going to do it I knew I'd get all choked up and look like a blithering idiot. So I didn't do it. Opportunity lost.

I might, may, wear my hair down tomorrow.

I found a super duper well written article that addresses some of the common misunderstandings people have about Christianity. It's called Bill Maher's Absurd Take on Religion at Fox News. Here is an excerpt:
If Christianity really taught that the man in the jungle who has never heard the name of Jesus is going to be damned forever to hell, I, too, would doubt. But Mr. Maher, Christianity doesn’t teach that. We are responsible to God in as much as God reveals himself to us. Christianity teaches that the saving grace of Jesus Christ is bigger than our date or place of birth. Christians believe God gives all of his children, in ways often unknowable to our little brains, the opportunity to accept or reject his love.
I have struggled to answer this very question and I said what he said, but not so well!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

We made it

We're in New Mexico. And it feels like home. We are so ready to start volunteering and hunker down for winter. It's a little too soon though. If we start to work now the park is very busy and it's a lot

We're in Santa Fe but will only hang out for two days or so. My husband is antsy. I don't know exactly where we'll go next. I do want to see White Sands National Monument before we settle.

Tonight we are all three tired. This morning it took Discount Tire 90 minutes to put on our tires. We sure like them there but they flubbed up twice. First by not having the right size tires for us ordered Friday, then today they had one wheel different than the others. Can't believe it, huh? Neither could we. Neither could they. We figured we'll use the wrong wheel as a spare and we'll go to a nearby Discount Tire and they'll fix us up there. That way we could get on the road and not boil one more day in a treeless campground in Pueblo. So after the tire installation we were on the road till 5:00pm.

The tires are better than our old ones! The back of the trailie sits a little higher now so that means we can avoid scraping high curbs when we go in and out of parking lots. And the trailer is riding more smoothly. That's a bit o' all right. Should be all right because it cost $1100 bucks. Killer, but it had to be done. At least now we should not get any more blowouts. There's no hyphen in blowout you know. I thought there was but there isn't.

Tomorrow I might go shopping for just a couple shirts. I want a couple new tops for church that go with jeans. I can't remember if I liked the mall here or not. I think that maybe all their stuff was too expensive and too foofy. Santa Fe foofy. I like plain and down to earth Santa Fe style. I'm an adobe type person, not the Santa Fe nouveau gem quality adobe type person. There are both kinds here.

My shampoo smell is still in my hair. Don't like it. And I put on extra avocado oil because it's as if my last shampoo with Shimmer Lights desiccated every strand of hair. What's up with that. I don't think that's good. It came out soft but it was strangely soft. All dried up I guess. Definitely will keep the frequency of use down in the low numbers. Son dusted my ends for me and I felt like a million bucks afterwards.

I have another New Liliana thing coming up. I hate to think what I'd find if I searched my blog for how many times I started up the New Liliana. For example, when we left New Mexico last April my husband asked me, "What are you going to do in San Diego? What are your plans?" So. I told him. I told him I planned to start jogging daily, I was going to sew a dress, and I was going to make my quilt, I was going to bead, and I was going to visit all my family, and I was going to take pictures of the animals at the lake, and I was going to wake up early every day to do it. I was pretty pleased with my plans because I'd given them quite a bit of forethought.

And my husband said, "Oh? And what are you going to do on the second day?" Hahaha! He is so bad.He knows me too well! Off with his head, I say! Not really. I need him like air. I ended up having the most stressful April in many years and it took me three months to get over myself. Wedding. I ended up getting sick.

Okay, but now, talking about the real New Liliana - I have to be a really good person because I have built a small reputation in the place where we winter. Remember? My "TV is evil" comment on New Year's? I didn't do it on purpose; it just happened. Now I'm famous for it all over town. Lord, help my pitiful soul. Now I'm going to have people watching me. I can't avoid it, I can't get around it. It's like, written in stone. Sheesh.

Since we left California in 2005 I have pretty much hibernated for winter. I liked it that way. I wanted nothing else but to be left alone. It was a luxury to be alone. The aloneness was just right - not too solitary, yet completely free and unfettered from commitment outside of my family. I built it that way. I created it that way. I craved it every day. But I think it's time for me to do something else. It's time for a change. I need to make an effort to reach out. I mean, other than in my family and besides homeschooling. For this season in my life my ministry is my family.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Nice advice

Dealing with Difficult People
by Mother Teresa

People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered; forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; be kind anyway.
If you are successful you will win some false friends and true enemies; succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; give the world the best you've got anyway. You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; it was never between you and them anyway.

I woke up at 3:00am last night. I lay in bed a long time. Awake. I began to pray and prayed a long time. Then I stopped and after awhile was able to fall sleep. The Lord must have been calling upon me to pray; why else would I wake? I've grown in my prayer life.  Ten years ago if I prayed longer than 10 minutes, I fell asleep! Sleeping does not equal prayer. It doesn't even equal contemplative meditation.

Lisa Whelchel says on her Web site, "I believe the Lord calls certain people to tarry and travail in intercessory prayer. If you feel like the Lord has gifted you in this area, would you consider adding me to your prayer list?"

The words tarry and travail have never entered my mind regarding with prayer! But I guess it can be that way if praying isn't your thing. My husband says his mother only needed a reason and she'd be on her knees in an instant! It's a little ironic that in some ways I've turned out like his mom. The other thing about me that is like his mom is I like Cashmere Bouquet bath powder and so did she. She died when he was only 23 so I never met her. I gather she might not have liked me because his folks weren't crazy about gringas. Anyway, when I think of her I feel at home with being prayerful. As in, I'm continuing what she started. I can pray till the cows come home.

I first thought I might have a gift for intercessory prayer when I was 23. My husband and I were dating, then we broke up. We were apart for a month and during that time I prayed fervently for his life to be full of misery. Afterward, he told me what he went through and how miserable he was and I thought I should pray more responsibly. There's a name for this type of prayer. It's called imprecatory prayer. You only find it in the Old Testament. Discussion of imprecatory prayer tends to make people uncomfortable and I've only heard it mentioned once at a Bible study. You hear about prayer of thanksgiving, worship, petition, confession, intercessory, but not imprecatory. But when I was 23 I wasn't a fully practicing Christian then. I was sorta, hmm, floating. Free falling.

Tonight I used my Clairol Shimmerlights. It helped. I'm pleased! Although I'm not seeing the shimmer as the name SHIMMERlights implies, the grey is shined up nicely. I wouldn't use it more than once a month. I don't like the smell of it at all. I'm not in favor of this fragrance. Someone reviewed it and said it reminded her of Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific, but I submit the reviewer was delusional. I say it stinks.

Tomorrow we get our new tires and wheels, early in the morning. Then we'll be on the road for the day. We're going to New Mexico. I know, I've already said that. Hopefully, we really can go.

I leave myself today with one last consideration. From my studies in what the Bible teaches about prayer, this resonates. If we do not answer when God calls to us through his Word, it should not surprise us if he does not answer when we call on him in prayer.

I often come back to it. Or, does He call me back to it.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Went to church

The best thing about it was my husband said let's go. He told me to find a church and he'd take us there. I found one and we went. Usually he's not keen on the churchgoing. I don't know what got in him but I'm not complaining!

We made a test run last night and ended up in a bad neighborhood downtown though. I told him forget it. I don't want to go at all if this is where it's at. We saw no fewer than four police cars during the time we were looking for the address. I said "That's it! Git me outta here!"

He rechecked the map and said we went the wrong way off the freeway. We went again this morning, the right way this time, and found it. It's a small, new Calvary Chapel, maybe 25 people or so. Son had a good time with the kids group.

Then we came home and ate lunch. I had a salad. Yay me. And a Hostess cupcake for dessert. Then we changed sites because one with full hook-ups came available. That's nice! It's a different one than the one they said we'd be in because the man in the other site came down sick and said he couldn't drive. I think he's married and not alone but I'm not sure. Then we emptied our black tank. That can be a stinky job in hot weather but ya gotta do it. I'm glad it's done.

OH! We went to the natural foods store yesterday. There's a great one here in Pueblo, Colorado, and I stocked up on avocado oil (for skin and hair) and I got some Nature's Gate shampoo and condish. I don't like shopping for shampoos but I picked this one out because it has a nice fragrance. We'll see if I still like it after it's on my hair. It's the Mandarin Orange and Patchouli one.

Then I wanted to buy some Clairol Shimmer Lights to brighten grey hair. I use Mrs. Stewart's Bluing because it's nontoxic and gentle but truth is, it's a pain because I have to save a plastic jug to mix it it and I have to lug the jug to the showers. It's not an issue if you have a house to store things you don't use often. Then I have to carry my stuff plus the jug to the showers and sometimes the showers are a little far. I tried Clairol Shimmer Lights a long time ago and it was harsh as I recall. I can't remember why I thought it was harsh, but since I've purchased it a second time I guess it'll come back to me. The Clairol company can rejoice because I tossed their product once and yet, here I am buying it again. Fickle woman that I am.

Gotta keep the grey lookin' as nice as possible.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Another tire blow-out

My husband was livid. We've had yet another blow-out on a city freeway yesterday. He's been talking to other 5th wheel owners and has learned other people have experienced blow-outs just like us. The manufacturers don't put tires on them rated strong enough and there should be a law against that! We know of a man who said he's going to take the tire company to court in a class action suit. Well, we're not too much for going to court about things but we'll probably write a letter of complaint to Carlisle and include photos. The trailer skirt was already wiped out from the blow-out outside Cleveland so it's just bent a little bit more now. Looks like it's been in a crash. Sheesh.

We're stuck here in southern Colorado till Tuesday. We planned on being in Santa Fe today. Bummer. They're getting our tires in on Monday afternoon and we'll be there soon as they open Tuesday morn. We were there this morning you know. The tires they ordered yesterday were too big. No only that, they lost our paperwork and left us waiting in the hot sun over an hour. They just ignored the giant trailer and truck in the parking lot so my husband went inside to see when they were going to work on us. Who were we they wanted to know. Sheesh. Serenity Now.

Instead of one, we're buying all four, plus spare, brand new tires for the trailer with a higher rating. Husband says we shouldn't get any more blow-outs. He found out about other 5th wheels with the blow-out trouble by visiting an online forum. These new ones are a little wider and I don't know if that's going to be okay in the wheel well. They should have built the wheel wells larger so bigger wheels like a truck can fit. Next time you see a 5th wheel check out the little tires on it. I'm not talking about RVs (motorhomes). RVs have great tires, but 5th wheels have smaller ones. Too small.

My husband le me pick out the wheels. I picked out four shiny ones. Tires are the rubber part and wheels (technically speaking) are the metal part. I like pretty wheels. Praise to the Lord, we can afford new tires and wheels too and that we found a site to stay in. There's a Jehovah Witness convention in town ya know. The campgrounds are all booked up! We got one laaaast site and it only has water and electric.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Pondering Project 365

I vaguely knew about this Project 365 but I finally checked into it a couple days ago. I'm considering it. What you do is take a photograph a day for one year, 365 days. Generally you start on January 1st but I'm not a stickler about start dates. And I see some people do just a photo of anything in their day (I like that) and some people do their face every day (I'm interested in the potential of that). It's supposed to stretch you as a photographer if that's what you seek. Or it can be just plain fun, a way to document your year. It's what you make of it, aye? I can see how it could turn into work too.

I think. I think I will do a combination of the two. Why not do my mug on days I want and then do other stuff on other days. Do both. I don't see why not. I'm fascinated by the way the camera records people. I don't do people pictures because I cannot stand fake smiles. I cannot stand to make people uncomfortable and some people are fully intimidated when they think they might be photographed. It's painful to see. It's like a horrible slow dance. ...I know I want a picture, I see the person and the moment, but as soon as the camera is in view the moment goes up in smoke and I see a posing statue of a person before me. A shell of the thing I wanted to photograph. I have no desire to invade other people's space. But I would like to experiment with a human face. Faces can be engaging. I could experiment with mine. The camera is terrible and wonderful the way it can make the plain look beautiful and the beautiful look ugly. Perhaps I will experiment with my own face. I've had pictures of me that look absolutely nothing like me and pretty ones and ugly ones. Could be interesting.

I took a picture today but I don't have a Flicker album set up yet. I'm not sure if my picture turned out either as I haven't downloaded it yet. I was sitting in the truck. The men had gone into McDonald's to get breakfast for us and I was sitting alone waiting. I looked in the rearview mirror and saw a cross. I said, what the coconut? I got my camera out and took a picture. Then, I was so curious to see what was causing the image. I walked around and saw it was part of the McDonald's sign! Just a portion of the 50 foot sign was in my mirror. It blew me away. I started my morning out prayerfully and it's ending prayerfully. And the Lord reminded me to be prayerful. Aha! Might sound ridiculous but if God is everywhere then He must be at the McDonald's parking lot too, yes? He is, He is!

So if my picture turns out it may be the apropos beginning for...Lil's Project 365.

Tonight I made a couple new siggys. Mine is from 2006 and a new one wouldn't hurt. The blue one is a pretend bookmark. I like the design but the pose is a little too cheesecake. Cheesecake is for my husband. I like doing cheesecake as you may have guessed. The orange sig. Meh. Looks like I might lay an egg so I'm not crazy for that pose either. I just do as many poses as I can because I don't know when I can drag my husband out for more pics and you never know which pose will turn out to be just the one.

We're in Colorado tonight. Tomorrow is another driving day. We had to stop a little early today or drive through Denver during rush hour.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Hiking up Pilot Butte, Wyoming

Turns out yesterday was our big day for wildlife. Midday is a bad time to go looking for horses etc., so we didn't see much today. I shoulda known better than to go in the middle of the day. Anyways, we went on a hike instead.

Husband asked if I wanted to go to the top of Pilot Butte. I said fer sure. As my favorite pastor says, let's git er done! So we got in the truck, put her four wheel drive and took a side road.

Shazzam! We made it to the top!

I took photos with a braided bun. It's verrry windy at the top. Yesterday I wore a pony tail and it didn't work out very well. Scrunchie kept falling out, hair was in tangles. Windy and dusty.

Looking out into His creation.

The thing is, once you go up you have to come down! My husband is standing there giving tips to our ten year old like always keep three points in contact with the ladder. I went down last. I did not look down, only at the ladder and my husband kept talking to me! I got to the bottom and said, "Aw, I made it. Easy. See, I wasn't scared!" He said, "Sure, I know. You did real good." And he kissed me and hugged me. I think he heard me doing my scary breathing. My breath was shaking from a wee bit o' the fear. Haha! Shoot, he knows me too well. I'm glad I went. Son had no problem at all going up or coming down. He's really growing up.

We only saw horses today and no interaction. Boo hoo. No antelope, or grouse. Was hoping for a coyote maybe. Here is a colt sort of almost galloping.

This was a good sighting though. Just like in the old West. People come for the horses, but I'm surprised none of the reviews I've read even mention the scenery.

We are all going to sleep well tonight. I'm the only one still up. Blogging. It was a memorable day. My face hurts though! I think I got a windburn. It can't be sunburn because I put on sunscreen.

Tomorrow is a driving day. No plans for where we're going other than New Mexico...for the winter.

See Day 1 wildlife photos here.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Pilot Butte Wild Horse Scenic Loop Tour

We arrived in the area and went for a test drive after dinner. Here's a piece of the road. It's a gravel road. "Loop" sounds like a short drive so we were surprised that it's a 50 mile loop! We were going to drive just ten miles or so but ended up doing the whole thing. We saw wildlife!
Day 1 - On my first day I got the best horse photos, plus antelope and a grouse
Day 2 - Horses and mostly the hike to the top of Pilot Butte. The scenery is not even mentioned in reviews I found online, but it's beautiful!

The wildlife we saw

The area the horses are in is about 392,000 acres. I wanted to check out the lay of the land because I'd read that I would likely see wild horses, but think about it. In such a large area I was worried that my chances would realistically be slim to none.

But look! Four of them. We came upon wild horses three or four times during our drive. I was thrilled. My husband was too. He thanked me for finding this awesome locale. Son asked for some math to do. He was being a pill. Oh, what a spoiled child! lol! Only two other drivers did we see while we were there. We saw up to eight horses at a time which I think you call a pod. The pods get together and make a band.

You can hire a guide, but surely you don't need to. I read there's one single guy who's licensed to go into the back country. But our truck has 4WD and there are a couple small side roads we saw that we're going to take. Shoot, half of the fun is finding the wild horses yourself. It's an adventure! You can do the main gravel road with a car. It was very well maintained. It would be exciting to find a large band of 100 or so but on the other hand, they run when they see you. I'm guessing you'd have to be a fast photographer and maybe you'd need a super telephoto lens. Those only go for about $5,000+.

Look at these two lively colts frolicking! They were so playful and full of it. I broke my own heart because I cut off their feet in this frame. I can't describe what a treat it was watching these two. One of them nipped at their mom too!

I kind of liked these three horses.

We were surprised to see antelope too. Twice. As you can see, the challenge in taking an antelope picture (wild horses too for that matter) is trying to obtain said photograph of something other than the rear end portion. Anybody can photograph the hiney! I'm going to try hard tomorrow. It will be my only day, my only chance.

This is the closest I've ever been to antelope. Before this year, I couldn't have told you the difference between an antelope and a deer.

And I don't want to leave out the little grouse. She had one baby with her. It was a kind of a big baby, not small. I imagine in this country it's hard to survive if you're a grouse. The coyotes must like them a lot.

Lastly, if you wonder how a loop like this ever came to be there's a short explanation about it here. Two guys put their heads together and got five agencies coordinated. Pretty good, huh? I guess it's a new loop. Maybe that's why there were so few people.

It was a great day. The best of the year. I'm looking forward to tomorrow.

A few more hours

Spent the night in Casper, Wyoming. Day two, last day, of this leg of driving.

We saw a spectacular rainbow, a big one, not far from our campground. Casper makes big rainbows! It almost looked close enough to walk into. And we drove by a giant open pit coal mine on our way here in the morning. It was the blackest I'd ever seen. And we saw lots of antelope. We don't remember seeing so much antelope here in 2005. There are no antelope at Devils Tower. This morning some old geezers were talking outside our trailer at about 5:30am. Woke all of us up. Man, old people sure wake up early. No offense to old people!

It's cooler than I expected. That's good. I was afraid it'd be really hot looking for horses. I wonder if we'll get to do it today.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Our working 10-year-old

Tonight he earned a free ice cream and one of the waitresses gave him $5.00 for helping out in the restaurant. I'm so proud of him. He's a real worker bee. And he learned from it too. He said, "Mamma, it's hard work. My feet hurt. I don't want to work in a restaurant when I grow up." He washed dishes, cleared tables, wiped tables, emptied the garbage three times and put up all the chairs after closing. He worked about two hours.

Ahhhh yes. Experience speaks volumes and he learns that which I cannot teach in a one hour lesson.

Tomorrow we go on the road but it'll be a short four hour drive. It's two days driving to the place where I hope to find wild mustangs.

The management here gave us two free days. Wasn't that nice? We thought it was very, very nice. I'm sad to leave here but happy because I think we will return next year. It's a beautiful place.

I swam

I went swimming in my new swimsuit today and it felt GREAT! I swam, I caught and threw the little football (I even caught it with my eyes closed), and my husband said I was ebullient in the pool. Who, me? Ebullient?

In 1996 someone called me 'perky' once. That's 11 years between perky and ebullient. It could happen again in 2018.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

My cleanest dirty shirt no more

I was supposed to get up early but I was so comfy I couldn't get out of bed until 10:45am. Tomorrow's my last chance because Monday morn we leave.

Son worked in the restaurant today and they gave him a free double scoop of sherbet ice cream. He was thrilled. The cook is a real nice older gal and she offered to make him a free grilled cheese dinner but he told her thanks, he already had dinner. We snuck over there and peeked through the postcard rack and watched him as he cleared tables. I didn't let him see us because he wants to be all big, working on his own. He empties the trash and washes a few dishes too. Said he killed about 20 flies and I believe him. They've got flies in there all right. That kid. He amazes us. I don't know how he gets in with people.

My husband replaced the pump in our clothes washer, it's a little Splendide miniature washer/dryer in one, so we're back in business to do our own laundry. It's been broken since April. I've been wearing my cleanest dirty shirt like the lyrics to Johnny Cash's "Sunday Mornin' Coming Down"...

Well I woke up Sunday morning
With no way to hold my head, that didn't hurt
And the beer I had for breakfast wasn't bad,
So I had one more for dessert.
Then I fumbled in my closet through my clothes
And found my cleanest dirty shirt.
Then I washed my face and combed my hair
And stumbled down the stairs to meet the day.

Only I don't drink beer because I don't like it and there's only two steps in our trailer.

Not much else. It was a nice day though I feel I wasted it. I did wax my arms and stuff. Only took THREE hours. Friday our son was examining my arms because he spied some hair on them. My glasses don't work that far so I'm walking around thinking last month's wax in still in effect. He tells my husband when he has nose hairs too. Luckily, I haven't had to worry about that yet.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Time goes by

We have to leave in only three days. I don't wanna go! I like it here so much.

Clouds are rolling in. I think we're going to have some weather. Rain maybe.

But we're going to see wild horses next. I hope. I've got a location and directions for my husband to take me to a place where they say there are wild horses. I talked with a girl at my photography class and she saw wild horses. She's the yearbook photographer at her school (she's in high school) and on her trip she got a photo that she's enlarging as a gift to her grandfather. I thought that was nice thing to do. If I'm lucky I will go there and see wild mustangs with mine own eyes.

Son aced his spelling test. Yay! And in history his lessons are on the topic of the U.S. Constitution and the three branches of government. I never got this kind of material in fourth grade. This is meat, not pablum! It's his favorite subject now. I'm enjoying it too. I wish when I was in school that history was presented in an interesting fashion the way K12, our curriculum, does. I also got the bright idea of having him look up the Capitol building, the White House, and the Supreme Court on Google Earth since he likes Google Earth. I learned about the Constitution in eighth grade and I was so intimidated by the test that I cheated (a whole group of girls were cheating and they passed around the answer sheet at P.E. in the locker room) - and then I barely scored a C because I felt guilty about cheating! Such is life for the person with a hyper conscience. I'm a terrible cheater. I mean, I cheat terribly. I mean, I don't cheat very well. It's the only time I cheated on a test.

It's beginning to thunder outside. Awesome.  The heavens declare the glory of God, says David.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Hair pic 38.5"

A hair picture is due! This month I'm at 38.5. This is at our campground. I fixed my hair up on one side with little flowers (fake) and the wind blew it all around so you can't tell it's fixed.

Heads up. I got two emails about Holland. The skinny on that is that it's the Netherlands if you look on your map. Technically, Holland is the western part only but people who don't live there might refer to the whole country as Holland because they don't know any better. That's what Sarah said and she's from there so she should know! And Leia, she's our Loom world traveler, told me that in Holland the language spoken is Dutch. Netherland peeps are Dutch.

Oh I do find it a little bit confusing, so I'll have to work on remembering Dutch people live in Holland and Holland is part of the Netherlands, you can refer to the whole of the Netherlands as Holland, but you better look for the Netherlands on a map. Didn't know you were going to get a geography lesson today, did ya!

And the story I know called The Little Dutch Boy apparently is way more popular and well-known in the U.S. than in the Netherlands. That's what this page told me. Knock me over with a feather. I was so surprised. That's a great legend.

38.5 from the side

Went out again after the wind died down. Yeah, I still got some mojo going on. Lookout 'cause my back doesn't ache today. Haha! Gotta look good because Bike Week (the festival) is coming up in Sturgis, North Dakota, and all kinds of Harley and motorcycle riders are coming through here. When I was out taking wildlife pics yesterday I had to go home because my ears were buzzing from the road noise. I can hear them even when I'm off the main road. Here's a link with Sturgis information. I think it's pretty clean. Most of the bikers are very cool, a few are a bit rough around the edges. I guess about 40,000 bikers were there last year. It was neat seeing them in neighboring states and knowing all the bikers were on their way to the same place...

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Flying out of my frame

Well the first day of August is over. Temperature stayed down in the 80s so I was able to be outside for a few hours today without overheating. I met two ladies: one from Holland and one from Barrow, Alaska. Isn't Holland called Denmark now? Why did she say Holland? But if she's from there, then the Hollanders should know best what they want to be called. But there's no Holland on my wall map. Hmmm. I have to think about this.

I went out at 4:30pm to take photos of the horses next door. I don't know where the time went, but I lost track of time and I was supposed to start dinner at 5:00pm. I saw my husband across the field walking towards me and he said, "Liliana, didn't you say you were going to make dinner?" I said, "Oh dear, yes I am, I'm sorry. I guess I lost track of time." And he replied in a long, patient drawl, "YYYeeeesssss, you do have that affliction."

I stood there and thought for a minute and then I said, "I AM afflicted, aren't I! I guess I'm AFFLICTED."

And I ran home to make dinner!

Fawn on the run

I was with the prairie dogs and she came out of nowhere. She was right in front of me but I was too slow, so this is after she started running! I have to work on my peripheral awareness.

I changed my settings so I'm using the center focus point only instead of all nine. I'll see how it goes. I ruined a slew of fawn and deer pictures today with wrong aperture and/or shutter speed. I'm doing everything in manual mode now. It's frustrating but I should learn better. That's the theory.

I just drank my daily dose of orange juice. I'm oxidizing at an accelerated rate since I turned 48 and orange juice is an antioxidant. Should help, right? Heh.

Got my delivery

My swimsuit came in the mail this morning and I held the package and said a quick prayer, Oh, please let it fit! then ran into the bedroom and opened it and tried it on and taa daa! It fits. Happy, happy, joy, joy! I look kind of like a scuba grrrrl in it.

I'm so glad I don't have to go through the whole mail order returning thing. As it is, I'm lucky it got here. The number on the street address is wrong and they wrote my name wrong. Sheesh. Okay, I input the address number wrong. Should have been a 100 but I erroneously typed 110. But then how did a 110 morph in a 24? I am lucky my package got here.