mothers day

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Quartzsite in November

We got here Monday and the temperature was 74.  It has gotten warmer each it was 79!  The wind did pick up but at 10 pm tonight it is still 65 degrees outside.   I don't know if the wind is bringing in a storm or not...we still don't have our DISH set up so we haven't been able to watch the news.

 If you look closely you will see the 'friend' that came to visit today...a baby tarantula.  Probably and inch and a half in diameter.  Surprisingly enough I didn't immediately smash him...I took his picture instead.
 I'm sitting here on the chaise lounge and this is the view I have.   Lots of rock and dirt and cactus!
 A better view of the greenery!

Tomorrow we are going on an ATV trip with a bunch of friends.  We are driving the truck South (with the Razor in the back) to the stone cabin halfway between here and Yuma and then we will four wheel into the back country down there.  It should be a fun day.  Its supposed to be windy but warm.  We have a lunch packed and are looking forward to it

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Cruise

 Tuesday October 25 we hopped on the cruise ship at the Ft Lauderdale port and headed out to sea.   We headed to the Bahama's first of all to a gorgeous island called Half Moon Cay.  We got there and immediately signed up for the sting ray excursion.  They took us about five miles from the port to a quiet little bay where we got to snorkle and swim with some wonderful sting rays.  I was amazed at how soft they were.  We got to feed them baby squids!  We swam with them about 40 minutes - saw lots of colorful fish and sea cucumbers.  Then they took us back to the beach where we soaked up the rays for about 3 hours.  The sand was the softest finest sand I have ever experienced.  Almost like sugar but not so sticky.
 I had to add all the towel art that we enjoyed each night as we got back to our rooms after dinner - that plus chocolate candies ...
 I loved it how he used my sunglasses with most of them!
 Cool rabbit

 I guess crabs don't wear glasses!!
 Then we headed to Key West - we spent Friday and Saturday night there.  We got chased back to the boat both nights with HEAVY heavy rains.  Here we are on the trolley ride through the streets of Key West Saturday night.  This is the famous Green Parrot restaurant in Key West.  This was the beginning of a 7 hour day that included a one hour tour of Key West, and a six hour catamaran trip out in the ocean.  We started with a nummy breakfast of quiche and juice and muffins as we rode out eight miles to the barrier reef where we snorkeled.  Ed jumped off of the side of the boat into the water while I took the easier route of climbing down the steps into the ocean.  The seas were somewhat rougher and the water wasn't as clear as we had hoped for.  Within 15 feet of leaving the boat I watched as a six foot long SHARK swam right in front of me.  I quit moving (DUH!) and thought ..what is the difference between a dolphin and a shark (I really wanted it to BE A dolphin!) but then I thought, no way is this a is so sleek ...but he wasn't the least bit interest in me....I kept looking behind me to make sure he didn't turn around and come after me but I didn't see him again.  The guides told us that if we ran into something scary we only had to swim faster than the guy next to us ;-D...but there was no one close to me!  So I continued swimming over to the reef and thoroughly enjoyed all the gorgeous brightly colored fish.  They had warned us that we may see jelly fish and to stay clear of them.  These didn't have a REAL bad sting would only hurt for about 20 minutes.  I saw three of the ethereal floating jelly fish -  pink in color.  I swam away from them but thoroughly enjoyed them.

After we left the reef then they took us over to mule island where we got to kayak - saw some gorgeous birds and learned a little about the flora and fauna of the area.  We also swam in the ocean but with the strong waves we didn't stay out long. They set up lunch for us then - wonderful salads, everything was delicious including the four inch fresh shrimp - a huge bowl of them - yuuuuummmm!  Then they raised the sails and we sailed for about an hour.  We had hoped to see dolphins too, but there were none to be seen.  They took us back to the port and we got to walk through Key West about a mile back to the boat.  It was a seven hour tour - we left at 8:15 and arrived back at port at 3:30 - what a fun fun fun day.
 Here I am heading back to the ship with my towel slung over my shoulder.
 Another day at sea (they were the relaxing days while the days in port were busy)  Then we landed at Grand Turk, part of the British West Indies.  Here is the view of the beach from where we got off the boat.  We had time to go and grab a bite to eat at Margaritaville - the only place to eat, before we caught the van to a spot on the other side of the island.  It was another beautiful beach.  They proceeded to teach us how to SNUBA...another great experience.  We were able to swim right down along the sea floor about 15-20 feet down.  Ed and I are now talking about maybe taking scuba lessons.

  Did you know that Grand Turk island was the landing area for John Glenn!!  They had an interesting display.  You can see Ed standing with our swim bag in his hand.  We were finally able to buy a few souveniers for family members here at Grand Turk.  We had planned on buying them at Key West but got chased back to the boat both nights with heavy rain.

So we had another wonderful day at the beach - both snuba'ing and snorkeling and shopping at the little native stores.

One more day at sea and then back to Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday morning.  We ate escargot and frog legs and all sorts of wonderful meals.  We met a lot of warm and wonderful people and make some fantastic memories.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Parrot Island

 Sunday we got together with Ken and Jane and headed to Miami to see Parrot Island.  It is a nature park with all sorts of Islands.  Kind of expensive but not when you realize that alot of the monies go to research to help many of the endangered species of birds and animals there.

 As we headed into the Serpentariam we saw this cute pirate ship heading out into the ocean with a full load of passengers.
 Somehow the pirate ship loses a little of its reality when put in front of one of the MANY high rise apartment buildings right on the ocean front.

 This is the serpentarium and we figured it would be a show about lizards and snakes but actually it was a fun active show that took us around the world with all sorts of different animals - from monkies, to alpacas to lemurs, to the Everglades Alligator.
This little guy had just pulled the elastic out of his workers hair - he really like playing in it!
 He was really just adorable though
 Did you know Lemurs JUMP??  They are amazingly agile.  And soft - one of the handlers walked around the whole crowd brushing us with his long tail
After we finished at the Serpentarium show we walked through the park looking at all of the beautiful displays and fun animals.  This was a stream running under a bridge we walked over - we could see a Blue heron under and through the trees but couldn't get a good picture of it. As we stopped and watched the heron we realized the turtles and gar fish were gathering in the water under us
 It was as if they were waiting for us to feed them.  So I bought a quarter's worth of food and boy - it entertained us for a half hour -
Ed took this picture - the turtles head is just above the water after he ate one of the food bits

This is a sausage tree!!  there are some fascinating trees and flowers and bushes in Florida
We got to feed the parrots
If you look in my hand you can see the cup of nectar I fed him with
This is Jane and Ken who went to Parrot Island with us - fun fun couple - good friends of Kitty and Larry who we invited on the trip

Fun picture of the three of us (grin)

I am surprised these guys don't weigh 20 pounds each, they were greedy little buggers!

Cute picture of my boyfriend!
Loved the soft cream coloring of this cockatoo
Isn't this one gorgeous
I am hoping that these flamingoes will look better if you double click on the picture - they look washed out here but were a fantabulous coral in real life

We had a fun fun day.  Yesterday we spent at Haulover Beach in Miami - we are sitting in the lobby of the hotel right now waiting for the shuttle to come and pick us up and my camera is lost in the depths of my suitcase so I can't download those pictures yet.

So long for at least a week until we get internet access again.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

We flew to Ft Lauderdale on Monday Oct 17th - it was warm but very overcast.  The humidity didn't seem too bad.   It was rainy when we headed out to dinner that first evening but not too bad.  You can imagine our surprise when we watched the news that night and saw the coverage of the tornado that had hit in Ft Lauderdale.  We didn't worry - its a big city...until Ed got online and discovered that the tornado had hit less than five miles away from the Hampton Inn we were staying at!  I guess all in all about 20 homes were demolished.  A few people were injured but thank Heavens there was no one killed.  About the time we were trying to go to sleep I heard a low rumbling outside and jumped out of bed expecting to look out the window and see another tornado heading towards us and it was barely was a truck going down the street.

Since it was too rainy the next morning to go sightseeing or to the beach we decided to drive down through the Keys.  It was a fascinating drive.  It took us all day long but was definitely worth it.

This is one of the many bridges - we are heading up and over the bridge to another key.  I had no idea there are that many different islands...some are big and some are teensy.  

This is one of the teensy ones~

I just noticed the date is wrong on these pictures.  This was Tuesday the 18th.  As we drove through the many keys we found it was difficult to see past the 8 foot tall wall of greenery that was growing - actually large bushes that totally hid either ocean (or gulf) or houses.  We got pretty good at picking out the larger islands very quickly by the quality of stores along the highway.  If they were rundown and dilapidated looking then it would be a little island.  If there were nice stores and banks and hotels then we could see that behind all of the greenery there were streets and homes.

There were some gorgeous homes right on the ocean - I can imagine the cost of property anywhere along the keys.  One thing we did NOT see were any beaches.

I heard that the keys got about 21 inches of rain Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.  There was water standing everywhere we looked.

If you look closely you will see that 10:28 am that morning the temperature 78 degrees.    By 2 o'clock that afternoon it was still looking like this (heavy heavy rains) and 84 degrees.   Everytime we stopped the car to get out we expected it to be cold but it was soooo warm instead.

We Finally got to Key West about 3 1/2 hours later - found a cute little restaraunt and had some fantastic sandwiches.  We walked down Duval Street to the end - Ed took a picture of me in front of marker showing the most farthest South point of the continental United States.  Of course - that picture is on HIS camera.  There was a little bitsy beach with actual sand there...but we figured they probably brought it in.

So then we walked back to the car and drove the last two blocks a different direction to the end of US Highway #1....note the green mile marker showing "0".  We finally got back to the hotel about 8:30 that night ....long day!

Wednesday morning it was still rainy so we called Ed's brother Allen and got the phone for our niece and her family.   Melissa and Beau moved to Naples Florida this last Spring.  Looking at the map of Florida we realized that Naples is almost straight across the state from Florida.  We talked to the Manager of our hotel and he said it would be a straight shot due West across the State.  He said it was not a pretty drive and we just looked at each other and said - how many times have we driven across Utah or Idaho.  We talked to Melissa and decided we would aim for about 5 pm.  We had some time to kill before we headed to Naples and with the wet weather we wandered through a huge mall in Ft Lauderdale.

We drove the two hours due West across Alligator Alley (didn't see a single alligator the whole day!!) and had a fun visit with Melissa and her girls and Beau.  Avenley and Paisley very quickly as another set of grandparents.  They had a beautiful apartment and we were quite impressed with the areas of Naples that we drove through.  

We took them out to dinner at Moe's which is very much like Cafe Rio only without the barbacoa pork ---but it was delicious anyway.  We had a wonderful visit with all four of them and they seemed tickled that we would take the time to drive to Naples and see them.

After dinner we headed back to Ft Lauderdale and got back to to hotel about 9:15.  Long fun day.

Thursday we checked out of the hotel and headed North to Palm Beach where we had reserved a cabin at a resort.  It was sunny and in the mid seventies and it was hilarious to hear the complaints of all those around us concerning how cold it was!!  To us it has been just perfect - not too hot, not too cold.

Thursday was quiet and Friday much more busy.  Friday night I got to go to a 'gong temple' and have a sound wave relaxation therapy.  It was relaxing and quite beautiful.  I lay on a massage table with a huge gong on each side of me and the couple that did it created some gorgeous tones with the gongs.  I could feel the stress roll out of my toes!!  Quite interesting.

Saturday Kitty and Larry and Ken and Jane and Lee all showed up at the same resort.  We knew they were coming.  All of us are from Utah - and we are all going on the cruise together.  We will all head back to Ft Lauderdale tomorrow - the cruise is on Tuesday.  We haven't decided what we are going to go do or see tomorrow - it would be nice if we could find an LDS church to go to.

More to come....

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Three Wonderful Weeks on the Mountain

WARNING - LONG LONG POST - NO PICTURES - camera didn't work!!!

Aug 23 – Tues. I am writing this Wednesday morning and as I look at the date I realized that I missed my Leah’s birthday. She turned one yesterday – Tuesday….it matters not that I have already given her her present and that I talked to her mama on Monday….but I should have called her yesterday and wished her a happy birthday. I have done this all my life …overlooked or forgotten or spaced off special days for special people. I so wish my brain would work better. So happy birthday darling girl!

Anyway – I wanted to sit down and write a few lines every day while we are up here at Bear Mtn. It is paradise here – so quiet and peaceful, birds singing and hummingbirds zeroing in at the bird feeders. It is our special spot – Ed's and mine. No interference from the world here….no TV, no radio, no cell phones, no racing here or there. One thing that is going to change is no texts, thank heavens. I do want to hear from the kids when they have to get a hold of us. Those I love to get. We will get the new booster antennae set up first thing. It would have already been done except Ed is not feeling good(he is fighting a cold) so he is moving a little slower.

We got here about 3:30 Tuesday afternoon. We unloaded most of the truck –or I should say Ed unloaded it and sat it in the trailer and I unpacked it and put it all away. We had a full truck load – clothes, food, solar panel, clean towels and sheets, fresh water, plus new dishes and stuff that I have bought, one plate at a time so I can set a pretty table here on the mtn. They are square shaped Corelle ware with a pretty brown and green leaf design across part of them. I’ve got the big plates – during this next while I will buy the bowls, mugs and small plates that match – service for four.

After I got the trailer shipshape then I went out and sat on our deck with Ed and read for a couple of ­hours. Ed bought me a lovely outdoor chair rocker that is so very comfortable with part of his Cabella’s gift card that he received as a retirement gift from MTC.

I fixed a yummy meal of funeral potatoes and ham with Monkey Bread and corn. After washing the dishes afterward we went on about a mile walk around the camp to see who was here – there aren’t many of us. Dee is just down the road from us and Dennis has moved to the tent site where Terry and Dan used to be. I don’t know if Dennis is here alone or not. Tina is here also. Anyway that is it – just the five of us on the mountain.

I love it here when it is this quiet. We didn’t swim or go in the hot tub today because of the boil I have. But it started draining (FINALLY) somewhat Monday nite and lots on Tuesday, so I know it is getting better – once it cleans itself out and closes back up and is no longer hard and hot and swollen it will be healing. At that point I won’t feel like it might be contagious…I would hate to share a staph infection through sitting or swimming in water.

Wednesday August 24

It’s been a marvelous day today. I slept until 9 am this morning and it was already 60 degrees outside. I started cleaning – sweeping the deck and the carpet on the deck until all the leaves and twigs were gone. Then I went around my whole trailer and washed all the windows outside. I gathered all the hummingbird feeders in and made up some sugar water for them and refilled the one outside our window that we can watch when we are sitting at the table eating. I got the new feeder out and unpacked and filled it. I took these two outside and hung them and then I took the third one and sat down outside and painted the white flowers red….it seems like the hummers always ignored this one and I decided that it was too plain. So I brought up a little paintbrush and a small bottle of red paint and painted the white flowers red. It made it really pretty and within 15 minutes of rehanging it I had a hummer!! I found my birdseed and filled that feeder too. What a fun morning. I also got out the grape lights that I found on clearance at WinCo…five clumps of grapes-- green, purple, green, purple, green, each with ten big grapes on each clump with a light inside of each grape. I wrapped them around a pole by the deck and they look cute during the day and then at night we turn them on and they are so fun.

After lunch we headed up to the pool to play – however I had to stay out of the sun due to the sulpha drug I am taking for ten days, and out of the water due to the infection in my ‘boil’. So I laid on the chaise lounge in the shade with a book and had a nice afternoon. A couple from Canada had stopped in to camp here for a week and we all had a great visit. Nice couple. It’s still real quiet up here this week – just about eight people around. I enjoy the busy noisy weekends with all our friends but I also enjoy the quiet of the mid week days too.

Ed is still not feeling really well – his cold seems to be getting better but he still has a sore throat and lots of coughing. But he is relaxing a whole lot so that should help him –(we decided after that he may have had a touch of walking pneumonia!

I started making my first charm necklace tonight – mainly got it laid out and planned in my brain. Hopefully it will work well.

Thursday August 25 – Woke up early (for me) about 8 am and set about making a good breakfast for us – scrambled eggs, bacon and toast plus hot chocolate. Ed is feeling really miserable and I was hoping that a good meal would help him get over this cold. I pulled everything out of the pantry and moved shelves around for a more optimal use. Then I went out to the truck and got the new shelving system for our bathroom closet so we didn’t have to pile sheets and pillowcases and towels on top of each other – we now have four handy shelves in that closet – still giving us room for robes, coats, jackets and other clothes. Great!!

Then I went outside and started weeding the hillside – the West end isn’t getting the water it needs and was full of weeds. I then planted the ground cover I had dug up from our front yard…I filled five 32 oz drink cups with plants plus one 8 inch pot. I still haven’t decided where I am going to plant the 8 inch pot full as we have to figure out why it’s not getting water like it should. All this time Ed was sleeping. He felt so rotten that he told me that if he didn’t feel better by tomorrow he was going to have me take him to Boise to the doctor!! That’s when I realized he was sick. I fixed lunch – bacon and tomato and cheese sandwich and he took one bite and said he just couldn’t eat anything. About 3 pm I left Ed and went up to the pool and played volleyball with the couple from Canada and another new couple, John and Gayle from Parma. Come to find out their whole family is LDS and they have a daughter heading to Florida on a mission on the 6th of Sept!

For dinner tonight Ed had a cup of Ramen noodles – the closest thing to soup that I had in the trailer and I ate his sandwich that he couldn’t eat at lunch time. After dinner tonight Ed seemed to feel better – he got up and sat on the deck with me as I read and we watched the hummingbirds come to the feeders and the flowers. We have three different hummers and two of them are pretty nice to each other. But when #3, the meany shows up he chases the other two away. The regular birds haven’t found my feeder with birdseed yet. I think tomorrow morning I am going to go up and scatter a bunch of birdseed around on the ground….of course then the turkeys will come and eat that – we will see.

About 8 pm we took our chairs and walked down to Dee’s and sat around the campfire at his place and visited with Tina and the two other couples that are up on the mtn right now. Tomorrow is Friday and the park will start filling up with people for the weekend – it will be fun to see and visit with everyone. Oh and the stars were gorgeous tonight.

Friday August 26: Here we go again – I didn’t realize it until right now that it was the 26th – Jerod turned 14 today. I will try and send him a text message tomorrow wishing him a belated birthday. Wow these kids are growing up way too fast.

Spent the morning pulling weeds, planting the rest of the ground cover and working on a necklace. Ed is feeling so very much better which seems nice. I spent about an hour sitting in the dirt digging out the fire pit area with a hand shovel and then Ed finally (!!!) shows up with a big shovel and finishes the job in about ten minutes!! Oh well – I felt like I was helping anyway. We are going to bury the washer machine tub we found in the Layton park next to the rock wall – about 9 inches deep. Then we will lay paver stones on the ground around the front of it – should make a nice fire pit for us. We still need to find a 55 gallon drum lid to make a cover for it – that is required fire protection here on the mtn

Went up to the pool about 2 – Susan and Del had just come it – haven’t seen them since May so it was a grand reunion. A few other couples have shown up too – spent the afternoon swimming and reading and floating in the water – so nice. Talking to all our friends too. We invited Wayne and Jannie to come over to our place tonight about 7:30 ---I got out the fruit and cheeses and salami’s that I bought at Harmon’s before coming up. They stayed and visited until 10:15…it was such a nice warm evening – it is 75 degrees outside right now!! Bedtime.

Saturday August 27 – what a fun busy day. I got to sleep in as Ed went hiking up to Monkey Rock with Jannie and Wayne from Canada. I will go with him next week but I hike very slowly and I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep up with Jannie – she is thin, wiry and full of energy. Ed got back about 10:15 and said he wanted to go up to the hot tub so I decided to walk up with him. Once we got up there we found ourselves in the middle of the planning for the nights activities - a ladies night out where the men were to serve the ladies the whole meal. About noon we walked back to the trailer and got some lunch and then went back to Susan and Del’s to meet with Del and find out what he needed us to do. I told Ed, hey, this is for the men to do but he insisted that they had asked him to bring me to help too – I thought maybe my job would be to visit with Susan while the guys did all the work. HAH!! They had us go up to the lodge where Ed and I spent the next three hours peeling, quartering, and slicing cucumbers and green onions very very very thin!!! For the cold soup! Then I proceeded to make salad for 35 – sooo good! It had the lettuce, spinach and other greens, plus sunflower seeds, candied pecans, craisins, chopped red onions, chopped chicken, and feta cheese. All mixed together with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Of course I got to rip, tear and chop the mixture of greens, plus all the chicken too! Then everyone else (they were busy making kebobs) left Ed and I watching the mixture of rice (it had several different types of rice in it) cook. At 4:45 Ed got the green soup mix out of the refrigerator and carried it down to Susan and Del’s lot where the dinner was held – while I carried the two big bowls of salad- we had already sent or taken everything else before that. Ed returned to the kitchen so that he could bring the rice right at 4:55 pm.

They had moved the tables from the deck at the clubhouse and set them up by Susan and Del’s place. They had decorated the tables with white table clothes and cut black and white hound’s-tooth print fabric squares with various cardboard bottle holders with colorful (fake) Shasta daisies coming out of the bottlenecks.

It looked very festive. I sat down with Sherry (her husband was sick all day Saturday so he didn’t make it to the party) and Chuck and Nancy and Ed and I. When Ed showed up I helped him put on his cuffs (the cufflinks were made out of screws, washers and a wing nut all painted black) and he put on his black tie so he would be properly dressed as a waiter. Fun! The first course was frescetta bread with different toppings …one with hummus, one with a thin slice of Swiss cheese topped with a dab of cranberry sauce and the best one was marinated feta cheese - all three were delicious.

Next came the cold soup – All the ingredients had been pureed together and then refrigerated. Just as they served it they added the thinly (very very thinly) sliced green onions and cucumbers. We have been promised recipes next weekend!

Course three was the salad – everyone loved it!

The fourth course was the main course….a vegetable shish kebob made up of red, yellow and green peppers, onion, zucchini, and yellow squash, and a choice between a beef or a chicken shish kabob. I chose the chicken and Ed chose the beef so we could taste both meats. They had been marinated in different sauces – the beef was good but the chicken was to die for.

The fifth and final course was dessert – Asian yogurt with honey with mixed berries and a chocolate stick and a white sugar stick.

It was a fantastic meal. It left us full but not stuffed. The waiters carried out their jobs with panache. Del had planned the whole thing with Ron helping him – he planned each and every dish, bought everything, hauled it up to the mtn and then supervised the completion of the whole party. He was even the one who ironed the tablecloths. Susan said she did very little to help – it was his party and he wanted to do it!!! What a fun evening. The jokes were fun, the skits were fun, the door prizes were fun…all in all a great time.

Sunday August 28. Last night we all decided that the summer was getting away from us and that we hadn’t had a communal breakfast yet. So we were all told to show up with whatever we wanted to add to the collection by 8:30 am and we would eat at 9. This time of course it was the ladies doing all the work but it was fun to work together. I brought hot chocolate mix, a dozen eggs and a pound of bacon. Patty had the bacon cooking on two skillets and Natalie was working on hash browns. I helped cook the bacon and we put it in a pan and put it in the oven to keep it warm. We blew a fuse as we had too many electric frying pans going at the same time!! As soon as I finished with the bacon I turned that skillet off and went over and started cooking the scrambled eggs – it was across the kitchen on another circuit. J As I cooked the eggs, Lori started in on cooking the French toast – she used the leftover frescetta bread from the night before and dipped them in egg batter with a bit of cinnamon in it. Others had brought orange juice, a big package of fresh raspberries and cinnamon rolls….we got the paper plates and plastic ware from the kitchen along with butter, syrup, jam, salt and pepper shakers and ketchup.

So we feasted again. The kitchen in the clubhouse is easily big enough for five or six cooks at a time. The only difficult thing is be careful and use the potable water for anything that someone might eat straight. We also would put a little bit of Clorox in the dishwater.

I spent another hour cleaning up the kitchen – right down to helping to mop the floor but it was a fun morning. Then Ed and I got on the four wheeler and rode back down to our trailer where we promptly took a nap. Right after noon we headed back up to the pool area where I got pretty good at playing volleyball! In the swimming pool so it makes to real difficult to move too far at a time to get a ball coming at ya but loads of fun. Of course my team lost both games!!

I stayed in the shade most of the day as I am finding myself burning really easily with the sulpha drug I am still on. Tonight will be the last of them thank Heavens! I feel like the ‘boil’ is finally clearing up – I stayed out of the pool and hot tub until 48 hours had passed from the last time it seeped water, blood or pus. Once it dried out on top I figured I couldn’t pass the staph infection to anyone else so it was safe to go back in the water.

Now the mtn is just about empty – Dee is the only other person up here. We are heading up to the hot tub to visit with him in about half an hour. We love the fun busy times and we love the relaxing quiet time too.

Monday August 29th thru Tuesday Sept 4! Quiet week and busy busy fun weekend. Another new couple from Baker Oregon showed up last Monday and stayed a couple of nights. She was very very quiet but by the time they left she had started opening up. We enjoyed them. Took them on the hike up to Monkey Rock. Ed took his GPS and found that it is exactly 2 ½ miles ….a good 1/3 of that is very steep uphill and another ¼ is very steep downhill. I take THREE bottles of water with me to keep hydrated. During the week we got the fire pit finished, the waterfall cemented, a new flower garden created. Every morning we spend working on our lot and every afternoon we spend up at the pool. Wed and Thursday were very cool – it started warming back up on Friday so the weekend was comfortable but I could tell it was September. I am sooooo not ready for Fall. Brent and Kathy got here Friday afternoon and we thoroughly enjoyed having them stay with us for the long weekend. Kitty and Larry were here from Southern Utah, Randy and Rosemary from Bountiful and Don came (Lucinda was in Spain!!) with Lee. Lee cooked for the two of them all weekend in a Sun Oven!!! We are going to see if we can find them online. They would be fun to have.

Saturday evening there was a tailgate party at the pool at 3 in preparation for the big Bronco’s game that night. Boise was playing Georgia. There were parties going on a three different places that had tv’s and we could hear the cheers everytime Boise made a touchdown! Lots of good food –

Sunday evening we had a delicious meal cooked by Jerry and Shirley – just $5 a couple. Again – lots and lots of good food! Monday morning we did another ‘group’ breakfast. Busy weekend – lots and lots of people for the Labor Day weekend. Monday by 3 most everyone had left….there were only about four or five couples left on the mtn. Tina had a family party with her two daughters and their husbands and her three adorable grandsons. It was fun to meet her family. Susan and Del stopped by Monday evening to give me a gardening lesson on the different plants in our hillside and how to care for them. Al and Lori stopped in on their way home from a fun resort in California that they went to – got the rest of us excited about going there for a visit. Lori’s dad was retiring after 63 years of driving a milk truck –he started at age 12!! Last night at 10:30 he was bringing his last route to a close and so she had me help her make a big banner that said “Happy Retirement Buzz….it’s great that you quit before the milk curdled!” They were going to hold it up as he drove into the yard on his last run and let him drive through the sign.

So quiet on the mountain again today. We only have a week left of our idyll… We are going down to Boise tomorrow to buy the food for Ed’s retirement dinner that we are cooking for the group on Saturday – we are going to dutch oven a complete meal. We will go to Meridian and visit with Susan and Del at their house…wash my sheets so I can leave the trailer with a clean set on the beds; and hopefully get our emails too!

Wednesday – Sept 7: Drove to Meridian today and went and visited Susan and Del at their lovely home. We got on the computer and caught up with our emails and washed one batch of clothes and then after they were dried and folded we went to dinner with them at a fun Mexican restaurant. We sat and talked for a couple of hours and finally they headed back home and we went to Winco’s and bought groceries for the dutch oven dinner to be held on Saturday.

Thursday and Friday – quiet days on the mountain – we wire brushed the deck and painted the whole thing a warm pretty brown – it looks great. I finally decided to use my phone to take pictures with so I could add them to this blog and when I sat down to download them onto the computer I realized I have lost the USB port that holds my mini card from the phone. So I can’t use the phone for a camera either. No luck either way. Spent another nice afternoon at the pool – didn’t even have to vacuum it as Dave from Idaho City vacuumed it before we got up there. So we lazed around the pool. Friday evening I went to the board meeting and listened carefully to the plans for the club. We made a great big sign that said “to retirement and Beyond….Congratulations Ron and Ed!!! Ron retired the first part of June and Ed retired the end of June. Ron didn’t know we were making the sign and including him in Saturday nights’ celebration.

Saturday morning, while Patty was at the trailer visiting (and Ed was busy with the macerator pump and black tank) Dee showed up asking for help up at the commons ground, as Dean had showed up with the big tent. We were trying it out for size to see if it would work for a new clubhouse. We have been trying to decide (as a club) whether or not we wanted to stick build a new and bigger clubhouse or put up a tent that we could have drop down sides on and a few heaters that would give us a place to meet and play when the weather is bad – I was all for the new building itself until they explained that it still wouldn’t give us a club house during the winter as we have no parking areas big enough to hold the 20 or 30 cars minimum that would show up for a winter party. Rethinking the clubhouse to simply extend the summer fun two or three extra weeks in April/May and two or three extra weeks in September/October plus rainy summer days – the tent 20x40 feet – would do fine. Anyway we had about 8-10 people show up at the commons area and Dean showed us how easy it is to set up. After the tent was set up we relaxed up at the pool until about 2 when Ed and I went back to the clubhouse and started slicing potatoes and chopping onions. We headed up to the pool and played a wild game of pool volleyball until about 3:30 and then we headed back to the commons area . Ed started the briquettes while I went in and started working on the salad. I had lots of help with slicing tomatoes and cucumbers for the salad and vegetable tray. Someone ran back to their trailer and grabbed another can of olives to go with the two I had brought it as we all decided that the platter was lopsided and needed more olives. That’s how we work together on the mountain.

I had previously gone through my jewelry and put together decorated bags with different necklaces and earrings and bracelets and watches. I put about $40 worth of jewelry in each bag. I set them all up on the lid of the hot tub for a silent auction. I started bidding at $10 per bag. I donated all winnings to the club and we auctioned those bags at $20 and $25 per bag. Ed and I made about $140 for the club doing that.

The food turned out delicious although the chicken took awhile to get done. We dutch ovened chicken, potatoes (with bacon, onions, and cheese), green beans (again with the onions and bacon) and then had a huge salad plus a huge vegetable platter. Donna had some left over French bread that she turned into garlic bread to go with the meal. Then Ed made his famous beer scones which we served with whipped butter and either honey or jam. DELICIOUS!!

As this was also the Volunteer Appreciation dinner – the club honors all the volunteers for the summer at this meal… and since everything on the mountain is done with volunteers it is a special night. Everything from thanking the officers and committee members to thanking Alan for macerating the waste from the pool outhouse to thanking those who watered the lawns and mowed the lawns and replaced the bad Trex around the pool with new Trex and built stairs and etc and so forth.

They had chosen several items from the mini store in the clubhouse and set them out and had drawings through the whole dinner for door prizes. I had offered one necklace out of my box of older necklaces. That was the first item chosen. The next ticket we called was new lady and she joined Sharon sorting through the box to find something she wanted. Sharon looked at me with a question in her eye saying “there is only supposed to be ONE item from this box isn’t there?” I nodded but mouthed to her quietly that “I would donate two necklaces .“ We had a marvelous time and everyone loved the whole evening. Afterwards we cleaned up and I was sooo tired but then they hollered out for a NIGHT volleyball game – so I went up and joined them. I’m a lot better than I was when I started playing at the first of the summer…but I still miss a lot! However since we are all playing for fun no one cares who wins or loses. The water in the pool Saturday night was probably 86 degrees – it felt wonderful. We played FIVE games!!! Finally about 9:30 we quit. I went back down the stairs and found Ed sitting at the campfire visiting with a bunch of people. I slept really well let me tell you!!

Sunday was a quieter day – very relaxing. We did manage to get enough people at the pool to have a fun volleyball game from about 1 until 3 when everyone said “time to go home!!” Chuck and Nancy invited us over to their trailer for elk steak that night – ymmmmm.

Monday – we got up and had breakfast and relaxed and read – we were the only ones on the mountain except for Machelle….it was so quiet. We fixed ourselves a lunch and went on a four wheel ride4 over to a pretty little valley on the other side of the canyon that has been closed off for several years but was recently reopened. We read, ate our lunch and did some shooting. Then we got back to the swimming pool by about 2 pm. We had the pool to ourselves the whole day. I read and floated and drank my Pepsi. We swam and thoroughly enjoyed the pool. Finally about six we headed back to the trailer, had some supper and started packing up so we would be able to leave early Tuesday morning. I realized in the middle of the packing that it was the 12th of September---Ethan’s birthday. I sent a text message to Kris to tell him Happy Birthday. During that three weeks we missed 5 of our grandchildren’s birthdays. Oh well – they had their presents already, so that’s the important thing. I changed the sheets on our bed so we could come back to clean sheets. We both ended up having a shower after we got all packed so we could climb into those clean sheets with a clean body. I think that is the first time Ed has used the shower in our trailer. It is so little and narrow. He always goes up and soaks in the hot tub and visits and then uses the showers at the clubhouse where he has room to move.

We are on our way home …hate to see our idyllic vacation come to an end! It has been wonderful. We are going to go up to Monte Cristo with the kids next week so we are still praying for warm weather.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Goodbye Grandma Bea

My byline for sometime has been, Remember the dash. Beatrice Lowe Willden, 1924-2011...the dash representing the years lived.

Grandma Bea filled her life with fun and love and laughter. Even better, she shared that fun and love and laughter with everyone she met.

I met my future mother-in-law one cold February morning in 1967 - about 7:30 in the morning. Ed brought me in the house and said "Mom, this is Susan...Susan this is my mom - I will see you this afternoon when I get done with Guard". ...and he left!! I was petrified...but within two or three minutes I realized there was nothing to fear.

His mother was so full of life and so full of fun - we had a grand day. His sister Colleen showed up with her baby Gina, and the three of us laughed and talked and had a ball. They talked me into wearing Colleen's prom dress for the National Guard Ball that evening instead of the formal that I had brought with me. I always said that I fell in love with his mother and married Ed.

Watch out Heaven....grandma Bea has arrived! Never, not once did I not feel welcome when we went to Beaver. Always she folded us under her wing and made us feel loved and appreciated. My kids LOVED to go to grandma Bea's because of the love and joy she shared with everyone. My kids had a one grandma they were scared of, especially when they were little - and then they had Grandma Bea with her teasing and loving way.

I don't remember Bea ever really losing her temper - even when she had all six of her kids and all their spouses and all their kids running around in her little house. Imagine, if you will: Her sons (by now, all grown men) wrestling on the living room floor, with Colleen and all of her daughter in laws with a baby in arms sitting around the living room, and all the grandkids running in circles literally - from the kitchen thru the bathroom, the bedroom, the livingroom and back into the kitchen chasing each other and yelling and teasing each other again and again and again. The noise level was off the charts and we would all visit and laugh and talk over and above it all! That little house just rocked. Bea was Aunt Bea to most of the kids in Beaver ...that turned to Grandma Bea as those kids grew up and had kids - she loved everyone. You never went anywhere in a hurry with Bea, because everyone had to stop and talk to her and get teased about their latest escapade.

I loved Grandma Bea like a second mother - she was the best mother in law anyone could ever ask for. She treated us as adults, gave advice ONLY when we asked for it, and loved all of her 'kids in law" as if they were her own.

The world is a little grayer now that Grandma Bea has gone. She returned to her sweetheart Cecil on what would have been his 90th birthday. I can imagine the reunion on the other side of the veil with Cecil and Colleen and Randy waiting to welcome her. Her parents and siblings that have already passed on. I remember watching her with her brothers and sisters at a funeral back in the 60's. There were a bunch of them and they were lining up for a picture and you would have thought they were all 9 or 10 years old - the teasing, the devil horns, the poking and playing around. I wasn't sure we were going to be able to settle them down long enough to get a picture. So much fun and love and laughter.

I forgot to bring the cord to my computer and so I am sitting in the lobby of the Comfort Inn here in Beaver using their computer and internet to write this so I can make the juice in my computer last until we are ready to go back home. I will have to go through my pictures and find some good ones to add to this blog.

Grandma Bea, Beatrice, Mom - I love you and will miss you - you have been a major influence in my life for a lot of years now-even from a distance. Keep an eye on us all from up above - thank heavens we have you as a mom forever. You taught us all how to live our lives to the fullest and to 'remember the dash' filled yours well

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Just a Walk in the Park

Its good to be home and walking again - I missed it while I was gone and then had a Dr. appointment on Monday morning so Tuesday was my first day back at the park and was it gorgeous. It was the morning AFTER that huge snowstorm. The snow was so heavy.

I actually remembered to take my camera and I probably took too many pictures but every time I turned another corner it was just too beautiful to not snap a picture

what a spring snowstorm can do!

Yes - this is at the Layton Park
Winter Wonderland!
A bend in the River
The same bend but a few feet further where the rocks create a mini rapids
All the ducks were farther down the river - and they WERE HUNGRY!!
I love the lacy look of this one with just a bit of the blue sky peaking out

A snow laden tree
More of the lacy creations of a snowy morn

Green tree trunks

The walks were cleared and everything was so peaceful!

Isn't it gorgeous?