Thursday, July 16, 2009


Nature and God paint a picture for our evening viewing pleasure.

Nature Notes Thursday

Monday, July 13, 2009

Ruby Tuesday

Red, red, red eveywhere I see red.

Click for more Ruby Tuesday.

Sunday Rides

When we were kids Dad would load us in the car on Sunday afternoon for a drive. The seven of us would pile into the big old sedan pushing and knocking elbows to make space for ourselves. Usually we stopped for lunch somewhere. Sometimes it was a picnic by a stream, others times a new restaurant he wanted to try, and frequently a burger stand. On the ride home we would take the scenic route, which always seemed to include a winding mountain road. All those greasy burgers sitting in our stomachs and the swaying of hot sweaty bodies led to, you guessed it, car sickness. Someone would barf all over the the car including anyone in immediate range , which meant whoever was sitting next to them. Not a pleasant end to a days outing.

Yesterday I repeated this childhood ritual. We went to a nearby town for burgers and dogs. Wanting to make it a true family outing we took not children , but our furry canine companions. The burger joint is an old fashion drive up diner. I decided the burgers had to be good because the line snaked through the parked cars and into the street. The restaurant slave driver, his fairy princess and the man of the house all had chili cheese dogs. They were a foot long, overflowing with chili and stuffed with cheese. The fairy princess ate hers delicately with a fork, while the men braved the drips and slurped up the delicious but messy childhood favorite. I had an all American hamburger with lettuce, tomato and cheese. We ate in a nearby park and took the scenic route, a winding mountain road, home.

Humans and our doggy children were enjoying the ride. Boss sat beside me looking out the windows first front then the side. The scenery was beautiful.

The road curved with twist and turns and the car swayed back and forth. Boss began to drop his head but would then look up, and again stare out the window. At one point he placed his head in my lap, I though he was tired. Suddenly he began to make a choking-gagging noise. My little darling barfed all over me. I screeched and everyone turned to see what had caused the excitement.

We pulled over and I took off my pants and continued the journey in my underwear. It was only a short distance home and we arrived without further mishap. A fitting end to a repeated childhood ritual. P.S. Boss was wrestling with Gracie last night so he is fine.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Paths Taken

I have a habit when driving of not wanting to turn around or backtrack. I always think forward is better. I also like to explore new paths and roads to see where they go. I am like the bear who went over the mountain to see what he could see, but all he could see was the other side of the mountain. I keep thinking there will be something new on the other side of the mountain.

This trait has gotten me in trouble on several occasions. One sunny day while taking a ride I spotted a sign Turkey Track road. This intrigued me, a possible chance to see wild turkeys or maybe some other animals. Without hesitation I turned down this road. I was driving through the forest with huge pine trees on either side of me. Most people don't know Arizona has the largest Ponderosa pine forest in the nation. The road twisted and turned and began to narrow. Undaunted I drove on.

I came upon a clearing, logs were in a huge pile stripped of their branches. A logging truck unattended was parked next to the pile, this was obviously a logging road. Sensible mind told me I should turn around, logging roads are known not to be in the best shape. Explorer mind said move on. I really wanted see what was down the road and that old habit always go forward tugged at my heart. So I continued on my journey. The road grew worse the twist and turns became more frequent and deep ruts began to appear. I started to drive more slowly as I struggled not to slip in to the holes in he middle of the road.

I began to look for a place to turn around but there wasn't room. The road had become a narrow ridge of two tracks side by side with a huge chasm in between. I gripped the steering wheel an cautiously continued on my journey Keeping the wheel on those ridges was a challenge. I became a bit frightened, cell phones did not exist and my trip had been spontaneous no one knew where I was.

My devil may care attitude had disappeared and I prayed to get out of this in one piece. I drove on for what seemed like hours the road did not get any better but at least it was not getting worse. Or so I thought.

Suddenly the road ended, in front of me was a very large hole. It was about six feet deep and at least fifty feet in diameter. The road continued on the other side and I could see it lead to a highway with cars driving by. What could I do? I drove right into the forest floor hoping there were no hidden obstacles to stop my progress. I negotiated my way through the forest and around the chasms in the earth. Finally I reached the road on the other side. I headed my car toward the highway euphoric that I had made my way out of this perilous situation. My pleasure was short lived I could see the highway but I also saw there was a fence between me and freedom.

I considered my option as I approached the fence. Wire cutters maybe, I had none. I looked left and right. A few yards to the left was a gate. I was on forest service land and most gates are not locked. So once again I took off across country hoping for the best. The gods smiled on me and the gate was unlocked. I got out swung the gate wide open and drove through it to civilization. Closing the gate; you always leave a gate the way you found it; I looked back in the direction I had just traveled. Thanking God and the Universe I vowed not to be so foolish again. Right!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Day of Rest

Arizona does not observe Daylight Savings Time. After all who wants another hour of 100 degree heat. We all long for the evening when the sun sets and things begin to cool down. Barbecues fire up, the scent of smokey meats drifts through the air. Patio chairs are filled with people enjoying the evening breezes, and the tinkle of ice filled glasses signal an end to a hectic day and the beginning of evening's relaxation.

In Montana the sun is still bright at 9:00 p.m. It has been difficult to adjust my body to this new schedule. There is no waiting for evenings cool breezes. You wake up to cool temperatures and as the day warms it is still comfortable. The natives were complaining the other day when the thermometer hit the 80's. In Arizona we would have pulled out the sweatshirts. So when does the evening's relaxation begin?

Throw in my new schedule and the body confusion only gets worse. Friday night I worked till 9:00 p.m. So today is truly my day of rest. I slept in and ate a delicious breakfast. Later I took a nap. A good book provided a few relaxing hours. An early dinner of great food added pleasure and pounds. A hot tub soak soothed my aching muscles. My body dictated what I did today; not a schedule, not the sun.