Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thanksgiving photo collage

Safely home after a quick visit with family in Utah Valley
and a scrumptious feast of food and family interactions.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Lorien has been here...

We are in Utah Valley for Thanksgiving at Daniel's place with all the family we can gather locally. Would love to have everyone together but that's not possible. Looking forward to seeing six of my seven grandkids. I still have memories of their last visits, and especially Lorien's parting gift on my makeup desk's mirror and lamp with an eyebrow pencil. Too cute to wash off yet.

Lorien in her Frozen costume visited us in Oct returning from Disneyland
Someone left her autograph on my mirror with eyebrow!
A famous almost 5 year old grand daughter's been here.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Drive to KAYENTA

With perfect weather we took a sunday drive to nearby Kayenta with it's beautiful red rocks and Santa Fe style homes.
Young quail soaking the fall sunshine in Kayenta 
Ivins reservoir stores water for irrigation in the desert

Santa Fe style houses are almost hidden in this landscape 
Another view of the reservoir
All houses built in this area have to have this type of architecture 
For some reason, I love the Southwest deserts of Utah

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Article #319 Complex Repairs

               In our world today, complex family relationships are common with the number of individuals who divorce or die after marrying or separate after living together without marriage or remarry multiple times. All of this makes for step relationships as well as divided families. When I  divorced 35 years ago, it was awkward to know how to treat my in-laws. Loyalty issues arose. Some family members strained to know how to relate to the divorced partner of their son or daughter. It certainly is a new situation that calls for forgiveness, understanding and time to repair/heal the disappointments involved. The children of divorce are the ones who need the most help in adjusting to the new situation whatever kind of estrangement or change takes place as the ex-spouses move on in their individual paths.

            Grandparents though now the former in-laws (or outlaws as I jokingly called mine) are still family and want to have a place in their grandchildren’s lives. Flexibility on the part of all involved is important in going forth and stabilizing life after any traumatic change. Family reunions and holidays become a tricky situation to navigate. Who gets the kids to celebrate, etc.? Sister and brother in-laws feel awkward relating to the former spouse of their sibling and vice versa. What a mess. Although we’d like to think that adults can be unconditionally acceptant of all involved, it rarely happens and the children of divorce watch and wonder why. The same could be true of those who separate without marriage or divorce, relationships have been developed which are suddenly changed create instability in the lives of any family.

            At one time divorce was looked down upon, now it almost seem common in 50% of our marriages today. Not a good statistic for stability in children’s lives. It is also possible for a sibling to divorce their own family members through some misunderstanding that stops communication and disrupts family interactions. Many children of divorce continue to feel angry at one or both of their parents for the divorce even into their adult years. Talk about lack of family unity. Similar to the hillbilly feuds when kinfolk fought back and forth so much that many forgot what they were fighting over. A return to family solidarity is only possible if all involved are willing to forgive and move on to healing after griefing over the loss of the family. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Boat Report

It been a long time between progress reports on the boat, because hubby had to backtrack and remove four layers of outer paint off the boat because it wasn't sticking to the epoxy painted layer. Finally he's solved that and is on his way again after several months of detours and road blockages with a new paint.

Meticulous in his technique, a real masterpiece is created. 
Carefully painted and sanded between each coat takes time.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Autumn Ride

After Snow Canyon we drove further to see some autumn leaves.
In a land full of sage and cedar, even rabbit bush is glorious.
Taking a break near Gunlock at an old swimming hole.
Looks like a fun place to fish or swim in the hot summertime.
An oasis in the desert landscape
Donkeys graze in the grasslands near Gunlock Reservoir
One of many reservoirs to catch and use limited water in our area.
Autumn leaves and colors made for a glorious enoyable ride.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Snow Canyon Picnic

Off for a picnic in Snow Canyon-it's 65 degrees today, but a storm is coming.
I love the red rocks of Southern Utah and the variations in colors. 
Just imagine the forces that formed these cliffs over the years...
Found a quiet picnic spot to enjoy our Jimmy John sandwiches.

Soon we had a visitor, my guess is a Rocky Mountain Blue Jay.
Hubby  threw a potato chip at the end of the table and Mr. Jay grabbed it.
The view looking back into the St. George area, only $3 park admission.
Notice the variations in color with different layers of rock.
Even desert cactus is beautiful, but don't touch....

Friday, November 14, 2014

Article #318 Repairing Bridges

           How do we close the gaps in our family relationships? By building a bridge of online communication! With the modern generation so enthralled with digital games, texting and social media, you can reach out and connect with them using the Internet. Time for an old dog to learn new tricks––IF you want to strengthen your links with family members. Grandkids appreciate grandparents who connect with them via e-mail, text or instant messaging. Youth love to show the older generation how to use the Internet.
            Let’s face it, the day of receiving a nicely composed handwritten note from a younger loved one are over. Even birthday cards are a dying art as you can more easily send and receive an e-card online, unless you don’t have a computer or smart phone. Yes, it does take some effort to learn the basics of new technology. It’s easier to say I’m too old to learn that. If that’s your reasoning, please consider that perhaps YOU are missing an opportunity to do some needed bonding with family members that will strengthen or repair bridges between you.
            In these days of our extended family living in distant locations rather than the same hometown, it’s necessary to reach out somehow. I remember twenty years ago trying to start a family round robin letter that would circulate among my new step daughters after my marriage to their dad. Each family was to update their activities and send it on to the next sister then return all the news to us. Well that got as far as the first daughter where it died for lack of time. Fast forward to modern times, with the Internet it’s possible to instantly announce family news via Facebook, and send photos. Now it’s possible to be connected all day.
            A friend of mine was still using a typewriter to compose poems and send letters. Then I convinced her at age 79 to get a used computer. After a few lessons from me and support from her family, she’s able to compose messages and communicate with her extended family around the world via e-mail. Challenge yourself to consider adding or expanding the use of technology to help you strengthen or repair bridges in your family. Asking for help can be a good start at bridging the age gap in generations. Just showing an interest in others to learn or ask for help, says volumes to those we reach out to. NEXT TIME: Complex Repairs. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014


Trying again to sell my books at the annual Fall Fair in Sunriver.

Note the frozen palm tree in the background that didn't make it through winter.
My best book sales are on though I've tried selling on my blog too.
Lots of fun booths to visit but I bought nothing this year.
Christmas is coming too soon. 
Love all the creativity in these items for sale.
I'm out of space for decorating my home but these are tempting...
Doesn't everyone want a decorated long horn?
More items with an African flavor. 
Homemade jewelry looks awesome. 
A photographer friend who is a real professional. 
Taken from his kitchen wall he says.
Lots of fun arrangements but my house is full every shelf and corner!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Lattices and Privacy

Since so many plants suffered winter kill last Dec, our neighbors back yard has been more visible as their growing plants were cut back. That lead us to decide to put a trellis between us for our new trumpet vines to grown on. Here's a before and after. Cheaper than building a wall.

View out our dining room window into our neighbor's backyard
Privacy fence before staining, note three little trumpet vines-grow!
With redwood stain-it's almost too much but wintering and vines will cover it.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Article #317 Bridges

         I saw this quote on an online poster (at that impressed me: Family: Links to the Past and Bridges to the Future. We have only to look to our past, the lives of our parents and grandparents to see examples of honesty, hard work, integrity and unconditional love to understand how to succeed in our modern day of computer games, social networks and ever increasing busy-ness. Take time to consider your links to the past, pondering what was important to your ancestors. Modern thinking is not always best. Time-tested values are just that something to build a future on, a bridge to betterment. In these days of challenges to the traditional family, old fashioned values are important and need to be taught.

Bridges can be a link from the past to the future, whatever difficulties it may hold. Let’s not dump our parent’s values, but build upon them. It’s important to become the type of person that we’d want in our family. Individuals that you can trust and rely upon. People that have your back no matter the situation. Families should fit that need and most do. When push comes to shove, emergencies arise, be they health issues or accidents, who can we turn to? Family should be first, to share our burdens, and give us words of comfort. Many soldiers in their last dying breath on the battlefield cried out for…Mother-their constant source of love from the past.

Take time to build a bridge to the future with a phone call or better yet visiting a loved one to reassure them of your concern and interest in their lives. Are there stories from your posterity that you could share with your family members that demonstrate this principle of unconditional love? I can recall, my family rallying behind me when I was divorced and on my own as a single parent over 35 years ago. They became my cheerleaders, a resource to draw on for personal strengthening. We all need connections no matter our age.

           Many modern families are full of broken bridges because of divorce, death or misunderstandings. It’s never too late to reach out and repair links with our most important relationships with family. Too many grudges are keeping us apart from our greatest resource for personal growth. Hurt feelings come too easily by taking things personally rather than trying to see beyond the immediate situation to what is most important. Families! NEXT TIME: Repairing Bridges.