Friday, May 31, 2013

Feeling Flat?

I have hypoglycemia, so I am always armed with some things that I can eat quickly if I get into trouble. When things are working like they're supposed to, blood sugar gradually decreases, and when it gets to a certain point, your tummy will start to growl, letting you know it's time to eat. A hypoglycemia attack, for me, feels really weird, and really different. It happens suddenly, and I get a sort of sinking, rubbery legs, shaky feeling, sort of like all the cells in my body are vibrating. It's hard to properly describe how it feels, and it's not hunger. For lack of anything better, I just call it "feeling flat".

If I'm at home when this happens, it's easy to quickly take care of. But when I'm away from home, it can be a different story. If I don't get some sugar into me right way, I can become almost incoherent, like my tongue is way too heavy and I can't lift it. Words are in my mind, but I can't get them out. Thoughts will then become jumbled, and if it were to go on much longer, I'd faint.

So, after a couple of close calls when I was away from home, one of them in a grocery store, ironically, I now try to make sure I don't leave home without at least one rescue device. I keep some hard candy, like Jolly Ranchers, in my pocket or purse, and I usually have something in my purse like a Salted Nut Roll, or Kind bar.

The other day, I needed a pick-me-up, so I dug the Salted Nut Roll out of my purse.

Hmmmm, it looks a little strange.

I think this Salted Nut Roll is looking as flat as I'm starting to feel...

Aren't the peanuts supposed to be on the outside???

I have been carrying this in my purse for at least six months, probably longer, and time had not been kind to the poor thing's appearance. But I'm happy to say that it tasted just fine, and did the trick.

The flat candy bar unflattened me!

Ok, admit that you've seen the appealing look of the purse-smooshed version, you're hungry for a Salted Nut Roll, aren't you???  ;o)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Fill 'er Up, Please!

Fill 'er up! The rain gauge, that is!

My area has been suffering drought conditions for the past year. We haven't been at "normal" moisture levels since March 2012. In April 2012, we entered the "abnormally dry" category, and it just kept getting worse as the summer went on, going through the "moderate" and "severe" drought levels. By September, we were in an "extreme" drought.

Summer 2012 was a terrible combination of hot, windy, and dry. It was a summer of wildfires all around our region. Smoke filled the skies pretty much from June on, only clearing out when the weather cooled in autumn. Fire bans were widespread, even in the mountains, and the temperatures were in the 90° to 100° F range much of the time. All of this was hard on crops, anyone with allergies or asthma, and nearly ruined many of the ranchers in the area as they struggled to find enough hay for their livestock. No grass was growing here, and hay had to be trucked in from as far away as Canada (at a premium price, of course). Reservoirs were drying out at an alarming rate. 

One of the large, nearly dry reservoirs in my area that I saw from the window of a plane in September. I have photo after photo of many different reservoirs from that trip, and they all look pretty much the same as this one. Can you tell we were looking down through a layer of smoke?

But things are looking up! After a very dry winter, we are finally getting some good moisture. A couple of heavy spring snowstorms got us headed in the right direction, getting us out of the extreme drought,  and into the severe drought level, as of May 28th (according to the US Department of Agriculture's drought monitor).

April 10, 2013

We have been having some rain showers off and on for the past few days, but yesterday afternoon, it got busy and gave us some serious rain. We'd gotten half an inch by the time the showers ended in the evening, then more rain moved in overnight, and currently we are edging up towards 1 1/4 inches! And it's still coming down! We have rain in the forecast every day through Saturday, so we may just bust this drought yet, and hopefully be able to stay out of it all summer.

Keep coming down, you beautiful, delicious rain, and quench the thirst of this parched land! 

Thank you, Lord, for blessing us with all of this water!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Doctor Who?

My darling daughter, Megan, is a fan of the TV show Doctor Who.  Not so much the older episodes, but the newer ones that began in 2005 and are ongoing.

Megan recently had her eyes checked and got contacts and new lenses for her glasses. While we were waiting for the lenses to be finished, she was playing around and trying on other frames.

We found the perfect Doctor Who glasses for her!

She struck her serious Doctor Who pose, eyebrow up, and I snapped the picture. 

I think she makes a very cute Doctor Who.  All she needs now is a TARDIS and a sonic screwdriver, and she'll be ready to start gallivanting through space and time!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Walk in the Park

We recently took a little road trip to Sheridan, Wyoming. It was a beautiful day, and we spent some time wandering along a walking path in the Kendrick Park area. With Big Goose Creek running through the park and the Wildlife Refuge right next to it, there were plenty of things to look at.

Bison in the Wildlife Refuge. Elk live there also, but we didn't see them this time.

I don't think I'm interested in tangling with this mature honey locust tree. Ouch!

Lots of ducks on the creek. This was just one of many groups.

With so many other ducks busily swimming in the creek, this pair decided to relax instead.

It was the perfect afternoon!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Dark Clouds and Rainbows

We had the first evening thundershowers of the season yesterday. I love it when the air has the fresh smell of rain! As the storm clouds moved off and the sun came back out, we were left with quite a display. The camera can never do the scene justice, but the trees were lit up, all bright and golden, with the very dark clouds as a backdrop. It was beautiful!

We also had a gorgeous rainbow. It was the perfect end to a lovely evening.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


I love waterfalls. Big, little, splashy, trickles, running over a cliff, or just oozing out of a rock wall. I have never met a waterfall I didn't like! I have seen them from the road, out the window of an airplane (Niagara Falls), taken walks to view them, and last summer we went on a hike that was just over 2 miles to view Fairy Falls in Yellowstone. It is a trail that's off the beaten path, not well publicized, so not many people make the hike to Fairy Falls. While the trail got a bit rough at times, it wasn't too bad. The view was well worth the hike, and while I appreciated getting away from the crowds at the more well-known sights in Yellowstone, I think anyone not getting to see this waterfall is missing out.

Chad, taking a picture of me, taking a picture of Fairy Falls, Yellowstone National Park.

I don't know why I am so fascinated by waterfalls. I do remember my love for them really began when I was 9-years-old. We moved to the Durango, Colorado area for my dad's job, and we lived in apartment complex for the first few months that was about 20 miles outside of Durango, and just past a small town named Hermosa. There was a waterfall flowing over the face of a cliff and visible from the highway as we passed by Hermosa. Every time we went to town and then back home, I had to make sure I saw it. A couple of years later, we were visiting someone who lived practically at the foot of that waterfall, and it was absolute heaven for me to get an up close and personal look at it. It seemed my heart would burst with joy and excitement! I don't think I will ever forget that first close-up encounter with a waterfall.

It is a fairly short but steep hike to the base of Treasure Falls, Wolf Creek Pass, Colorado.

Waterfalls are soothing. On a hot day, the cool mist surrounding a fall is rejuvenating. The roar from a large waterfall, and watching the rushing waters tumble over the edge are hypnotic. I could spend all day at some of my favorite waterfalls and never grow tired of it! As far as natural wonders go, waterfalls are at the top of my favorites list.

Brink of the Lower Falls, Yellowstone National Park. That's an over 300 foot drop! Niagara Falls is only about half of that.

Splashing over the edge of the Lower Falls.

A painting by 15-year-old daughter, Megan, of the Lower Falls.

Tower Fall, Yellowstone National Park

Rustic Falls, Yellowstone National Park

I could go on and on with the waterfall photos from Yellowstone. I have more pictures of quite a few more falls, but this post is getting long already...

A dream vacation for me would be to tour all over and visit waterfalls. That could get expensive, traipsing all over the place, but while I'm dreaming, I'm just going to ignore that part of it. I hope someday to be able to take a grand waterfall tour, and see some of the most beautiful examples this earth has to offer. Denali National Park, Yosemite National Park, and several locations around Hawaii are just a few of the places on my waterfall wish list.

What is your favorite natural wonder?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Walking in the Cemetery

Hooray for spring! It is finally nice enough to get back to my morning walks. Yesterday I resumed my habit of walking to, and all around, the cemetery. It was such a beautiful morning! Absolutely perfect for walking, and the sunshine was glorious.

I had a good view of the construction of the new Pioneer Manor nursing home. Construction crews are finishing up the demolition of the old Rec Center. It makes me kind of sad to see the old Rec gone. I spent time there as a kid when I'd be in town visiting my grandma and grandpa. There was a neighbor girl my age, and we used to walk to the Rec to go swimming. My daughter learned to swim there, and spent almost every summer day at the pool.

I do find it a bit ironic that the new nursing home will have a great view of the cemetery. As one resident not happy about the move said, "I don't want to look out the window every day and see the cemetery, where I'll be going next."

After watching the busy construction work for a short bit, it was on with the walk. As I've written about before, the cemetery is pretty much the perfect place. It's quiet, there are hills for a good workout, lots of mature trees for nice shade, and it's beautiful and interesting to look at. I find myself humming hymns while I walk there, and thanking God for all of his blessings. As I look at the headstones, I wonder about the lives the people now buried there lived. When I see the marker of a young person, I wonder why they died. I noticed a headstone for a 15-year-old girl that died in the 1930s. It said, "She was loved by all that knew her." My own daughter is 15, so that marker especially touched me.

I am not the only walker that utilizes the cemetery for that purpose. I often see other people walking there, and yesterday was no exception. I don't find the cemetery morbid or creepy, just peaceful. I'm glad we have this nice place where I can spend some time remembering my own family members when I pass by their memorials. I am looking forward to many more sunny walks there.

Do you have a favorite place to walk?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Weekend Scenes

The weekend was warm and beautiful, and much time was spent outdoors. Here are some of our weekend scenes.

The neighbor was running low on firewood, so Chad decided to give him some of ours.  ;o)  Ok, that's not really what was going on here. Our cottonwood tree was in dire need of a trim, so Chad borrowed a bucket truck from an electrician he knows, and with a friend's help, got it done. But, the neighbor did get most of the wood.

My very favorite tulips. The original bulb was in a mixed package, and it was the only one of this variety. I love it, and wish there were more!

The first little volunteer violas.

A flagstone is the perfect chihuahua sunning spot.

Teddie enjoying the day. She will be 18 in August.

Do you think Jack really needed a bath? Yep! Looks like he brought half the garden in with him!

How was your weekend?

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Iron Man 3 (no spoilers)

We are starting a new family tradition.  When a movie hits town that all of us are excited to see, we buy tickets several days in advance, and go to the matinee on opening day.  We've discovered that the Friday afternoon a movie opens, even if it's going to be a wildly popular movie, the late-afternoon matinee is not packed with people.  We've done this a couple of times, and we will continue to do so with the other big summer movies we want to see (if you missed my must-see summer movie list, click here).

Yesterday, we went to see Iron Man 3.  Chad was able to take off from work early, so we picked Megan up after school, and headed straight to the theater for the 3:45 showing.  There was a line already when we got there, but we had our tickets, so we were able to go right in, get our popcorn, and head inside to find the perfect seats.  No fuss, no muss.  Megan had a friend meet us there, so we all just munched on popcorn and visited while we waited.  By the time the movie started, the theater was about half-full.  I'm telling you, this is the way to see a movie on opening day!

Iron Man 3 was not at all what I expected.  I will not give anything away and spoil the surprises for you.  DO NOT read anything about this movie before you see it.  If you happen upon spoilers, it will ruin half the fun for you.  I will say that you will have NO IDEA what you will experience with this movie by watching the trailers.  A most excellent job was done of giving a taste of the movie, without really giving you any of the story.  There are many twists, and having no idea that they were coming was completely delicious. This movie is different, in several very good ways, from the other Iron Man movies.

Go see this movie and enjoy the ride it will take you on.  We certainly did!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Landscaping Assistant

I have a wonderful new landscaping assistant!  He hopped right to it and got to work cleaning out the largest of my flower beds.  Extremely diligent and working tirelessly, he made many trips out of the garden, carrying large loads of the remains of last year's dead and dried out vegetation.  We were easily able to come to an agreement on his salary and benefits; all the bugs and worms he and his family can eat. Such a good worker, he is well worth this expense.

Just getting started.

Just about ready to carry off a full load.

His help was greatly appreciated, and I look forward to seeing him around the yard often this summer.