Friday, June 28, 2013

Goddess of Fire

I know I promised to clean the computer room today, but I forgot that I had an appointment with Melisandre my local fire goddess and dermatologist.  I've gotten back to only having to visit her once every 6 months which is a minor miracle for me.  I'm too much Irish (descended from the poor Kennedys) and not enough Indian to save my skin.  So now I'm at the age where I paying for the sins of my youth.
Today my poor nose got a blast from her fiery canister and a growth ( mole, skin tag, weird looking thing, I know not what) on my abdomen that
I've been growing for years got burned away.
Considering the things she's done to me through the years I got away easy, so I'm celebrating by NOT cleaning house.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Coming to Visit

Our daughter is coming for the 4th of July to celebrate her birthday which is later in the month, but she'll be gone on her birthday for her 4th, 5th, 90th (I'm not sure which) trip to Japan this year.  So I've been cleaning (and it ain't a pretty sight) house so she won't have to decide we need to be put into care because of the condition of the house.
I clean house all the time, but before we have visitors I seriously CLEAN, even the places you can't see.  I was doing the family room today, the room we spend the most time in, it's just off the kitchen and it needed some deep cleaning  and as I cleaned out spider webs I noticed that even the spiders had brooms it had gotten so dusty around them.
I did the entryway and dining room yesterday, tomorrow the computer room gets it, that is, if I manage to get up off the floor.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Summer Sounds

Many people associate summer with certan smells: gardenias, honeysuckle, roses, barbeques, fresh cut grass, chlorine from swimming pools.
To me though it's a sound that tells me summer has arrived, the sound of cicadas.  This year is supposed to be one of those 17 year cycles with a huge emergence of cicadas from Georgia to Connecticut.  Well in our part of Georgia we have cicadas every year and I haven't noticed that we have any more than usual this year.
They're supposed to emerge when the soil temperature (8 inches underground) hits 64ยบ.  They come out in early spring here, but you don't really hear them till the overnight temperatures stay in the 70s.  Their distinctive sound is made by a thin membrane on the abdomen of the male that they vibrate.
In some countries cicadas are eaten, I prefer to just listen to them.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Humid!!!!!

It's one of those summers,  not as hot as it could be, not even as hot as it should be.  But so humid it doesn't matter.  It may only be 88, but it feels like a 100.  The weeds love it, think they've gone to heaven cause I can't stay outside long enough to get to them.  I pull out handfuls every day and I can hear the rest of them just giggling that I'll never get them all and they're right.  I'll clear an area and the next morning it has already started filling in with weeds again.
Some of our plants are not very happy with the rain and humidity, the tomatoes are rotting and the roses are resting.  But the Hydrangeas must be part weed because they're as happy as a clam.  As is the Rose of Sharon.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Mac decided we needed a mid-day snack yesterday, so he sliced up fresh strawberries, got out the whipped cream and made screwdrivers to drink.  In the mid-day heat it was a cool treat.
Not much blogging since we came home, we both came down with bronchitis (brought on by allergies I'm sure) and had to visit the doctor, that left us with no energy, zero, nada.
So I've just sort of piddled around, a little crocheting, a little reading ( some very bad books by authors I use to like), a little housework and just being lazy trying to get some energy back.
Yesterday was the first day I've felt half-way decent and today is even better.  It's been raining each day too, making for muggy afternoons and evenings.  The weather reminds me of the first year we were here, hot, but not miserable, just very humid, and rain nearly every day. We swam in the rain yesterday, it was swim in it or not swim at all.
Here's the painting I did in the Grand Tetons.  It's small and we'll probably have to have a custom frame for it.
Mt.Moran at Lake Jackson

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Fossil Hunting

The last day of our trip was spent fossil hunting in the Green River country of southern Wyoming.  We wound our way out of the mountains, but still found ourselves at better than 7200 feet in a sandstone quarry with pick axes in hand.  Last year it was trilobites in Utah, this year it was fish from about 48 million years ago.  I could get all technical with you and tell you the era, the fish type, etc, but all I really want to say is that I sat in the sun, whacked at the sandstone and we brought some fossil fish home.  A great way to end our trip.

















Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to my Mac, thank you for each and every day, having you for a husband and a father to our daughter is the best thing that could ever happen to me.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Where the Deer and the Antelope Play

I don't buy many souvenirs, but when I do they're usually soft and furry.  To note: an Elk, a Bear, a Buffalo and a Moose.  Too cute.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Yellowstone

Old Faithful
Yellowstone is a very diverse park with elevations ranging from the Continental Divide at 8,392 ft to 7,000 feet of the Old Faithful Basin.  The forests are full of quaking aspen and lodge pole pine.  Much of Yellowstone was burned in 1987 and you can still see signs of it.  Running through the park is the Snake River and numerous lakes with Yellowstone Lake being the largest.  There are also numerous Falls.
We decided to spend the majority of our time at the Park visiting the thermal sites beginning with Old Faithful it erupts about every 2 hours and we only had a wait of about 20 minutes.  From there we did a 2 1/2 mile geyser walk around the numerous geysers in the basin.  A Ranger at Old Faithful said that this basin is about a mile across and is the caldera of an underground volcano.
The walk was amazing, we couldn't believe how close the boardwalk took you to the geysers, and what a treat they were to watch, some bubbling, some spewing and noisy!
The next time we went we visited the Black Sand Basin, Upper Geyser Basin, Biscuit Basin, Midway Geyser Basin and Lower Geyser Basin.  Each had walkways around them and were absolutely incredible.  Walking at 7,000 to 8,000 feet can really take it out of you and we exhausted ourselves each day.
I'll let the pictures do some of the talking for me.

One of the Geysers at Old Faithful Basin

One of the Pools at Black Sand Basin




Sapphire Basin at Midway Geyser Basin

One of the Pools at Biscuit Basin


Cliff Geyser at Black Sand Basin



Before leaving on our trip I ordered a kid's book from Amazon entitled "Who Pooped in the Park" a guide to tracks and scat that you'll see in Yellowstone.  We used it and took some pictures of our discoveries.  

We're Pretty Sure These Are Bison Prints

Mac Thinks This is Elk Scat

















Thursday, June 13, 2013

While We Were Away

While we were away last week the first Tropical of the Year, Andrea, came for a visit.  Lots of rain, not a whole lot of wind,  we were told.  But when we got home we found a tree down in the side yard.  It was a rather large, dead willow that we'd been meaning to take out for some time.  We were lucky though, it missed everything of real importance, it fell down between to raised beds, missed the raised veggie bed, missed the pool and didn't reach the house.  It did take out a section of our fence that's behind a raised flower bed.  Mac cut off what he could and our friend is coming with a chainsaw this weekend.
Hope the weather settles down for awhile.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Adventuring

Grand Teton Range
We just got back from a trip of a life time, something we've been meaning to do for years, we've been to Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.  It was incredible!  We flew to Salt Lake City, drove through northern Utah into Idaho and then into Wyoming.  We had a cabin in Jackson Hole at the Rustic Inn and it was beautiful, all cabins, a stream running through it, a huge breakfast every morning and an incredibly friendly and helpful staff.
Jackson Hole is about a 2 hour drive to Yellowstone (except that they had the roads torn up and were working on them-guess you can't work on roads when they're under snow) and the fact that some people prefer to do 25 in a 45 mph zone and those pulling their trailers or driving a Winnebago hauling a car and a boat could barely crawl up the roads, at Continental Divide we were at more that 8,000 feet.
That aside it was a beautiful drive giving us our first glimpse of the Grand Tetons and they were magnificant!  We've seen mountains before: lived in California and drove in the Sierra Nevedas, lived in Colorado and drove the Rocky Mountains, skied the German Alps, drove the Austrian Alps (well you get the idea), but we had never seen anything to compare to the Tetons.  No foothills, they just start looming up from the valley floor ranging from the lowest (Static Peak) at 11,305 to the tallest (Grand Teton) at 13,775.
Our Cabin
The Tetons are a subrange of the Rocky Mountains  that run from Alaska to northern New Mexico, but they are so different, so rugged, obviously a younger range of mountains that have not been eroded down yet.  To say we were awe struck is putting it lightly.  Luckily for us, and all the other tourists, the park provides places to pull over and take pictures--I guess they figured we'd all just be stopping in the road otherwise, it was that impressive.
Oxbow Bend
Jackson Hole sits at 6,237 feet above sea level and that's the lowest altitude we were at the whole trip.
We spent 2 days in Yellowstone and 2 days in Teton National Park, I'll talk about Yellowstone tomorrow.
The main animals in the 2 parks are: bears (brown and grizzly), moose, elk, antelope, bison and wolves.
We saw all of these except for the moose and wolves.  We also saw a marmot and a beaver plus Sandhill Cranes.
It was exciting to see the bear, he was running along a river when we spotted him.  Other folks there had gotten a picture of him and the guide with them said it was a grizzly-that's about as close to a grizzly as I want to get.
One of the prettiest spots within the park was at the Oxbow Bend turnout, it is known for its dramatic reflection of Mt Moran (12,605 ft.) and we'd read that moose water there, but we didn't see any.
String Lake With Mount St. John
Mac spent parts of 2 days fishing, it was a hard job finding places where you were allowed to fish with bait-very strict regulations and most of the better spots were reserved for fly fishermen.  But he caught a good-sized fish below the dam at Jackson Lake and a trout in the Gros Vendre river.  The water was beautiful, but the rivers were running high and fast because of snow melt, that made fishing a challenge.  I painted while he fished and managed one good painting.
Jackson Lake



View From Our Cabin

Jenny Lake
Mac Fishing on Small Part of
Gros Vendre





















Sunday, June 2, 2013

Walking in the Rain

Rain wasn't really in the forecast for today, but that's what we woke up to this morning.  We waited a while and it wasn't raining when we started out on our walk, but before we reached the end of the block I had my umbrella open.  At first the sprinkles felt cool, it's been so muggy here, so at first we just let it fall on us.  Soon though it was time to open the umbrella,  I'd rather   call it an UPrella, but spell check won't let me.
We had hopes of cooling off in the light shower, but alas that was not to be.  What the rain produced was steam, it was like walking in a sauna  and that's what it's like out there now a steamy jungle.  Good thing we got the air conditioner fixed.