Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Texas Vacation, the outbound trip

IMG_0988Shanna and I left Pocatello and drove to the Salt Lake City Airport. We had to park in long term parking, since we would be gone for a week. I was impressed with the size of this lot. We got out and talking and I was slightly flustered we headed to a nearby pick=up point for the shuttle service. It was only when we were on the shuttle and far from the car that I realized that I might not have locked the car. ARRRRGH. Once offloaded at the airport I took a break then left Shanna with our bags and took the shuttle back out to check on the car. I just knew that I’d stress myself sick if I didn’t check and we had more than enough time. And yes, habit had made me lock the doors so it was a false alarm.   *sigh*

 So I got back to the airport and we moved right through all of the processes. Since we had time to kill we stopped for lunch at a good Italian restaurant (Il Viaggio) inside the airport. I did the usual of chicken alfredo and Shanna tried the carbonarra.

On the plane, I tried to listen to the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, but I'm so used to listening to books via Audible at higher speeds that the slow speaking narrator Michael York was an impossibility.  I ended up listening to music and playing on my iPad. Shanna too had her headphones on.

Bluebeary the blue bear was a resident of Bozeman till Shanna came along and gifted him to me. He became our travelling companion and photographic subject, thereby negating the need for photos of us.

 We got lucky on the plane and though I had purchased two tickets we ended up with three seats. I’m sure Bluebeary appreciated it. Melinda picked us up at the airport and we went out and feasted at Applebees. Got to Italy TX and the comforts of my parents home that night at 9:30 p.m.


P.S. I kind of hate all blogging software. I've spent most of the past two hours trying to get the formatting to do what I want it to do.  It doesn't seem to matter that it looks right in the editor, once published it gets fricked up.  I'm quite mad at this and am contemplating tossing the whole effort.  Argh. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

What I've learned by reading 01

When I was young I was obsessed with reading. I guess not much has changed. What has changed is the scope of available reading material.  One of the magazines to which my family subscribed was the ubiquitous Readers Digest.  I loved that magazine. I loved the funny stories, the vocabulary tests, the look and feel of the paper.  One day I read an article titled "Lessons from Aunt Grace" by Nardi Reeder Campion.  I still have that article though its color is yellowing.

Funny how memory tricks us. I thought I read it while still in Junior High, but after searching high and low via the library's databases and the internet I could not find a full citation.  The internet is clogged with references to the same article reprinted in "Chicken Soup for the Soul: Woman to Woman." http://www.chickensoup.com/book-story/31890/48-lessons-from-aunt-grace.  Eventually I got into my filing cabinet and located the article. July 1984.  Well that's a surprise.  I was married and had a six month old daughter when I read this article.

This article was the first to introduce me to the idea that sometimes you have to "do something I don't want to do that needs doing." In 1991 I graduated with my bachelors degree from Idaho State University.  In my graduating class was my sister Sarah Robin and my best friend Arlene. In the audience was my daughter Shanna, sister Nanette, my aunt Myrna and my grandmother Marj.  I'm still so happy we were all able to be there.  On the stand was the best graduation speaker I've ever heard.  His name was Roger Williams.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Williams_(pianist)

He sat at a piano and played something then talked, then played, then talked.  The gist of his talk was about doing what was necessary to succeed.  How those who truly succeed are willing to do the things such as practicing scales in order to be really good.  He was very good.  I'll never forget, though clearly the memory has blurred. I used to be able to quote from his talk.  It was very Aunt Grace.  Do the work, be grateful, exercise both brain and body, and take care of yourself.

I recently listened to a book using the fabulous Audible titled "Take the Stairs" by Rory Vaden. It is a whole book about the idea of self discipline. Though it embroidered on the idea by adding the many concepts, one of which is that of timing and seasons. There are a lot of seasons in ones life and different pursuits are better done in the appropriate season. You are the one who gets to decide which pursuit fits which season.  Tthe book as a whole gets a bit tired from his references to his success and web site.  Still there was enough really good stuff that I am going to reread it.  I like that he really hammers the idea that we can't just sit around thinking positive thoughts and expect to get results.  That results require action of some kind.

So why am I writing this? Somehow people think that I'm lucky, and I won't deny that I feel lucky, but when you look at things, really look, much of my luck is actually work, hard work, work I don't want to do but do anyway because I want the results.  If I want a clean house then *I* have to clean it.  If I want to know how a camera works and be a better photographer, then I have to do the work to learn this too. And work definitely has its rewards.

Do yourself a favor and read "Lessons from Aunt Grace". "Chicken Soup for the Soul" has posted it online at: http://www.chickensoup.com/book-story/31890/48-lessons-from-aunt-grace  It has more than just self discipline, it really is a recipe for living a more happy, fulfilled and enjoyable life.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


A lot has happened since 2013. Birding, travel, adventures, job offers (no I didn't take any), changes in my job, new cars, new hobbies, and lots and lots of fun, learning, adventures, beauty, art ...

Bedroom in Cliffdome 2016
I'm now maintaining a birding/adventure blog with Melinda and Arlene
at: https://blueravenbirders.com/. And of course my library blog still exists at: http://librarybanter.blogspot.com/ I've kept journals and over the past few years and may end up writing up some of my life and interfiling it here on this blog.

This is a big year for me.  I finish paying off my student loans in March!!!  Whoo Hooo!  I am so grateful that I was able to get the education I have. I am grateful for those student loans.  I would not have the life I currently enjoy without them.   Just a few weeks ago I finished paying off my sewer line.  I'm hoping to be debt free next spring.  Of course I'm also working on going on another sabbatical next spring and that usually costs.  I'm not certain I can of course, but it is in my long term goals to redo my sabbatical to update the research.

Otherwise, I expect the year will include rodeos, photography, art, trips to yellowstone, possibly Alaska, and definitely Texas.

As an update on my family...

Mom & Dad are still in TX
Sarah married Lance and retired from teaching
Nanette married Gary and retired from being a full-time engineer. She is writing like crazy
  Matt and Carrie are here in Pocatello
  Kaleb and Hillary and their daughter Sloane live in UT
  Erika has been performing in many plays/musicals and lives in Dallas
David and Jen just moved their family into their new dome home in Logan UT
  Amy just graduated from high school
Melinda is busy with her property management job and continues to bird
Rebecca married Joe and with their cute little daughter Chanel moved into her own dome home in TX
  Hannah is also living in TX
Jessica and Doug moved to Spanish Fork UT
Mike and Tessa are still in TX with their children, chickens, dogs, garden and bees.
Jamie and Hob are still in AZ where Jamie trains diabetes medical assistance dogs.

Clearly there is a lot of change since my original posting about my immediate family.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Rebecca is Moving

Friday July 19th head to Rebecca’s  she’s pregnant and moving from her apartment on the hill to the old Liberty Park apartment.  I got there and we ran errands (stopping at Taco Time for crisp burritos). I drove the jeep so we could put the bed frame in it and I could take it home. As we were running errands I noticed it was running kinda rough but the air conditioning is powerful and blissful and it was 103 degrees F out there.  Ended up at a baby store where they had the cutest clothes, the bank, another bank to change peso’s to dollars, Office something for boxes, Walgreens for snacks, and who remembers where else. In any case we’re waiting for our turn to turn left when I start noticing the heat gauge on the Jeep going up.  and up. and danger, danger.   We turned off the air conditioning and turned on the heat which brought the heat gauge back down.  We then drove around a couple of blocks and ended up at the Big O Tires across from her current (soon to be moved out of) apartment. YAY for mechanics who will work on weekends.  Hannah + her friend and CRH (Christie Red Hair) met us there and loaded all of our stuff into Hannah’s car and drove it over to the apartment.  Rebecca and I then left the jeep in good hands and walked on over ourselves.  Packing and packing and dinner of leftover caesars salad that Rebecca had purchased earlier in the week.  Lots and lots of cookies. Eventually I went to sleep on my airbed.

Saturday July 20th, moving day is at hand. Rebecca hired a couple of movers plus their van, her friend Maria and Maria’s husband and brother, and we had CRH & Hannah too.  I got to crack the whip and get things organized because Rebecca was overwhelmed.  Poor pregnant woman who is used to being active and in charge had to just sit there.   We managed to get it all loaded. Thank heavens for Maria’s troop!  Maria then stayed to clean. CRH went with the troop to load up the storage unit. Hannah led the movers to the new place.  Rebecca and I sauntered over to the auto repair shop where I shelled out the big bucks for a new radiator fan and mounts, new thermostat, new water pump, new hoses, and YAY a new back door latch.  Then we drove back to Taco Time for food for the many, a service station for soda for the many and then on to the Liberty Park place to supervise the unloading.  

Rebecca was of course worn out by the time everything was in the house.  She was able to keep a positive attitude throughout which was most impressive, considering the stress.  In any case CRH and I met Hannah and a couple of her male friends back at the old apartment where they loaded my jeep up with my bed frame, Rebecca’s marvelous big red carpet (which is coming to my house for awhile, another hollywood frame that Shanna wanted, and a box spring (also for Shanna).  Thereby getting rid of stuff R doesn’t need and solving my bed dilemma.   CRH lost her keys (including the one to her bike lock) so I drove her home, stopping for party supplies.  She was kind enough to snag me a bag of twizzler’s and a big bottle of water.  And I headed for home.  YAY!  Jessica and family had come back to town after her visit to mom in TX, and her car breaking down along the way.  But she and I agreed that I could come back later in August to visit.  I got home and Shanna and I unloaded the box springs from the top of the car.  EEK, I should have covered it with a tarp.  Along the front edge were a bunch of black flecks, the desiccated remains of a swarm of gnats.   Thank heavens they were easy to brush off.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

8 Hands 2 Pianos

Concert in Logan 1:00 p.m. in the afternoon. http://www.utahfestival.org/index.php

Shanna and I left early and drove to Logan, went shopping at Ross (nothing) then TJMaxx where we found a small cabinet with glass doors. Then a quick stop at Taco Time and on to the concert.  

We had seats in the front row! The concert was awesome! Particularly the ragtime version of the classical piece, the piano and kazoo, 10 hands (5 people) playing two pianos and the encore Chariots of Fire theme song ending with all 5 playing the same piano.  We stopped for binge snacking and drove home.  I'm definitely going again next year.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Texas Trip Day 5 & 6

Saturday June 29, birding in the morning then hanging out with Nan & Min in the early afternoon.  I made barbequed pork in the crockpot and the family all got together.  Late that night pregnant Jessica, Doug, Rachel and Joey showed up.

  1. Mystery sparrows
  2. House sparrows
  3. Common grackles
  4. Starlings
  5. Rock doves
  6. Mourning doves
  7. Mocking birds
  8. Crows
  9. Cardinals
  10. Great egrets
  11. Flicker
  12. Road runner!
  13. Eastern phoebe
  14. Yellow billed cuckoo!
  15. Eastern bluebird (juvenile)
  16. Red tailed hawk
  17. Red bellied woodpecker
  18. Painted buntings!
  19. Barn swallows
  20. Black vultures
  21. Lark sparrows!
  22. Turkey vultures
  23. Scissor tailed flycatchers!
  24. Cliff swallows
  25. Grasshopper sparrows
  26. Dicksissel
  27. Great tailed  grackles
  28. Purple Martins

Cotton tailed bunnies
Mama with two babies white tailed deer

Sunday June 30, Dad drove me to the airport, I flew to SLC, then picked up my car and drove home. Finished listening to the Lonely Men book.  

Birds from early in the week:
1. Red shouldered hawk
2. Swallow tailed kite (new one for me!)
3. White winged dove
4. Cattle egrets
6. Eurasian collared dove
7. Kildeer

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Texas Trip Day 3 & 4

Thursday June 27, breakfast at Inn (quiche, tea, potatoes, sausage, fruit) lots of chatting. Family picked me up and we drove around a bit looking at houses then headed for Italy.

Friday June 28, running errands with Mom & Min, dinner impromptu family get together