Friday, May 20, 2016

I'm Still HERE!

This last month has been jam packed with this, that and the other in regards to some family time, some adjustments on the health front, but mostly there was lots of progress on the writing projects. 

Spring cleaning the laundry/craft/sewing room took me a bit longer then expected. I have yet to create the writing area though, however a plan has been established and is ready to be executed once another areas needs are met. Having to replace a rotted deck, before a graduation pool party, was not on the agenda. It's always something!

In the meantime I'm keeping notebooks, yes that is plural, in many locations. From the bedside table or the table beside the chaise lounge, to the car and travel trailer, anywhere I can in order to allow me the ability and the opportunity to jot down a thought or memory. It has been so helpful. I have also been using Siri more often and we are becoming pretty good friends. She really helps when my tired handwriting has become so illegible, not even I can read it.

These notebooks have also become a very convenient tool when it comes to making a list of items needed. I LOVE using a list for shopping. Which stores I need to go to and what is needed at each one. I've become the "Go in, get what you NEED kind a shopper". I especially use one for groceries. It controls most impulsive buying and we seem to get out quicker.

Oh, the many list of my life! 



I have a Bucket List of places I want to go someday, with locations and directions in code. Some are even given by friendly people we meet while misdirected at one time or another. Places we heard about on the Travel Channel or Discovery Channel, are scribbled with web page addresses and hints.

Not to mention the notebooks are great for being able to leave a note on a friends front door when they are not home or a windshield when someone has parked in such a way, they need reminded in the nicest way that those lines painted so nice and straight are meant for. A happy face for a signature really helps.

They have become my traveling journals. My memories. My calendars. My place to vent, and my place to leave tears. I don't know what I would do without them. 

I do know, getting the words off those pages and onto the computer, takes longer then I expect. Then to get them organize into some type of a filing system, well, I procrastinate more then I would like to admit, but it's the truth! 

There are a few pages, okay a large number of pages, of "What Was I Thinking!" thoughts. The "Where did that come from?" pages create questions. Pages only I will ever know what they say. As I go through those pages deciding what I will keep or what needs to be deleted, I read, I reflect, I pause, I pray, and when I am ready, I rip those words right out of that notebook. 


Words that were never meant to be spoken, and should never be read by anyone else. 

Words that created healing and growth within me, and are so personal, they were only shared with God.

I would like to rip more then just those pages sometimes. 

Be it the side effects from the medications or dealing with one constantly being adjusted, I would like to throw some pill bottles into that same receptacle! 

"Patience Elizabeth!" 

I must keep reminding myself of this, but all to often I tend to beat myself up with what I haven't thrown away. As I reflect on how others had gotten through these years with the stuff they were dealing with, reminds me of the example they set as they had gone through what ever it was they were going through. Life is full of milestones. Some are well documented, while other are torn pages from a journal. 

I will keep growing forward!




I told my hairdresser during my last hair cut, that for the first time in my adult life, I only have to take care of myself these days. Everyone else is taking care of themselves, just as it's suppose to be. I have a feeling the years ahead, those prior to the "Grand's" becoming adults themselves, my role will be shifting again. 

Getting into a new groove is and will be "Grand"!

What Journey!

All of this and that creates Our Journey Through LIFE and I wouldn't be where I am without the roads, paths, and directions we have been given or taken. 



Tuesday, April 19, 2016

SpRiNg Cleaning!





Image result for spring clean

Do you SpRiNg Clean!

I continued with my spring cleaning last week, tackling the Laundry/Craft/Sewing room, but got a bit side tracked, and before I knew it, I had dismantled the whole room! And a week later, it is still dismantled!

My goal was to organize the Photo/Scrap-Book closet, along with the Laundry/Sewing part of the room! It gets so out of control sometimes! Once done, I could then do the normal wipe down the walls, wash the window, you know, all the spring cleaning things that requires getting under and behind stuff. 

But boy, had I just open a Pandora's  Box or what! 

"Pandora's box is an artifact in Greek mythology, taken from the myth of Pandora's creation in Hesiod's Works and Days.[1] The "box" was actually a large jar (πίθοςpithos)[2] given to Pandora (Πανδώρα, "all-gifted", "all-giving"),[3] which contained all the evils of the world. Pandora opened the jar and all the evils flew out, leaving only "Hope" inside once she had closed it again." 

Once closed, after all the evil clutter has been removed and controlled, it will leave behind "Hope". Hope that I don't ever let it get so out of hand again! Hope that it's new and refreshed look and contents will grow some creative books. Nothing but Hope!




Sorry, but I am just to embarrassed to share a photo of how horrifying it had become. I'm sure you have seen something similar to it many times on programs like Hoarders, and there is no way I want the world to see how much stuff I had collected in that 5' X 8' walk in closet! 

For months, things just kept being piled into that space, even when there really wasn't any more space. It just went on top of other stuff. My scrap-booking supplies and the boxes of memories were overflowing their shelves. So over grown, I wouldn't even be able to roll it out of the closet without stuff falling off it. Before I could even roll it out, I had to move all the stuff stacked on the floor around it first. 

SO MUCH STUFF! 

In fact there was just way TOO MUCH STUFF!

I have opened that door too many times to count, only to shut it again because I wasn't ready to attack it! 

However, it's spring and it was time to attack it, and attack I must! 

As I pulled out one thing after another, it became apparent it wasn't all going to fit back in there without some upgrades and creative storage to organize it.



Have seen my Christmas Storage Shelf?


I LOVE it!

It holds all those precious memories that need to be in a climate controlled room and not in a stuffy, hot storage shed. It rolls perfectly into a closet area in the guest house. Everything has it's place and each year it gets wrapped backed up and rolled back out.



It worked so well, we invested in two more of them. One was for the scrap-booking stuff, and the other, which was bigger, was to hold my extra serveware for entertaining and parties. However, those items quickly out grew it's shelf and hubby made me a BIGGER cabinet right out side my back door, making it easily accessible. 

Member's Mark 6-level Commercial Storage Shelving


In case you are wondering where or what kind of shelves these are, we got the smaller two from Home Depot I believe. They measure 36"x 60". The big one pictured is from Sam's Club, and is 48"x 72".







Up till now the bigger rolling shelf had just been hanging out by the same closet area as the Christmas one, catching this and that, and other odd things. It took me another afternoon to clear it off, find homes for the stuff on it and roll it up to the house.

Then it took another day and a half to move, organize, thin out, and then rearrange all the stuff from the smaller shelf onto the bigger shelf. All while putting photos back in their proper tubs and those tubs back on their proper shelves in the closet. Photo albums, frames, and ancestry boxes are all back on their shelves. 

PHEW! 



I must say, I LOVE how nice it turned out, I still need to organize some of the photo tubs, but that can wait till another time. The scrapbooking shelf has room to grow and can easily be rolled out to create some more of those everlasting scrapbook pages the "Grand's" love to look through, as well as make. 

Now to tackle the rest of the room! 

Upgrading to the bigger shelve freed up space in two cabinets in the laundry area. They will be perfect for storing my sewing stuff. Then I decided to rearrange a corner to create a writing desk area and a place for my files, research, and other writing supplies. Right now all this stuff is on that smaller rolling shelf, hanging out while I get the desk done. I was hoping it would have been completed over the weekend, but as life is life, a cold grabbed both me and hubby. For me, having COPD, due to chronic bronchitis, even a small cold is no picnic. I am feeling so much better today, I might even go out looking for some of the supplies toward this desk goal.

Just another SpRiNg Cleaning Day Time on Our Journey Through LIFE!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

A Scenic Saturday Drive

I had been working on a route to go see the desert blooming. For about 10 days I was trying to decide on which route would give me the best desert blooming pictures. However, the more I googled, the more I found. Finally the day came and together we made a choice, with the help of our daughter that is!

A two and half hour drive for just the flowers would have been just fine, but through all that googling I found out there were these metal sculptures in the desert around Borrego Springs, just another 30 minutes away. My interest expanded and our journey now had a destination, and along the way we can see the blooming desert. Perfect!





























From I-8 we took the Ocotillo/Imperial HWY exit and headed north. 


As you go through a very small part of the town, there are windmills everywhere. They are HUGE! There is also a large solar panel field just before (as you go west on the I-8). It's pretty huge too!


The first stop was the Wind Caves.



The drive to the trail ended up being a dirt road which looked like maybe another 30-45 minutes or so, and from there a two and a half mile hike to the caves and back. We decided it wasn't something we could do this trip, but definitely something we wanted to come back for and do when we are better equipped and are able to start earlier in the day. I can only imagine what an incredible day it will be especially after reading the board. I LOVE fossils. Though we aren't allowed to remove any we find, I can capture them. Now I can't wait to go back.


As we drove on, at first the scenery didn't seem to have much color. Spots of ocotillo cactus are scattered about here and there as you wind up through the canyons. Every now and then some purple and yellow flowers were visible but nothing like what I had seen pictures of. Imperial Hwy turns into or is also called Sweeney Pass Road. Just after a switchback and as you head back down into a valley, the color begins to pop up more often. When it becomes the Great Southern Overland Stage Route, by Aqua Caliente Hot Springs, slow down! Color will begin to pop up all around you. 

I wish there had been more places to pull over. I don't like getting blurry pictures. He would pull over when he could but we were not alone on this drive, a few other motorist had the same idea as us. Had it been a sunnier day, there might have been more color but with the sun comes along more people! I am very happy with what color I saw, even though my camera didn't pick up all we were seeing, but my internal camera captured it all!



The red of the Ocotillo grows up and covers the mountain side like a blanket. 


















As you wind around, you will come to the Box Canyon Monument. Sad how the young adults destroy property. It wasn't the only one with bullet holes. I might be mistaken and they could have been older folks, but I would almost bet a horse, ha-ha, it was the youngsters. Thinking how and what those back then must have experienced traveling this same road by stagecoach.


"THE OLD WAY VARIOUSLY KNOWN AS SONORA, COLORADO RIVER OR SOUTHERN EMIGRANT TRAIL AND LATER AS BUTTERFIELD OVERLAND MAIL (MAN) ROUTE TRAVERSED BOX CANYON JUST EAST OF HERE. JANUARY 19, 1847, THE MORMON BATTALION, UNDER COMMAND OF LT-COL. PHILIP ST. G COOKE USING HAND TOOLS HEWED A PASSAGE THROUGH THE ROCKY WALLS OF THE NARROW GORGE FOR THEIR WAGONS AND OPENED THE FIRST ROAD INTO SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA."





The color around it though was awesome! So many buds waiting to bloom.





















This century cactus is about ready to bloom. It reminded me of an asparagus spear. Others around had green stems extending from them but none had actually flowered all the way yet. California's drought had affected the desert blooms but the recent rains have helped bring them back to life. 













As you drive on you enter what is or was known as Earthquake Valley. Shelter Valley is within this valley. 



















We finally arrived...


It wasn't but what seemed like a few seconds we saw one, then two, then three. 





They were everywhere!



 Some we could see in the distance but had no idea how to drive to them.


Driving into the desert I was a bit apprehensive at first. I didn't want us to get stuck. In fact, no one was getting stuck!

Finally we found the one I wanted to see the most. It consists of five separate sculptures to make up a dragon crossing the road. Though he was bigger then the first bird we found, he wasn't as detailed. Don't get me wrong, he was still gorgeous, and grand, it's just that bird with snakes in his claws had more intricate details.  


These are the last one we found. Actually there were a half dozen turtles but I only snapped a couple pictures of them. 

Since the sun was going to set, taking away all my natural light, we made our way back into town for some dinner. After all it was only suppose to be a 5 hour round trip adventure that ended up being over 8 hours. 

*TIP* Remember to take into account all your stops, and there will be a lot! Next time we plan to bring the trailer and stay a couple of days or more. 

Oh, we also found the Anza-Borrego Desert National History Association  that had a lot of information. We should have stopped there earlier. This map would have come in handy considering the one I printed from online was pretty generic and didn't list all the sculptures. (so I ordered it) I figure we saw well close to 100 if not over. Next time I might try to capture the ones we missed so I have them all.

Another day on Our Journey Through Life I will never forget!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Purple is Her New Favorite Color!































The "Grand"daughter did an awesome job showing her goats for the very 1st time. 

Junior showmanship champion with Brooke, 1st purple for overall
Baby Breed - Harper - Reserve Championship 
2 yr olds - Chloe - 1st purple
Brooke 3rd purple

"Grand" 4 year old - Did the PeeWee with some of his friends and they all got Purple! He's ready to have his own goats.











What a "Grand" time on Our Journey Through LIFE!


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

It's FAIR to Say We've Been a Bit Busy!

It's FAIR to say the very next day after we got home from that beautiful wedding, our daughter plunged right into getting ready for the fair. 

With 5 goats to haul, it always involves the family! Time for the momma's to get shaved and the baby girl needs to be tattooed.


By the next weekend Grandpa had added wheels and a handle to the Goat stand but it was still in need of some paint. We just so happened to have two eager "Grand's" willing to do the job. 

Of course the 4 year old didn't last long painting. He bailed before it was finished, but the 4H'er had to work till it was done. Her reward was a birthday celebration at the water park. Yes, here in Yuma water activities are normal for this time of year.


The beach really was a lot more fun. 


Since the beach is right outside the back door, it gave me the opportunity to finish my table. There wasn't much left to do. The Iris's had opened up really nice and I didn't lose a single one. I was concerned since I picked them up in the beginning of my shopping the day before. What ever was I thinking! By the time I got home they had bent over and the only way to salvage them was to cut the stems at the bends. This ceramic basket that came with a really nice bouquet of flowers a few years back worked just fine. Using glass bead helped stand them up, and a couple that needed added support, cut stems with leaves on them provided the perfect solution. I really like how it came out.


To end the day we colored some eggs. Mom, Dad, and big brother were heading home from a spring training game between the Angles and the Padres. The grandson was excited because his Angels won!

As usual, after church we have our egg hunt. 

It's FAIR to say that I still have some limits, so we used the patio and the beach as the hunt field. Of course we can go high for the oldest "Grand"son, and low for the "Grand" 4 year old, and somewhere in between for "Grand"daughter. They had a great time as always!

Dinner was delicious and filling. 


With a good nights rest and after the days work was done, it was time to take the goats to the Fair!

FAIR to say, it's FAIR time!

Today was a feed only day. Maybe fine tune some things so the momma's and their pen are pretty for tomorrow is Herdsmanship!

It's FAIR to say we are quite busy on Our Journey Through LIFE!






Sunday, March 20, 2016

Our St. Patrick's Day Celebration!

"Meant to post this Saturday, but I actually fell asleep with the computer in my lap.

Everything turned out just perfect!




First the rehearsal...


A quick meeting to go over the plan. Then we all practiced the line up. My son had chalked out the path we will take at the venue and we all walked to our spots. All the kids behaved so well for this, they will surely do an awesome job for the wedding. Once all the serious things had been covered, it was time to get silly!






 We all enjoyed a great meal and the time spent with some awesome friends and family.




 Everyone had such a great time!

"Our Journey Through LIFE" has yet another wonderful memory add to it. 

You all will have to wait till the professional photos have arrived for the wedding. I only took a few before the battery villain struck again. Yep, I had both my batteries charged for the occasion, as well as a blank memory card. Unfortunately the charger with the second charged battery in it never made it into the camera bag. On top of that, the cord I had my phone plugged into wasn't charging my phone, so I had no use of it either. It didn't bother me though as there were so many others taking photos. I was happy that I wasn't going to be one who had their phone or camera in their hands. Always counting blessing!



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