Duly Elected and Sworn-In

Just in time for holiday festivities, I have been elected and sworn-in as the new Secretary/Treasurer for my local Union.

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Yep, I’m the short red-head in the middle lol.

So now, once a month this is my new spot for the evening……taking notes and giving financial report updates.

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It was actually quite flattering to be nominated and elected.  Still, my stealth-mode at work has failed.  Sigh.

Hope everyone is having a safe and happy holiday season so far.

Spending Some Time With The Girls

Once again life has reared it’s ugly head and kept me from updating here like I should.  I have been extremely busy with Tai Chi, Yoga, Life Groups, Women’s Retreat meetings, Online Classes and just life in general.  However, I have found time to spend with the girls.  And here is some of the proof….

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On Halloween night, the girls and I had a sleep-over at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science (Night at the Museum!!).  We had a blast!  Monster kept telling me all night long, “Nana this is so much fun!”. The museum staff did a great job with their crafts, ghoulish science experiments, physics tests, food, IMAX and special exhibits.  I have a feeling we will definitely be doing this again next year.

The “blue” pictures are due to the funky lighting the museum had going on in one section.  There are several pictures of the girls building with what looks like popsickle sticks.  They are not.  They are called Keva Planks.  Tiny did NOT want to stop playing with them.  They are little planks of wood that are so perfectly planed that they will stand up on their own and make the perfect building medium.  Hmmmm……she may be getting a bag of those for Christmas.  An architect or engineer in the family would be a good thing.

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I’ve also been replacing some of my winter herbal stock.  I’ve got wild cherry bark tincture, elderberry tincture, and more Double E tincture ready and waiting for the icky season.

That’s all for the moment.  I’ll try to do better keeping up-to-date.

Have a great weekend!!

Busy, Busy, Busy

Once again it only SEEMS like I fell off the edge of the planet.  Nope, just been major busy here.  So, to start off I will give you some pictures.

First up, a day at the Nature and Science Museum with the girls.

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Then, there was Tiny’s 6th birthday.  Yep, she’s 6!!!

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And here’s my funny story from Tiny’s birthday dinner.  We went to a really cool restaurant down in Lakewood.  You choose your entrée, but they bring out a nice variety of sides to serve family-style.  One of those sides is pickled beets.  Well, one of the waiters (we were a huge party) reached next to me to set down one of the bowls.  When he did that I felt something cold and wet hit my head.  I reached up and touched the spot and my had came away wet and pink.  Yep, he had dribbled beet juice in my hair.  Oh well, at least the color matched!  He was so apologetic, but really it was just funny.

I’ve also been busy going to two exercise classes a week.  Yep, me….exercise.  But, I’m really loving my yoga class.  Yes, I am a bit of a masochist to enjoy being twisted into a pretzel for an hour and a half each week.  But, it feels soooo good, once  you untwist lol.  I’ve also started taking Tai Chi.  That class is going much slower since it’s a beginners class, but in a few months I should be able to do the full Yang style 24 Form Short Form from start to finish.  Sigh, right now I feel like a squeaky tin man trying to do the forms.  I will get better!

D.A.R. has started up again for the year. I discovered one of the ladies is from my hometown of Spring!  Small world indeed. I have also been asked to start taking over the Chaplain duties for the chapter.  Wow, that made me feel good.

In other news, I happen to work in a Union shop and voting for new Union positions has begun.  I agreed to accept the nomination for Sec/Treasurer.  However!!  When the nomination ballot came around for me to sign and accept, I discovered I had been nominated not only for Sec/Treasurer, but also for President AND Vice-President.  Now, understand I have NOT been active in the Union in the last several years plus I generally try to keep a low-profile at work.  So who in blue-blazes has discovered who I am that they would nominate me for all THAT!?! Of course I have no idea and the nominations committee won’t tell me.  Needless to say, I only accepted the nomination for Sec/Treas., but wow that was flattering.

I dont’ have any pictures because it cut kind of ugly, but I made another batch of soap and discovered a much easier method than I had been using.  Instead of melting the fats and oils and then having to wait for them to cool down before adding the lye mixture, I added first the fats and then the oils to the lye mixture and let the heat from the lye melt everything down.  I got my soap to trace after only about ten minutes with the stick blender. So much easier.  I made a plain batch this time just to test everything out and like I said it cut ugly because of the container I used as a mold.  But, I plan on making another batch with some fragrance oils and essential oils. Yay!!

That’s it for the moment.  Hope everyone has a great week!

Mesa Verde and Grand Canyon Vacation

We started our trip early on July 4th.  We headed for Cortez to spend the night.  Yeah, we could have made it all the way to the Grand Canyon in one fell swoop, but we wanted to see Mesa Verde too.  Plus, we really didn’t want to show up for vacation exhausted from the trip to get there.

We only had time to visit one of the cave dwellings before getting back on the road.  Several of the dwellings are only accessed by Ranger led tours which we didn’t have time to wait for either.  However, the one we were able to actually walk down to and investigate was pretty cool.  The top of the cave is still black from cook fires from so many years ago.  Hubby climbed down into one of the kivas.  Not this kid.  My claustrophobia would not have been a pretty thing to witness.  Honestly, I couldn’t imagine being down there with nothing but a fire for light.  *Shudder*.

Mesa Verde:

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Corn grinding station:

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Inside the Kiva

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The rest of the cave dwelling we went into:

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By lunchtime we were back on the road heading for Arizona.  We of course had to stop first at Four Corners (on the way back) for the obligatory picture standing in four states at once.

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(May I just insert something here…..I appreciate the Native Americans in my family, but…….getting through the Navajo Nation was killer!  Sorry y’all, but it was like driving through Kansas….without the cornfields.  Oh my.)

We made it to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon just after lunch.  We stayed at the Thunderbird Lodge which is just steps from the rim of the Canyon.  The lodge itself is old, but it’s been updated and is very nice.  The beds were so comfortable I wanted to find a way to bring them home.

vacation 2014 noelle 10th birthday 048vacation 2014 noelle 10th birthday 052Those two pictures were taken just out the back door of the lodge.  Yep, right on the rim.  Watch yer step!!

Some random pictures of the canyon from the Rim Trail.

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Hermit’s Rest

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I covet this fireplace

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On Tuesday of our trip we went whitewater rafting.  This involved getting up at 3a.m. and driving to Peach Springs on the Hualapai reservation.  The Hualapai run a one day rafting trip and we took advantage of it.  I don’t have many pictures of going through the rapids because I was too busy holding on for dear life!  In fact, on the fourth rapid we went over we hit it sooooo hard that 5 of the 8 people in the raft ended up in the bottom of the raft.  Oh yeah, that was fun. Lol.

getting ready to board the bus for the trip down to the launch site

getting ready to board the bus for the trip down to the launch site

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We were on the river about 5 hours before we offloaded to catch our flight out of the canyon.

vacation 2014 noelle 10th birthday 120Hubby says helicopters were never meant to fly.  They merely beat the air into submission.  Sooooo, I can mark THAT off the bucket list.

We relaxed and hiked a bit the rest of our stay.  We even went to church one evening on the rim.

vacation 2014 noelle 10th birthday 149I enjoy my normal contemporary worship services, but a few hymns every now and then never hurt anyone either.  We met fellow Christians from all over the country as well as Scotland and Germany.  Way cool.

The only thing we were not able to do was the mule ride.  But here’s some pictures of the trail they take and the mules ready for the trail.

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Our last day there we were able to see some Native dancers perform.

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It was a wonderful week.  It was very relaxing with just the right amount of busy.

I hope everyone is having a great week.


Monster is 10

Do you see this beauty in the pink shirt?

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She’s 10.  Yes, 10!!!!!  Oh, I’m so old lol.

We got to share in her birthday party.  It was a blast.

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The Vacation from Dante’s Seven Hells

Yes folks, I’m finally back.  I’ve been on vacation (post and pictures soon) and had to come back to work to recuperate. The vacation was actually really good.  Relaxing with just the right amount of busy.  Until we tried to come home.

We got up really early Saturday morning the day we were to come home.  We checked out of the hotel around 6 a.m. and headed out of Grand Canyon National Park.  That time of day is just as the sun is coming up.  And when the mule deer and elk get up for breakfast.  About halfway between the hotel and the front gate of the park, we slowed down to look at some fawns off on the side of the road when WHAM!  We hit a deer darting across the road!  I start screaming, hubby starts yelling as the deer rolls off the hood of the car and skids down the road hooves flailing.  OMG!!!  We get the car stopped about the time the deer stops skidding.  He gets up, shakes himself off, and gives us a look as if to say “Really?” and walks off.

I was hysterical.  I just KNEW we had not killed the deer, but had injured him so badly we would have had to shoot him and try to explain it to the rangers.  Thank heavens the deer appeared to be fine.  The hood and grill of the car….not so much.  Really, it’s not all that bad for having hit a deer.  He just dented one corner of the hood and scraped up the grill enough to notice.  After we calmed down we headed on down the road.

We made it out of the Navajo Nation into Four Corners and stopped for the obligatory picture on the Four Corners monument.  Stopped for lunch in Cortez before continuing on.  Just east of Durango we realized we had a flat.  Grrrr.  So we pull over and haul everything out of the trunk to get to the spare.  At this point we are just under half way home.

Getting the spare on was fiasco enough, but then hubby looked at the tire that went flat.  He realized the tread had worn down to metal just on the inside of the tire.  Rats!  Checked the other tire and sure enough it was wearing in the exact same pattern.  Hmmmm…….car needs a rear-end alignment.  AND the other tire was ready to give out at any minute.

So, we limped back into Durango a little after 1 on a Saturday.  We stopped first at a junk yard a gentlemen who stopped to help recommended.  They actually had some rims and tires that would fit the car, but they really wanted way too much for them.  So on into town we go.

We stopped at a tire store and although they could have ordered in tires for us, it would have been Monday before they got there and we were due back at work on Monday.  Hubby’s getting really frustrated by this point.  He is in total “get home” mode.

As we are backing out of the parking space at the tire store…….we back into a very large truck.  Ugh!  We just caught the side of his very large, heavy duty silver/grey bumper.  All down the side of the car.  SMH.  The owner of the truck wasn’t even there.  He had left the car there to have work done to it.  So , we left our insurance info with the tire store guys.  Thankfully, the damage to his bumper was incredibly minimal.  I took pictures of it before we left just in case.

Now we go back to the junkyard and pay an exhorbitant price to used, gold spoke spinner rims and tires.  The guy at the junk yard put two of them on the back of the car.  Now understand, spinners are not installed the way a normal tire is installed.  I can’t really explain it, but suffice to say it ain’t normal.

Finally back on the road!  Twenty miles down the road to Pagosa Springs hubby says “We just lost a tire” as the left rear wheel bounces past us on the highway going 60 mph.  Oh fun.

Two hours on the side of the road before two ladies stop who thank goodness had cell reception.  They called us a tow truck who showed up about 45 minutes later and towed us into Pagosa Springs.  He dropped us at a very nice hotel which gave us a discounted rate.  And there we sat until Tuesday afternoon waiting for parts and tires to shipped in from Farmington.

Yes, we visited Dante’s Seven Hells that Saturday.  Lesson we learned from this?  Next road trip we RENT a car and pay the extra insurance.

Hope everyone else has been doing well.  Have a great week!!!

Garden Update June 2014 and Other News

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Spring/Summer is finally here!!!  I thought it would never warm up enough to really get the garden planted.  I was on FB today and one of my groups asked what everyone was growing this year.  I was a little shocked when I actually listed everything out.  Here’s what we’ve planted and/or bought for the garden:



yellow squash


tetragonia spinach

green onions




green beans

greasy beans





bell peppers

cubano peppers

jalapeno peppers

cayenne peppers

lemon balm






assorted colorful flowers to attract and keep bees

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(Do you see the mallow growing around the petunias?  I harvested tons of it from the yard already.  I also pulled purslane out of the main garden. I may try to dig it up and pot it next time I find some.  I love edible “weeds”)


Wow!  That’s a lot for the tiny space we have.  And I still want more!!!


The greenhouse is going to come in so handy next spring when I go to start my seeds.  I know I’m going to have to exercise  restraint or I will have watermelon in the back planter and corn growing by the driveway.  Wait.  Would that be bad? Lol.

In other news, I ordered more leaf-cutter bees.  They have arrived and are already hatching.  I saw one that had obviously just hatched from it’s cocoon.  It sat on the top of the bee house for a few minutes wriggling his butt and buzzing his wings before crawling off the edge and flying off.  They are sooo tiny compared to regular bees, but boy do they get the job done!  I already have some mason bee babies all cocooned up for next year in their bee box.  I’m hoping for lots more mason bee and leaf-cutter bee babies. Not to mention excessive pollination of my garden lol.

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Other than garden watching and tending I am frantically getting ready for vacation.  I spent so much time planning and preparing for my Women’s Retreat that now I’m scrambling to get everything ready for our trip.  Mostly that has meant ordering things for our rafting trip that we will do one day.  Who knew the Colorado River in the summer was still only 50 degrees?!?  That calls for rain suits and aqua shoes for the raft.  Going through the rapids WILL drench us head to toe and even though the air temp might be in the 100’s it will still be uber-cold from the water.  I also had to order a water-proof pouch for my camera.  No way I’m missing out on photo-ops.

That’s it for me for now.  Hope everyone has a wonderful week and Happy Father’s Day!!!

Linking up with:

http://newlifeonahomestead.com/, www.time-warp-wife.blogspot.com, http://www.aboverubies.net/, http://www.growinghomeblog.com/, http://www.deeprootsathome.com/, http://www.raisingarrows.net/, www.oursimplefarm.com, http://raisinghomemakers.com/

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