Friday, July 1, 2011


A video made during one of our family 
Independence Day Celebrations. 
On July 4th we take over our little dead-end street to celebrate.
Neighbors either join in or leave town. 
July is the perfect time of year to enjoy a few fireworks.  
Sparklers are one thing the kids love 
and are relatively safe under supervision.
No one was harmed during the making of this video,
(as long as you don't count frustration during editing)

Wherever you are--enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


If you've read my blog much you know that I escape and blow off stress 
by riding my bicycle.

Mostly I just cruise along back roads, breathing in the morning air,
letting the brain wander while burning a few calories.

But there is this HILL (made to appear even more intimidating
by camera angle) called Pole Line Road.  I've told myself that
as long as I can make it to the top, no matter how slowly, 
without getting off to walk, I still don't need to retire to a rocking chair.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

While downloading this picture to my computer I pulled up the photos
 I have saved with the tag "BICYCLE."  Here are a few:

Kids and grandkids on the way to a July 4th Parade

Grandpa showing off his bike while we wait for the parade to start

son, Bobert and wife ready to ride 100 miles (they did it)
near Zion National Park in Utah

The Californians in the parking lot

Outing with Bobert's family on a new bike trail near their home 

Shooting the neighbors from my front porch

Rescuing Beavis from a hail storm

Bobert again at a triathlon

Bobert's wife--same triathlon, transitioning from swim to bike

Beavis after riding to the top of Teton Pass, ready
to commit suicide by riding DOWN the other side
(he made it okay--whew!)

Thanks for hanging in all the way to the end and letting me
indulge in a little show and tell.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Thomas, a.k.a. “Fuzzball” a.k.a. “Speedbump”, likes to survey his domain from the window.

There he can keep an eye on vagrant crows, squirrels and other neighbors without dealing with cold, rain and snow.  When the weather warms up he’ll occasionally ask to take a stroll outside where he likes to hide in the shrubs and scare hapless birds.

He was on the step the other day ready to come in for an evening snack when Jet, his rival from down the street arrived on his turf. 

Thomas: Go home, pretty boy, go home you yellow bellied chicken!

Jet:  Who are you calling chicken?

Thomas:  I’m calling you chicken, 
big, tough, buddy boy.  Afraid of getting close?

 Jet:  Oh, yeah?  Come and get me you waste of fur. Afraid to slug it out?

Then Thomas puffed himself up and Jet could see his rival had the size advantage,
 probably unaware that it was mostly fuzz and flab.

Jet slowly, slowly, slowly crawled under the car.  
Thomas was going to wait him out, 
but a noise down the street distracted them both. 

Jet streaked for home and Thomas hurried to the step 
to see what all the racket was about.

Koda, the terrier from two houses over was coming to join the rumble.

He wasn’t brave enough to join in the fight...

but he threw in a few of his own taunts.

Koda’s owner came and collected him and things quieted down.

Thomas decided he’d sent the rabble packing and returned to surveying his realm.

Sunday, June 26, 2011


So much of what we do in life--preparation, maintenance, clean up--isn't realized or appreciated as long as it is done and everything rolls along as it should.  Nobody notices, but you get a warm feeling.

When we remodeled and expanded our kitchen, the vinyl flooring we could afford was labeled "no wax."  But with all the coming and going from a busy family and all their friends the floor soon was exhibiting traffic lanes and plenty of scuff marks.   So I bought some floor finish from our local grocery store and put down a couple of protective coats.  After a year or so of this kind of treatment the floor sort of had a shine but was turning some shade of grayish yellow.  Time to strip off the “finish” and start over.  I’ve tried several different methods to remove the gunk and nothing works like ammonia and elbow grease.

So the other day when the guys announced they were heading to Montana to bring home some trout I decided it was once again time to deal with the yucky colored kitchen floor.  While the guys enjoyed a day on the lake in the sun I was up to my knees in floor slime, working up a sweat with that scrub brush.

Eeewww.  It looks like I put it off a little too long.

I scrubbed for hours.  The kitchen is big enough to accommodate a crew of teenagers making pizza from scratch, or a whole family and grandkids working on Thanksgiving, so there were a few yards to cover. 

I had the kitchen done and two coats of new finish down and dried before the guys came back with their fish.  They saw me on my knees scouring the floor in the dining room and were kind enough to keep their fish mess in the kitchen.  Not a word about how great the floor looked.  I think they wanted me to come in and gaze in awe at their big fish.  But, if you’ve seen big trout once you’ve seen them all and these fish looked pretty much like all the fish they’ve been bringing home for years.  (Yes, and maybe the floor looked the same as every spotless floor they’ve seen for years.)

I had the dining room cleaned and coated shortly after that and advised them to stay out if they valued their hide.

Then while the dining room dried I fixed dinner and life went on. 

I smiled that evening when I walked across the floor in my bare feet. 

To all of you who pay bills, clean toilets, clear tables, take out the trash, 
enforce laws and all of those other unappreciated jobs...THANK YOU.