Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Garden Tuesday: Fire

After the winter and spring leave you several piles of downed branches at least this big, what should you do?
Roast marshmallows for Memorial Day, of course!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Happy Memorial Day!

This is Memorial Day weekend here in the US. Established in 1868, May 30 was designated as a day to remember those who had died in the War, and decorate their graves with flowers or other remembrances; it specifically stated that organized remembrances should not be held.

Of course, since them, parades honoring veterans have become commonplace for Memorial Day. And we now use the day to remember all of those who have passed before us, in addition to those who gave their lives defending freedom everywhere.

And, lastly, Memorial Day is enjoyed as the start of summer: We gather with family and friends, barbecue, or even just toast marshmallows, and look forward to 3 months of lazy, hot weekends. As for me, I'm thankful that we no longer have to wear bathing costumes such as this (hubby's grandmother, presumably with one of her nieces, at about age 30, around 1910 or 1911).

Happy Memroial Day, everyone!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Buildings along 287

These pictures are virtually all the evidence, save road signs, that I saw of humans along Route 287. I believe I missed one building, and I missed a train. These pictures were taken along a stretch of about 50 miles.
Many places were quite shabby.
Evidence of crop irrigation. There's relatively little rainfall here; when the snow melts, of course, it simply recharges the aquifers.
This looked to be a pretty vast place.
Windmills often run water pumps for the livestock.

This gas station is right as you enter Laramie, Wyoming. These small, privately owned and operated stations used to be quite common in the US, and they used to be able to fix cars at most stations. Now they're all closed down, and in most places, the buildings have been torn down. It's an unusual reminder of time gone past.

This is the last thing before we entered Laramie. It's doubtless got something to do with processing and shipping agricultural products, since there's a rail siding at the back of it, but I didn't notice a sign identifying it.

Here's hoping you all have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend! I might see you here; it depends upon how the weekend goes!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Happy Thorsday!

Thor spent Ryan's birthday party sitting right next to Cass, eyeing the cake. Of course, he knows better than to put his head anywhere near the table. Mom's a Fierce Midget and takes her Manners Rules very seriously.

Still, a guy can look, right?
But his Great Red Protector rewarded Thor with cookies while everyone else ate cake, so that was alright with Thor!
Happy Thorsday, everyone!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Along 287, Again

Back to the drive up 287. The blue skies were spectacular. In this shot, it's hard to tell where the snow on the peaks ends and the clouds begin.
This was an interesting crag beside the road.
This is what it looked like when we parked next to it.
As we got closer to Laramie, and higher in elevation, the snow was not only on the peaks, but also in the valleys and fields.
This was taken from a high point on the road.
A mesa in the middle of the rolling fields. There may have been cows out there, but we were too far away to see them. The distances you can see are simply mind boggling to those of us from the East Coast, where the ground rolls up and down, trees tower over us, and the skies are not endless. (There is a reason they call Montana "The Big Sky State," and most western states could be similarly named.)
Tomorrow is Thorsday, then I'll show you some of the structures we saw along 287.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Garden Tuesday: Still Flowers!

My first dogwood tree is flowering. It's pinker than this, but that's the best I could do in the rain.

And this azalea looked dead last year! It had no leaves, and certainly didn't flower; I didn't bother to have it dug up. Good thing, because I guess it just wanted a vacation!

Now, if only the rain would stop...we were without power until 4 this afternoon, which is not a good way to make my household happy. Thor has been whining for hours, and can finally sleep. You all know dogs need electricity, right?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Ryan is 15!

Ryan's 15th birthday was Thursday. He elected to wait until the weekend to have his party, so more of his siblings could get home for the celebration.
His brothers took him to the new pirate movie for his birthday. The decoration is supposed to be pirate swords above a cake.

His sisters helped set up the brightly wrapped presents. Yes, there's snowflake paper in the mix. Don't judge me. You roll with whatever the wrapping paper closet holds.
Ryan's so tall, it's about time he should be 15. Thor's just eyeing the cake.
And, of course, what party's complete without a picture of the birthday boy waiting to blow out the candles?
Hope you all had a splendid weekend!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Along 287 in Colorado

This is the first of probably 3 sets of pictures taken along 287 from Fort Collins, Colorado to Laramie, Wyoming.
It's fairly early spring there; this is as bright green as the foliage will get. The sky was spectacular last Friday.

This rock formation was on top of a hill. I believe it to be natural, since there were many rock formations which looked like separate stones piled up, but upon closer examination were just larger rocks with cracks in them. Of course, I did not climb to the top of this hill to check it out myself.
The evergreens in Colorado are really nice.
Looking down a hill, out the front windshield of the rental car, which was a big disappointment. (Let me state here, in case anyone wonders, that I will not be trading my 1995 Cadillac in for a new one. The new one is too small, with too many electronic gadgets and crap. I also didn't like that it beeped at me that I was driving erratically because I corner close to the shoulder on right corners. After 34 years without even a fender bender, it's safe to say that I'm competent to drive without the supervision of a car.)
The farther west and north we went, the more snow appeared on the hillsides and in gulches. We also climbed in elevation from 5,000 to 8,000 feet, with more snow at higher elevations.
The sagebrush is a strange contrast to the greener plants. All look really nice in contrast with the red rocks.
In some areas, the ground was quite flat for a long distance.
In others, the gulches were quite dramatic.
Next up: more snow in May!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Joyous Thorsday!

Thor's not letting anyone out of his sight this week. You all remember him trapping Mark on the floor with his giant paw, right?
He also made sure we stayed in school.
He put his Ele-fun in my shoes so I couldn't leave. After all, I couldn't possibly figure out how to get my shoes away from Ele-fun, right?
And Thor's spending lots of time sleeping in the doorway between the kitchen and breakfast room, so no one can pass through without his knowledge. I guess we've all forgotten about the hallway that runs on the other side of the kitchen wall, which we can use so we don't have to hop over Thor.
Happy Thorsday, everyone!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fort Collins, Colorado

When we left the Denver airport, we traveled a good way north on I-25 toward Wyoming. The road is wide, and the driving is easy; since it was before 3PM, we didn't hit the rush hour traffic, which would have slowed us down significantly. Ryan loved the bridges in Colorado, which carry the traffic from local roads over the interstate highways. Sadly, he didn't get a good shot, showing that the embankments have stone overlaid on them.

When we got to Route 287, a local road that varies between 2 and 4 lanes wide, we exited. This was Fort Collins, Colorado. I was disappointed that it wasn't a very scenic beginning to the drive.
The buildings were on surprisingly small lots, with little parking around them, located close to the road.

I did notice a relatively large number of bicycles and cyclists around.
This school campus was the prettiest thing I saw. We didn't travel off the main road, since we had a 3 hour drive to make, and I had a car full of people wailing that they were hungry, tired of sitting in any kind of moving vehicle, and tired of traveling in general. Sheesh, I thought they were all 5 again, querying, "Are we there yet?"
I know from previous trips that most housing in Colorado is built in subdivisions on very tiny lots, and the vast majority of the land is left vacant. This shot, which was taken as we left town, was only about 5 miles from the interstate, where we entered the city. As you leave town, it's evident that you'll be hard pressed to find anything for a very long time.
I've been posting different pictures from my trip on the photo blog; please visit if you want to see them. Friday, I'll show you pictures of Route 287 from Fort Collins to Laramie. Tomorrow, of course, is Thorsday, and we can't miss that!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Every airport is different. If you take time to look around, they can be somewhat amusing in their own rights.
My airport is tiny, with only 6 gates. this is a new terminal, built about 5 years ago. So, as you laugh at my girls clowning around, notice the interesting walls. All of the walls, inside and out, are built of locally quarried granite. Isn't it pretty?

The Charlotte airport was huge. I didn't get a picture, but they have white rocking chairs all over the airport for travelers to sit in. But what I really liked was the pianist in the middle of this food court.

This airplane is hanging in the Denver airport, a gift from someone (I forgot to take a picture of the plaque so I could remember, of course). They also have these little brass dinosaurs embedded in the terazzo floors throughout the airport.

I didn't get pictures of the pirates in the airport: one sitting on a treasure chest, one standing, and pone scaling a wall. They were advertising a museum in Denver. It was pretty clever.

Tomorrow, we'll start the tour of US Route 287!