Saturday, March 30, 2013

Just sit down and think about it.

    Our 3 year-old grandson has left to visit his other grandparents, but I am still amused by his thought process.  He is working so hard at figuring out his emotions.  When he is upset that his parents are asking him to do something he really doesn't want to do, such as put his shoes by the door instead of the middle of the kitchen, he will hem and haw about doing it and then plop himself down in a chair with a scowl on his face and say, "I'm just going sit down and get a grip!"  

     That is exactly what I need to do.  My Zen exercise plan has flown out the window.  Yes, I am exercising here and there, but not every day as scheduled.  I need to just sit down and "get a grip" on it. 

My trigger for doing my exercise is not working.  I need a new one......
    In the meantime, I need to move on toward an entirely different mode today.  Let's say it is closer to teenager mode.  The next group to visit us are the Kalispell Burkharts.

EEEEEK!  Oh no!  Not teenagers!  

    Those poor souls who hormones are starting to rage and they don't know what the heck they should be doing with it all.  The stage when they want to be treated as an adult, but they act like a spoiled child.   

"My parents don't know anything!"  Oh yeah.   

  Take a deep breath.  

           Better take another one.

     We will be moving into the realm of video games, movies, ipads, etc.....The teenage Easter Bunny probably raps or does some weird dance.  Who knows?

    I do know they grow out of this stage.  Our last grandson to visit us this Easter will be the college student.  Yes!  They do finally grow up.   He only has one more year left and he will graduate!  Yes! Yes!  Yes!   
     Get a grip, grandma!


Friday, March 29, 2013

Happy, happy, happy, happy!

    Our youngest grandson is here to visit along with his parents, of course.  (Retired Mountain Man and I love our children, but our grandchildren are special!) 

     At age 64 and counting, I have decided I really need to return to enjoying life like a three-year-old does.  Everything is met with such exuberance, excitement, joy, and fun OR if things go bad for you, they go really bad.   Crying, sobbing, devastatingly, BAD.  Take your pick. 

Happy  or    Sad?      You are in the moment and those moments last a long long time.  Happy, happy, happy, happy,  or...........

     It was such a beautiful day yesterday that we had to get outside and enjoy it.  Ben really enjoyed it.  We went for a short walk to see if we could find the first spring flowers.

 "Look mama, I can be as big as grandma!" 

"Grow big mama!"

 "Grow big!  You did it mama!"

Did I mention that a  3 year-old also RUNS up the hillside.  No huffing and puffing for him.

We did find one of the first spring wildflowers, an Idaho Gold Thread.  They pop up as soon as the snow has melted. 

Maggie was very patient with us.  "Would someone please throw a toy for me?" 

When we returned to the house, Grandpa had a very nice rock for Ben to examine.  It had ripple marks in it and they had to be touched and looked at very closely.

Then it was time to go back inside for some homemade ice cream before the next big adventure.

One more thing:  

Did you know that at any moment I could become a wild, ferocious dragon dinosaur who is sneaking into the deep, dark, dungeon in the basement.........

"Don't be afraid Grandma, come with me."

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Double the fun today!

We are sending birthday celebration wishes to Miss Macy and Mr. Dylan today!

None of us can sing a tune like Miss Macy or play the guitar strings like Dylan!  Dylan is in the middle of his mid-term exams, but we get to see him soon. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

I have these big piano-playing hands. I feel like I should be picking potatoes?--Sandra Bullock


Picking potatoes is one of the things I do with my hands... and a little bit of piano playing.

Yesterday at my drawing session at the Outskirts Gallery in Hope, the subject for the day was to choose a small stone, hold it in your hand and then draw your hand holding the stone.  I have never tried drawing a hand or hands.

Did you know that you think of the palm of your hand as a cube and your fingers as cylinders with ball joints between them?

I had no idea.  It was very intriguing to me.  Then I began to think about all of the things that I do with my hands.  There were the everyday things, brush me teeth, comb my hair, wash my face, do the dishes.   The things I really enjoy such as playing the piano, the guitar, drawing, painting, pulling those nasty weeds out of my garden, flipping off the jerk who pulled out in front of my car?  Say what?
"If evolution really works, why do mothers only have two hands?"  -- Milton Berle
Then there is the sensation of touch.  Being able to touch someone you love and care about.  The personal touch of shaking someone's hand when you first meet them.   The softness of a touch.
"You can always tell a lot about somebody by the way the put their hands on an animal."--Betty White
 I didn't finish the sketch of my hand holding the stone.  I am thinking about doing more sketches of the hand, in different positions.  NO, not the "flipping of the jerk"position.  It doesn't need to be drawn, but it certainly gives one a sense of satisfaction, right?

When I was looking at quotations about hands, this was my favorite:

"I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person.  There was such a glory over everything.  The sun came up like gold through the trees and I felt like I was in heaven." --Harriet Tubman
 I remember looking at my hands one day and suddenly I realized that they looked like my mother's hands.  I felt very comforted by that thought.

What will you do with your hands today?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Best Picture of the Year

I love movies.  I like to entertained and I am amazed at the talent involved in the making of a movie.  That would include the book it might be based upon, the screenplay, the director the actors, the costuming, the musical score, you name it.  There are many great ones:  The African Queen, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Dr. Zhivago, Dances With Wolves, Little Big Man.......well I could go on and on.

Like I said, I prefer to be entertained by a movie, but every once in awhile I make myself watch a movie that might not be entertaining, but still worth watching.

Last night Retired Mountain Man and I watched Zero Dark Thirty.  This is the story is about the decade long hunt for OBL (I don't even like typing his name) and his followers.   It is a fact-based thriller.

I will say that at the beginning, some of the scenes were difficult to watch, but as the movie went on that changed.  The second half of the film, is the film.   As I watched the movie, the memories that I have pushed to the back of my mind about the morning of 9/11 came back.  I remembered that I wanted OBL dead!

Despite what the Oscars would have you believe, this is the best film of the year.  Argo doesn't even come close.

Monday, March 18, 2013

I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate!

So, how was the gig?

 It was a cold, windy, rainy day and we all wondered if anyone would actually show up to hear us play.  We set up the equipment at noon and there were few patrons in the cafe.  When we returned at 2:00 to play, the place was packed.  Standing room only, again.  I couldn't believe it.

 So, we rocked! (I wish I had photos from the gig, but I am too busy playing the piano and we don't have an official band photographer)

Mark sang, I'm Walkin', Can't Believe You Wanna Leave, Rocket 88, T for Texas......
He was smokin' on the harmonica!

Joe had the crowd rockin' with Mustang Sally, High Heel Sneakers and Statesboro Blues.  

Bruce and Julie sang their first duet with the band, "Hit the Road Jack" and Bruce was really rollin' on Route 66, Stormy Monday and Six Days on the Road. 

Last but not least, this gal brings down the house every time she sings, "I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate."  The entire crowd is hootin' and hollerin' when Dancing Mandolin Gal sings.  They were cheering so loud at the end of the song that I couldn't hear her at all and I was right next to the speaker.

How could we not have a blast when we get such a great response from the audience?

I have to admit that I get really nervous before the gig starts, but I think I am starting to like this.  It kind of grows on you.

Rock on!

Don't get stuck in The Waiting Place.

...for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or the waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for the wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

That's not for you!

When I came across this photo of all the kidlets, I couldn't resist posting some excerpts from Dr. Seuss.      

"Oh the places you'll go!
 It's hard to believe how fast these kidlets have grown.  

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.

You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed.
You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you'll be best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don't.
Because, sometimes, you won't.

I'm sorry to say so
but, sadly, it's true
that Bang-ups
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they're darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?
 You can get so confused.

Oh, the places you'll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame! You'll be as famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don't
Because, sometimes they won't.

But on you will go
though the weather be foul.
On you will go
though your enemies prowl.
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl.
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)

Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!

So far we have a Wildfire Biologist working in the Kaibab National Forest and next year we will have a micro-biologist.  I can't wait to see what the rest of them decide to do.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Hope blues today.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  Today is our gig!

 Excitement is in the air!  And  cold wind!  And Snow!   Brrr!  The power was out during the night.   You know what they say about March.  Well, we certainly have it here.  Which makes my thoughts turn to more pleasant things such as my flowers and veggies.

 I have made a vow to myself that I will NOT start too many flowers and vegetables this year.  I have a tendency to get carried away.  I can't seem to let any plant die so I keep transplanting the little seedlings into larger pots.  The larger the pots get the more space I need to keep everything going until it's warm enough to plant outside.  If there's a threat of a really hard frost, I have to bring everything inside.

April 24 2010

In 2010 I had far too many plants that were ready to go outside and of course, the weather was too cold and rainy.  So far this year I have had some restraint.  I have taken my begonia bulbs out of storage and planted them in pots.   In two weeks I will start my peppers, tomatoes, marigolds, zinnias, and lobelia.  Not too many.  Not too many.  Not too many.


Yes, I finally met my weight loss goal today!  Awesome!  I am still working on the Zen projects.  Yesterday Retired Mountain Man mentioned that he was worried that I might Zen him.  I hadn't thought of it, but......

My MIT's (Most Important Tasks) for today:

1.  Exercise
2.  Have fun playing some great music!
3.  Draw

Next weight loss goal:  April 21st - 6 pounds.
1.  DASH Diet - alternate days with Action Plan Diet 
2.  Exercise - add five more minutes per week.
3.  Track and log progress every day.

I may even have a green beer today to celebrate.

I like this new song that Joe sings with the band called Statesboro Blues.

Allman Brothers and Taj Mahal

Friday, March 15, 2013

Pay attention to the moment.

Missed it until today. 

I was browsing through my photos and noticed the leaf.   I took the photo on April 20th, 2010.  I had just purchased my new Canon. 

MIT's for today:

Exercise - Day 2
Drawing at Kally's
Playing music with Ellie

It's Friday!  I hope you have a wonderful weekend!  I am really looking forward to mine.  Playing with the band at the gig on Sunday.

Post update:

OOPS!  I forgot to mention that I "Zenned" the pantry yesterday.  The first run-through.  It looks pretty good.  Today I am going to re-Zen the living room.  I am told that you are supposed to de-clutter once and then take another look a week or so later and do it again. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Wearin' o' the Green, Hope Style.

Well, not quite yet, but soon.
There are a few green patches on the lawn where the snow has melted.

Spring is on it's way even if it doesn't look like it when you look at my tomato beds.   Have hope.  Soon it will look like this.  I don't think there's a "green" that's more beautiful than what it looks like here in the spring.  No need to be Irish around here.

April 2012

"Wine bottles!  Have I cleaned and taken the labels off of enough for bottling?  Nope."

I have started my pansy and petunia seed.  Some of the Pink Wave Petunias have started to sprout.

Can you see them?  Exciting, isn't it?  TA DA!

They are very small, about the size of a pin head.  Soon they will look like this.

May 2012 

I am also returning to my Zen Habits of less is more.  After working on de-clutter in the living room, I have moved on to the next room, the pantry.  All I can say is that there's a LOT of stuff in there.   Some of it is in the trash and some of it will be going to the thrift store or donated to children and grandchildren. 

On my list for today:
A.  I have two more days to reach my weight loss goal and I am 1 lb. away.  It's crunch time.

B.  It is time for a new goal.  My new habit changing goal for the next 30 days will be exercise.

1. Every day except Sunday
2. Trigger is 9:30 a.m.  or 5:30 p.m.  (alarm is set)
3. Track it.

I am also going to return to 3 MIT's each day.  I have a tendency to try to do too many things in one day.  Focus.  Focus.  Focus.

Did I mention I need to practice my music? 


Monday, March 11, 2013

Holy DST!

My internal clock is off.  At 5:15 a.m. my eyelids popped open and I was awake!  What the !@#*!   Let's see, we moved our clocks ahead one hour so that means it's really 4:15 a.m.? 

It's still dark at 5:15 a.m. but since I was up, I did get a nice photo of the sunrise.

I have found the perfect song to sing with the band.  I don't know if I can sing it, but I would love to give it a try.  It's called Too Much Butt for One Pair of Jeans, by the Uppity Blues Women.


Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Last Port of call. We are so sad.

Ocho Rios. Our tour takes us to Dunn's River Falls. The falls start from the beach and is about 180 feet height and 600 feet long. We are going to walk up the falls which takes about and hour and a half.

Dunn’s River Falls are fed by spring water, which is rich with calcium carbonate and is depositing travertine. Such waterfalls are described by geologists as "a living phenomenon" because they are continuously rebuilt by the sediments in spring water.

 Dunn's River Falls is one of the very few travertine waterfalls in the world that empties directly into the sea.

The photos are courtesy of D. Ramey Logan.  We were told by our first tour guide that we could not take our cameras on the hike up the falls.  We put our cameras and other things into a locker and went to the beach and then found out that our guide who would actually take us up the falls, would have carried our cameras and taken pictures for us.

We did purchased a video of all us hiking up the falls, but it is too long to post and it can't be edited.
 Plus, I have taken a vow that there shall be no video of me in a swimsuit published on the Internet.

The falls are beautiful and at first the water seemed cold, but actually it was not.  It was difficult going at the bottom where the waterfall was the strongest, but it is a very slow hike.  I needed a helping hand most of the way.  Retired Mountain Man refused to go as he would get wet.

 Congratulations to OKC Malcom and Linda, who went all the way to the top!  The rest of us quit after the first section, which turned out to be the most difficult.

We like the falls but did not like the vendors in Jamaica.  The only way to exit the park was to walk through their gauntlet of vendors, who were very aggressive and in your face all the time.

As we waited for the bus to take us to our next stop, I took some photos of this tree and the blossoms.  They didn't look real and they even felt like they were plastic.

 I wish I could remember the name of the tree.  I searched for it on the Internet with no luck.

 The dolphins put on a show at Dolphin Cove.

 There were also sharks. 

The water off of Jamaica was so beautiful.

Next:  A day at sea and back to Fort Lauderdale - 743 nautical miles.  Then we board our first plane for the torturous trip back to Spokane.  Total miles:  14,606.

I still hate flying.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

We loved Costa Rica! You will see why.

We are on a bus in Limon driving to The Sloth Sanctuary for a tour.  I am taking photos from the bus.  I am not on the ocean-view side of the bus, but this is a sample of what we saw as we drove along.

Two-fingered Sloth

Three-fingered sloth

On this part of our tour our guide was the grandson of the woman who started the sanctuary.   Sloths are very susceptible to disease from humans so we could not touch them.  We just got to look at them.  They seemed to be very curious about all of the people standing around looking at them.    This one is trying to look back at the people behind him.

He would really rather be taking a nap.

If you would like to view a cute video of the baby sloths, check out the youtube video below.

The best part of this tour was the canoe trip through the bayous of the Estrella River Delta.  The

Poro Tree  (orange)

 The Poro Trees are beautiful.  What makes them so beautiful is that when they bloom, they are leafless.  It is the dry season of the year so the trees conserve water by dropping their leaves and then blooming, which also helps with pollination.  PorĂ³ extranjero (meaning "foreign porĂ³"), was introduced to Costa Rica from its native South America specifically as a shade tree for coffee.

Why so much information about the Poro Tree?  They were so colorful and all along the bayou they were dropping their beautiful orange blossoms onto the water.  

Great Egret

Howler Monkey

 This was the best photo I could get of one of the monkeys.  They were everywhere.  You could hear them, but they were very difficult to see in the jungle.


 This little guy was also very difficult to see.  We were probably about 5' away from him.  He was hiding in the foliage.

Old Termite ball

 These bananas are too seedy for us but the animals love them.

We canoe underneath this tree

 There is a bat hanging underneath.

We are in the last canoe.

Butoroides Virescens
Green Heron.  He flew off and it was amazing how large he was.  He didn't look that big sitting on the branch.  There were too many people in front of me to get the photo of the liftoff.

After the canoe tour we went on a walking tour.

I grew one of these once.  I think it had one branch.

 Yes, there is a spider in the photo above and a very large web that you can barely make out.  The light just was not right. (or maybe it was the photographer)

I don't know what Retired Mountain Man has in the bag, but it must be important.

After a very nice lunch of fresh fruit, (NOT Retired Mountain Man's favorite), we are back on the bus headed for the ship.

 Our tour guide shows us this blossom and the paste made from it.  In Costa Rica it is added to recipes for both flavor and color.   Anchiote Paste.

Next port:  Ocho Rios, Jamaica - 651 nautical miles.  

 We have traveled 3568 miles on the Island Princess for a grand total of 10,093 air and nautical miles.