Sunday, December 30, 2007

Lang May Yer Lum Reek!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Wishing you all the very best this new year!!

(Lang may yer lum reek!
A Scottish salutation wishing long life and prosperity. Literally, long may your chimney smoke.

Thoughts to Ponder

"We are what we believe we are."
-C. S. Lewis

"Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact."
-William James

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Winter Wonderland, and will this hike never end!

Well, we're back after our first white Christmas in a long time. We went up to the Eastern Calif. Sierras for the week to play in the snow. The kiddies had their first experience snowshoeing in 3feet of powder and with the wind chill at the top of the 'hill' to about 0F/-20C. Needless to say they were quite happy to be back at the truck, and then back to the cabin for some hot chocolate. (I was quite thankful for the groomed trails that were part of the trek, and to return to my Mammoth Mountain, hot chocolate, Baileys, brandy...ummm, yummmm!!! ;D)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Lighting the candle of hope

Well Christmas is upon us once again. I've read many a good post lately at various blogs, some funny, some reflective...all good in their own way! :) A good story of doing the 'what if' may be found here :

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." Gandhi

"...'it is more blessed to give than to receive.'" Acts 20:35

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The 12 step Christmas Programme

Well, here we are...everyone in the Christmas spirit?...or are we saying bah humbug at all the franticness and empty wallets...and, we're not going to do Christmas this way again, ever, or at least until next year...

thanks for the laugh goes to Lins and Scots for the 12 step Christmas programme...we all can reform ourselves now!!!! :)

Van Morrison with Raglan Road

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Are you navigating on course?

Every once in a while, it's good to stop and check to see if you're on course, staying the course, need a course adjustment...if anything, this vid is worth a good laugh!!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A Worshipful Song

This is another one of my Christmas song favorites, whether it's sung in English, Irish Gaelic or German. The video was filmed in the Cathedral in Dublin, I believe, definitely adds to the ambiance. (there's another version of Enya's singing with Irish and English subtitles Enjoy! :)

Friday, December 14, 2007

Rockin around the Christmas Tree

This song is a favorite. I love a white Christmas, but I can't say that I love driving in the snow!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

We've all been there...

Sometimes Days are like the above quote, the attitude is great and it all just seems to flow!! Then there are the other days....

Thanks for stopping by and posting....though I've been absent. This homeschooling working mom with a busy husband/career just needed time off. You've all given me a smile and as always, I appreciate your comments!!! :))

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I Dare You Not To Laugh!

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."

Ps. There's now a PacMan Game at the bottom of the blog, enjoy! :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength."
Corrie Ten Boom

When reading the "Hiding Place", there was one passage that stuck with me...Corrie Ten Boom thanked God for the fleas in the beds of her concentration camp room. Everyone thought her mad, till they realised the fear of the fleas was what was keeping the guards out of their room; and therefore, they were able to speak, share, pray and fellowship with relatively little disturbance.
"In Everything Give Thanks..."
1Thess. 5:18

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Wandering Spirit and Pirate Treasure

I was reading at "The Wanderer Returns" and the mention of taking their boat to explore the various coves reminded me of my summers by the shore on Kent Island, Chesapeake Bay, Maryland. My grandmother co-owned a trawling boat that would take clients out for a day's fishing. My cousins and I were often put into the trustworthy hands of our gran for time on end...and we became 'mates on the ship' not minding at all whether it was 'get to the mopping, swabby', or 'bring me the bait pail'! When it was time on our own, we would often take the row boat and be gone, exploring up and down the marina. My Gran instilled in us a sense of adventure and imagination, and would take the boat to different areas in and around Kent Island...looking for 'Pirate Treasure'! We would snorkle in the shallows which gave me an interest to later become a Scuba Diver. Her friend was equally fun and devilish, and didn't like the
sailboats because they sometimes cut across the fishing lines (if I'm remembering correctly)...he would have us kids yell out to the sailboats as they passed by us: 'odin, odin, stop the wind and change the tides'! This was where I also learned of the crab bucket, and the tendancy of what human nature can be like sometimes. You see, you never have to put a lid on a crab bucket. At first glance you would think the crabs would all climb out and escape. But they don't; as soon as one crab almost makes it to the top, the other crabs grab him and pull him back down. This was interesting to observe, and a lesson to learn (on how not to be!) I think nature has a lot to teach us, if we only stop for a moment to watch and listen!! :)
"Look at that sea, ...all silver and shadow and vision of things not seen. We couldn't enjoy its loveliness any more if we had millions of dollars and ropes of diamonds."
-L.Montgomery, 'Anne of Green Gables'
Though most of my holiday time is now spent in the mountains with my husband and children,
....I don't think the sea can ever be taken out of my soul!!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Play me the Blues

Trying to edit and erased the original video/photo link, so here's the YouTube link:

Two men who had much in their lives 'against them' you could say. Thankfully for us, they were men of character and heart; and, they followed their dreams!

"What we play is life."
-Louis Armstrong

"You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don't try to forget the mistakes, but you don't dwell on it. You don't let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space."
-Johnny Cash

Born into Wealth

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
-Preamble, US Constitution

"Born into Wealth"....That was what her name meant translated into English. She was born at term but was in the NICU/SCBU for observation. Her parents came here about 5 months ago. Whether they were here legally or not, I don’t know, we’re not allowed to ask, but at least they spoke English. I do not begrudge them for wanting a better life for themselves and their baby. Their country is not known for its upholding of human rights. Given a similar situation, who’s to say I wouldn’t do the same. And, no doubt, from where they came from, this does appear the Land of Plenty. As I was giving the discharge instructions, they asked if they could have more diapers and formula from the hospital as they didn’t have much of that at home. They were nicely dressed, and the mother’s hair well coifed from a salon visit. Their follow up appointment for the baby was at the taxpayer’s subsidized county clinic. About 80% of the patients we see here, where I work, are on some form of assistance, and they keep having more babies….immigrants and home-grown 3rd generation welfare. Most of us working stiffs have as many babies as we can afford, and have personal responsibility to take precautions to help ensure that. How much longer is our Government going to allow the abuse of what was supposed to be a Social Safety Net for those who’ve fallen on hard times, or though working, are still less fortunate? The Land of Plenty used to mean: come here, work hard, exercise personal responsibility, have the opportunity to own your own property, and have abundant opportunity to better yourself through hard work, and make this a better place to live for all of us. However, I’ve found the majority of the people who are on assistance do not have an attitude of thankfulness, but of entitlement…'why should I have to work when I can get it for free'; and, our Government allows this at the expense of the people who do work hard to try and better themselves. Yes, their baby was born into wealth, and We the People are paying for it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Reflections by a mountain stream

My son is reading "Treasure Island" for school so I thought I'd include a RLS quote:

"Marriage is like life in this - that it is a field of battle, and not a bed of roses."

wait, not that one... ;) 'bout this:

"Every heart that has beat strong and cheerfully has left a hopeful impulse behind it in the world, and bettered the tradition of mankind."

Hopefully you won't tire of my Sierra Nevada
photos taken last May near our friends' place
It's a wonderful place to go hiking, fishing, and general meandering with a touch of history as well (Bodie ghost town is 'up round the corner'! :)
As I had a nice evening with the kiddies tonite watching the Pixar film, Ratatouille, which was witty and fun, and with a nice message... I find myself sitting here wondering what to talk about. I've been enjoying reading several blogs, including the readers here, and only wish there were more time in the day to absorp it all!! Especially for the visitors here, I absolutely love some of your topics on your blogs, the sharing, the humour, the similarities, the differences of ya''s been a lot of fun meandering, as it were, amongst all of the different places!! So this will be my post tonite...a thanks to all of you for your creativity, gift of words, and willingness to share your thoughts!! :)
Slainte!! (cheers/health)

Friday, November 16, 2007


My friend introduced me to the music of Enya of whom I was unfamiliar. This one song caught my attention for two reasons. One was the title, Boudicca, the ancient warrior queen who stood her ground and fought for justice for her people; even though the end was tragic, her courage to take a stand ultimately led to a less oppressive Roman rule.
I like the quote : by Eleanor Roosevelt, "A woman is like a teabag-only in hot water do you realize how strong she is." History has shown us countless times of 'ordinary' people caught up in 'extraordinary' circumstances which have revealed the character traits of courage, integrity, and compassion. I'm currently writing an essay on Character, and would love to hear your opinion on what is Character, or what is lacking in Character with today's Society.
The second reason was the beautiful space photos. The vastness of space, and here we are on this tiny planet some trying to blow it up, some trying to live peacefully. As I've been thinking a lot about what is Character, and what I've observed with today's Society, I would like to draw attention to the heroes we have around us. Who or what do you define as a hero??
I read a lovely story on the Scotsman today of an injured Bosnian infant being given a new lease on life due to people who cared enough to get involved . My teen heard about a charity helping kids, and wanted to donate as she decided to shorten her waist length hair There was a child-less couple that adopted a prematurely born drug-baby from the NICU/SCBU where I work, knowing that this infant may have difficulties. When we turn on the news, we are barraged with the negative; as I've mentioned before, Life is a Balancing Act. Today, I'm focusing on the positive! (and good luck to Scotland's Fitba Team!!!!) :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A Tree Firmly Planted

“How will our children know who they are
if they don’t know where they came from?”
_John Steinbeck

I visited a few blogs recently that got me thinking more 'aboot ma roots'. Cultural Heritage and History have always been interesting topics for me. Due to my father's prolonged illness when I was young, I tended to be left with my respective sets of grandparents who thankfully wished me to have knowledge of 'where I came from'. However, I find it quite amusing that both sets seemed at odds with each other and where we all were living. The oddities of human nature, sometimes! (Amusing now after pondering it all, but not really all that amusing at the time) Perhaps some of you can relate?

Overall, I believe their intentions were good, ...however, conflicting it was at times!! Over the years, I've sifted and sorted their information, to create who I am today, however 'zany'!! ;)
To try to explain briefly, my American Southern grands wanted me to know my Southern Presbyterian Scots/Ulster Scots heritage, and fighting for the Confederacy and the Amer. Revolution, and that I was a Southern lady not a Yankee (we lived in Pennsylvania), while my grands from the UK (Sco/Eng, RomCath/Ang) via Argentina didn't want me too American, and were quietly miffed that I was not being raised Catholic or at least Angelican (They had to leave Argentina due to Peron, and were only in America for economic reasons, and were loyal to Queen and the Union). There weren't too many open fechts (fights) but sometimes you could feel an undercurrent. I suppose when people feel strongly about things, it's not always easy to be at peace with the 'opposing side'....but I'm still convinced, however naively, that Love does conquer all things! :)

So, with all that said, knowing your heritage is important, it really does help mold our character, though it doesn't completely make us who we are. We can be encouraged by the perseverance and courage of our forebears, as well as learn from their mistakes. In all this, I am still a Christian, though not big on religion nor doctrine. My children will know both mine and my husband's heritage and of our faith. However, I will not force anything on them; I will leave it to my children to decide what they will take on as part of their own identity as adults! Hopefully, we will impart a foundation to them, so that they can be firm of faith and character to bravely go out into this world. Do any readers passing through here have stories or opinions you wish to share on this? I'd love to hear them, maybe to know that I'm not alone in the madness!! ;))

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The worlds first engineer

Life is a Balancing act, somewhere with feeling deeply and laughing heartily. I hope you enjoy this video, it gave me a chuckle...ah, human nature, it is what it is, sometimes!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Ain True Love

This is a song from the American Civil War film, 'Cold Mountain'. Haunting and timeless. I do not know these people, yet their story speaks to me, as I've had family/friends serving in war zones.
I was recently visiting family in Pennsylvania and I took my 13yr old son to Gettysburg. The museum there was awesome with its artifacts, photos and personal stories of the people.
Haunting and timeless.
It brought back childhood memories of playing in my uncle's family barn...there was an old storage area, and amongst the old this and thats, I found an old Civil War uniform left hanging there as if it were worn yesterday. I was afraid to touch it, but I always wondered about the man who wore it.

All gave Some, Some gave All

This post is somewhat belated as I had to work this past weekend. When I was younger, I never thought much about Veterans Day. My grandparents told me of the various wars our family had been involved in, even back to before the American Revolution, believe it or not. As a child, I thought of it as a history lesson, that's all; I didn't understand the personal sacrifice nor the heartache involved. Now that I'm older, it's with quiet and solemn regard that I hold these fallen and surviving heroes of our military. Everyday men and women who served their country proudly. We owe it to them (and their families) to help them in any way we can and to let them know that their sacrifice was not in vain. I had originally thought to make this post more of a rant, as I can get pretty stirred up about this issue, but I'd rather leave readers here with a quiet regard for our duty towards helping our veterans. Whether it's donating clothing or money to the various support charities, volunteering at the veterans' hospital, letters and care packages, or being part of a group to lobby the government for better treatment of our vets, we can all help. (Just think, if the vets had even a small percentage of all the goodies our Politicians get, and it's the Politicians who are responsible for starting these wars, anyway....darn it, there I go again....nope, I'm not going to rant....)
We're all busy with our various pursuits, but we do owe the people in uniform something even in a small way....many drops in a bucket make a pail of water!
As a tribute to their fighting spirit:
"We're surrounded. That simplifies the problem!"
_ Chesty Puller, USMC

"Courage is endurance for one moment more… "
_Unknown Marine Second Lieutenant in Vietnam

Monday, November 5, 2007

Mojave Desert Musing

" Many of us want to make a difference with our lives. Everyone has different perspectives, and may come up with a solution to a problem that no one else would have thought of. I value your opinion. Together we can become more than we could be by ourselves."

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Ma Hoose, Ma Rules!

I was in a quiet reflective mood until I entered the world of Scots' blog....I recovered well enough to finish a response to a post, however, anything more involving 'deep thought and contemplation' will have to wait!! This is the wonderful funny that gave me a laugh:

Okay, here's a funny back at you! It's not quite language oriented as it is such absolute nonsense....still!!! :D I now have the correct response to give to my children when they say "but, Why?!" "I don't Want to..." (I thought it important for my kids to watch this training video, but when I tried to use the command phrase with my kids, so far it's only produced giggles and funny looks...I wonder why, it seemed to work for this guy??!!) ;DD
Sorry I couldn't figure out how to post the technical assistant (my teen) is away at the moment!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Mountain top musings

"Yours is not the task of making your way in the world, but the task of remaking the world which you will find before you."
-Franklin Delano Roosevelt

I was forwarded an e-mail the other day, which honestly was really neat. For the UK readers here you might already be familiar with the phone salesman on the talent show. This was really a neat treat to watch, and is a reminder to all of the wonderful surprises that can be found in the most unexpected places!
Also, just for fun, we have aquaintances who made it to the top three in America's Got Talent. They are a wonderful homeschooling family, and extremely talented musicians and dancers.
We met them thru a fundraiser concert for the EDGE Foundation (helping challenged youth). My youngest daughter was able to play her violin with them for one of the finale songs.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

"Every child has in him an aching void for excitement. And, if we don't fill it with something that is exciting and interesting and good for him, he will fill it with something that is exciting and interesting and isn't good for him"

-Teddy Roosevelt

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Are the Monsters in Charge?!

Where do I begin? Are some parents conscious that they're raising little monsters? Do these people know the consequences of raising irresponsible, entitlement minded ogres?? What has gotten into the mindset of today's young parents that they think their little angel can do no wrong, and should never be held accountable for their actions?? There are so many examples I could give of what I've seen, had to deal with, and stories I've heard; no doubt readers here could add their experiences. Respect for elders, Respect for authority, Respect for people's property?? I wonder if many young parents know what this concept is, and therefore, are unable to import that knowledge into their hatchlings?? I wonder if many parents of today's teens are as ostriches, or absentee landlords neglecting upkeep, or perhaps they've lost the "user manual" somewhere along the way.
I was raised with the R word, let me tell you! My mother's parents were from the American south, and boy was I drilled with the R word. My hide was tanned more than once for mouthing off, but it was never child abuse. I think Not to discipline a child, and Not to teach them self-Respect and proper Respectful conduct is child abuse!! Has common sense left, and fear and denial stayed?? In the USA, age-appropriate spanking a child on the bum is legal, but this is so often unnecessary if parenting is done in a fair and consistent manner. Are these parents so afraid of the 'establishment' that they are in fear of getting into trouble for disciplining their child? Perhaps they should refer to the dictionary for the definition of discipline versus punishment. Or, perhaps, they honestly have some guilt complex and appear to believe that if they discipline their child that they are going to somehow ruin his/her self-esteem, and therefore ruin his/her life? This is a complex issue with no easy answer. I've only touched briefly on some of the what might be going on with today's problems with raising children, and I'm hoping to follow up with more. I'd love to hear your opinions!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Teepee Moon

Long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away....
no wait, that's another story....
Not quite twenty years ago, my husband and I sold everything we owned, which wasn't much, and went on a walk-about in Europe/UK for four months. (I had a 6-week nursing liason job with an American group in Austria which helped things). With our rucksacks and euro-rail tickets, we visited family, made some friends and had fun learning of history, architecture, other cultures, and smatterings of languages.
After returning to the States, we homesteaded with friends on their property in the foothills of the Angeles Crest mountains. We became 'dirt poor' as a temporary sacrifice for an incredible overseas adventure. No electricity or running water, an outhouse for the necessaries, and either a propane camping stove or an 1880's small cast iron stove for cooking. Bathing was either from a solar shower or the old fashioned tub next to the old iron stove which was quite invigorating considering there was snow on the ground outside of our Teepee.
Yes, a real Lakota style teepee. I don't have any photos of ours handy to scan and post, but this photo is pretty close. Our wonderfully eccentric at times rockclimbing/artist friend (SteveN art link) said we could camp with his family on their property, but we had to live in a teepee for the esthetic value(versus a tent). Well, I suppose you could lump us in there with 'eccentric' rockclimber people, as well, which is why we said, 'no problem'. :)
....During this time, we researched the customs and culture of the Lakotas and other Native Americans and found their cultures to be fascinating! This was a very interesting time for us, and to be honest, I miss the simplicity and the freedom of it.
I suppose I'm reminiscent due to the recent fires in Southern California, which proves in an instant all can be taken from us. One fire was about 20 miles away from our home, and thankfully was heading away, or it would have been a crazy state of affairs trying to evac horses and other animals.
I'm not going to get mushy and pontificate about valueing your friends, family, etc,.....most of us know that it's the right thing to do, so....just do it...Pay it Forward!!! :)
"It is not life and wealth and power that enslave men, but the cleaving to life and wealth and power."
"Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much as your own thoughts, unguarded. But once mastered, no one can help you as much."
-Siddhartha Gautama

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Reading, Writing, Arithmetic

"Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one."
-Malcolm Forbes

"The function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. But education which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society. The most dangerous criminal may be the man gifted with reason, but with no morals…We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education. The complete education gives one not only power of concentration, but worthy objectives upon which to concentrate…"
-Martin Luther King, Jr

What are you seeing?

I love optical illusions...the challenge to question what we see! And, this is a great distraction from attending to homeschooling and domestic duties at the moment!! ;)
Try these links for more illusions:

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Braw Blogging and Bayeux

Blogging has been a fun adventure thus far! Of course, there's the time spent thinking on what to write about, then acting on said thought, then trying to rearrange photos and type so it looks half way decent, and just when you think things are in an orderly fashion, the one photo falls off at the bottom, so you have to start all over, again!! Aagghh!!

So, with that said, I've just learned that if you save to draft, because you've worked all day, it's late, you're so cross-eyed you can't finish the post because the photo keeps falling off, and... wait a minute, you learn that when you save to draft it keeps the date you started with not when you've finished....which is why my wee filly post "All Grown Up" is down below on the blog somewhere! The photo here is of beautiful Bayeux, Normandy...not my photo, I stole it from a friend!! (my Euro pix from our pre-kid rucksack walk-about are the old-fashioned kind, and currently in storage) I loved Normandy, the people were nice, and I was in sober awe as I walked along a D-Day Beach.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Snakes, snails and puppy dog tails

For anyone with children, I really want to recommend the 'Dangerous Book for Boys'. Per Time magazine, " it celebrates curiosity, bravery, and respectfulness, as well as an appetite for any challenge. It even vindicates the noble failure." I'll let the book speak for itself: "In this age of video games and cell phones, there must still be a place for knots, tree houses, and stories of incredible courage."

The book gives the rules of chess, poker, rules of rugby, soccer/football, directions for making a battery, a bow and arrow, secret ink; famous battles, and pirate flags. It also teaches on insects, grammar, and how to talk to girls. There's a lot more to the book, but in all honesty it encourages imagination, curiosity, and the rough and tumble
adventure that boys really do need. And, there's no reason why girls can't secretly read it too!! ;)

I've included the 'Daring book for girls' which I understand is much more than sugar, spice and everything nice. Graciousness and deportment are important, but there are a few girls, who like to climb trees, ride horses, collect tadpoles prior to putting on their dance shoes and dress for the evening out! This book is on the list to get. :)

I've included this cute video which is a neat advert for the book, and for encouraging the value of quality time with our children! :)

Thanks to Felicia from HarperCollins for supplying the cute video for the 'Daring Book for Girls'! :)

Sigh of relief, let's celebrate!

For those of you who read 'do you want to live forever?' thanks for your thoughts and prayers! The preliminary tests are coming back that it's nothing life threatening nor something with some horrible unpronounceable and untreatable condition!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

All grown up!

The long awaited day has come. My little one is all grown up, and is broke out and ready to ride. Long story short, she was born in the day area, so that's my hubby carrying her up to the foaling barn (there are cougars in the area, so foals need to be well protected). She still needs some riding miles, and to give to the bit, but she's doing great! It felt great to be riding her for the first time! I was first put on a horse when I was three, and have been dreaming ever since to be able to have a horse of my own...and to be able to ride with my children. Well, now I have the two horses, and my teen is an advanced rider.....dreams do come true! :)

Thanks to my hubby, my kids, (for their patience at my working extra over-time hours to make this happen) and to Vicki at Valley Ridge Morgans!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Unexpected blessings

You're probably wondering why I've posted the YouTube music videos of Ireland. No, I haven't been back there lately. In fact, as I write this, I should have been in Galway about now with my gal pal, and our rucksacks visiting my friend Mick's sister. But as things happen sometimes, our plans unraveled. No need for details, other than the rest of my gal pal's family wanted to do the touristy, guide and bus tour which I said 'No Way!'; she, the puir thing, had no choice in the end.
Now, I've found myself at home with extra time on my hands and, well, I'm loving every minute of it!! If you've read 'Do you want to live forever''ll know that I've had some not so nice news of late. My cancelling of my Ireland holiday has left me with time at home to enjoy my husband's and children's company without the stress of putting in long shift work. As I homeschool, our schedule is flexible, so it's almost...well, what do you want to do today...hurry, let's get the school work done!
So, in the end, although I was feeling rather down about not traveling this year, I am thrilled to being able to enjoy time with those who are most important to me. And, on a fun note, my husband and I have a bet (details remaining undisclosed) which I plan on winning! The reward....we're off to Donegal, and depending on time, perhaps Iona, and some of the other Scottish Isles. Wish me luck!

Water From The Well

Ireland - Flying through the country

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Do You Want to Live Forever?

Recently I've had some bad news. Well, at least I could interpret it as bad news. I thought when I was told I had thyroid cancer, that was bad news; and, I suppose it was to a degree. It was caught early, operable, manageable with radiation and medication. I've some lingering effects from it all, but again, manageable thankfully. You hear of others and their trials, tribulations, unexpected deaths. I've seen infants die and heard the mother's wail. My father died of a prolonged illness when I was a child; I remember what my mother went through. I've three acquaintances who lost their husbands. One murdered while working as a police officer, one thru cancer, another in a motorcycle accident. I've helped them as I could, and as they would let me. Still, you banish the thought that it might ever happen to you. Life's too busy, chaotic, complex to be thinking of these things. Well, think again. I've just found out that my husband is having symptoms that are needing the evaluation of an MRI and a neurologist, and may be related to a car wreck last year. What was always an unconscious assumption (of growing old together) is now an uncertain reality. Yes, I've seen all the quotes of 'live today for tomorrow may....', 'appreciate the small things...'. Haven't we all?! Well, I had a good cry; okay, I've had several good cries, some alone, some in his arms. I have come to the realization that the quotes are true and are to be Heeded; and, above all, the hope of tomorrow, although not guaranteed here in this world, but perhaps in the one that faith teaches us will last for eternity.

"Live as if you were to die tomorrow.
Learn as if you were to live forever."
Mahatma Ghandi

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Paint on the carpet, Handprints on the wall

Well, now that the heat of the summer is over (for non-desert dwelling readers....average temps are 110-115F/ 43-46C with a high of 120F/49C...and the air-conditioner can only compensate so much! Both outside and indoor temps are not encouraging to activity unless it's very early or late in the day. Yes, I'm whining/whingeing abit here...but you see, I'm a coastal/cooler climate creature by nature and still haven't adjusted to the lack of humidity nor the high temps. (Although I'll take a summer here over Florida, anyday!!!) But temperatures and the argument of the best place to live (I've yet to endure a Scottish or Alaskan winter) are not the subject of this post.

My post is on....children and messy rooms!! We who are parents can relate, I think!! With the cooler temps and the holidays coming, I've decided to get onto task of a Fall Cleaning. Into the murky depths of their rooms I go, prepared for battle!! I miss the squeaky toy, but step on the Legos. My foot is unscathed. I have donned my boots which are normally reserved for outdoor ranch work; they are perfect for this jungle adventure. I perservere onwards, can I make it to the bed? How can a child collect so much in such a short time? My spring cleaning plan of action must be re-evalutated to be sure! The toys have changed as they've gotten older, now 10, 13 and 16yrs, but the clutter is still the same. I will overcome, and vanquish into the rubbish/trash bin all outdated, broken and non-essential items!! Tears of joy for them, as things long thought lost are found, again!! Tears of joy for me, as at last I can see their floors, again!! The day's event has left me, as my friend would say, fairly puggled (exhausted, in Scots). Some advice has been to just shut their doors and walk away, but I cannot. Soon they will be out of the nest. I'm not sure what I'm going to do?! The shock of things staying tidy might be too much!! Perhaps, they can stay here for the start of their college years.....

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Adventures in a Ghost Town

The family enjoyed a long weekend adventure, again in the Eastern Sierras which luckily for us is just up the road. These photos are of the old 'Ghost Town' of Bodie, California, the epitomy of the 'wild west' in the gold rush days (1850's - 1880's). The interior shot is of a saloon, where there's a post office box inbetween the table and the old stove. I've included their website for further exploration of their photo album.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

An Egyptian in a Belay Rigging?

How were the Pyramids built? Countless people over the ages have often wondered this. Ancient man was just as intelligent and resourceful as today's version; in fact, I wonder if they weren't more ingenious, because you could say, they had to make do with less? Whether it's the intricate design of Viking ships, the Calanais (Callanish) Stones, or the Sphinx, it's absolutely incredible and a reflection of human spirit that the people of 'ago' were able to accomplish what they did with what they had. With all of our modern advances and gadjets, are there still things we can learn from them?

I've been involved with a team of innovative people who are asking such a question. My husband, who was a wilderness guide, and I, a former rockclimber, were asked to join a recon team that was going to the Met in New York to look for evidence that the Egyptians may have harnessed wind power in the form of kites to move the Obelisks and Pyramid stones. You'll see in this photo, an Egyptian that looks like he's belaying something. This will be included in the second documentary that is currently being written. I'll include the links for both documentary trailers, but you can see the first documentary on the History Intl, I believe. Our kite friends also were just in the news, so I'll add their link as well....they are working on using kites to reduce fuel consumption/emissions for sea vessels amongst other things. Hope you enjoy the info. (1st Documentary trailer) (updated link) (2nd Documentary trailer) (updated Link) (kites at sea)

Pyramid update 10/03/07

Per an email from Dr. Clemmons, the Conservator of the Pyramids in Spain is interested in her current research. Information of a collaboration pending!

interesting link for the Spanish pyramids

04/04/08 Update
Plan to see the movie...

03/09/12 update: Look for the book, Soaring Stones!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

unexpected visitor

Eastern Sierra Nevadas, California