Thursday, July 23, 2015

A Walk On The Weird Side

I was going to title this: "A walk on the wild side", however I couldn't find anything "wild" to write about and my pics are more on the weird side...sort of like me!  I've been trying to get a daily walk in.  I've been using the cemetery as my walking route.  I've mentioned this a few times on my blog.  It's a great place to walk...quiet, smooth paved road, few cars, fewer people, and I have a route all mapped out so I know how far I've traveled.  Sometimes I run into my son Jordan as he's walking his dog Eddy.  So all in all it's a good spot.  I wasn't working today so I took the opportunity to do my walk in the AM.  Today was a beautiful, non humid, sort of cool weather day.  It was a bit noisier this morning as all the mowers and weed whackers were out in force keeping everything neat and tidy.  All of a sudden it was dead..pardon the pun....silence.  Everything stopped because 2 funerals were about to begin.   Today I decided to take my camera.  The other day I saw a few things I would have liked to have captured.  I'm not sure my phone has a zoom lens and I missed some cool shots of big black birds on top of some headstones.  Kind of creepy I guess!  So I made sure I snagged my camera this morning.  I decided to take time to snap some pics of the weirder things on my route.  I must add that the other day I stopped in my tracks and actually uttered this statement: "Man, is smells like something died around here."  I'm hoping it was an animal.   Anyway, here are my pics of weird cemetery sightings:
Headless, limbless angel.
Some monuments are huge. Some say the ball on top of this one moves.  I don't care if it moves but hopefully it won't fall on my head!
This grave is a child's.  It sits on this hillside all alone.  Sort of sad I think.  The following graves aren't really weird but I wanted to demonstrate the differences in burial plots.
Some are fancy and big. They say you can't take it with you...maybe they are going to try.
Some are humble.
Some invite you to sit and chat.
I'm not sure if the picture shows the wedding ring going on or coming off since  it says:"Until Death Do Us Part".  When Jack and I were sealed in the Mormon Temple the vows said: "For Time and All Eternity"....makes me smile to think how much time I'll be able to torture that poor guy!
Some are decorated to the hilt. 
Those who served in the military have special stars that indicate which war.
You might have to look close to read what's on the back of this grave.  Some headstones have interesting things about the person or a special saying or Bible verse. This grave is the sweet young lady who lived next door to us in town.  She had a lung disease.  On the back it says: Life isn't measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.  She was a special person and I think of her and her family each time I pass by here.
None of us knows how much time we'll have on this earth.  I pass by baby graves and graves of folks who've lived a long, long life.  What we do with that time is what's important.  Let's not waste it.    Sometimes a walk in the cemetery is just what is needed to feel alive.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Time Is Not On My Side!

The weeks go by so fast and the weekends go even faster!  We try to cram as much as we can into 2 days that it's ridiculous!  I haven't blogged for a week but truthfully I've either been working at the hospital or in our yard between raindrops.  We hit 90de this weekend and humidity and passing thunderstorms are part of the weather package here.  First we complain that it's too cool and wet and then it's too wet and hot...never happy are we.   So what was cooking at the Pines these days?  Well, yesterday we had a church social to celebrate Pioneer Day.  It's a big deal out in Utah.  Out East we usually take a day to acknowledge the sacrifices of our Mormon pioneers who were driven out of many places before settling in Salt Lake.  Saturday our friends Greg and Gayle opened their home up to the Ward and put together an amazing event.  Greg got their 15 acres of woods all cleared out to reenact the "Trail of Hope".  The Mormon Saints were driven out of Nauvoo, Illinois by angry mobs and forced to cross the Mississippi River in horrible conditions in the 1800's.  Since Greg and Gayle had just served a mission in Nauvoo they chose to honor those who made that trek.  The paths were cleared out for the trail.
Here's Greg giving us instructions on what we were to do.  Jack and I and others told the stories of some of the people who were driven out.  Journal entries were used to tell these stories.
He did a great job of clearing it out for the trek!
Along the way you were met by a pioneer and listened to the stories. 
At the end of the trail you crossed the Mississippi..(or the creek in this case!)
The final stop was Salt Lake...or the garage and home where all the food was served! It was a good time of reflection and a good time to socialize with friends.
It was pretty hot and humid and fans were set up outside to keep the air moving! Jack and I sat in the woods at our stations and, although it was cooler, the air wasn't moving too much!  We sweat our hind ends off!  So that was how we spent Saturday afternoon.  Saturday morning though, we really had some fun.  To show you how boring my life is I made Jack stop on our usual Saturday errands to see the bridge that was taken down on Friday.  St. Rt. 42 is a busy highway and the bridge has been there forever.  However, with all the businesses that are now in that area something had to change to make traffic flow better.  So the bridge came down to make it a flat, 4 way stop light. It's suppose to be done by November....we'll see about that!
Just a pile of rubble and a memory of traveling over it on my way to work for the last 14yrs since living in the country.  The funny part is that it's actually quicker for me on my new route to the hospital through town.  I guess I should thank somebody for that discovery! As a final note I must acknowledge my sweet Granddaughter's birthday today.  Driana went from this little kiddo face:
To this 20yr old kiddo face today:
Happy Birthday Driana! We love you and really can't believe you're this age!  Time goes by way too fast...whether it's days, weeks or a blink of an eye it's gone. I'm thankful for wonderful memories!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Soggy Sunday

Soggy...with a capital S!  Today was a constant rain day.  More for tomorrow and Tuesday I believe.  Our roof is suppose to be replaced tomorrow but I'm having some doubts that it will actually happen.  Since the roofer is Amish I have no way of contacting him to see what the plan is.  I guess we just wait to see if horses show up!  Friday I did manage to mow the lawn.  I'm on call so I was happy to get it done because you never know when the work phone will ring...and it did of course.  I worked on Saturday morning.  The Doc I worked with was the same one as I worked with on July 4th and all he did was laugh his head off when he saw me again.  "Starkey! Are you working again? Hahahaha!"  Then he hugged me and asked in all seriousness.."Did you get to the parade last week?"  I think he was going to feel guilty if I had missed it.  But so far that's been my only call in and hopefully I'll get through this night with some decent sleep.  Tomorrow is a busy ortho day and it usually kicks my butt by the end of  the day!  So after I got home from church it was a quiet, soggy, read a book/take a nap kind of day.
See the splashes in the bird bath.
See the splashes in the lonely pool with it's sad floatie.
See the happy flowers that line my front walk...they like the rain I guess!  I shouldn't complain about all the wet since many parts of the country are in a drought.
My raspberries are doing very well and I have enough in the fridge for another batch of jam that I'll make tomorrow night.  My neighbor came over and gave us a few pints of her berries so I'll have to send over some jam for her!  It's good to share!
You can't tell by this pic but the rain was coming down and dripping off the gazebo...notice the many empty sad.
It was a good day to bake so I made this apple caramel cake for dessert...not too bad!
This pic made me smile and brightened up a dreary Sunday.  Summer's finished project must have been in her school newspaper and it was all over Facebook this weekend...good job sweetie! She is a sunny day all in herself and her talent amazes us! 

Sunday, July 5, 2015

One Last Boom!

One last post for this July 4th weekend.  When I moved to Ashland in 1977 it was a culture shock...big city to small town.  Truthfully, I really didn't care for Ashland in those days.  Probably a good mix of homesickness for my family had a part in it.  But as the years have gone on I've seen the advantages of small town living.   Ashland was a town that was a huge manufacturing community full of white collar and blue collar workers making a decent living.  In fact Ashland, at one time, had the most millionaires per capita than anywhere in the US.  Latex and water pumps were part of that success.  In the 80's things changed.  Manufacturing left for foreign shores and factories closed here.  Big box stores replaced the "Mom and Pop" shops and downtown dried up.  But Ashland didn't lay down and die.  Manufacturing turned to small businesses and they in turn have grown and employee many folks.  Ashland University and Samaritan Hospital are big employers as are Wil Research and Hedstrom, Barbasol shaving cream, and Lance (formerly Archway cookies). There's been a big push to  bring back the downtown and shops are springing up all over.  Cute restaurants and antiques make it a fun stop for tourists.  Ashland has it's nicknames: "Someplace Special" and "The town of nice people". This summer the bicentennial has brought out many special and fun things that should make us proud to live here.  I'm even impressed that Mother Nature came on board and we were blessed with great weather.  As a final note...a musical note that is...I went to the concert in the park for "Pops in the park".  It was the Ashland Symphony and community choir appearing.  They did a great job!  Very entertaining and inspiring music.  It reminded me of an old movie where the towns folk come out in droves and enjoy a summer evening with the neighbors. 
The seats were filled and the lawn was covered with people on blankets or chairs. 
Little kiddos enjoyed the music as much as the big kiddos did!  Thanks Vicki and Tom for letting me use your sweeties in my post!
The boom of the cannons made the 1812 overture really "POP"!  Along with the bags that were handed out to everyone to blow up and pop along with them.  Sparklers were also handed out and everyone lit them at the end of the concert during "God Bless America" fun!
That made for a great finish!
I left the concert and walked through the park to my car not worrying that I'd be mugged, or find my car damaged or have to fight my way out of the parking lot.  I made it home safe and sound and really happy I went and enjoyed this final part of celebrating America and also happy to be a small town gal! 

Boom! Boom! Happy July 4th!

This weekend of celebrating is flying by fast!  I've crammed a lot in these past few days and I wanted to blog about the 4th of July before it's the 5th!  Jack came home today from Boy Scout Camp and I'll give him some blog time next week...but welcome home Babe! We missed you!  Because the 4th is today, a Saturday, I had Friday off work.  So Thursday I started celebrating with Addy as we made my annual star cakes. 
Addy put on her apron and went to work on decorating them. She looks so serious here!
Final results! Mmmmm!  As soon as we were done I took off for the park to listen to a John Denver tribute band.  Every Thursday and Sunday we have free concerts in our park and I just love John Denver and this band...The John Adams Band...did a great job!
We have a wonderful band shell and you can either sit in the seats provided or bring a chair or blanket and sit on the lawn.  This weekend we've had perfect weather for our Balloon Fest and Bicentennial celebration here in Ashland.  It's been pretty crowded around these parts! Glad I could go and enjoy this freebie concert!  Friday morning Addy and I delivered the cakes to some friends and she stayed with her other Grandma and I headed out for a nice walk in the cool morning air...ahhhh.  The rest of the day was spent working on our deck....power washing it,  cleaning furniture,  painting wicker, and many other things.  I knew I'd be on call today and I tried to get as much done as possible.  I did get called out this morning early but finished in time to hit the big parade downtown.  It was 2hrs long!  Bicentennial celebrating along with our annual Hot air balloon festival made it a jam packed parade route! Here's some highlights:
Big guys in little cars.
Small guy on big bike!
Old classic cars.
Nothing better than men in skirts! Especially if they play bagpipes!
Guys in costume
Balloons representing Ashland as the balloon capital of the world.
The Budweiser Clydesdales...they were the talk of the town for the week and a big draw at the parade.
Ashland is a college town and here is the University's mascot..Tuffie
Many floats (there were 135 of them!) represented our Armed Forces and those who serve our country or who have served.  We are so proud of you all who sacrificed so much for our freedoms.
The Vietnam Veteran's float had our good friend Greg on board.  (The one on the right in green.)
I was impressed that Greg wore his jacket from his service in the 60's...I don't think I could even wear my shoes from that time....way to stay in shape Greg! Thanks to you and to all who serve....Happy July 4th...God Bless America!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Typical Jack Is Gone Week

Jack is again at Boy Scout camp.  I don't mind that he goes, but usually something weird happens the week of camp.  Monday started out fine...except for the fact some crazed escaped from custody person assaulted a family a few miles from here and is on the run.  I had Tuesday off and every time I heard a bump or a squeak in the house I jumped a mile!  Plus I decided to stay out of the Creepy Woods.   Hope they get this dude.  We've had rain off and on for weeks so I was very surprised and happy to wake up to sunshine Tuesday morning.   Although it had rained on Monday I decided to do a quick mowing because it really needed it and I thought I could mow again on Friday and put me back on my weekend schedule. It got a bit off when my family was here last weekend.  By the time I got on the mower the sky looked like this:
The temps were only in the 60's.  A bit chilly for around these parts.  But that didn't stop this mow crazy gal.  I got my mow clothes on.
Mowing jeans.
Mowing hat with lovely ear plugs...and no makeup...I did brush my teeth though! I finished that task and then hit the pine trees out front for a trimming.  I didn't get too far before I heard thunder and those clouds were now black.  We had a torrential downpour!  Of course it washed out my driveway and many roads were closed.  The employee lot at the hospital flooded and 4 cars that didn't get moved got ruined...water up past the doors!  That's been the way of the weather around here.  Jack had torrential rains too. That's never fun in a tent! Thankfully this afternoon it cleared up and was beautiful. I went out to pick raspberries that are coming on quickly.
We have a good crop this year but I'm not the only critter that loves them.
Japanese Beetles attack them too.  I had put "seven" bug killer on them earlier but all the rain washed it off.  So tonight I reapplied it and hopefully it will keep them away.
These are bugs I do want around the Pines..they eat mosquitoes! Plus they're pretty. His wings were a golden color but I couldn't catch it in the light.   So that's the way of the week so far.  I have to remember to do the tasks that Jack usually gets laundry and garbage detail.  I'm on call for the 4th of July but have Friday off.  I'm hoping to do a few more little projects before hubby gets back and I'm also hoping no weird things go on around here.  We're getting our new roof next week and that should make sure it doesn't rain again for bit.  If a drought happens you have us to thank. Can't believe it's July already.  Enjoy it!