Monday, November 17, 2014

Friends

Three of the four of us went to high school together so we’ve know each other for over 50 years.  One is related so I’ve known her since I was a kid.

The 1965-66 school year we lived in an apartment in Emporia.  Lots of memories associated with that year.  We weren’t much for drinking, but we sure enjoyed thePeter Pan Ice Cream store behind the apartment.  I believe that original ice cream store grew into the Braum’s chain.  It was that good! 

Kay (Kayzie) was the only foreigner—from Sabetha rather than the Chapman area.  Kayzie and I were the night owls—staying up until the late hours talking. 

In 1972, we started a tradition of getting together for a “Roommates Reunion.”  We faithfully did that for many years.  There was a time we didn’t get together as regularly.  Everyone got busy.  Now, we are all retired so we are enjoying each other’s company regularly once again.

Here is the first reunion with me wearing an example of what we wore when we were pregnant. 

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Here we are a couple weeks ago—minus Kayzie—who now leaves in Phoenix AZ. 

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Here is all of us

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Always good to see our friends!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

All is Well!

Thank you to those who called to see if everything is OK with me. All is well. And, I will do better about keeping my humble little blog updated. I can't believe how long since I've checked in.

It seems every conversation we have lately starts with the weather so I'll start with that here. It is the middle of November, so cold weather should probably be expected. Single digits, though? That day that dropped at least 25 degrees within an hour was the day we decided we better winterize the PW (Pleasure Way RV). Leave it to us to wait until the very last minute. It was about an hour after we finished blowing out the water lines and dumping anti freeze in the traps that the front moved through. Good thing because this prolonged cold spell would have done some damage.

We finished the wood burning stove repair last week as well. Last summer a strong wind came through and blew the top vent pipe off. Those stove pipes are heavy and it involved climbing on the roof. Contrary to my expectations, it went smoothly. I just came up from the basement where there was a toasty fire--the stove is working great & that makes me a happy wintertime girl.

Along with getting the stove fixed, we cut a bunch of wood last week too. Dan and I are wood cutting maniacs. We marveled at how fast we filled up our little portable wood shed. I know--portable wood shed?? It is one of those small, very old Toyota pickup beds with an aluminum cover. It can be pulled with the atv. We pull it to the tree then back it up to the back basement door (the stove is right inside). It probably wouldn't fly in town, but works great out here.

I promised Kayzie I would post pictures of our roommate reunion, but I'll save those for tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Floating the Wakarusa River

We were scheduled to float on the North Fork this summer, but it didn’t work out.  We have talked about floating on the Wakarusa River numerous times, but just never drove the one and half mile to the river and did it.  It was our neighbor Christi who said let’s quit talking about it and just do it. With the end of October looming and cold weather around the corner, we decided this afternoon was perfect.

We were on the river for about two hours.  We put in just south of us and then paddled up the river for a half mile or so before turning around and drifting down.  The river is backed up somewhat from the lake, but there is enough of a current to help with a slow drift.

There was a bicycle embedded in a high bank.  You will see part of it in a picture.  How do you suppose that bike got there?  The consensus among us was that it washed there in high water. 

We had one pelican that watched us most of the way.  He would wait until we got close and then fly on up the river.  Finally, he joined the others.

Tom and Christi are in the canoe.  Dan and I are in a double kayak.

Click on the picture below  for a slideshow of a few more pictures.

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Changes ahead

It is now certain.  We will no longer have children living close by.  Kim, Marc, Aaron, Adam and Evan are moving to North Carolina.  So, we now will have one family 18 hours east and Doug, Drue, Trent and Carly 8 hours west. 

There have been hints of the possibility of the North Carolina move, but honestly, our hope was that it might not happen.  We felt selfish for that hope, because the best jobs and opportunities are not always nearby.  When Kim closed her physical therapy business,  we knew it was a matter of time.

The timetable is fluid.  The goal is to get a realtor in to the present house by the end of this week.  Then they will be flying to the Raleigh-Durham area to decide where they want to start looking for a home.  Marc will be working in the Research Triangle.

They do plan to enroll the kids in school second semester there.  It will hurry them up a bit, but I am glad the family is staying together. 

This week Dan and I will help finish the remodel project.  It should come together well.  Dan will be trimming and I will be doing whatever I can to help get everything done. 

One positive thought on the location of our two children and their families—lots to do and scenic.  We always enjoy our visits to Colorado.  It is a great stopping off place when we journey on west as well.  Everyone says North Carolina is beautiful.  We have visited what can be seen from the Blue Ridge Parkway.  I have a feeling we will become more acquainted with the area now. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Pictures from Fall past

I took all of these pictures when I carried mail.  The date on the slideshow was 2003.  I’m sure I have a much better camera now, but actually these aren’t too bad.  Of course, there is a loss of quality when uploading to YouTube. 

I’m sure the song by Ricky Van Shelton was in the 80’s because that is when he was popular. 

Anyway, enjoy!  This might be the only time of year I miss the mail route.

 

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Laura Lincoln sings!

Laura has an dynamic voice.  Listen and enjoy.

We’ve known Laura since she was only a thought.  What a joy to have Laura, her husband, James, and mom, Sue for lunch on Sunday.  There are always a lot of laughs when they are here.  Thank you Laura for sharing your incredible talent.

Monday, September 29, 2014

We are home

We arrived home last Thursday.  It was a beautiful trip.

This is the roadtrip we took from the lake.  It is through the Spanish Peaks region in southeast/central Colorado.  The Aspens had not reached their peak but still very pretty.

Here is the map. It isn’t too clear but Walsenburg is the top middle and the bottom right is Trinidad.  The red line through the middle requires a 4-wheel drive from what I could tell.

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Interesting rock formations formed by lava from a volcano.  There are many of these in the area.

I didn’t get a picture, but the road went around Monument Lake.  It was a beautiful color much like the volcanic lakes we saw in Alaska.  Since there are remnants of volcanic rock I wonder if that caused the unusual color.

Once we reached Trinidad, it was the most flat land we’ve seen in ages.  Since we didn’t have any stops planned, we drove all the way to Hays, Kansas.  Flat all the way. 

We observed that the farmers out in the plains take a lot of pride in their small towns.  Unlike in the mountains where tumbled down buildings are all over, the small plains towns are clean and well groomed. 

It’s been crazy busy since we got back.  I have a couple things to share later, though. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fall Colorado Tuesday Sept 23

One thing about a  vacation, it’s hard to keep the date right.

We are roadtrip people, but today we stayed put.  This lake is so beautiful that we decided to just stay another day.  However, we had to travel the ten or so miles into Salida to empty holding tanks and pick up a few fishing supplies.  We were back in time to spend the entire afternoon fishing.  If you look closely at the one picture I am posting today, you will see the grill for hamburgers.  We caught a few trout, but they were very small.

We are not experienced fisherpeople so bait is always a question mark.  We have had luck in the past with salmon eggs which is what we used yesterday.  Today we tried worms and everything in between and  no luck.  After we gave up for the day, I walked around the lake with my camera and talked to several experienced looking  fishermen.  One said he had good luck with a very small fly with a casting bubble.  Another said he saw a man down the line catch his limit using multicolored marshmallows.  I should have called cousin Sylvie’s husband Mike to get the scoop before we left Monument.  Or better yet, take a lesson from him!

Well, we are getting the roadtrip itch so think we’ll head out tomorrow.  Have to check in to see where because we’re not sure ourselves. 

So, here’s our one picture for today.  After Labor Day all the camping spaces are first come first serve.  We paid for our famous site before we left but neglected to leave the tag on the pole.  So, when we got back someone had taken it.  I think this spot is also very pretty.  The picture was taken as the sun was slipping down.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Fall Colorado Monday, Sept 23

It rained at the Riverside Campground last night so we decided not to trek around too much this morning.

No trip is complete without seeking out waterfalls.  I had two in mind but first we traveled through the big valley where Eleven Mile  and Spinney Mountain Reservoirs are located.  The Aspens showed color on the mountains in the distance with the lingering clouds.  I will include pictures when I get home.

The waterfalls are located in the Princeton Peak Canyon.  What a beautiful drive up into the canyon. At one point we drove through a tunnel of bright yellow and orange aspens.  The first waterfall is Cascade.

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It was so beautiful there were professional photographers all set up to capture the color and water. 

The second waterfall I wanted to see was Agnes Vaile waterfall.  We could not find the access for the hike up to see it.  Only later when I had cell connection did I find out this was the location of the tragic rockslide that killed five members of a family this summer.  The area has been closed, perhaps permanently as it should be. 

Back on Hwy 24 we headed to our campsite on O’Haver Lake  located south of Poncha Springs.  To get here it took winding up a sandy, bumpy road  but oh was it worth it.   When we arrived, we were driving around the lake to decide which spot to camp—most were empty.  The Camp Host happened to be out and we asked if No 32 was available.  She said, “Snag it.  It is the most requested camp spot in Colorado.” It is nearly perfect.

Here are a couple pictures.

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Supper

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And, as the sun went down.

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Colorado in the Fall 2014

We are out for our annual September visit.  We stay with the grandkids while Doug & Drue get away for a day or so.  I don’t say “babysit” because at tweens they do their own thing.

Finally, right before we left, I got them to sit still for a picture.

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After our goodbyes and stopping for fishing licenses, we headed to the mountains.  This trip we are trying for a few trout.  We are definitely out of our expertise, but we are legal and we have some tackle.

Our first night is 11 Mile Canyon outside of St George.  All the campgrounds are run by the National Forest Service so are clean but no amenities.   It is a beautiful spot but part of the route in was a one-way road with a roaring stream far below. 

Here are a couple pictures of our spot. 

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Dig out the snow shovel

I’ll get to why in a minute.

While we were admiring our pear tree from a previous post, we also noticed the persimmon trees.  We have five or six trees.  We could have more but putting up the hay around the trees cuts off all the little ones sprouting from seeds.  This is one of the oldest.

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The fruit were almost ripe which is why there are still so many on the tree.  As soon as they fully ripen, the animals take to the trees and clean them off in short order.

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I guess it would be possum and raccoons mainly.  It would be fun to see them work the top of the tree. 

So what does all of this have to do with the snow shovel?  Because that is what is inside the persimmon seed.  If there is a snow shovel inside the seed, then it will be a lot of snow.  Remember, you heard it here first. 

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How will we be remembered?

I don’t know how many who check my little blog also check their Facebook account each day.  Well, I do.  I don’t post much on Facebook but I  “like” and comment fairly regularly. 

I sometimes enjoy the sayings that are posted on there.  This one caught my attention.  Definitely food for thought, said in a touching way.

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I received a letter from my granddaughter a couple days ago thanking me for sending Box tops for Education for her school.  Carly has sent me a couple letters over the summer.  She is a good writer.  She must like to write because her letters are newsy and fun to read.

I think Carly’s teacher  has considered what is being said on this poster.  After all, many of us never forget our teachers.  Here is what Carly says about her 4th grade teacher in her last letter.

Mrs. Muller, my teacher is wonderful.  She is funny, smart, honest, trustworthy and randomly gives out candy!

How could any of us do any better than that?  Way to go, Mrs. Muller!

Carly’s letter then ended with this drawing.  Way to go, Carly!

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Tuesday, September 09, 2014

What is that tree?

Over the years Dan has removed many many trees from our acreage down the road, mostly hedge and locust.  From the beginning he liked the look of this tree so he left it. 

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He could have tried harder to identify it, but it just never occurred to him to check further.  This picture was taken this morning.  It was a beautiful morning so we were just tooling around after we fed the fish.

When we went by this tree, Dan said, “Will you look at that.” Here is what he saw.

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Pears, the tree is loaded with pears. 

They are small, but I peeled one, it was sweet.  We think possibly one of our new neighbors planted a pear tree and our resident bees pollinated our tree.  I am sure the skunks, raccoons etc will be enjoying those pears—maybe I’ll even enjoy a few. 

Friday, September 05, 2014

Should I have a bucket list?

I know people do because I hear them say they have checked something off.  Each time I hear someone say that, I wonder if I should make one up.  But I haven’t.

There might be several reasons I do not have a bucket list. 

First, any time I make a list of “Things to Do” and don’t get everything on the list done, I have a feeling of not accomplishing a goal.  Rather than be happy about what I do get done, I am looking to the next item. It is my hope that trips taken or new accomplishments achieved are each treated special, as if it is the best thing I’ve ever done and not be looking to another line item that might be perceived as being even better or more exciting.

Second, I think of bucket lists as big accomplishments.  For instance, go to Europe or hike the Grand Canyon.  (Our friend Lynn, who is our age, just completed the hike—wonder if it was on his bucket list)  If there is anything that would fall into that category it was to go to Alaska.  Of course, we went several years ago.  Rather than cross that off a list, though, I would like to go back.  It seems most any trip we take, we talk about going back.  Even if we don’t make it back to every place we visit, I like the feeling that we might get back.  So, with that attitude, I would never cross anything off the list.

Finally, I haven’t seen the movie that promoted the bucket list idea—I know I would like it—but I think I have the premise of the movie right in that doing all the things on the list are “end of life” accomplishments.  With that in mind, my list would be so long that it wouldn’t be realistic.

Now, having said all these reasons, I am still not sure it isn’t a nice idea.  The thought is appealing.  Right now, though,  I think I’ll look ahead to one goal at a time.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Linda’s Backroad Musings is 10 years old!

Ten years ago today I put my first post on this blog.  I’m not sure why I decided to start writing a blog.  It seemed like a fun thing to do.  Google’s Blogger was relatively new and all the research said it was an easy way to begin.  So, I sat down and signed up. 2,221 posts later, here we are. 

Most who follow me know the name comes from the fact that I was a Rural Letter Carrier and the pictures and stories are from driving the backroads of the mail route.  Always keeping in mind that I needed something for my blog, I would watch for unusual happenings.   (Check the list of blog posts on the left of the page for a few examples)

Two out of our five grandchildren were born in the last ten years.  Carly and Evan.  Aaron, Adam and Trent were born before 2004, but they all have had their share of space here. 

We lost three of our four parents during this time.  I’m not sure how much I shared of those occasions.

Much to his dismay, Dan has shown up on here as well—mostly in vacation photos.  Speaking of that, I started a companion blog entitled wildlife wildflowers waterfalls.  It is a commentary of roadtrips we have taken up until 2012.  It is a great blog and I should go back and update it with our more recent travels.  I guess I let it get behind because it was easier to update one blog.

I write mostly for our family.   However, sometimes it seems I write for myself.  I enjoy going back and reading past posts.  I don’t have a huge number of followers, although it has grown over the years—if I post regularly and have something interesting going in our life, I’ll have around 40 visits a day according to the Blogger statistics.   Not a popular site by any means, but I feel quite satisfied.

Facebook has taken the place of many blogs.  I love to read about relatives and friends there but I still prefer to post pictures and stories on LBM.   People  have a choice as to whether they want to visit this page.  If I have one regret, I wish I would have been more diligent in tagging my posts.  Google’s search does a fairly good job, but sometimes I wonder if I have already written about a topic.  Well, I guess if I can’t remember, all of you wonderful readers certainly won’t remember.

Since I retired from the mail route, there doesn’t seem to be as many interesting things —at least day to day—to write about.  In the past year, I have slowed down even more with my posts.  I have every intention to keep this little piece of journalism.  I still enjoy writing.

One of the most frustrating situations associated with LBM is that I don’t seem to have inspirations until about 11:00 at night.  I have tried to get in the habit of writing during the day to no avail.  However, I am going to give it another try this fall.  Being sleepy and trying to write are not a good mix—especially at 68 years old. (Note:  I wrote this at 12:30 last night and found multiple mistakes this morning—another reason to write during the day)

Well, I thought in memory of the occasion, I would repost my entry from September 1, 2004.   

Labor Day Weekend

It's a day of new beginnings. The first entry in my Blog, the beginning of September, and the start of Labor Day Weekend. And, knowing me, this weekend will be the start of many jobs--none finished! We are planning on traveling to Salina tomorrow to see Kim & Marc's new home. After that we will stop by Junction City to visit Mom and then on to Manhattan for the KSU game. All of this tomorrow--then paint the house on Sunday--well, at least get started. Will update on Sunday morning--

Hopefully, I will be here for another ten years.  Thank you so very much to everyone who checks in now and then.  You are all the best.

By the way, the house needs painting again…