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…

Monday, August 18, 2014

Inked

I have this picture in my mind of a place in Junction City Kansas. It was a basement with a stairs off the street. There might have been a sign but not sure. It was known as the place where soldiers from Fort Riley got tattoos. I picture it as dark and scary. After all, tattoos were a macho man/military thing in the 50's.

Today I witnessed two of my friends get tattoos. It was not down a dark stairs, rather a bright, clean setting and an experienced hip lady as the artist.

My feeling is many of my lady friends might actually give some consideration to getting these tats.

Eyebrows and eye liner!

This was not a quick accomplishment--at least one and a half hours each.

First, they put on a cream that supposedly numbed the area. According to my friends, they didn't feel too numb. Then the "artist" donned her rubber gloves and grabbed a small electric contraption about the size of a wood burning tool and started in. She kept dipping it in ink and hummed away. At least it sounded like a hum. It must have felt more brutal. Both girls stated clearly and emphatically negative thoughts about having the procedure done again. (It needs to be touched up every few years)  When I asked what pain could compare to having the procedure done, one said when she broke her ankle. Oh My!!

But, the pain was brief and it looked to me to be very well done. My guess they both will be glad they went through with it. Unfortunately, I promised no pictures or names in writing this. So, their secret is with me. I guarantee no one looking at either of them would know they don't have makeup.

Was one of them me? Nope, I seldom wear eye makeup. I was the driver. But...

I've been rolling around this thought of Dan and I getting matching ring tattoos for our fifth wedding anniversary--neither of us wear wedding rings. If we do, there will be full coverage right here.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Who Knew?

Here is a deal any Kansas State University fan will want to bid on.  At auction on Ebay is a postcard taken from southwest Lawrence looking at (what it says) is Kansas State University.  I don’t think it would probably be a hot item for a KU fan, though!  Here is the link.

Check this screen shot…

KSU from Lawrence KS

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

USPS delivers

What happens when a GPS is out of date?  You find your little car indicator off the road sitting in a field.  At least that’s what has been happening with ours lately.  I think the unit must be at least six years old. 

What to do but give EBay a look.  Turns out there is a company in the state of Washington that has reconditioned Garmin GPS units.  A Garmin Nuvi 40 LM 4.3" Portable GPS w/ Lifetime Maps to be exact.  Cost – $55, free shipping.  I ordered it and signed up for USPS tracking.

Here is  the trail.  The seller used USPS Priority Mail.  Even though I might be a little prejudice since I was a rural carrier for 30 years, this is impressive.  And,  by signing up, I received an email at each scan location.  There is no way “brown” can do this better.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Married to a carpenter

Dan started out our married life as a teacher, a junior high school industrial arts teacher.  I always thought he might have stuck with it had he started with older students.  His reflections on his teaching years are mostly of  7th and 8th graders hardly listening to his safety talks and behaving badly around the power tools.  My guess is that there are some 45 year old men out there who remember Mr. Hanney and appreciate what they learned, though.

After Doug was born in 1972, he quit teaching and began a career of carpentry work.  He and his brother Paul built houses at first.  Eventually, they moved into finish carpentry.  Dan is an artist with curved stairways, fireplace mantels and fancy trim.  He worked in many beautiful homes mostly in and around Topeka. 

A carpenter never retires, especially if he has family.  Dan has helped both our kids in projects over the years.  In the process, they are actually very good woodworkers themselves so in many ways he never completely gave up teaching.   And, he has completed many projects for me—I probably should know more about woodworking than I do.

So, here was our day.  This morning I gathered up all the dirty clothes to take downstairs to wash.  I commented that one of these days I’m going to fall down the stairs with my arms full of dirty clothes.  Dan says why don’t we move the washer and dryer upstairs.  I say I like the laundry room downstairs.  For one thing, I can walk right out the back door and hang clothes on the line.  We got to thinking and decided to put  a clothes chute in the kitchen.

Now, there might be some who say, “dirty clothes in the kitchen?”  Well, what about those new cabinets that open and out slides a waste basket.  I am thinking dropping dirty clothes isn’t far off that concept.  Besides, this cabinet was in a perfect spot for the laundry room in the basement.  

Remember, the idea came about this morning. Tonight, we have emptied a small base cabinet in the kitchen of Tupperware that I don’t use, cut a hole in the bottom of the cabinet and floor and now I can open a door, drop dirty clothes down a completely lined “chute” right into a basket in the laundry room. 

Isn’t it great to be married to a carpenter!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Lake Texoma

Who would have thought that we would be on a trip to Lake Texoma in July and turn  our furnace on for a short time.  Granted, it was rainy and we got a little chilled with that, but still, furnace, July and Texas.  I think it actually did set a record low in Dallas that night.

It was beautiful weather and good times with friends Dwight & Cheryl and Dwight’s brother Glen and Kathy in Preston Bend campground, a Federal Park,  on the lake.  Preston Bend campground is near Dwight & Cheryl’s son Dan and Kim’s lake house so we spent a lot of time there. 

The highlight of our trip, though, was our guided fishing trip out on the lake. 

Dan and I have only been on a guided fishing trip one other time.  That was in Canada and we were fishing for Walleye  by dropping our line over the side of the boat.  Fishing for Stripers on Lake Texoma was mostly the same. Other than our Texas guide had a fish locator.  He could tell us exactly how deep to drop our bait.  My trouble was knowing when the fish had the hook and set it properly.  Honestly, I might have lost as many fish as I caught—the big ones anyway.  I’d feel that tug and my reflex was to yank.  A little more finesse is necessary.  I think I got better.  So did everyone else.

Our guide was patient with us so we all caught our limit. 

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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Garden surprise

Remember that tomato that showed up in a potted plant?  Well, we have a similar situation in the garden right now.

Before I write about the surprise vines, I have to brag a bit about the garden. 

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It’s looking good this year.  Of course, it helps that we have had timely rains and Dan had just rototilled.  And, I had cleaned out the okra rows and added mulch to the….

Watermelon and Cantaloupe! 

It happens where the watermelon and cantaloupe came up, I had dumped recycle stuff from the kitchen, obviously including watermelon and cantaloupe seeds.  For a long time, we didn’t know what they were.  Until this:

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I look every day to find more and to check on these.  Looking forward to some vine ripened goodness later this summer.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Day Three With Grandkids

Yes, I did say that there could be something better to eat than pizza and Hazel Hill chocolates.  That would be The Cheese Cake Factory! 

But first…

CARLY from Linda Hanney on Vimeo.

Sky Zone in Kansas City is a great place to burn off energy.   The whole place is trampolines.  You can bounce up and dunk a basketball, jump playing dodge ball and flip into a bin of sponge. 

I did not bounce, although enjoyed watching a lot.  Just watching worked up my appetite for lunch at the Cheese Cake Factory.  You can imagine how hungry those kids were.

I did not take a picture of my piece of Raspberry Fudge Cheese Cake.  It was a work of art but I guess all I could think about was eating it. 

After lunch, the kids graciously allowed Kim and I to take a quick tour around Crate & Barrel.  Then home.

On our last day, we visited Moon Marble Company.  We watched a marble being made—which is always interesting.  When we first visited in 2006, we saw Bruce Breslow, the founder and owner make a marble.  Although he didn’t demonstrate, he was there today.   He has an interesting story.  If you have time, follow this link that I wrote on our first visit.

After Moon Marble, we took Adam to his music lesson and then back to Kim’s.  Trent and Carly went to their other grandparents for the remainder of their visit.  It was so much fun to not only spend time with the grandkids, but also Kim.

Now, back to gardening and catching up.