Monday, May 31, 2010

Free snow removal

Stopping in Marathon, FL for a bite to eat, we saw this beat up truck soliciting free snow removal.

Since I'm from Wyoming, the iron nature of the sign deserved a good laugh and a photo. I'm sure the driver rarely gets called in Marathon, FL.

If the driver were in Wyoming, I'm sure the sign would be removed less than a few days of arrival. Free snow removal would put him out of business, pronto! His phone would never stop ringing, and he would certainly need to expand to keep up with business.

Since the phone number is on the side of the truck, maybe I should give it a call next winter, just to see what might happen.

No calls for snow removal in the Keys, but a person from Wyoming could never let an opportunity like this one pass by.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Palm tree extravaganza

Last week, and a couple of extra days, were vacation days; therefore no blogging, writing, or checking e-mails. I exchanged my waterproof leather hiking boots for an open pair of Teva sandals. I left the scenic mountains to gaze upon the turquoise ocean and marvel at the beautiful sunsets splashing vibrant colors across the sky. Wyoming to the Florida Keys.

Extra time and exploring a new part of the world, guided me and my camera around. Palm trees became a natural focus on my lens. Clear skys, pink hues from the setting sun, and the natural environment in which they grow pay homage to the tall and lean tree.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Foto Friday

While we were in New Zealand, we had the opportunity to visit Milford Sound on the South Island. We weren't planning on going there, but made a spontaneous decision to go. I'm glad we did. The day was foggy, but beautiful none the less.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Following the Lander Trail

Following the Lander Trail, the same trail the emigrants moving west took, I wonder why they didn't plop down in this very location and stay the rest of their lives. The landscape is gorgeous, silent, and unending. True, there are miles and miles of no human presence, making life hard and lonely; but I wonder if I would have been one of the people moving west, if I wouldn't have homesteaded right here. Miles of prairie growing into rugged mountains seems to be the perfect location to me.

I suspect, being the type of people they were to set off on such a dangerous excursion, they probably wanted to see what was beyond these mountains- the Wind River Mountains. Perhaps they thought: Where else can we explore?; What mountains abound beyond the horizon?; What other beauty will we find?

Something spurred them to keep going on, and without the calling there might be a conglomeration of people in this one spot. Their trail still exists, along with the solitude and the beauty of days gone by.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Memorable Mother's Day

For me, Mother's Day comes with a mixture of emotions. Having lost my mom, the day seems to be sad and sometimes I feel a bit more like Scrooge on this holiday. Even though I missed my mom with incredible depths, my husband and kids made my day exciting and happy by spending the day exploring along the Green River.

After a few cups of coffee and a wonderful breakfast, not cooked by me, we headed off towards the woods. There is still too much snow for hiking, so we drove as far as we could get up a bumpy mountain road. We slipped along the muddy trail and fish tailed once or twice, making the kids giggle and smile as my husband kept control of the truck.

When we reached the very end of our road- the end due to snow - my husband rolled down his window to look at the tracks in the snow. They were fresh, and they were grizzlies. We looked and searched some more to find two more sets, three different sets of tracks total- a momma and her cubs. What a treat to see on Mother's Day, a natural and wild mother taking care of her brood.

Not far from the grizzly tracks were the tracks of wolves. Although we didn't see the creatures with our own eyes, seeing their tracks and knowing their presence was close by, seemed to be enough for the day.

We took an afternoon rest and went out for the evening.

My soul quiets when we are out in nature. The peaceful views and the serene world around us reminds me that life is good, even when we are face with tragedies. My mom often retired to nature, teaching me the importance of being quiet and and allowing our souls a moment to rest. Thank you, mom.

On our evening exploration, we came upon a mother moose and her yearling calf. It won't be long and she'll boot him out, making room for her new young one. Thankfully, I still have a lot of time left with my children before they move on to lives of their own.

Sandhill cranes, swans, Canada geese, mallards, elk, deer, more moose, and plenty of pronghorn made our evening a very memorable Mother's Day.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Recipe: Sausage Bread

Sausage bread is one of my family's favorite meals. The most exciting part, putting in as many creative elements you can think of make this dish different every time you make it. Sausage can easily be substituted out to make a vegetarian meal.

Roll your bread dough out on to a baking dish.

In a skillet, cook your desired meat- my preference is breakfast or country sausage.

Add in your desired veggies. I have added spinach and red pepper. Mushrooms are excellent options, along with zucchini and squash, cabbage, carrots...really, whatever you want.

Place your mixture down the middle of your dough.

Add cheese. Again, your preference. I added a medium cheddar, but often add mozzarella, provolone, or pepper jack.

Roll up and fold in the sides, making sure there are no open crevices. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until golden.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Weather thoughts for the better

The snow blew sideways again today and the gray sky makes it hard to wake up full of energy.

May 4th, the fire is burning hot to warm the room, and we'll be lucky to reach 30 degrees Fahrenheit today. Although the weather outside is a definite deterrent to being outside, people in Wyoming don't let the blowing snow keep them indoors.

In fact, people in Wyoming don't take too much time to complain about the weather. Oh, the weather comes up in conversations everyday, but Wyomingites hardly take enough time to dwell on any situation of the weather, good or bad.

Perhaps the weather should be thought of as like a person- accepting the weather as it is, accepting the person as they are. Each have their good and bad and unfortunate faults, but if we accept each for what they are, not allowing the faults to determine our day, we might all just get along a little better.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Onion or artichoke?

Upon meeting a new friend, and getting to know one another while the children played in the background, we soon ventured on the areas of our lives which were perplexing and mind boggling. It was nice we could talk openly about the oddities of life and the things or people who arrive and make chaos of our deep rooted ideas of the "way things should be"-should, ought to be highlighted there.

She openly told me she never thought certain things would happen in her life, and the instances that were taking place before her opened her eyes to reval the naked truth.

I knew exactly what she was talking about.

I've had a few of my own experiences in this area.

It's amazing how your ideas of what are "real" can be peeled away like an onion, layer by layer, slowly revealing a side to a person, family, or part of your life you could never see before the layers began to shed.

Maybe it will all end up more like an artichoke, peeling away the layers to the heart- the best part.

As we continued to talk about life and raising kids, she made the comment, "I wonder what I'll do to mess up my own children's lives." We laughed together, knowing our lives were all and all good lives, but there were still things we were both dealing with and hoping we weren't going to pass any of our own problems on to our kids.

Lightening the conversation, I told her my kids won't eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, or any sandwich. They like cheese quesadillas, or beef and bean burritos. Give them salsa and chips, they're happy. What has happened to them?

Even though the layers of life have been pulled away and I have a different perspective, I'm glad life can still be what we make of it- hopefully the artichoke heart. Not that it is always going to be easy, but once we have the reality wide open we can deal with it and hopefully grow as a person. Maybe someday my kids will learn to like sandwiches.