Two weeks and counting . . .

Two weeks from today (June 20) I will be hosting a family Reunion. There are many things to be done. It's at time like this that I decide to do home projects, repaint, hang pictures, etc. Of course I am also cleaning and many things that have been neglected over several months gets done at this time.

I have no idea haw many people will be here. Does that thought terrify you? Last week-end my Mom's cousin called me and asked if I was nervous. Is there are reason to be nervous? I know of about 40 people who will be here, but I hope there will be many more. I hope that some will make this time a vacation and that the Reunion is an important stop for them. I sent invitations as far way as Florida, Washington, California, and Utah. I hope some of those people come.

I want to be able to savor this time with family, those I know and those I have yet to meet and those I only see when I go to a Reunion. I know that each time I see my Mom's Uncle and some of her cousin's I savor they twinkle and joy in their eyes. They have the same ice blue eye's that my Mom and Grandpa had. I enjoy listening to the stories that are told. I want to be able to sit back and take it all in, to listen and enjoy and I hope they do too.


In search of the mystery animal ... hmmm ... not really!

This story begins several years ago. My daughter and her family use to live in this house. They had mentioned that on 1 occasion they were awoken in the middle of the night with screeching outside their window (Now they pretty much sleep with their windows closed).

Of course, our first thoughts were; anything in the quiet, of the middle of the night will sound a hundred times louder. Second, maybe you should stop watching THOSE movies. You know the ones, people are running around in the woods, sawing other people up. (We just happen to live next to a wooded lot.) We kinda live out in the country and night time can be pretty dark. We have lots of "wild" animals around; deer, fox, turkey, raccoon, squirrel, etc. So, it is not unusual to hear things snapping and cracking in the woods.

Fast forward to April of this year. My youngest daughter and I were vacationing in Arizona. Hubby did not go because He is going on a fishing trip in September. That left him in charge of the dog. He works nights and gets home anywhere between 3am. and 6:30am. Because He was the only one here He would take Tillie out soon after he got home, that way He could go to bed for several hours before having to take her out again.

On a particularly DARK night Hubby was walking Tillie at about 3 am.They went around the corner to the other side of the wooded lot. (When it is dark dark, I never go there.) In the distance Hubby could hear a sound and it seemed as if it was getting closer and closer to Him. Hubby and Tillie turned around to go back home and after a few short steps "the sound" was right in front of Him. He said that both He and Tillie froze. He said that it was way too dark to see whatever was making the noise and that he has never heard an animal make a noise like that before. A few seconds later Hubby hears the noise again ... way down the street. Needless to say, Hubby and Tillie made a beeline for home.

Two weeks later; I am getting ready for work. It's 4:30 am. and pitch black out. I am in the bathroom, at the back of our house, curling my hair. My bedroom (at the front of the house) window is open. I can her a noise, way far off in the distance. As I am curling my hair I realize that the noise is getting closer and closer ... hmmm .... it kinda sound like screeching.

Two nights ago; it was pretty dark out, no moon or stars. About 11 pm. I took Tillie out. We went down the side of the house. In the distance ... a kind of screeching, coming our way. We went back into the house.

Last night; It was one of those nights, you know, where you are really tired, but you just can't seem to fall asleep. I know that I lay in bed for at least 45 minutes before I started drifting off ... only to be awoken by the screeching noise. Sounded like it was coming from our driveway. It didn't last long, only a couple of times. I cannot imagine what animal makes that noise ...


Pentax Optio W 60

Last week, my husband and I celebrated out 30th Wedding Anniversary with a 7 day cruise to Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Roatan. If you know me, I almost always have a camera handy. The problem . . . I did not want to lug around my "huge" digital SLR. Although I LOVE my SLR, it does amazing things! It is just not practical to take to the beach, especially if I intend on being in the water. So . . . the hunt was on for a small, point and shoot digital, waterproof camera.

(If you have read my other posts, you know that I don't really swim. First, I am not a strong swimmer. I could probably save my life, BUT, no one Else's. Second, contrary to what my in-laws think, it is not because I don't want to get my hair wet. (My brother-in-law use to have a pool and we would go there several times over the summer for family parties. I hardly, if ever went in the pool and I know that is what they were thinking.) Everyone in my family swims, my husband, my children, my siblings, my in-laws . . . Third . . . I just plainly . . . don't like cold or cool water. Forth and most important--- I HATE to get water splashed in my face. I am sure that this stems from some traumatic childhood event. So . . . put it together. . . a pool full of kids, splashing . . . NO THANK YOU! It is amazing what people assume.)

After several weeks of research I decided to purchase a PENTAX Optio W60. I am extremely happy with the underwater pictures and the outdoor pictures. The indoor pictures are less than desirable . . . BUT that is not the camera's fault . . . it is the photographer's fault . . .ME. Any good photographer will tell you that a camera can only perform as well as the settings that have been chosen. I know that my main problem with the indoor pictures was the white balance and honestly, I did not take the time to change the settings. This little has many of the settings that my SLR camera has. I just need to learn how to use them

A watchful eye

Thinking about the title of my blog I have decided that I really need to post more. It's not that events are non existent, it's more about taking time to post. Now that I am on layoff, I am going to try to post a few times a week, maybe even daily (rolls the eyes). Feel free to leave comments, ask questions, or just say "HI!".
Com'mon . . .let me know you are out there! :)


I will never understand why they put Prom at the same time as Mother's Day, well the day before. My Mother-in-Law always has a BBQ on that Saturday so not to interfere with any other in-law's celebration. Lauren and I have not gone in 3 years . . Has it really been that long? Hmmmm . . .

Anyway, it was a cool day (cold in my opinion, I had a sweatshirt and jacket on), breezy, but Lauren was a trooper, walking around for at least an hour, taking pictures.

I hope you enjoy! BTW . . . Orange is Jeremy's favorite color.


Ok . . .ok . . .ok, I need to post my vacation blog. I have so many other things I want to blog about, but have kept from doing so until I posted about Spring Break. Normally Spring Break is spent by the pool and at the beach, but this year we went to Arizona. I thought the weather would be great seeing our break was in mid April. The week before and the week after had temps. in the 90's. We had high 60's and mid 70's. Where is the justice in that? Usually things are "low key", but because we went with people who might never go there again, I thought some "sites" would be fun.

The first night and the last night we spent at my Aunt's. Let me take this opportunity to thank her for her hospitality. She had these cute little buggers at her house. It was all my daughter could do to keep her hands off them. "Mama" does NOT look to happy that Lauren is holding her baby.

We took a ride through the Salt River Canyon to go to Snowflake. It has been several years since I have driven that way. I don't ever remember seeing water in the canyon. Of course, I usually went through there in the dead heat of the Arizona summer. This canyon has a "claim to fame" in the movie EASY RIDER. At the end of the movie, Peter Fonda, son of Henry, brother of Jane (wow . . . am I dating myself OR what!), is riding his "hog" through this canyon.

One reason to go through the Salt River Canyon was to get these two ladies, my Aunt Grace and my Grandmother, together. Aunt Grace's husband, Uncle Paul had passed away in Feb. and Grandma was unable to come back to the funeral. We brought Aunt Grace as a "surprise" to spend the week with her sister (Grandma), who had no idea that she was coming.
We spent Monday driving around the Sedona area. We stopped at Red Rock first and took a little hike.
We walked around the Town of Jerome. Once a small mining community, high in the mountains, it is now a tourist town filled with shops and eaterys.

We drove through the beautiful formations and colors of Sedona.

We crossed this bridge to see this view at Oak Creek Canyon.
We spent a fun night at FIDDLESTICKS with some friends from Wisconsin.

We went to the Phoenix Botanical gardens. They had a cool glass display throughout the native plants. Daylight viewing was ok, but the night viewing was awesome.

We went to the "OLD WEST town of TOMBSTONE" It's pretty much a "tourist trap." A mixture of OLD and New, lots of stores with a few attractions. It was something different to see. A nice way to enjoy a day.
Elvis is "alive & well"
Girls looking down to 1st floor of Court House.
Court House court yard.

A quick "together" picture before leaving for the airport.
Lauren posing with her"favorite",Sophie.

Did we do everything we wanted? NO, there is always something that never gets done. However, we are thinking about going to Arizona on our "Fall Break". It WILL be our relaxing vacation, spent next to the pool . . . if it is HOT enough. :)



I am home from vacation, but not yet ready to post about it. Reason . . . work. This is my last week of work until July and of course it is packed full. Last week was packed full! Friday I was on my feet for over 9 hours . . . oooooooo how they hurt!

I spent most of the day Saturday editing my vacation pictures. I want to be able to take my time with my vacation post. Friday I hope to post, but Thursday is my longest work day, so it may not get posted until a week from today. Anywho . . . I know it is only 6:45pm, but I need to get to bed. My day tomorrow starts at 2:30am . . . need to be walking out the door by 3:45am.

Good night and sweet dreams!


That "DERN" dog

Miss Til is the queen of our home. She is an almost, 12 year old Shepard/ Rottweiler mix. She is a good size dog, close to 100 lbs and one of the biggest babies. Now, I would not say that she would "never" hurt any body, in fact, if you were hurting "her boy" (grandson), she just might take a chunk out of you. BUT, most often she is easy going.
Last Fall Miss Til had an ear infection and since then has developed a bad habit. With the ear infection she learned that if she shook her head she would get attention. Grant it, it might not have been the type of attention that she was looking for, but hey, someone (me) would eventually end up massaging her ears and giving her a good rub down. Somehow, over a period of time, Miss Til and I have come to the knowledge that "the shaking of the head" now means that she wants to go out. This is quite annoying, especially at 6am on my days off. She comes into my bedroom, walks to my side of the bed and shakes her head . . . several times . . . and walks out of the room. 5 to 10 minutes later she is back, comes to my side of the bed and shakes her head. The most aggravating things is . . . my hubby has just arrived home from work (He works the night shift). Upon arrival, HE has woken up Miss Til who now feels that she needs to wake me up for HER morning walk.

Hail to "The Queen"!