Friday, August 28, 2009

Our 1,396th date.

Dear Diary,

Bernie asked me out again. Another Thursday night date night for us! He always comes up with such special ideas I never can guess what he has planned ahead of time.

This time he suggested two possible dates and let me choose. The first idea was to explore a nearby park that we have heard about, but never visited. The second idea was to return a broken lamp to Ikea, and go shopping for a porta-potty.

Of course you know what I chose. Who can NOT want to go shopping for a porta-potty? Won't all the other girls be jealous when they hear about our 1,396th date?

I can't wait to tell them all about it!

First we went to IKEA and returned the broken lamp. We ate dinner there. Two hot dogs, a bag of chips and a drink...all for $2.00. Bernie splurged and also got a slice of pizza, for another $2, and got me a frozen yogurt cone for a dollar more.

We ate quickly, as we were in a hurry to get to the main part of our date:

So many loos to choose from. Which would be most comfortable? Would it be tipsy? Wide enough in the seat? Questions that we answered by seating ourselves and pondering a bit.
After dating for 32 years (or is it 33? 35? I forget....) we are quite at ease with each other.

No need for false modesty when making such an important decision.

After that we took turns shooting up a small town for points. I think I got 330 points.

Bernie got closer to 700 points. He hit everything that he aimed at!

He took a moment to consider getting a new mail box.

While I was enchanted by the idea of a camp oven. It would be just like my old Susie Homemaker oven!

I could make cupcakes while during camping trips. If I could do that, I just know that would totally win Bernie's heart.

All around us were examples of wildlife in natural settings. This whitetail deer from Alberta must have gotten into something very odd to have antlers grow like that.

If only we could come across a mountain with so many creatures upon it, all at once. Especially a moose like that! Oh it would just be too wonderful!

We had to keep an eye out though.
As so often happens wherever we go, Canada geese were swooping in without warning. We pointed north and suggested they go home. They ignored us as usual.

And then there was the in-store aquarium. Um...salmon, trout, blue gill...yum.
I thought perhaps it would work like lobsters at a restaurant, where you could point at the one you wanted, but no. The fish were just for show.
Well, that about wrapped up our date. He drove me home, and I went to bed happy, with dreams of camping and fishing dancing through my head.
Thank you for listening, dear diary.
As always,

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fly fishing on the Provo River

B. is completely "hooked" on fly fishing now. He has actually caught a couple of fish, and is raring to go fishing every chance he gets.

I'm up for it too...

So last Sunday we drove 30 minutes from our house to the Provo River.
I am still in amazement that we live so close to so many beautiful places!

Just before we headed out B. got clobbered by doors that were stacked against the wall in the garage falling down. I thought he would decide against the trip...I was wrong. The deep scrape and bruises were dabbed with an anti-bacterial medication, he popped a pain med, and then jumped into the car.

There are now a few bloody smears on the front seat of my new car.
That makes my car look tougher. More like an outdoor woman's car.
Yeah. I like that...

It was a great day for fly fishing. Every few yards up and down the river there were anglers wading in, or casting from the shoreline.
A brisk breeze cooled us against the summery warmth, and an occasional rain drop or two escaped the heavy clouds overhead.

Perfect weather, in my opinion.

Overhead swallows were swooping about. I counted over thirty at one point.
(If you enlarge the previous pictures, you will see swallows in those pictures too.)

Below, clouds of grasshoppers flittered ahead of our every step. At first I thought they were butterflies, as their wings were broad and fluttery.

Not a really "buttery" kind of day, but I did manage to photograph a skipper.
This one was sipping nectar from a clover blossom. Did I mention the air was filled with clover scent? Pink, red and white clover bloomed around the edge of the river.

Not a lot of flowers though. I thought this looked like wild mustard, but it wasn't.

I took my turn at angling.

I did get a bite, and a fight before I lost the fish. Yes Dad, I did remember to set the hook before I played it in. It was a pretty tiny hook, and we were seeing pretty big fish being lifted out by others around us.
I turned the rod back to over to B. and went exploring. The side stream lets were making such a lovely babbling sound.

(His waders arrived a few days after this trip. Here he was wading in the icy water bare-legged, claiming it made his scraped and bruised leg feel much, much better....)

Seriously...isn't this restful beauty?

The rock stacking trend up north got a try down here at one point as I sat by the river. I decided my stack should look like a be-hatted woman. Or maybe a hippo. Hat, head and torso, with leaves serving as feather trim.

Back to wandering around.

An equestrian clicked by on her spotted pony. It seemed a natural part of the scenery.

Every few moments the light changed on the surrounding hills as the clouds hid and re-revealed the sun.
There is a scientific name for this effect of streaked light. Maybe I'll remember to look it up later. As a child I always thought of such light as God and Angels peeking down.

Instead of flowers, there was an abundance of interesting grasses to photograph.

(Oh gee, now I guess I will also need to get a grass identification book....)

Somehow even this prickly set of buds looked lovely to me. Are they cockle burrs, or a form of thistle? There were quite a few amethyst thistles in bloom, and thistle weed fluff floating about as well.

The distant bridge over the river carries car traffic. We really are not that far from civilization at all.

It was getting late...B. casted just a few more times before we headed back to our car.
Next to our car was a lovely field of billowing grasses, in early fall tones that made me want to take some time to paint. I find the click of my camera is letting me "hold that thought" nicely against time constraints. Someday I will have so many images to chose from should I decide to wield my paintbrushes again.

Well, we once again left the stream without any fish in the creel. We did see a couple of fish caught by others. Fly fishing is an art form, and requires much study to learn to correctly read the current insect hatch, how to cast each kind of fly, and how to read the river.

If I was really hungry for food, I probably wouldn't be fly fishing. I probably be wetting a line and cheese ball covered hook for bait.

Speaking of cheese....
(We stopped by and visited him right after fishing. He now weighs three pounds. Most of that weight is fluff and purr. Can't get enough of my grandkitty!)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I don't need a keeper, thank you. Now back off!

In 2004.... John Kerry insisted that his faith was "why I fight against poverty. That's why I fight to clean up the environment and protect this Earth. That's why I fight for equality and justice. All of those things come out of that fundamental teaching and belief of faith."

But he also said that, when it came to abortion, "What is an article of faith for me is not something that I can legislate on somebody who doesn't share that article of faith."

The statements cannot be reconciled. By Kerry's own admission, he seeks to legislate his articles of faith on people on nearly every issue under the sun — except abortion.

Suddenly, on that issue alone, he is an adamantine secularist.

Speaking during the campaign at an evangelical church in South Carolina, he (Obama) said, "I am confident that we can create a kingdom right here on Earth."

He supported Bush's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives and kept the agency when he took over, albeit with a slight name change... His (obama) social agenda....was deeply informed by the injunction that we "are our brother's keeper, our sister's keeper."

Leaving aside the fact that the Bible nowhere says we should be our brother's keeper (the phrase appears once — when Cain is trying to dodge a murder rap from G-d) or my own view that the government should never see itself as a keeper of anyone but incarcerated criminals (my dictionary says keepers are prison guards and zoo wardens), I think Obama's approach is a welcome change of pace.

Politics has always been a contest of values, and religion remains the chief source of those values. Our political discourse has long been cheapened by the canard that only conservatives try to use the state to impose a religiously informed moral vision, while liberals are guided by science, reason and logic as well as some secular conception of decency and compassion. No party has a monopoly on such resources, and it's about time we all recognized that.

From an article written by Jonas Goldberg.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Chicago Milliners: Swoon....

Someday...somehow...I am GOING to a Chicago Millinery Alliance event!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Smiles and Dreams from the Farmer

Last Tuesday I got some new "bling"....a tooth pulled and an implant installed instead.
Lucky me. And I had just gotten a medical spending account set up the week before.
In one dentist visit, I emptied the account before I had deposited a dime into it.
The tooth was put into a necklace so I could take it home and try to get the tooth fairy to comp me.
No luck with that!

Having someone implant bone and drill into my jaw= ouch.

And the pain meds=zonk out.

So I took the rest of the day off, put on my jammies and headed out to the deck where I sprawled out on our former apartment IKEA sofa. Having a real couch on the deck is so soothing. We both find ourselves catnapping out there all the time!

The funny thing: I fell asleep and awoke with a humming bird whirling inches from my face. I think he though I was a new kind of bird feeder or something.

A relaxing view...

Soft clouds to watch slipped by...
The Japanese maple forest is still in summer green. I can't wait to see the color change on the tiny trees come fall.

The gardener showed up and tended the bonsai.

I remember when the apple trees were covered with soft pink blossoms.
I took pictures last spring of two branches that over hung our fence.

The branches now hold small blushing apples.
I decided I should investigate...see if they might be ready to be picked. They aren't...not yet. Still hard and sour. Wish I knew when they usually ripen.
As long as I was rambling about the garden, might as well check the vine yard too.
It wasn't too long ago that the grape vine had tight buds....
Now they are turning purple.
Are they ripe?

Some are sweet, some are tart, and all of them have three seeds. I'm hoping they will swell a bit more. Otherwise I think I will just have to squish them for juice. Right now, there are too many seeds to deal with for a tiny bit of grape. There are lots of purple bunches...any one want to join me for a grape stomping party, bare foot ala "I Love Lucy" style?

There are a few vines that are producing seedless grapes. I'm thinking next year there is going to a few more of those vines planted.

Besides the apples and grapes there were a few other things to look at too.

The other pink blossomed tree now has red berries. Jeff says they are called Spanish Olive trees. I can't find any evidence that this is the correct name, so I think the berries will be left as a treat for the birds this winter.

(Anyone out there know what this tree is really called?)

There are hints of Japanese maple is bleeding some red into its leaves.

I'm hoping for a few more weeks of summer. The tomatoes are just getting started!

If it suddenly turns cold....well, maybe you'll hear me saying "Fried green tomatoes anyone?"

As a farm family, I don't think we are going to be making much of a splash with our crops.
We like sitting on the deck more than we like doing farm chores.
We like watching the birds at the feeders, the clouds overhead, and taking naps on a warm summer afternoons after dental work has been done in the morning.
I feel pretty good now. The bone has to heal until November then a permanent crown will be implanted.
I suppose that will be a tad uncomfortable too. But by then the deck will probably be covered with snow, and the crops will all be harvested.
On that day, I plan to curl up on the inside couch, and enjoy a long nap before a warm fire in the living room.
And maybe enjoy a slice of warm apple pie, from the apples on the tree, and perhaps a bit of grape jam on toast.
Nice to have something to look froward too, isn't it?