Monday, August 26, 2019

Big Plaid Shirt

School has started in most areas, and it wasn't a long enough Summer for teachers like Jess and Nel, who had to go back to work last week.
I remember one school year when I wanted to get a short hair cut.  I was 8 years old, and my mom was the one who cut my hair for the first day of school.  I kept telling her, "shorter, shorter."

I don't know why I wanted my hair short that year, maybe a phase I went through, but it grew out, and I have had long hair ever since.
I always loved plaid clothes, especially the first week of school.  It reminded me of Autumn....and still does.  In the book I've been reading, Crow Call, Lizzy wears a BIG plaid shirt when she goes hunting with her dad.
My father hands back both menus to the waitress.  "Three pieces of cherry pie," he tells her.  "Three?"  She looks at him sleepily, not writing the order down.  "You mean two?"  "No," he said, "I mean three.  One for me, with black coffee, and two for my hunting companion, with a large glass of milk." ~Crow Call
I remember going hunting with my dad, and I have been thinking about that because hunting season starts soon.  I wasn't afraid, like Lizzy was in the book.  I just went along with my dad, and had the confidence that he would protect me.  I ran ahead to see what the hunters caught, gathered them, and headed back through the woods in my dad's footsteps.

I do hope Jess has a good school year with those small precious kids who put their trust in her hands.  We always remember that one special teacher from grade school, don't we?

You know how much I love plaid, but I never told you reminds me of my dad.

My sister gave me the book, Crow Call, and before even reading it, I met her at a diner and ordered a cup of coffee and a piece of cherry pie.  We both did.  ; )

Monday, August 19, 2019

Glass Jars and Fireflies

I wanted to show you a little more of Mia's 1st Birthday party we had for her.  Nel just moved back home, had to clean and organize her house, and get ready for a party in just a few weeks.
As I mentioned earlier, the party theme was
The Princess and the Frog.
Mia's dress was sweet.
Francesca had her party dress on too.
I have to tell you about these table centerpieces, cause Jess made them.   She got the idea from Pinterest.  The movie takes place in the Louisiana Bayou, so Jess got some glass mason jars and filled them with moss and flowers.   She used tea lights to make it look like fireflies.  Jess was getting a bit frustrated making them cause the tea lights were hard to fit in with the moss, but she managed to finish and created 10, one for each table.
Nel decorated the high chair for Mia
when it was time to sing.
The cake was whimsical and Yummy,
and Mia had a small cake just for herself.
Nel had a kiddie pool for the kids,
which was a great idea, cause they loved it.
Can you believe Francesca is already
taking swimming lessons?

Mia was all tuckered out at the end of the day.

It was a nice party,
and glad grandma was there to
share the special day.

Monday, August 12, 2019

People, Look Up

I just took a trip to So. Cal to see Nel.
Unlike my daughters, I don't like traveling.  I find no pleasure in it at all - the planning, the packing, the navigating the airport, taking the shuttle to the gate, the expense of it all.  I was at the airport waiting for my flight, and as I was looking around, most of the people had their heads buried in their phones.  I wanted to shout, "people, look up, we are about to go on a journey to the unknown" haha.
I am exhausted from my trip, but here's a little peek at some of the weekend fun we had.
Mia turned ONE!
Her birthday party theme was The Princess and the Frog, and her cake was really cute.
I don't like traveling much, but Nel was right when she said that once you get to your destination, you will not have regretted it.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Summer Road Trip

Have you ever dreamed of taking a cross-country road trip across the U.S.? Well friends, the road is calling. Let's go!

Day 1: Kennesaw, Georgia to Nashville, Tennessee

We pass granite cliffs and red barns, rivers snaking through green valleys, corn fields, old stone cemeteries, and billboards for churches and antique shops. We taste BBQ ribs on Broadway and give big smiles to all the people passing by.

Day 2: Nashville, Tennessee to St. Louis, Missouri

We pass through western Kentucky and southwest Illinois staring out the window at big skies and hillside farms. We stop for lunch in a small town and eat our burgers in the parking lot of a boarded-up movie theater. The Gateway Arch rising from the banks of the Mississippi takes our breath away.

Day 3: St. Louis, Missouri to Kansas City, Missouri

We leave the Arch in the fog and drive through torrential rain and flooded plains. We sigh with relief when we reach Kansas City, and relax with a stroll through the Spanish Plaza. The pork ribs and burnt-end beef we have for dinner are well worth the harrowing drive.


Day 4: Kansas City, Missouri to WaKeeney, Kansas

We take an early morning walk down by the creek at Country Club Plaza and come back to the hotel to get ready and pack our bags. The road is rough again today...really rough. We drive into the bruised clouds, trying to forget that Kansas gets hit by about 100 tornadoes a year, until a message from the National Weather Service reminds us! We thank the good Lord for getting through another severe storm and spend the night in a highway hotel munching on take-out pizza and wings.

Day 5: WaKeeney, Kansas to Boulder, Colorado

In WaKeeney, a flyer above the cash register at the Pizza Hut invited us to the community dance in back of the courthouse, with good ol' country, classic rock, and hot dogs. In Boulder, we pass eclectic shops selling loose leaf tea and used books. The air smells like coffee, wet rock, and pine. We sit on the lawn and watch the passerby (it's not for everyone).

Day 6: Boulder, Colorado to Moab, Utah

We take an early morning walk past Victorian homes and community gardens, cross a creek by jumping stones, and arrive at the head of a hiking trail leading up into the foothills. Over the Rockies and into Utah we pass shimmering lakes and cascading falls, rivers that crash and tumble into rocks, and cliffs the color of sand and red clay.

Day 7: Moab, Utah to St. George, Utah

We pass desolate, beautiful landscapes, steep, sheer red rock, and dramatic drop-offs. Making our way deeper into the canyon, strange and wonderful shapes start to appear. "Do you see the lion?" I ask. "Yes!" you answer, and stare up at the arches blinking back tiny drops of rain.

Day 8: St. George, Utah to Southern California
Passing through the San Bernadino Mountains, we feel our great journey coming to an end. The purple flowers off the highway smell sharp and weedy, and we can almost taste the salty ocean, which we'll visit tomorrow. In the meantime, friends, let's celebrate the adventure with a festive drink.

We made it back home to California, friends! Over the months I was planning this trip, I had so many people tell me about their cross-country travel dreams. If this is something you've ever considered, with all my heart, I encourage you to do it. I know there never seems to be enough money or time off work, that there can be no assurances of good health, that the weather is unpredictable and the road has the potential to be rough, but if you take that leap you will not regret it. 

Happy travels!

~ Nel