Sunday, November 30, 2008


Even if you don't watch a lot of television, chances are you have some favorite program. Maybe you just like to sit with your feet up for a while. Maybe you and your sweetie like to share a program as a "together" activity. Maybe it seems a little silly but you like it anyway. Mike and I have our favorite reruns, which we record and watch together before bedtime. Brother Chuck watches old Perry Mason episodes which come to him on the BYU channel commercial-free at 10:30 p.m. But I was a little surprised to learn that Hallie enjoys Ghost Hunters on the SciFi Channel and even more surprised at her interest in pursuing a little ghost hunting herself. While she and Nick were here over the Thanksgiving weekend, she bought a digital audio recorder, and Friday evening they headed over to the Gilbert Cemetery to sit in the dark and the cold, waiting for some sign from a departed relative. I tried to tell her – as did Harriet – that our Dobson family ghosts would not stick around the cemetery when they could haunt the house, but she was undeterred. I don't think she gained proof of definitive ghostly activity at the cemetery, but she and Nick seemed to enjoy the evening outing.

Is the house haunted? Or, to put it another way, have we noticed odd, inexplicable happenings around the house and grounds? Odd, yes. Inexplicable, no. And when I walk through the door of the house, I don't sense a presence. But, I think a lot about the family that built the house and lived there – perhaps more than I should -- so sometimes I do feel as though they haunt me. That's using the word "haunt" as a figure of speech. I know, for instance, that my dad approves of the work Mike and I have done at the farm and so does my mother. I don't have to communicate with them to know that. However, I struggle with Grandma Ina over rights for "woman of the house." I'm there and she's not, so I win, but that doesn't make it easy.

Even though I am not a believer in ghosts, it was hard not to say, "Hallie, don't stir them up!" KW

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


They say the longer you keep something, the harder it is to get rid of it. Here are a couple of broken-down old boxes that are truly a case in point. They belonged to my mother. We couldn't toss them when we cleaned out her house, so I took them. I couldn't part with them when Mike and I moved from Broadview, so they have kicked around out in the shed, gathering even more dust. Last Christmas I resolved that I would review their contents, then throw the whole works away. So, one January afternoon I tried to follow through but just couldn't do it. I tried again a couple of weeks ago to no avail.

"The boxes are shot," I said to myself, "so if you care about the contents, you have to at least find new boxes." It wouldn't be easy -- these boxes were particularly suited for their contents. The square one is the size of the old flat-fold wrapping paper box, though it says on it "Delray of Boston" and "A Rexall Product." You don't know about flat-fold wrapping paper, you say. Well, wrapping paper used to be mostly flat-fold, as I recall, and personally, I think there was something to be said for that – more variety, easier to handle, easier to store. But I digress. The larger, rectangular, box is decorated with flower carts and nosegays. It makes me think of a tablecloth box, but a tiny tag says, "Cosmo H&H, LILAC, #4-4PC." Perhaps it held a fancy set of sheets.

So, what's in these boxes anyway? You ask. The square one was Mother's Christmas tag and sticker box. I think she spent more time adding to it than taking from it. One card dates back to her high school years while the stickers are surely from the '40s and '50s. I'm sure Mother liked these things – sweet-faced Santas and angels with eyes twinkling mischievously. I like them! And as the years went by other tags, keepsakes, bits of this and that were added to the box until it's practically a timeline in itself. The larger box is even more precious to me, containing every advent calendar I ever had. Mother loved advent calendars. Yes -- most all of the contents are paper, most of it "mine," all of it saved by my mother.

I've told you how I love boxes and containers. If a store, such as Ross or JoAnn's, carries boxes, that's where you'll find me, wondering if I can sneak yet another box into the house to store photos, fabric, old dolls. If Mike notices, he says nothing. After all, his interests also involve lots of paraphernalia, some of it unsightly. I leave him alone.

So yesterday, I counted myself blessed to find at Ross two sturdy cardboard boxes in Christmas designs to replace the broken-down old ones. I was especially grateful to find the larger one which is adequate to the need. And today I made the switch. Trips down memory lane can be wearing, but I didn't linger long over the task.

And I have to tell you – I was so excited to find my window wax stencils. But that's a post for another day. KW

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Mike likes to be methodical in all things. He likes to finish a task once he starts it, he stops his evening reading at the end of a chapter, and at the end of the year he likes his cycling miles to be at some round number. It should come as no surprise, then, that he wanted to bring the year to an end with his geocache total at 700 instead of 693 – or whatever. So, after breakfast this morning we set out for Moscow to gain those last few caches and meet or surpass 700. Just as we were leaving the house, Hallie called to say she and Nick expect to arrive in time for supper Wednesday evening.

When we were in Denver, Kelly loaned us two "Playaway" audio books. I guess you'd describe them as books on MP3 players. Each unit contains one book and is individual, having batteries and headphones, but we wanted to share the contents. So Mike bought a cord for the auxiliary outlet in the Magnum so that we could play them through the car speakers instead of the headphones, and today as we traveled we listened to "Letters of a Woman Homesteader," written by Elinore Pruitt Stewart. Between 1909 and 1913, Mrs. Stewart wrote letters to a previous employer telling of her homesteading experiences in Wyoming. I recognized the scenario immediately as the movie, Heartland, released in 1979, and starring Rip Torn and Conchata Ferrell. I recommend the book and the movie.

The plan for the day was to geocache, shop at Winco, and stop briefly at Aunt Chris and Uncle Dan's to leave a jar of elderberry jam. We spent the morning geocaching and at noon went in search of a Subway. We had no idea where to look for it, but as we were moving toward Main on the Troy Highway, I suddenly spotted the shop. And who should we find there but Aunt Chris and Uncle Dan, who said they usually don't eat Sunday lunch at Subway. So, we sat and visited as we ate lunch. It always feels so good when things fall together like that.

It was especially important to see Chris since she has twice appeared at my doorway with wonderful things from her sewing room. Last week it was the hook book, but last Christmas she surprised me with holiday pillowslips. I have waited nearly a year to put them on our bed, and the magical date arrived yesterday. I knew they would look good with the quilt which was the gift of our contractor when he finished the farmhouse. His wife is a quilter.

We had just two caches to find after lunch – both at the University – one at the arboretum and the other at the observatorium. Did you know the U-I has an observatorium? We didn't. Then we went on to Winco. It was very busy there and shopping was really quite difficult. Turning onto the quieter cleaning supplies aisle, who should I find there but Aunt Joni and Uncle Pat. We visited briefly, said we were looking forward to seeing each other Thanksgiving and then went on our separate ways.

We were home before dark, pleasantly tired and looking forward to a hot meal and an evening of watching football. KW

Friday, November 21, 2008


Today I had a list of things to accomplish. I cleaned the stove and the fridge and some other things. Mid-morning Mike decided this would be a good day to burn a slash pile and I helped keep watch on the fire for a while. We had several hard rains yesterday, so the vegetation was wet and indeed, the fire had to be encouraged to burn. The photo to the left shows the burn pile. I took the photo on the right from the porch so that you can see the locations of the fire -- north of the house on the northeastern edge of the property. We consider this a lovely area -- I call it "the park," but the slash pile was an eyesore.

We had expected a tech this afternoon to install a Dish upgrade, but the LG developed a problem last night that continued to worsen today. The picture flashes and the set shuts itself off. At first it happened every couple of hours. Now it won't stay on. So, we canceled the upgrade and called LG and scheduled a repair for Dec. 5. Believe me -- we're having a very quiet evening!

This afternoon I spent some time in the vintage sewing room. I am making a muslin apron for Ina to wear over the frumpy frock. I enjoy my little sewing room. "State of the art" it isn't, but it's rather cozy and handy. No colder than it has been, just turning on the iron seems to warm the room adequately. I discovered that my kitchen counter is a dandy height for the cut-out process. My new machine has a great darning feature and I accomplished some mending today.

When Mike left for his bike ride, Nellie and I went for a walk. She got up two rooster pheasants down in the gulley on June's property. We see pheasants rarely – not many game birds here these days. They were probably "escapees" from the hunting lodge in Little Canyon.

Nellie and I still felt energetic when we reached the mailbox, so we walked on around to the Senters' place by way of the road. It looks as though they might be preparing to replace the porch supports. You can see what I mean by the aluminum windows.

This screen porch off the kitchen is a nice feature, I think.

This cellar was rather nice at one time with wallpaper on the walls and fancy shelving. A concrete walkway linked the house to the cellar but the house door has been boarded over and one of those "modern" windows installed. Sometimes I rather wish we had a cellar, especially if mice and rats didn't inhabit it.
Since we don't have tv, I guess we'll read as long as we can stay awake. Mike and I are both reading books from the old Dobson library -- he, The Prairie by James Fenimore Cooper, and I, Dicken's A Christmas Carol. KW

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


This is the view from our kitchen window (more or less). The grouping of trees on the hill is the Senter place. If you look closely at the photo you can make out the roof and chimney. The driveway to the old house from Miller Road is roped off now, but Rick Miller said it would be okay for me to visit the place and take pictures. Today was the day.
I have observed that when I go out to exercise, I might determine to go two or three miles – maybe more. But the minute there's a destination and purpose, the shortest route is in order. It's at least two miles (one way) to the Senter house by way of the road but probably not even a mile cross country. Naturally, we went cross country -- Nellie and I. Nellie was confused at first, thinking we would take the usual route on Dobson Road. I had to whistle her back, but she was glad enough to come. The field we crossed has not been plowed so the walking was easy. The hike went quickly. Soon we're there.

In a letter to Vance dated October 24, 1934, Ina writes that Bruce and Celia Senter had bought the Ben Dickson place. (Ben was Ina's brother and also homesteaded here in 1895.) The Senters had a family of three or four children when they moved here from Central Ridge, the eldest in high school. In another letter Ina mentions that Bruce was a hard worker. Bruce and Celia were here until about 1960, I think, and then they sold out to the Millers and moved to Spokane. That's all I know of them. And I don't know who built the house, but it seems like it could have been Uncle Ben. Note the tv antenna on the house -- modern times!

As you can see the house is in a sad state of repair. Apparently Chuck Miller, who lives and works in Seattle, has long cherished the desire to refurbish it. I don't know – I rather suspect the time has passed for that. Once that rot sets in . . .

I wanted a picture of the parlor window and as you can see I captured myself. Yes, there is furniture in the house by way of cast-offs, I suspect. Even the birdhouse is in dilapidation!

The first picture shows the Senter place from our place. Here's our place from the Senter's -- that clump of pine trees is the grove behind the house.

And these last photos were taken on the return trip -- out of the ordinary views.

I would love to take these again when there's snow.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


"The Lord is with me today!" exclaimed the character in the movie we watched Saturday night – "The Trip to Bountiful." That described the way I felt about Saturday.

I especially love to shop for groceries this time of year – so much in the stores. Last week I reviewed the sales fliers and decided to shop at Safeway on Saturday. I had my list and my coupons all ready. Mike and I set out for the store fairly early in the morning. As we mulled over our turkey selection, LJ and Debbie approached us. Debbie is my liaison to good things on the internet and we had just been messaging over color books, markers, and the virtues of coloring. Our online discussion continued when we returned to our homes.

Then – after lunch – I answered a knock at the front door and found "Aunt" Chris standing there with a "birthday" gift for me, a crochet hook caddy she stitched and quilted . "I can't stay," she explained – something about picking up doors because they are replacing dark doors in the interior of their house with white doors and had to return to Moscow in good time in order to watch their grandchildren. "Oh, I wish you could stay," I began to protest. "I really can't," she said, adopting her best 4th-grade teacher tone. I was properly quiet on the subject.

How did she know I could use a "hook book" for my crochet hooks, I wonder. Crochet hooks are like the illusive can of tomato sauce on the pantry shelf: it's easier to buy what you need than hunt for the one you know you have. But I'm set now; I looked through all my hook stashes, separated the various sizes, and made a selection for my new caddy. (Yes, I still have hooks in stashes.)

After Chris and Dan left, I spent the afternoon at Mary Jane's reviewing a book – a most inspiring study. It's been difficult to get together recently due to travel and company and this and that. We hope to make better progress over the winter months.

And then, of course, Mike and I watched a good movie after the football game. What a great day!

Monday, November 17, 2008


We've been away from the homestead for four weeks. We traveled for nearly two weeks, then it was rainy, then Mike wanted to bird hunt in the Valley. This morning we drove back to the farm in two rigs. Mike set out ahead of me in the big ol' Dodge Ram. I came behind in the Dakota – our newer old rig. Nellie was with Mike in the cab of the old pick-up. We wended our way over Clarkston Heights, down 15th, across Hwy 12, over Red Wolf Bridge, up Down River Road to Hwy 12 and 95. It takes 15 minutes just to get to the highway. It felt good to be on our way and things were going well. I was listening to Christmas music – and I began to think about all the things we were taking to the farm. I always take a lot of stuff and Mike never complains. He's like my mother in that regard – nothing is ever too much trouble. How lucky I am, I thought to myself. As I am wont to do, I began to mentally tick off the things we would need and the things we were taking. And suddenly, as I'm crossing the bridge at Arrow, I remembered I'd forgotten the cell phone. I said I would pick it up. I told Mike I would bring it. Then I toured the house and locked a few windows and walked right out without it. I knew we would need it and the sooner I went back for it the better. So, I passed Mike, and we pulled off the road at Cottonwood Creek. We are not gracious about each other's lapses. Discussion ensued.

"We'll just get along without it," Mike said. But, I reminded him, we have a service person coming on Friday. Yes, we would need the phone. So, we agreed that I would return to the town house for it while he drove on to the farm.

Reverse route -- Down Hwy 12, over the bridge at Arrow, more highway at 65 mph, onto Down River Road, over Red Wolf Bridge, across Hwy 12 on 15th, wend way over Clarkston Heights to our house on Chukar Lane. Grab cell phone and DO THAT ROUTE ONE MORE TIME TODAY.

Other than that, there were no difficulties. There's construction at the bridge in Orofino, and traffic narrows to two lanes. I'm sure this will ultimately constitute an improvement. When I arrived at the farmhouse, Mike was already here, of course, with a cheery fire in the fireplace. Nellie was so glad to see me! She gave me a hug and pestered me for five minutes. "She must have been worried about you," Mike commented.

It's lovely and mild here today. Our weather station reports a low of 28 on November 14 and a high of 67 on October 27. Everything seems in order EXCEPT for the mouse that got caught in the oven, apparently some time back. Mike took care of it and we agreed today would be a great day to let the oven self clean! KW

[Photos: Nellie watches as Mike takes his hunting gun and leaves her behind. The maple tree in the yard has lost all its leaves. What a contrast to our last day here, October 20. And this shot to the south is illustrative of fall bleakness but beautiful contrast in the sky.]

Friday, November 14, 2008


Here it is – one ill-fitting frumpy frock, finished and ready for the presentation. I feel so good about it because I have actually finished it in advance. I won't be stressed the night before the presentation because my dress isn't finished. I might be stressed about something, but it won't be that.

"You look like an old lady!" said Mike. "Good!" was my rejoinder. (My fear is that I look like an old lady anyway.)

I resist the urge to say I'm disappointed in the dress – or in myself. In a certain sense, the project was doomed from the beginning and I knew it. But I also believe a certain authenticity was achieved. I used a pattern printed in 1931 and the model for that size 16 pattern was tall and thin whereas I am short and "matronly." I made the best of a bad situation. Perhaps 1930s farm wives did just that. And I did not want my Ina to be stylish.

I knew the fabric the minute I saw it in the store – a drab gray with tiny white print flowers. In honor of the holiday season I chose red buttons out of my mother's button box – still on the card but obviously vintage. A shawl and a white apron will complete Ina's attire. I have a hair net, too. What about her shoes and stockings? I don't know what kind of shoes farm wives wore in the 1930s. Surely something utilitarian and not fancy. KW

Thursday, November 13, 2008


I love this time of year when the concept of home seems especially appealing. I'm grateful to have a home and I'm grateful that everyone within my sphere of activity also has a home.

When the temperature begins to fall, Mike and I plan our baking so that we put heat into the house when we need it. What was unthinkable in the heat of summer becomes a delightful sensory experience in fall and winter. And now we find information everywhere to help us prepare our Thanksgiving dinners. I look at some of those – then proceed to do what I have always done.

Yesterday I read articles in the Lewiston Tribune about pumpkin pie. Of course, you know you can find the standard recipe for pumpkin custard pie in your general cookbook or on the label for canned pumpkin or evaporated milk. But the article in the Trib proposed three whole eggs and an extra yolk and real heavy cream. The author insisted that I grate my own fresh spices instead of using those in my cupboard, and she also baked the crust in advance. Who does that?

Mike used to poke fun at my "impossible" pumpkin pie. "It's fine, but I like pumpkin pie with crust," he would say. But a few years ago when cutting the fat from our diet became important to him, my crustless pies looked a lot better to him. I use low-fat Bisquick, egg substitute, fat-free evaporated milk, and spices on hand. I even cut back on the sugar. "We don't have to drown out other flavors with sugar," I now say.

Last year I took an impossible pumpkin pie to the Thanksgiving dinner reunion. I thought with so many watching their diet, my skinny pie would be appreciated. No one even tried it. It just goes to show that on some occasions – like Thanksgiving Day – we like the traditional food in its traditional format no matter what. But Mike and I enjoyed the impossible pie I made last night and I will make it often throughout the season. I like to bake with pumpkin.

Tell me – do you rotate your spices? Do you throw them out after six months on the shelf and buy new? Do you sniff them for freshness? Do you grate your own from the fresh product? What about soda and baking powder? Do you believe they lose their potency? KW

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Seems like the house ought to be white, doesn't it? I guess it depends on the grandmother. I don't have a white house. KW

Saturday, November 8, 2008


"What are you going to do today?" I asked Mike. "It will probably rain," he replied, "so I think I'll watch football. There should be some good games."

So, I donned one of my holiday sweatshirts and went off to town, leaving Mike in front of a football game. First stop: the open house at the Owl Tri-State Drugstore. I couldn't help but miss my daughter who used to accompany me to the open houses. "You are just lucky you had a daughter," I told myself, "so let's be grateful and not sad." Then I couldn't help but laugh to myself about the year Hallie and I went to the Holiday Open House at both Owl stores. We went first to the Tri-State store where we were disappointed at the reception. Then we stopped at the Owl Southway where one of our neighbors was manning the goodie table, which was set up right in front of the pharmacy, and greeting customers. "This is so much nicer than the other store," said Hallie. "There weren't any goodies on the table and no one greeted us." I watched in amusement as the store owner and pharmacist obviously took in her comments.

Well, if the economy is in trouble, it didn't look like it at the Owl. There was a lively crowd of eager buyers and the manager was fielding questions: "We've been out of those since we opened at 8:00," she said. "There was a line at the door this morning. No, we're out of the laptop ornament, but I'll take your name and number and call you if we find more of them. White cross tree ornaments? I don't know what happened to them."

I just couldn't get interested in the glitz at the Owl. I guess the yard sale I went to yesterday was a reality check on value. It's easy to get caught up in the displays and the frenzy and buy stuff you don't want or need. So I moved on to Patrick's Crafts – no one there but me and the owner. I can't help but think that this little store might not survive the economic challenge. My small purchase won't help much. It will be too bad if she doesn't make it because I've heard a rumor that Wal-Mart will not have crafts at the new store. I found this true at the Super Wal-Mart I visited in Denver.

At 10:15 when I arrived at the Costco parking lot, it was already half full. That's not saying much for Costco, though, and it was easy to navigate the store. I gawked at the Christmas stuff and moved at my own pace. By the way, if you're following gas prices, it was $1.94/gallon there this morning. KW

Friday, November 7, 2008


"She's having a yard sale tomorrow – fabric, crochet thread, crafts. I thought of you," said Harriet on the phone. "They're starting at 8:00 in the morning."

My curiosity was piqued, and Mike and I had errands in Lewiston anyway, so I made it a point to start my day at Harriet's friend's yard sale. The first thing I picked up was a Coleman "personal" cooler for $5.00. I've told you how important coolers are to my life. But I'm really a person on a mission. Making my way to the fabric and crafts, I found knits, old ties, many old laces and other sewing notions – none of which seem to speak to me the way the cooler did.

"This is a box of various interfacings," the person in charge said to me in a confidential tone. "We're asking $3.00 but I expect if you made us an offer we could come to some agreement." "Wow!" I thought to myself; "I'm not sure I want a box of interfacing." Instead I picked up a yard of eyelet for $1.00. I love eyelet.

"I used to have stuff like this," said a fellow yard saler at my elbow. "Me, too," I replied; "then we moved and I got rid of it." "Same here!" she exclaimed. She wandered her way; I went mine.

A beautifully-finished holiday cross-stitch design caught my eye – just the sort of thing I might make myself. Asking price: $.50. How deflating! Hours of work – a lovely thing – undervalued. My crafting life – all the things I've loved to make – passed through my mind in review. But in the end I didn't buy the lovely wallhanging.

Then I came to a cupboard full of craft books and I knew I'd found my place. "Here – hold these!" I said to Mike as I set to work. A book of afghans, a Christmas wall hanging pattern – and then I saw them: a set of Nancy Zieman books based on her PBS series, "Sewing with Nancy." And the price was so right – three at $.25 and two at $.50. Go figure!

Now, unless you're Aunt Chris, you probably don't even know about Nancy Zieman. I know I didn't until I retired and began to look at some daytime PBS programming. Nancy is a sewing guru who has built up a personal empire based on her sewing expertise, including books and a mail-order store, Nancy's Notions. Last month I ordered one of Nancy's current works, "Pattern Fitting with Confidence," complete with DVD. How much did I pay? Much more than $.50.

Ah! Such is the way of the yard sale.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Traveling from Pacific Daylight Time into Mountain Daylight Time, we dutifully turned our clocks and watches ahead one hour. (I think that's called "losing an hour.") Nine days later we were still in the Mountain Time Zone when we returned to standard time. We were fairly well adjusted to Mountain Time, but I was ready for bed by 8:00 p.m. that first night.

Then before becoming acclimated to Mountain Standard Time, we returned to the Pacific Time Zone. We turned our clocks back yet another hour, so now it feels like we're having to adjust to a huge time change. I'm "bright eyed and bushy tailed" at 5:00 a.m. but can hardly stay awake past 8:00 p.m.

Nevertheless, I love this time of year. The stores seem full of wonderful things -- not many of which I really want, I hasten to add. Still, it's fun to see it. It sparks my imagination and brings inspiration for projects. I add heat to the house by baking spicy goods. Tending the wood stove doesn't seem such a chore. Snuggly afghans and quilts provide extra warmth. The down side is taking a shower in the cold bathroom.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Mike picked me up at the door of our Rexburg motel at 6:30 a.m. in a torrential downpour. In the morning darkness, we huddled to examine a map. Mike's original route involved geocaching on back roads, but weather warnings were in effect for the passes. "I think we should just go to I-15 and drive on home," said Mike. "What do you think?"

"Yes," I agreed sedately.

"YES! WOO-HOO! GOIN' HOME!" said the inner self.

"We'll get home in good time and then we'll watch the election results this evening," added Mike.

The weather out of Rexburg was especially bad -- rain that looked like it could deteriorate to snow. As we approached the summit of the first pass, it was snowing in earnest and visibility was poor. We were glad when that dissipated. We had rain off and on all the way home. We were passing through Missoula before 11:00 MST and arrived at the Clarkston house at 2:30 PST. We unpacked the car and reviewed the mail. At this writing a cheery fire perks along in our little stove, television is on, Nellie is curled up on her pillow. Frozen leftovers will serve for dinner.

It feels as though we left in summer and returned in winter. In fact, autumn just showed us how variable she can be. It was a good trip -- good to see family in their homes and good to be back to our own home and routine. With love, KW


I'm so excited! We'll arrive at the Clarkston house today. We left the Mile High Warnock's house about 4:30 a.m., being as quiet as we could so as not to awaken the household. Tough to do, especially with the dogs watching us. It was 61 and windy driving out of Denver. Mike's northward route took us through the Poudre Canyon and nearing the summit we came into snow and icy conditions at 28 degrees.

"I hope you make it home," said brother Chuck while watching the Weather Channel one evening. "The trouble with travel at this time of year is that you never know about the weather," observed Kelly's grandfather. Well, we couldn't have asked for a more beautiful fall in which to see the sights in Utah. It seemed so strange when we occasionally came upon signs "closed for the winter." It's easy to see how the pioneers got caught in storms.

We spent the night in Rexburg where it has rained rather heavily. After breakfast we'll head toward Missoula, then take Hwy 12 to our valley. Breakfast is ready. Later . . .

Sunday, November 2, 2008


I fell behind with the blog. Sometimes we have to live life instead of writing about it. Also, no amount of words or photos can do justice to the spectacular scenery of Bryce, Zion, and the north rim of the Grand Canyon and all the surrounding area, which is so different from our home territory. Here's a review of highlights:

On Saturday, Oct. 25, we left Clint's house in Hagerman and drove to Chuck and Joanne Walrath's home in Ivins (St. George), Utah. We had time to detour into Nevada so that Mike could add a few Nevada geocaches to his list.

On Sunday, Oct. 26, Mike and I toured both Zion and Bryce National Parks. Chuck and Joanne had church but graciously allowed us to leave Nellie at their house since pets are not allowed on tour buses and most trails. It was a full day for us; we left Ivins about 9:00 a.m. and returned just before 9:00 p.m. The day involved a lot of driving as well as sight-seeing. We agreed we could only hope for an overview. [The photo on the left was taken in Zion; the one on the right is me trudging a trail in Bryce to the parking lot.]

The weather has been unseasonably warm. Morning temps in Ivins were in the 40s but the afternoons were very warm – in the 80s. I put on my sweatshirt in the morning, knowing full well I would need a T-shirt in the afternoon. However, I failed to put it in the car, and by noon I was uncomfortably warm. So, we stopped at a gift shop where I rummaged through a rack of clearance shirts and bought one with a modest-looking medallion on the front. I forgot to look at the back which carried the phrase, "I totally dominated the narrows at Zion National Park." "You did not!" said brother Chuck.

The next day, Monday, Oct. 27, Chuck and Joanne drove us to the north rim of the Grand Canyon – again another full day. Nellie rode along in the back and we left her in the van when pets were not allowed. We found a couple of geocaches in Arizona and walked some trails for scenic overlooks.

Tuesday, the 28th, Chuck and I scanned family photos and copied the file to discs. Our focus was the Stinson-Sanders branch of our tree, our Grandmother Nina Mae Portfors' side of the family. I was grateful to accomplish this task as well as to have this day when we didn't drive anywhere. Mike took Nellie and went geocaching, then made a short bicycle tour of the area around the Walrath's location. Joanne took me to Michael's where I found some craft items I couldn't find in the LC Valley. Wednesday morning we said good-bye to the Walrath's and began our trek to the Mile High Warnock's.

I shared only a fraction of our pictures here -- those I thought would interest you most. It's a large post and I hope it configures itself well when I publish it.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Grandpa Mike's 2008 masterpiece.

An afternoon walk with the family.

Finding a geocache in an undeveloped area near a golf course.

Popeye, Olive Oyl, and Swee'Pea.

An old rock star makes an appearance.

Ready to trick-or-treat in the 'hood.

Stirring the chili – ready to eat.