Friday, July 31, 2009


No, this picture of Mike and his boyhood friend, Richard, is not an optical illusion because Richard is closer to the camera or something. Richard really does dwarf Mike. They laughed that in high school they were basically the same size. But Richard is one of those guys who grew tall and filled out after high school, and Mike – well, it didn't happen for Mike. Anyway, some of you have wondered for awhile about this Richard, so here he is.

Richard is retired and now lives in his hometown, Moss Point, MS. Well-versed on Moss Point history, including the "who's who" of then and now, he was an excellent tour guide for us. I don't know whether we spent two mornings with him or he with us. He was tolerant of Mike's geocaching and we made our way to some interesting spots – driving, walking, and talking. I could say Mike is obsessed with geocaching, but he also just can't sit still. He wants to be doing as he visits and I think Richard probably understands that. These are guys that grew up together.

So I'll give you a pictorial overview of some places we went with Richard. Here's the original Boy Scout Troop 220 hut, one of our first stops. It's located on private property behind this house, still boarded up since Hurricane Katrina. It might look okay but it has sustained enough damage that its owners can't afford to fix it – not a unique situation, we learned.

And here we are at the largest tree in town, though Richard did say there are others that rival it in size. When the guys were young, this area was dense woods, they explained. The tree is now in the front yard of a house. Wanting more info, Mike marched to the door and knocked. The homeowner, who happened to be the son of one of the original developers, was happy to discuss trees, etc., for the next 20 minutes. Richard and I stayed at the car and he told me about his daughter and her family.

This photo was taken at the Scout reunion the evening of Thursday, July 23. Richard is talking with Mrs. Wilkes, the troop leader's wife (and the only other woman there).

Friday morning Mike wanted to geocache some more, so we called Richard and invited him along. He readily agreed and showed up on 15 minutes notice. We were amused when we came upon the place pictured here, and since it is for sale and no one was around, I felt free to take pictures unabashedly.

Friday evening we attended the reunion of Mike and Richard's graduating class, the class of 1959. Then we said good-bye to Richard since we would leave the next day for Memphis. KW


Late to bed, early to rise. Coming back from vacation two time zones away, maybe our inner clocks are just screwed up. I baked my muffins (important to do it early before it gets hot outside) and then left for my first bike ride in two weeks. In preparing for an early June 83-mile ride in Sandpoint with old friend, Phil Role, I had ridden myself into pretty decent shape so I was eager to hit the road (but not literally). Unfortunately it didn't go well. My front tire went flat on the trip back home. I pumped it up at the bottom of Critchfield which left me with a mile and a quarter climb up to the house. When I got to South Slope I was still a little short of my 30 mile goal so I rode up it (about .4 mile) and then blasted back down. I went into the last curve at about 27 mph and the front tire had again leaked enough to roll so down I went for about a 30 foot slide across the pavement. What a bummer! I've got so much road rash I probably won't be able to swim for a while - and it's supposed to 105 tomorrow. Time to go to the farm.

I spent yesterday taking care of the car after our long road trip -- changed the oil, washed and detailed here at the house, then had the tires rotated and got that nasty little chip in the window repaired. Kathy moved stuff from under the bed in Hallie's room and stashed the dishes we brought from Memphis there. Carol and Max have graciously given Hallie a full set of Bavarian china from Grandma Bennie's collection as a wedding gift -- "Elegance" (white with platinum edging) by Royal Castle China.

I'm getting along fine after the crash -- don't worry. MW

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Art and Barbara were friends of Mike's a long time ago – perhaps we could say almost in another lifetime. We have exchanged Christmas cards for years and we know how to contact electronically. When we told them we were coming to Moss Point, they graciously invited us over for a boat ride and dinner.

Using sketchy GPS directions, we found our way to the right street. "But I don't know the address," lamented Mike. What is that about "always prepared?" It seemed ironic at the time, seeing we were in town for a Boy Scout Troop reunion. Well, for once I was prepared and pulled out my address book. Not only had I thought to throw it in my green bag as we were leaving the house but the bag was still in the car. Never mind that it all came together rather by accident.

Art and Barbara have a beautiful home on the bayou of the Pascagoula River – one of those homes like you see in magazines with a lush backyard extending to the water's edge. They explained how they had waited for just the right house "on the water" to be their retirement home. Some years back they expanded the deck to include play equipment for the grandchildren. Down on the water is a boat shed housing their boat and wave runners. They invited Mike to ride the wave runner with me on behind and follow them in their boat. We had never ridden a wave runner, and the experience was not without – well, experience. The advantage to us was a firsthand experience on the bayou that we would not have had otherwise. The tour included an "alleyway" of houseboats. We were reminded of "Boiling Pot," Bennie's summer home on the Ouachita River. We stopped on a sandbar for a cold drink where we threw sticks for the dogs to chase. Barbara said that grunting sound we heard was an alligator and we watched the dogs more closely. I think they feel about the alligators as we do about rattlesnakes – they aren't particularly aggressive but you don't want to invite an incident. Afterwards we enjoyed a home-cooked meal at the house – a welcome change from "road fare."

During the meal, Art told us about his life after initial retirement. He has continued to work in one capacity or another. Especially interesting was his involvement in a church program to rebuild homes after Katrina. We admire Art for sharing his management and construction talents to help those devastated by the hurricane. Living 2,000 miles from here, we just don't hear much about these grassroots efforts. Art and Barbara also told us of difficulties homeowners have experienced in achieving insurance settlements for hurricane damage. Katrina is still very much on the minds of the people here. KW


Yesterday we started from Aberdeen, SD, at 7:30 a.m. CDT, and drove north to the interstate. It was chilly in the Dakotas. I might have worn a sweatshirt if I'd had one.

We arrived here at the Clarkston house about 1:30 a.m. PDT this morning. I knew once we arrived in Missoula -- no matter the time of day -- we would just come on home, even though the most tedious miles of the whole trip occur in that 200 miles.

On the outskirts of Missoula we discussed the best route around the city. Pulling onto restaurant row, we discussed the advisability of getting gas before entering that mountain corridor known as the Lewis and Clark Trail. "For the first time in days we are talking like people who know what we're doing," I said.

And there was Taco Time. Chris and Murray will know what I mean. We each ordered a tostada delight.

We had lots of delays. Not far beyond Lolo, a motorcyclist had hit a deer and traffic was stopped while emergency personnel tended to the victim. We watched as the helicopter set down to pick him up. Then there was the construction -- miles and miles of it, involving waits and pilot cars.

So, we were late getting to bed, but no matter -- we were still up fairly early. We have lists of things to do. KW

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


The plan was to drive to Billings, MT, today, but that proved too ambitious. And we were afraid to drive across South Dakota tonight for fear of not being able to find accommodations at all. There's not much here, you know. So, we stopped here in Aberdeen at the Ramada Inn. I know -- we're really not Ramada Inn people, but it's the best we could do. There's some sort of tournament in town and decent places are full.

We were just talking today -- geocaching on the way to Moss Point went relatively smoothly, at least in the way Mike laid out the caches. But the return trip with effort to get a cache in as many states as possible has been tedious. You just can't go where you want to -- you have to look for a road. We have spent a lot of time getting from cache to cache, sometimes deviating from the main roadways, sometimes backtracking. Factor in the desire to make some progress homeward and suddenly it's a nightmare. Yes, that nightmare: "you can't get there from here." But, we talk about ways to improve our efforts, such as more cache listings and perhaps a paperless system, so I suppose we would do it again. However, when Mike mentioned geocaching the eastern states next year, I wishes him a good time.

If all goes as expected, we should be home tomorrow (Wednesday) night. KW

Sunday, July 26, 2009


We wanted to buy a few groceries, so Mike and I went to a huge Kroger's store here in Germantown (Memphis suburb) today. As we checked out, the associate asked, "Do you have a card with us?" The drawl was so heavy I barely understood her, but of course, I'm familiar with grocery shopping and I know that at this juncture that's the question they ask.

"No, I dont," I replied.

"Ya'll don't have a card with us?" she questioned incredulously.

"We're travelers," Mike responded in southernese. "We're just passing through."

"What cards do you have then?" she asked.

"Safeway and Albertsons," I said.

"Gimme that then," she said.

Really? -- So I handed her my Safeway card which she entered into their system with ease.

"That works?" said Mike, as we watched in disbelief.

"We all the same company," she said, showing us the store savings at the bottom of our receipt.

"So, all those stores are the same company?" I asked Mike later.

"Yeah," he said, "-- Kroger's."

"What about anti-trust?" I asked Max, the lawyer.

"That's gone," he said.

Leaving Memphis in the morning. We expect a long day of driving. You know, I think we're anxious to get home. KW

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Mike, Nellie, and I left Moss Point at 7:15 a.m. CDT, arriving in Memphis at Carol and Max' about 2:30. In the course of the afternoon we did visit Bennie (Mike's mother). I think she was delighted to see us, especially Mike, of course. She asked Mike if his wife was still living and if he had children. She asked us several times to tell her how old she is (95 on August 16). We went through a few old family photos. It was hard for her to see them. We left when she went for her supper.

I wrote a number of posts yesterday afternoon, knowing that it might be a while before I would have opportunity to connect the laptop. Love to all, Kathy

Friday, July 24, 2009


No, you didn't give it to me," I replied when Mike discovered he didn't have his Discover card.

"Don't you remember," Mike went on. "We were standing at a counter and I gave you my card for some reason."

"I'm sure I would have remembered your giving me your card," I countered. "Besides, I don't have it."

"It must have been when we checked into the motel. Remember – I gave you my card."

"Why would you have done that?" I queried. "You are more systematic than to give me your card."

So, we went through his jeans and emptied his billfold. We checked through my purse and all of the receipts. No Discover card. He asked at the desk of this motel. The last time he remembers using the card was when we were checking in, but they didn't have it. Mike even accessed our account online to be sure the card wasn't being used.

Then suddenly today, I remembered that odd call from Johnny, alias Leroy Jones, when I interrupted Mike's transaction at the auto parts store. "Were you using that card when I gave you the cell phone?" I asked Mike.

"THAT'S IT! Remember, I gave you the card."

"No," I replied. "I gave you the phone. As I took your place, that cash register failed, and the associate and I both stepped to the next register. The total wasn't much and I paid with cash. I didn't have your card."

"I left my card on that counter," said Mike as he flew to the phone to call the auto parts store. "I think I left my Discover card on your counter a couple of days ago."

Yes, she said, and they had stashed the card away safely, awaiting his call.

Getting around is still problematic for Mike. He says his sense of direction has always been off in this place. Then when you take away the familiar landmarks, it's even more difficult. We know the address of the store but we don't know just how to get there. But he is spending the afternoon with Johnny.

"Get Johnny to help you," I suggested.

"That's what I'll do," said Mike. "After all, it's his fault anyway!" Well, not really. We were just excited to hear from him.

[More photos taken at Jonny's farm.] KW


I expected we would sleep in on Wednesday, but that didn't happen. We were up fairly early and after breakfast Mike called to confirm various dates to meet friends – Art and Barbara for dinner, Richard tomorrow. Then we went out in the car to see if Mike could find his bearings and get a quart of oil for the car. Now this might amaze you – we took our cell phone and we had it on.

When we happened upon Advance Auto Parts, Mike stopped and went in while I waited in the car. The cell phone rang – I answered. "Mike please," spoke a businesslike male voice. I asked who was calling. "This is Leroy Jones calling from General Hardware in [whatever], Utah. I'm calling him about an order . . . no, it's Johnny." Johnny was one of Mike's best friends growing up, and in recent years they had lost touch. Johnny suggested I have Mike call, but instead I carried the phone into the store. Mike was standing at the counter in the process of making his purchase. I handed him the phone and took his place at the counter, finishing the transaction with cash.

Mike and Johnny arranged to meet for lunch. Johnny and Anita picked us up at our motel and we went to lunch at a restaurant in a building converted from a sawmill, as I understand it. Apparently Mike had worked at that sawmill once upon a time. Then we toured Moss Point and they showed us their house on the water, new since we were here ten years ago. They told us how they weathered Katrina. Then Johnny took Mike, Nellie, and me to tour his farm, about 10 miles out. Nellie enjoyed a good run with the ATVs, then cooled herself in the pond.

The photos on this post were taken at Johnny's farm. KW


I am one who does not experience sweet dreams. I have recurring bad dreams, and one of them is the "you-can't-get-there-from-here" dream. Often I'm at a hotel or large building with many hallways. I have with me my mother and a baby in a stroller, sometimes my sister – as Mike once observed: everyone for whom I have felt responsible. I can't find the solution – can't find the way out.

To continue my saga – Mike's terrible day became my worst nightmare. When the Super 8 in Pascagoula said they had no record of our reservation, they were doing us a favor, I had no doubt. The clerk referred us to the Super 8 Motel in Moss Point, and that meant back tracking. It was late and we were very tired, but we managed. Mike checked it out but opted to look into the La Quinta Inn nearby before making a firm decision.

The La Quinta Inn – nearby and yet so far. We could not figure out how to get there. It was late and dark. We could see the La Quinta to our left, but that first left turn was an interstate ramp. Fortunately Mississippi knows that people make mistakes and plans for that eventuality (so says Richard). We were able to turn back into town immediately. Avoiding the onramp, we took the next left turn, only to discover we hadn't gone far enough to access the La Quinta. (And remember – we don't know whether the La Quinta will be appropriate for us at this point.) Mike was getting really frustrated. "Do not get back on this ramp!" I shouted, and he swerved back into the street. Back around the loop we went. "Do not get into that left turn bay," I screamed; "you've got to go down there." I couldn't help myself. I just started laughing. We finally entered a left-turn bay and cautiously crossed the highway. We couldn't see the Frontage Road opening – just had to trust that it was there. Finally! – We had found the way in.

Once here, we discovered a rather nice place – pet-friendly and fenced, rather quiet despite its location near the freeway. I connected to wi-fi immediately. It was after 11:00 when we drove down the street for a light supper at the Waffle House. All three of us were happy to get to bed. KW


The day started early in Decatur, TX, and not particularly well for Mike. I had been unable to connect the laptop to the motel's wi-fi, so during breakfast I used the lobby computer to check email messages. It was good to hear from Hallie, Chris, and Milo. But when Mike checked his email, the computer hung up with his email still up on the over-sized monitor screen. After dealing with that (just don't ask), we began the day's travel by searching out a geocache behind a fire station which had been placed by an EMT who works there. The view would be spectacular from the cache site, the description said. "Anyone who thinks this view is spectacular needs to come see us in Idaho," I remarked to Mike. Not to be condescending to another's idea of beauty, I have always thought that I am from a beautiful place.

Mike plotted geocaches all along our route – at least three to a state. By doing so, we have waypoints that serve as guides, good places to stop for a stretch of the legs, and of course, a cache to find. It does make monotonous travel more interesting. Moving into Louisiana we missed the turn off for the first cache. Mike was disappointed, but he had plotted two more opportunities to find a cache in this state. All was not lost – yet. We weren't far from Alexandria where a college buddy of Mike's lives, so we called ahead and arranged to meet him and his wife at a restaurant off the interstate. "There's a big storm and you are heading into it," I heard Kingo warn Mike. We drove through some heavy rain but made it to the turn-off.

After meeting with the Kings, we continued to another cache at a rest and recreation site. It was raining and we have no rain gear with us, but Mike put on his boots and disappeared with Nellie into the Louisiana woods. I stayed in the car. It commenced to rain heavily again, and I began to wonder about the pair in the woods. They were gone probably half an hour, some of which they spent huddled under a tree to stay dry. Hampered by these conditions, they were unable to locate the cache. We now have one Louisiana listing left.

We drove through Baton Rouge in rush hour traffic. Rain and construction made travel even more difficult. We watched in dismay as we passed by our third and final plotted geocache opportunity, barricaded by construction. Mike was so disappointed to have driven all these miles with the goal of picking up at least one geocache in every state only to see the last opportunity for a Louisiana cache slide by. "We'll get another listing and come back into the state somehow," I suggested. But Mike didn't want to backtrack, so we got off the interstate at East Baton Rouge. Upon hearing his plight, the desk clerk at the La Quinta Inn allowed him to use the lobby computer to locate another cache along our route. In fact, Mike came up with one right in that neighborhood, which we found immediately. The goal satisfied, we drove on.

In fact, we didn't stop for supper, having had a late lunch in Alexandria. We drove on in darkness and sometimes rain to Pascagoula, arriving about 10:00. We have been here from time to time over the years, but Mike was initially at a loss to orient himself to the area, which has changed a great deal over the years. The GPS was also disoriented, but we found our way to the Super 8 Motel in Pascagoula, where they had no knowledge of our supposed online reservation. KW


When vacationing, most people plan a travel route to include points of spectacular beauty and entertainment value. Mike and I planned ours to take us through the Dust Bowl of 1930's fame. Our interest in this historical phenomenon was sparked last November when I recorded a documentary entitled "Black Blizzard," based on the book, "The Worst Hard Time," by Timothy Egan. I was interested enough to buy the book, and Mike and I both read it. When Mike heard about the Troop 220 (Moss Point, MS) reunion, he immediately began planning an itinerary that would take us through the Dust Bowl. As someone commented, "So you've already seen all the beautiful places?"

We left Denver at 5:30 a.m. MDT with Joey and Harley wagging us off. We had said our good-byes to the family the night before. I hope the Mile-Highers are enjoying the prunes I left behind. Traffic was heavier than we anticipated but it seemed to dissipate at the airport turn-off. We headed southeast through Colorado as the sun was rising, then crossed into Kansas. It was already a hot day by 9:00 a.m. Our first geocache was found near a fencepost on a hot, dusty farm road. While finding a cache in the Outdoor Learning Area at the high school in Johnson City, we heard the noon whistle and realized we were in central time.

The Dust Bowl takes in southeastern Colorado, western Kansas, the Oklahoma panhandle ("no man's land"), most of the Texas panhandle, and western New Mexico. The dust phenomenon was caused when the grasslands of the Great Plains were plowed under for agricultural use, then complicated by drought conditions. Without the grass to hold the topsoil, wind erosion occurred. Apparently we can't say no one knew. Even in President Andrew Jackson's day, experts warned against the devastation that could occur with widespread plowing of the Great Plains. Without the grass, they warned, there would be nothing to stop the wind from eroding the land. The eventual devastation that occurred during the decade of the 1930s was such that much of this region has never recovered. "I want to see this country," commented Mike as he finished the book.

Our route took us right through Boise City, OK (pronounced "Boy City"), a focal point of the book. An old farm hub, bigger than I expected, with no appearance of prosperity was my immediate assessment. That's where we got gas. I told Mike I didn't think we should buy subs at that Subway, but he decided to give it a try anyway. He said the gal made him wait while she washed her hands, but she knew nothing about the Subway rewards card and wouldn't honor it. We ate at a picnic table in an RV park bereft of campers. Chattering, raucous birds and insects kept us company; the day took on an ominous feel. Then we drove to the cemetery to pick up a cache.

We knew this would be our longest day of travel, so we had to do some serious driving to do. At about 8:00 p.m. we stopped in Vernon, TX, so that Mike could find a cache at the Red River Valley Museum. We were glad for this pet-friendly location that included extensive grounds. Nellie and I stayed to exercise while Mike went for barbecued chicken sandwiches from Kentucky Fried. We didn't arrive at the pet-friendly Days Inn Motel at Decatur, TX, until 10:30. We had a little trouble finding it. Unfortunately, someone there feeds feral cats, and observing these, Nellie didn't want to settle down – kept whining to go out and play. We were firm and she finally relaxed. KW

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


So many posts to write -- so little time.

We are at the pet-friendly La Quinta Inn in Moss Point, MS, where we will likely stay until we leave on Saturday. The laptop connected without a hitch (which didn't happen at the Days Inn in Decatur, TX). Everything is just fine here. I'll try to write tomorrow. Right now I'm looking forward to a shower and then bed. XO

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Tomorrow (Monday) will be a long day of driving, but today we're enjoying a visit with Yancey, Kelly, and family. Ironically, we were all up fairly early – even Jackson. But then, he slept a lot of hours in the car yesterday. Annie went home with her mother last night so that she could attend the softball tournament today and cheer for her team. (By the way, they won the tournament.) We were glad she could be with us for dinner.

Nellie has been a little out of sorts. Does she resent the other dogs? Is she homesick already? Is she worried about what will happen next? Maybe she's just plain tired. She isn't saying, but we know she's concerned about something. For the remainder of the trip she will have plenty of room in the back of the car.

Here's a picture of Emmy wearing the new outfit I made for her birthday. The elastic was perfect so I tacked down the casings on the panties.

After breakfast we headed out for geocaching planned by Jack. Out of the four, we only found two. But – we stopped for some shopping and I found some yarn to start a new afghan, some green pens [I'm in my green phase], and then some supplies at the grocery store.

This afternoon Kelly, Yancey, Jack, Mike, and Emmy went for a 9-mile bike ride. Mike deemed it a privilege to pull Emmy's bike-a-boose. We had one when Milo, Clinton, and Hallie were small, and at that time, ours was a novelty in our community. People would stop us to ask about it. After the bike ride we all went to the swimming pool. Now -- I have three swimsuits: one that fits reasonably well but is worn out, one that's too small, and one that's new but too big. I brought the one that's too small. (When I get home, I plan to remodel the one that's too big.) Somehow, though, once I got to the pool and looked around, it seems like most of us have issues with our swimsuits one way or another.

Yancey's birthday is tomorrow, so dinner this evening was the celebratory event. A "little bird" told us Yancey wanted an ice cream freezer, so we bought one for him in Boise and brought it along as a birthday gift. Mike made a batch of ice cream this afternoon. Now it's up to Yancey and family to experiment.

Jack went off to the barber this afternoon.

An array of gifts from the family, including shirts, slacks, and -- of all things -- cuff links for the French cuffs on the long-sleeved shirt. Did you ever think French cuffs would come back?

The iPods are synced and charged, the laundry is done. We're set to take off as soon as we wake up in the morning. We're saying good-bye to these Warnocks tonight. KW


The impetus for this trip is to attend a reunion of Mike's Boy Scout Troop #220 in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Our agenda includes returning grandson Jack, who has been visiting us since July 7, to his family in Thornton, CO, a suburb of Denver, attending the 50-year reunion of Mike's high school graduating class, and visiting friends and family along the way, including Mike's mother in Memphis. Nellie, our 5-year-old German Shorthair, is along "for the ride." Mike said we should leave the house about 7:00 a.m. It didn't happen. We were 45 minutes late. "Grandpa broke his own rule," said Jack. He added that it wouldn't happen if Kelly, his stepmother, were in charge.

"Well, it's different when you don't have to get someplace at a fixed time – like work or school," I replied defensively. We had a lot of last minute things to do – like pack food and clean out the refrigerator.

Our day of travel included a stop in Midvale to pick up a geocache near the park and another near Weiser that we didn't get. It was supposed to be in a grass clump near the edge of the road. We gave up the hunt easily. The spot wasn't inspiring and it was hot! I made a picnic lunch for us at the beautiful city park in Fruitland.

Our first scheduled stop occurred at Milo and Billie's house in Boise. Somehow the time slipped away without our taking any pictures there. What were we thinking?!! For one thing, it was very hot, which seems to retard my thought processes. Sister Ti has enrolled at Boise State and moved out of the family home, so her room has become the "man cave." Ti is sharing a trailer house with a friend not far from home. She is still involved in helping with her little brothers. Mason is 8 and Gage is 5.

It was just before 5:00 when Mike said we should be moving on. We arrived at Clint's in Hagerman after 6:30. Clint had a whole chicken roasting on the grill and Elisha had made salads and sides. But, the guys took the opportunity for a dip in the Malad River before dinner. Beds were ready for us and we were glad for the rest.

Saturday we were on our way by 6:30. This was a long day of travel. We lost half an hour when the driver failed to take the Salt Lake exit off I84. Other than that, the trip was uneventful. We stopped for three easy geocaches, all of which we found, and ate a picnic lunch at Little America, WY. As the interstate miles clicked by, we entertained ourselves by listening to podcasts, mainly Car Talk but also Gunsmoke and some '50's doo-wop.

We arrived at the Mile High Warnocks' place about 6:30. After Emerson showed us how well she can walk, we all went out for hamburgers. Much of the dinner-time conversation revolved around plans for Hallie and Nick's pending wedding in Seattle. The Mile High-ers then went on to watch Annie's softball team play while Mike and I came back to the house to rest. We tried to wait up for the family's return, but we gave up the fight to stay awake and went on to bed.

[Photo 1: Jackson dives into the Malad River. Photo 2: Jackson and Clinton. Photos 3 & 4: Emerson taking some "first steps."] KW

Saturday, July 18, 2009


We arrived here at the Mile High Warnock's house in Thornton, CO, about 6:30. I think Emmy had been waiting for Jack to get home so that she could walk. She enjoyed a good session of walking back and forth between family members.

Nellie remembered this place and made herself right at home, happy to be out of the car. And it was great that she could stay here in the back yard with "cousins" Joey and Harley while we all went out for hamburgers. Yancey, Kelly, and the kids went on to watch Annie's softball team play a game. Annie isn't playing this year because she broke her ankle at the first of the season, but she still attends the games. Mike and I came on back to the house to "kick back" -- catch up with computer stuff, charge iPods, take showers, etc.

Tomorrow (Sunday) we will spend with the family here in Thornton. My only regret is that the Hobby Lobby is closed on Sundays. I can probably find some other store at which to spend my money. I will try to post a travel log and a few pictures. KW

Thursday, July 16, 2009


especially when no one goes anywhere in cyberspace. I love it!

We're taking off at 7:00 in the morning (Friday, 7-17-09). We've taken care of most everything, I think. The wedding invitations were mailed today. We delivered our plants to a friend who will water them. We've plotted geocaches, planned handwork and books for the quiet times, called sons to let them know when to expect us, put a hold on our mail, and packed our clothes and the maps. First stop -- a brief visit with Milo's family in Boise. Then it's on to Clint's in Hagerman where we'll spend the night. You'll find our itinerary on the calendar below.

I expect we will often be connected, so you can find us online if you need us.

By the way, the cheapy camera got wet and shorted out on the rafting trip. They recommended only disposable cameras be carried and I guess we know why. That's that. Some of you will not cry about it.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


I recommend you check out Jackson's account of the camping trip with Grandpa Mike at the "Mile High Warnock's" blogsite. You can access it through the link under "other interesting sites" on the right side of this page. KW

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Getting ready to go on vacation, I had some projects to finish in the vintage sewing room. Granddaughter Emerson in Denver turned a year on July 6, but since we're heading that way -- and she's only one -- we decided to deliver her gift in person. Somehow the simple little sundress with matching panties I made for her was more difficult than I thought it would be. It was hard to get that rick-rack placed just right. Then I ran out of rick-rack. (I'm still trying to figure out how that happened. I think the amount was listed incorrectly -- I really do!) I'm sure the little outfit was better practice for Gramma Kathy than it is practical for a toddler to wear -- there are such great outfits for little ones in the marts -- but never mind. This is just the first of impractical gifts from Gramma Kathy's Bernina. I had to laugh to myself when I thought of Ralphie in his pink bunny suit made by an eccentric great-aunt. I can just hear the Mile High Warnocks talking at Christmas now: "That Gramma Kathy just always sends you the cutest things! Go try it on and then you can put it in the closet." Still, it's great practice to sew for little ones (and dolls).

Finishing the sundress, I moved on to the next project -- make a skirt for myself out of a dress I picked up at a rummage sale. No, I'm not in the habit of buying my clothes from rummage sales, but this long sleeveless dress with matching short-sleeved jacket took my eye. For one thing it looked like the type of casual dress I could use, and for another, I wanted to try it on. It's a Draper & Damon, recommended for the "mature figure," and I wanted to know how it would fit. A size 12, it was too big for me in the bodice (just look at those huge armholes!), but I found myself cogitating over the fabric in the long skirt. "I could easily make a short skirt out of this dress," I said to myself. And today was the day. I determined the length I wanted the skirt to be -- somewhere below my knee -- and the length was about what I wanted by cutting just below the zipper. All I had to do to finish the skirt was to make a casing at the waist. I didn't have the right kind of elastic on hand but I found some cording in my stash. I made a buttonhole through which to thread the cord, then finished the narrow casing and threaded the cord through it. A new tank top under the oversized jacket will complete the outfit. I'm not really an innovative seamstress, so I'm proud of my success. (At least, it was successful in the doing of it. I hope I like the outfit.) KW


You know how it is when you live in Idaho -- you can't quite trust the weather. Nevertheless, I thought the storm that set in Sunday night and Monday was over-the-top for July. About 3:00 a.m. Monday morning I awoke to the sound of pounding rain. And it continued like that until at least 5:00. There were also a few close thunder claps as the garden gnomes of the sky played ten pins. The storm remained through Monday with cool temps (low 60s), drifting fog, and occasional rain showers. It seemed strange for mid-July. Grandpa Mike was bummed but Jack seemed to cope.

You know, we don't have a tv set here at the farm now, so Sunday night Mike treated Jack and me to a slide show. We began with Murray as a toddler awaiting his baby brother Yancey and then Yancey as a newborn. Then we switched to Milo and Clinton as little ones when Murray and Yancey were teen-agers. As we watched the slides I was surprised to realize how many pictures were taken here at the farm. One photo showed my mother picking gooseberries with the help of Murray and Yancey, I think. (The slides were moving along at a pretty good clip.) That bush, located at the top of the lane, met its demise somehow.

Jack has an astronomical telescope that isn't too effective in the lights of Denver, so last year Yancey sent it home with us so that Jack could use it here on the farm. Jack and Mike set it up on the front porch, and we had hoped it would clear up enough to use it last night, but it was still overcast and even foggy when we got up Tuesday morning. A tired Mike (tired from the day's rafting experience on the Salmon) checked out the stars tonight, but as he pointed out, it's barely dark enough at 10:00 p.m. during the summer to see the stars.

Monday night Mike and I taught Jack to play dominoes, a variation of Mexican train -- at least, to the best of our memory. We all agreed it was a challenging game.

I was delighted to pick five cups of raspberries from my patch on Sunday. I didn't think they would ripen prior to our two-week absence. In fact, I figured I would miss the season entirely. I picked another cup on Tuesday and today (Wednesday) I picked three cups, some of which were not so ripe. I shared the first picking by making a pie, but Tuesday's picking I ate for lunch. I expect I've been working with this patch for at least five years and perseverance has finally paid off. This morning Mike helped me replace the netting over the corn patch with some fencing, and I cut back the old raspberry canes -- something I have never done.

We came back to town this afternoon.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Ripe red raspberries become glazed raspberry pie.

Jack and Mike knock down the "huge" hornet nest.

Brave Jack crosses the bridge.

Nellie hides in the kitchen hallway as Mike and Jack attempt to fix the dining room window.

A storm develops -- and the fellas fly a kite.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Mike and Jack left in the 8:00 a.m. timeframe for camping on the St. Joe near a place called Avery, Idaho. The plan was to tent-camp at a campground. I made ham sandwiches for their lunch. Mike will grill pheasant for dinner tonight and tomorrow night they'll have pork chops. I prepared vegetables in foil packets as a side dish. I don't know how exactly, but Nellie knew she wasn't going. We've been out on several walks and she had turkey juice on her supper -- a real treat.

As discussed on the previous blog, Mike is using the Nikon while on these outings with Jack, so I reverted to the "toy" camera. Speaking of cheap cameras, you might find these photos interesting.

My half-sister, Nina, had an old Kodak box camera I never saw her use. But the summer I turned 11 (1960), my mother bought some film for it and let me take some pictures. These three weren't so good, so I didn't put them in my album. Today I find them quite as precious as if they had been clear.

The first is of my mother and my dad's sister, my Aunt Ethel, who lived on the other end of our block. What is Aunt Ethel holding? I think it's electric hedge clippers. I suspect she came over to borrow them in order to clip her hedge. Note the old trellis over the garage door, leftover from a bygone era. In the next year or two my parents would tear down that old garage, replace it with a carport, and redesign the back yard.

The second photo is another view of the back yard. The fence was at the back of our property. The house you see was across the alley where the Frosts lived -- Frank, Alice, and their daughter, Joan. Oh, and though poorly showcased, the photo does have a subject. Can you see it?

And the third photo is of three-year-old Becky Reece, my niece. We had an extended family reunion at Yellow Pine in remote central Idaho that summer, and this photo was taken at that time. XO