Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Quarter Goddess

The Goddess of Quarters was smiling on me this morning. While out on my extended Sunday ralk it seemed that each time I turned a corner or looked in a newspaper stand there was a quarter just waiting to be lovingly put in my left pocket. Dimes seemed to be plentiful as well. For some reason nickels are the hardest to come by. (Bleason, thoughts on this?) Pennies are a piece of cake.

The weather was perfect, a gentle breeze and bright, angled sunshine to make the waiting coinage look like it's winking at me. I just kept ralking, knowing that my left pocket was getting full and heavy. When I finally got home Zeus was out on the deck reading. He was impressed when I let him feel what was in my pocket (heh, heh, heh..). Here are the stats.

Quarters: 17

Dimes: 21

Nickels: 6

Pennies: 89

Total: $7.54

Time spent walking: 3 1/2 hours

I am sure that this total will stand forever. It was just a freaky day. For the last five years I have been unable to come up with good explanations about why some ralks are more lucrative than others. Perhaps this time I might attribute the large amount to the recent good weather and that more people are outside. Regardless, I thank all of you who so graciously donated to the all-time high that was waiting for me this morning.

Note: Zeus is very methodical in his counting of the coins. Pennies go in stacks of five, nickels in stacks of five, dimes in stacks of ten and quarters in stacks of four. Today after he was finished I turned them all into a big smiley face which seemed appropriate!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Woot! Woot! Summer is here!

This morning at 11:45 AM Zeus kissed me goodbye. I have a hunch that behind that nice kiss was his sad thought "I won't see her again until September". Partly true, but I will be coming home to shower and to get more smooches from him.

The pool opened this afternoon. That means that three or four afternoons a week I'll be escaping the summer heat and enjoying the cool water with the grandkids. Eris' two oldest are like fish, totally unafraid and require only minimal watching. Littlest Ms., at 3 1/2 years old is going to give up her floaties in the next couple of weeks whether she likes it or not. Little was jumping off the diving board and scaring the crap out of the lifeguards at this age so I know that Littlest can do it, too.

I will admit that the water was still too cold for me today. Temps were in the low 80's so I was content to sit on the side of the pool with my legs dangling over the edge.

Hey, Mr. Eris, who's watching the kids?


Thursday, May 28, 2009

I love Oompa Loompas!

One of my favorite movies has always been Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. We watched it whenever we could and also listed to the CD in the car often. Jubee's school performed the play version this year, not an easy task for an elementary school to take on. The score is very difficult and the vocal ranges were very high. But they did it, and did it well!

She was the cutest Oompa Loompa on the stage! I got to see it two times and loved it.

Thanks Jubee! You get a standing ovation!


Monday, May 25, 2009

Ain't no mountain high enough

Eris has been nagging me since last summer to go running the trails with her and a couple of other ladies. I've managed to come up with all kinds of excuses to avoid it until this morning.

My best reason for not going was that there was NO MONEY UP THERE! She promised to go ahead of me and drop coins.

A few days ago she reminded me that the pool was closed this morning so I agreed to go.

At 6:30 AM we headed out from her house for a 90 minute walk/run/hike. After the rainfall in the last few days the trail was not dusty and the skies were clear and beautiful. The wildflowers were in bloom and the views over the valley were wonderful.

I thoroughly enjoyed this change of pace. The question that remains is how will my knees feel tomorrow morning? I think I'll go take some Tylenol right now.

$.44 found at a gas station on our way home

Note: For those of you not familiar with our area the top photo is the small city where we live. The tall mountain named Ben Lomond in the distance is the view from our deck. Our home is on the shadow/sun line all the way to the left of the picture. The middle image is looking to the northwest towards the Oquirrh Mountains over the city. The skies are not often clear enough to see the mountains like this.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Baby Blue

I love taking photos of little tiny ones. This little guy was finally given the name Gabe.
Another baby will be making her entrance on Tuesday.

Hurray for babies!



$3.50 Yesterday while enjoying a day in the big city I stuck my finger in a telephone booth at a 7-11. Out fell 14 quarters!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Screeching and howling

How did this happen? And when?

Last night Zeus and I joined the rest of the family as we bade goodbye to innocence and watched tearfully (fearfully) as Bubba opened gifts in celebration of his 16th birthday. All of the packages contained accessories to go in the car that he will now be driving. Eris and gang provided the hula girl for the back window and the dice to hang from the rear view mirror, along with a gas card. Athena and DRock gave him a new face plate for the stereo system so he can join the rest of the obnoxious teens who insist on the pounding beats at every stoplight. Jubee gave him a CD to turn up as loud as it will go.

Sixteen years ago when this tall, lovable boy was born I certainly didn't think about him one day driving a car. Just seeing him in the driver's seat gives me the shivers. Now in addition to wondering where Eris is each time I hear the siren of an emergency vehicle I will also wonder where Bubba is.

Numi and Athena 1974

The protective instinct never leaves. This past week my family could only stand back and observe as I morphed into a raging monster when I felt that Athena was being threatened. She instantly became an innocent nine-year-old again. My mother cat persona emerged, complete with bared claws, clenched teeth and all kinds of screeching and howling. In all honesty, I even shocked myself with the ferocity and anger that I felt. In the end the situation was resolved, at least for the time being.

Eris and Numi 1977

As Eris has taken up the sport of biking I have had vivid memories of my late friend Fran in a hospital bed after being traxified by a car while on his road bike. Eris has repeatedly promised me that she will be careful. All I can do is believe her. And worry, worry, worry.

By the way, our gift to Bubba was a nice Emergency Road Kit for his car.

$.58 plus one from Zeus

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A question for Sharyn...

Littlest Ms. is entertaining, to say the least. Eris has started her summer session of school so we now have regularly scheduled Grandma Tuesdays again. Yay!!!

Yesterday afternoon after nap time (Zeus even joined us for the siesta) we were getting ready to go to a soccer game when I heard a loud "EWWWW" coming from our bedroom. Eris had found Littlest sitting on the floor like this.

I am going to assume that she was practicing a new yoga pose.
So Sharyn, can you do this one?

Monday, May 18, 2009

What's that smell?

Finally, it's time to put away the long sweat pants and sweat jacket. Last week I was still wearing a turtleneck on my early morning ralks. Today the temp was 91. Tonight I will get out the shorts and sleeveless running shirts so my arms don't get those cute farmer tans. But that's not really what I want to talk about today.

The pool opens next weekend and that means I have six days to lose 15 pounds. Think I can do it? Yeah, probably not. I've gotten off to a good start in the last three days. I'm very ticked at myself because I didn't start this two months ago. Oh wait, I did. Numerous times.

There is a big problem that has come up in the mornings. My olfactory system is under attack by four different bakeries on my route. The first place is McDs and their Cinnamon Melts. No sooner am I clearing my nostrils from that wonderful smell when I go past Burger King and their Cini Minis. About thirty minutes later I am passing a Sara Lee Outlet and Ihop Pancake House. Mmmm, Belgian Waffles.... One block away from the finish line the grocery store bakery is in full swing blowing out the aroma of freshly baked bread and chocolate frosted cake donuts .

So how am I going to get all of those Milky Ways and Cadbury Eggs off my legs and butt in the next six days if I am constantly being assaulted in this cruel way?

drum roll please...
plus 18 cents that Littlest picked up for me and wouldn't give back!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

What's sweeter than a...

What's sweeter than a newborn baby? Absolutely nothing!

He arrived yesterday afternoon, 5 lbs. 15 oz., 19 1/2 inches. Jenn looked as wonderful today as she always does. Nephew Deke was a little overwhelmed, I think. The two older brothers were adorable, but a little bored at the hospital. Hopefully Grandma (my sister) will rescue them.

No name has been announced.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Come on in, the door's open!

I like doors. Whenever we travel Zeus knows that I am going to find my way to an old church or cathedral. The doors on these places are usually very interesting and often have ornate handles. The door handle below is on a very heavy door at the Mission San Juan Bautista in California. The mission is over 300 years old. After posting this photo I'm not so sure that the handle is that old. I just noticed that the screws are way too new. (Geez, now I'm disappointed.) But the door itself was cool...

The "door" below has given me chuckle for over a year. I drive past it often on a windy road into town. For most of last summer it was just the fence posts and the gate. Sometime last fall they added the bricks. I'm hoping the homeowners applied for some Stimulus Funding so they can add the rest of the fence. It reminds me of the new wall between Mexico and Arizona. Homeland Security at it's finest. (Sorry, I just broke my own "no politics" rule.)

I found this last door at a location in an older part of our city. I suppose it is there for guests to knock on before they are welcomed into the carport to sit on the loveseat and have a drink at the round bar table. And in case you can't see it, the sign above the door says "No Trespassing".


Tuesday, May 12, 2009


The lacrosse season is over. After three seasons not only do I understand the sport a little more but it is quickly becoming a favorite.

The lacrosse ball is approximately the size of a tennis ball but much harder. A couple of times this year we had to protect ourselves from either a missed ball or a player and stick coming right at us. And again, I am amazed at how the players get whacked hard with those sticks and just keep on going. Their legs and arms must be covered with bruises and welts.

Congratulations to the Duke and his high school team for a fine year. I'm already looking forward to next year when you will find me sitting on the sidelines cheering.

$1.22 and a screwdriver with severe road rash

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Traveling Trash Bins

About two years ago on my Sunday morning ralk I did a double take when passing a car parked adjacent to a nearby MacDonald's. In fact, I had to go back twice to make sure I wasn't seeing things. The car was a Subaru, probably about eight or nine years old. When I tell you that this car was totally filled with garbage, except for the driver's seat, I am not exaggerating.

About two months ago I saw a different car parked in the lot but with the same amount of trash. Room only for a driver. The passenger seat floor was covered with used McDonald's coffee cups right up onto the seat. This time I had my camera so I snapped a few photos, hoping that the owner of the car wouldn't see me and come running out to make sure I wasn't disturbing his treasures. It was raining and cloudy so the photos aren't the best but you can still see what I'm talking about.

This morning I was hoping to get a few more photos for this post but the car wasn't there. On a hunch I wandered past another fairly new sedan and I'll be darned if this one wasn't filled to the brim, front and back, with everything under the sun. I'm now figuring the the owner either buys a new car when the old one fills up or waits to clean them all out at one time. With the amount of stuff in the car I don't believe that he lives in it. Another puzzling thing is that on the outside these vehicles are all in good shape, no rust or dents.

My curiosity was now getting the best of me. I went into McDs and looked around for someone who looked like they might belong to these three rolling trash cans. Inside the restaurant was a group of senior citizens, all men, enjoying their cups of senior coffee, a bargain at $.27 per cup. They were engaged in deep conversation so I went back to my car, got the camera and took some more photos.

I have never been one to keep a tidy car. In fact, anyone who gets in my car usually hears an apology before they even open the door.
Tomorrow is spring cleaning day for the Accord. I don't want to find a rude stranger taking photos of it.

$1.40 and a tire iron (someone is going to be mad one day)

Friday, May 8, 2009

A Tributary ta ma Girls

Warning: This post could possibly contain some slight inferences that might somehow get under the thin skins of a few otherwise lovely and special people. You have been warned.

Are you sure you want to continue reading? Here goes.

Yesterday Athena lodged a complaint about my blog. Well maybe not a complaint, but certainly an observation. She told me that I had been posting too many photos of pretty flowers and that I needed to butch it up a little. (Still there?) Yeah, she's right. So I started thinking about all of the sporting events that have been consuming my life for the last couple of months (years?) and that I could put up a few photos of the cute high school lacrosse players and track and field runners. Or I could brag about the soccer players who are having such a good season. All sorts of ideas were floating around in my head as I gathered the necessities to watch the last lacrosse game of the season.

Well, Eris and the Duchess had the audasticles ta be a coupla minutes late ta pick me up (frude!) so I was already ticked because it was an hour drive over ta the field and we was fer sure gonna miss the a) tip off, b) kick off or c) I dunno whatcha call it in lacrossed. When they come inta the door they got all bossified and told me ta change out of my jeans and put on sum Sundie clothes. Like a blue denim jumper. What the.... Okay. Did that. First we went out ta dinner where Zeus and Athena joined us. Again, what.... I just kissed him goodbye at home. (confused.) After dinner I kissed him, again, and said "Ta Ta" ta Athena and headed ta the south fer somethin, dint know what.

We ended up over ta the Salt Lake City where Athena and Zeus was waiting fer us (it's a miracle!) down at the local play theater. My gals had boughten tickets fer the one man/woman show "The Passions of Sister Dottie S. Dixon". I been a devoted fan of Sister Dottie fer over a year and ta see her in personal was a celestial dream come true! Kinda like Eris touchin the fancy sequin hem of Neil's tight pants or Athena watchin that cute Jimmy drive round in left circles or the Duchess spittin tobacca in the bullpen with the Yankees. Ya gettin ma drift?

The theatrical was 95 minutes of riproaring laughter with sum heartwarmin moments thrown in for deep ponderin and cryin. Way better than the 8th Ward road show last year. Anybody who has lived in Utah would instantly recognize Sister Dottie and her unique ta's and fer's as well as the dones and beens. And her archnenemy Sister Barbara B. Boothe, well, we've all run inta the likes of her. Heck, there's one in every ward. And probly a couple in your ginealogy books. Criminently. I'm just sayin...... Oh, and that angelical Dartsey Foxmoreland, the show accompanister, why she had the whole place rockin with her vision of Popcorn Poppin on the Apercot Tree! As a former accompanister maself, I coulda kissed her, in a wholesome kinda way, of course. Lawsy!

If any of ya live around the SLC ya might want ta git over ta see this irrevelent show. Put a tuna/peanut butter casserole (don't forget the Cream a Mushroom soup with TWO bags of patata chips on top) in the oven fer yer hubby and grab yer VT companion. Leave all yer worries ta home while ya enjoy sum speshul guy/gal time.

And one more thing to ma girls: Love ya and 'preciate cha! And thanks agin!

$1.05 and a big blingy watch

P.S. The Duke tells me that his lacrosse team won the game 26-24 in six overtimes and was probably the most exciting lacrosse game ever played on any level. Damn, I missed it!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Gifts

Jan and I have an agreement. We discontinued exchanging holiday gifts two years ago. In place of unwrapping something we instead take a day and go someplace special. Yesterday we spent a peaceful morning at Thanksgiving Point walking through the massive gardens and delighting in the luscious array of tulips. The weather was lovely, a few sprinkles when we arrived but jackets were shed by the time we left.

The tulips were right at their peak so my camera really got a good workout. The images here and at the Shooting Blog are just a few of the 160 shots that I took.

While there I fell in love with the tulip pictured below. It is called a Frittilaria Tulip. After our stroll through the gardens and a delicious lunch at the visitors center I went to the on-site nursery intending to buy a dozen or so. Not this year. Those bulbs are $5 and $8 each!

The amazing thing about this display of tulips is that each year after they are finished blooming the bulbs are all pulled and stored until fall when they will be planted again, ready to awe those who come to visit next spring.

The roses will be blooming mid-June. Jan and I are planning another trip down so we can sit in the wonderful large rose garden for hours.

Thanks, Jan!


(The photo from yesterday's post was also taken at Thanksgiving Point.)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Monday, May 4, 2009

ID tags

A few years ago when I started running, back in the days when I did it for purely exercise and before I discovered the joys of numismatizing, Athena and Eris presented me with this dog tag. The little golden medallion is engraved with my name, address and phone number. On the pink nylon ribbon is written We Love You. BJJA?, the faded initials of my grandchildren (pre-Littlest).

I think my girls were worried that if I ended up smashed on the street there would be no way to identify me other than the top-secret decoder which is now gone. (I still miss it sometimes.) I wore the tag around my ankle every time I tied on my running shoes until last year when I forgot a few times and then got out of the habit. I started wearing it again this morning.

When I am on the streets I travel light, no Ipod, money or ID of any kind. Occasionally there are car keys in my pocket when I have driven to the pool parking lot and started from there.

Yesterday morning I had an experience that has prompted me to carry one more thing. As I was finishing up my ralk and had pretty much cleaned up the drive-thrus, parking lots and streets I noticed a fellow in front of me who was obviously looking for coins. He had an old coat and backpack on and I assumed he was homeless. I was near my car so I ran back to grab a stashed $5 bill hoping to buy him breakfast at McDs. I forgot that I had taken everything out of the car the day before when it was being serviced. He disappeared before I could get back to him. I felt bad all day about it.

This morning the first thing I did was to purchase some cards. I'll carry one in my right pocket (left is for found coinage) and be prepared next time.


Saturday, May 2, 2009

I'm (not) Sorry

A few weeks ago while driving home from a soccer/lacrosse/track or some other kind of sporting event I passed by this cute young woman holding up sign and waving her arms at traffic. It was on one of the busiest corners in town. My curiosity was sufficiently piqued that I turned around and went back to get find out what prompted the strange sign and to ask permission to take her photo.

She explained that she often says "I'm sorry", even when it isn't needed. For some reason a group of her friends decided that to break her of this habit she should stand on the corner for 30 minutes telling everyone that she is not sorry.

If I had given more thought before writing this post maybe I could have come up with some earth shattering insights into evil acts or unkind deeds. Or maybe a long diatribe on the healing powers of forgiveness. But I didn't. I just thought she was cute and was a good sport about letting me post her photo (yes, I got her permission).

So if you were expecting something profound, I'm sorry.

No wait. I'm not sorry.