Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

A trip that is "over the river and through the woods" to Reno means that we drive over "America's Loneliest Highway" (being Nevada's Highway 50), and about 145 miles out of Reno is something known as "The Shoe Tree." The following pictures illustrate.
A large cottonwood grows in a gully. People stop, tie their shoe laces together, and fling them with all their might--to strand them in the shoe tree for all to enjoy. Katie has some story about how it came to be, but it's there. Well, at least it WAS--until some vandal cut it down last year! Unbelievable. But there it was, in the gully, shoes scattered about. So what you see in the photo above is really the replacement shoe tree that quickly was covered in shoes. The original tree in the winter (which is about the only time we've really seen it up close when the leaves are gone) is positively BLACK with shoes hanging all over it. I remember approaching the shoe tree once years ago and thinking that it was full of blackbirds. But it was just shoes. It was quite a landmark.

Below is a closeup of a post nearby the original shoe tree (Original Shoe Tree is laying in the ditch just beyond. Caution--it is a graphic photo. ha). This quote says, "Shoe Tree Lives On in our SOLES." Punny, huh? There are other tributes to the well-loved tree etched into the post. Quite touching.

And then it was Thanksgiving in Reno with Katie and Casey and their cute little boys. Mike and I took his Mom and Eric with us; Nick drove from Salt Lake and took his Aunt Gayela and girlfriend Kaylee with him. So it made for a nice bunch of folks and we had a nice time. We were there from Wednesday through Saturday/Sunday.

On Thanksgiving Day, we ate and watched football and played games. (Mike and Casey tried to do some repairs on our car's squeaky/grinding brakes. ) And ate some more. Whew! Turkey and all the trimmings and everyone chipped in with food and help, so it was nice.

On Friday, we were going to take a bunch of people to Virginia City, but the brakes on our car started smoking, so Mike stayed with the car, had it towed, and I ended up taking just Berenice and Gayela and Hayden and we went to Virginia City. Gayela had never been. Berenice and I had an assignment from Mike to get something at one of the shops there. We spend a couple of hours looking around. Below is a photo of me and Hayden. Apparently there really ARE Camel races in Virginia City! I never knew. But I saw the race track on a map. And they have train rides and stage coach rides--but not in the winter. Berenice did treat us to a 20 minute narrated trolley ride, so that was fun!We even found Santa there! He was in the visitor's center, so we had to stop and have a picture taken.

Below. Hayden is still very much into trains. Apparently, so is Nick! ha. Nick is choo-choo-ing the train all around Hayden. They were taking turns. I missed the photo op of Nick lying on the floor in between the tracks.

And Corbin is still very cuddly. Here he is enjoying his bottle while enjoying Eric's company. They're laying on a thick memory foam pad that came off the hide-a-bed in family room. It was really comfy to lounge around on and play on during the day, so we didn't always haul it out of the way when the bed was made up.

SMILE, Gayela. :-)
Below. Just chillin'. Katie with Corbin, Mike, Nick, Kaylee. Nick looks scruffy because he has his November MOstache.
Below. Just a casual shot of us eating breakfast together on Thursday morning. Except for Katie's family. They were all still asleep. We made ourselves very much at home. We are quite a formidable mob when you get us all together.
And, I never took a picture of our wonderful Thanksgiving feast! But it WAS grand, and it was plentiful. Unfortunately for Casey and Katie, though, all the leftovers were gone by the time we all left on Saturday afternoon (Nick's carload going to SLC) and Sunday morning (our carload to Cedar). We never fixed any other meals--just ate leftover turkey and rolls and potatoes and stuffing and gravy and salad....mmmmm.
That Corbin is such a sweet cuddle-bug!

Below. Oh, and I straightened out Katie's Tupperware cabinetS while I was there. Yes, she has TWO Tupperware cupboards and they were both all over the place. They were still sort of organized when we left. But then, Corbin doesn't know how to open the cabinets. Yet. Kaylee got Katie's sewing machine running while we were there, too. AND Mike (with help) installed a pull-up bar on the ceiling of their garage. He tried to fix the garbage disposal, but it was too far gone for any "fixing".

We were very grateful for good weather coming and going, that the car's brakes didn't burn up on the way home, grateful that the audio books entertained us and kept us awake. We are grateful to have spent good quality time with our family! Thanks again, Katie and Casey!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Elder in DC

I found a picture of Eric on Sister Matusumori's Blog!
And another! He's in the top, center in a maroon shirt.

And one more. Bottom row, second from right.
At a Washington Nationals Game.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Cedar City Birthday Ball

Sometimes it is REALLY hard to get a decent picture.

The Birthday Ball changed venues this year. Instead of being held in the SUU Ballroom (which was carpeted last summer!), it was moved to the Heritage Theater. It was nice. Tables in the lobby. A nice serving/kitchen area. The stage was cleared for dancing. Door prize drawings ( a first) were held in the Theater, too.

Somebody's got to clean all those dutch ovens. I believe Eric cleaned 36 by the end of Saturday. Thanks, Eric!Happy Servers. Sorry, guys, didn't catch your names.

Lots of cake, ice cream, and signs that needed cleaning for storage till next year.
Happy Birthday, Cedar City! Mike put on another great party. I'm usually at All Girls' Weekend when this is going on. I don't miss the work that this event entails! But Mike truly does shine. I didn't manage to get any pictures of the full theater during the Ballroom Dancer's floor show, or the CROWDS of people enjoying Dutch Oven Cobbler and Ice Cream, long lines of people waiting to get in and make their food pantry donations (a first). We collected 6 boxes of food and hundreds of dollars for our local Care and Share.

Machines that bug me

This is where I put my apple peeler when it malfunctioned. Right into the trash can with a few angry "Grrrs" to go with it. I did forgive it later and pulled it out, made some adjustments and had Eric try it one more time. Still no workie. And it used to work so WELL!! I loved it. I am finally down to my last two boxes of apples that are NICE apples, so I don't have to deal with bruises or worm holes, etc. It should have worked so well. But it didn't.

We had a nice little snow storm the other day. It stayed cold for quite a while. We actually STILL have snow in the shady spots in our back yard, and it's been several days. I thought the hammock looked kind of cool, so I sent poor, cold-blooded Eric out to take a picture for me. Hmm. I guess that's one MORE thing I forgot to do while the fall days were still nice--put the hammock away for the winter.
Our poor, lonely pumpkins on the front porch. Maybe they would like to come inside and live next to the Christmas tree, like their parent pumpkin did last year! Honestly, I really did miss some nice fall days. I think we were gone for some of the weekends. I might have been busy doing apples, or was fighting off a cold.
Below. The end of the "less-than-perfect" ones. Mom said I should have just tossed them and moved on, but they really were in not very bad shape, overall. Monday and Tuesday of this week I did more sauce. Thursday I made more. See? You can see the bottom of the box!! YAY.