Sunday, November 24, 2013

"New" Guest Room

This may not be the best thing for visiting grandkids, but for now, I'm quite enjoying this.  And I'll put things away when necessary.

So, Mom, this is for you!  This is how my "Sorensen Guest Room" is shaping up.  It's still a work in progress.

I put the crocheted round tablecloth on the round table in the corner.  By Grandma's chairs.

I don't have any of the Grandma's sheet music framed and over the bed yet, but I will.  Right now it's prints of the four seasons.

Poodle!  There's a candy dish that Bob gave me on the end table.  The dresser runner matches the round table cloth.

The glasses and pitcher and platter were given to me by Bob. They were his grandma's. The shelf above (out of site) has the picture you just gave me, Mom.

As was the (Great-Grandma Sorensen) rolling pin on the top of the shelf.

Do you know who made the blue doily?

I have an antique darning egg on this table. There's also a shaving brush on the book shelf next to the Grandpa Sorensen school photo.
It's a start!  You need to come and visit. :-)

November, Mid-Month

I had a meeting I wanted to attend in Salt Lake City. I know. I'm weird like that.  I like to attend work-related meetings.  It's far better than "attending" by phone when it is such a big group.  The Friday of the meeting corresponded with the weekend of Mike's cousin's wedding, so we made the trip and got in some family visits, too!

My library meeting was 10 a.m. in West Jordan, so we left Cedar early on Friday morning and Mike and his mom dropped me off for that 2 hour meeting.  Mike dropped his mom off at Gayela's house and then when Mike picked me up at the end of my meeting, we headed over Gayela's to visit, nap, etc. Gayela had invited Nick and Kaylee to join us for dinner on Friday night.  It was a dreary, rainy day, but nice nice to spend time visiting with family.  We had dinner at Gayela's house that evening and Mike and I stayed the night with Nick and Kaylee.

Early Saturday morning, Mike took his Mom to go visit is brother in Draper, and I got to sleep in.  It was nice.  Kaylee and I went to Gardner Village later and wandered around the shops in the rain.  It was all decked out in Christmas lights and displays.  I'd never been there before, so that was fun.  Mike and I had a nice lunch with Nick and Kaylee (tacos!) and then we headed over to Gayela's house (just me and Mike ) to pick up Gayela and Mom to drive up to Ogden for Ilene's wedding.  Ilene is Mike's first cousin.  She has such a nice, big fun family and we've seen more of them in the past several years.  Her husband recently died (4 years ago?) and she found a new love and we were invited to share their special day with them. So we did!

Ilene belongs to Berenice's brother Reece (deceased) and Donna (pictured above with Berenice). Ilene and her first husband had about 6 children and some grandkids, too, although they may not have been born at the time Kent passed away.  Anyway, Ilene's new husband Dennis is a fine gentleman and they seem incredibly happy. He, also, has grown children and cute grandchildren who participated in the ceremony.  It was short and sweet.

We enjoyed a nice Chinese Buffet dinner in a nearby restaurant just after the ceremony, then, back at the reception was cheesecake!  And dancing!  Mike and I actually danced one dance.  We tried a second, faster one but his knees said, "Nope. Don't do that." So we left. ha.
Gayela, Berenice, Donna, Halena

Mike and his sister, Gayela.

Mike and his cousin Donavan Chadburn

Berenice dancing with a mysterious man.  I think he's just a friend from the bride's ward.
Mike and I spent the night again with Nick and Kaylee.  Their Sunday church meetings didn't start until  11 a.m. but they were nice and fixed us some lovely pumpkin waffles for breakfast before we headed over to pick up Mike's Mom for church.  We'd initially planned to travel back to Ogden for Ilene's son's mission farewell sacrament meeting, but decided we'd visited with quite a lot of people all afternoon and into the evening, so we went to Sacrament meeting with Gayela in her 9:00 ward and then headed home to Cedar City.  It was a fun weekend! 

We made it home almost in time to attend the last 10 minutes of our church meetings (but we just drove on past on our way to our house), and Berenice did make it in time for her Relief Society meeting so she went to that.  I wish we could have gone to OUR ward's Sacrament meeting, as there were all sorts of changes in our ward that week.  We have a new primary presidency and lots of new teachers.

Also, that evening former Utah Governor Michael Leavitt was the speaker at a special inter-faith devotional/symposium about Religious Freedom.  It was held in the Centrum on SUU's campus and Mike and I attended that in the evening.   I'm really glad we went.  It was amazing and enlightening.  "People of Faith"  everywhere in America need to keep their eyes open and their mouths as well else our right to practice our religion shall be quietly swept away if we remain silent!  Beware.  Text  "ICARE" to 535-898 for some links to some super videos made by people of faith about how important this is.  I care. Do you?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Song in the South

Nah, I don't really have a song.  But I DID have fun!

I went to Atlanta, Georgia for the Veteran's Day weekend to spend time with Donna and Mom and Laura. It was a nice get-away for Mom, and kind of a test to see how things would go with leaving Dad on his own with some helpers nearby to assist with meals and such.  I think it went well.

I got there late, late, late on Friday.  Or Early on Saturday, depending on how you look at it.  Laura got there a day before.  It was long enough for her to walk around downtown and get some massive blisters on her feet!!  Yikes!  Not a very good way to start the vacation, Laura!  But, she was extremely good-natured about it, all things considered.

Saturday, November 9.  After breakfast at the hotel, we traveled into Atlanta and checked out "The Wren's Nest."  It was an old house in a very sketchy part of Atlanta.  We took the tour.  It wasn't until we were well into the tour that I finally realized just whose home it was--the author of the Bre'r Rabbit Tales.  Uncle Remus.  Only he has another name.  It's Joel Chandler Harris.  The cute little ol' lady tour guide mentioned his name many times, but the name meant nothing to me.  Google the Wren's nest and you can find out all about it, I'm sure. It was a beautiful home and yard.

I loved the soaring oak trees and the crunchy little acorns we trampled through.  The back yard was spacious and had a little amphitheater area surrounded by magnolia trees.  Lovely spot.  Seedy area of town, but a lovely lot and home.

[Humph.  I wish my computer would upload photos much faster to Blogger.  It started at 7:49. It’s done with 4 of 11 pix in 5 minutes.  That’s a bit long...don’t you think?  Any suggestions would be welcome.]

So, after the Wren’s nest, we drove to Stone Mountain, Georgia.   According to the brochure they gave us, it’s Georgia’s number one attraction.  So how come I’d never heard of it?  It is quite lovely.   I am just really taken with all the lovely leaves on the trees.  Fall was in full splendor in Atlanta and I LOVED it!  So, SO pretty—everywhere!  Even in the parking lot of our hotel!  (See Donna’s blog for other hotel adventures. ha.)
Here we are--Ready for our adventures from the hotel parking lot--Hey!!  Wait for ME!!! :-)
One of Donna’s co-workers and daughter  met us there.  We walked around a bit, found the village wasn’t opened until 2 pm, and we were considerably early.  The three of us (me and Donna’s friends Karen and her  daughter,  Leah) left Mom and Donna and Laura-with-the-blistered-feet to purchase tram tickets to the top of Stone Mountain and we hiked to the summit.  It’s a bit of a hike, but only one mile.  Up. 

[Photo upload update:  9 minutes into the process and we’re on picture number 10 of 11!  ]

We took photos, enjoyed the view.  It really is a big tourist attraction and there were many people there. I liked it. It was nice.  After we met up again at the bottom (yes, we hiked up AND down the hill even though I had a chance to ride the tram back down), we ate a late lunch in the village.  We wandered around the little shops and window shopped.  They had a glass-blower.  You know, I don’t want to sound like a snob, but after seeing Murano glass-blowers in action, I really felt like the fellow we saw was not quite a master craftsman.  Not yet, anyway.  I could even tell by looking  at the wares in the store. They were pretty, no doubt.  And there’s no way * I * could do anything close to that—ever!  So he’s got talent for sure.  But Murano.  Now THAT’s craftsmanship at a master’s level!

Karen on left (pink on shoes), her daughter Leah in center, Donna on right.  Awkward shot, but aren't the trees pretty?  They were making snow off to my right, but I forgot to get a photo of that.  Prepping for the December displays and activities.

Part of the trail followed the power line.  THIS power pole was  COVERED with gum.  Yuck!  The power pole on the trail further up, past the difficult part and past the little resting area--not nearly so much gum!!  Either they had no more gum to give or not as many people really make it to the top!

Far less gum on this pole, yes?

Many inscriptions mark the solid granite trail.  Some are old.

Me with the skyline of Atlanta in the F  A  R away background. I think you can see it if you click on the picture and make it bigger.

One of the two markers I found.  Unfortunately, I had no crayon or pencil with which to make a rubbing.  So I photographed it.

Me on the trail.  Poor Leah slipped.  Some of the bare granite is not so bare on the trail and those pine needles or the loose sand can be slippery!!!

Just some pretty exposed and worn gnarled pine tree roots.

The Stone Mountain carving.  Jefferson Davis, Stonewall Jackson and General Lee.

These last two shots I took from the train as we were waiting to leave the "station." There is a miniature golf place here at Stone Mountain as part of their Theme Park Attraction.  But those leaves!!! I just loved the trees!!!

We had tickets for the open-air train ride around the base of Stone Mountain.

I have some photos of the train ride, too.  If I have the patience to wait for them to load, I’ll add them to the blog.  [There’s GOT to be an easier way to do this!!]

OK.  So, the train ride was open air.  There were video screens on the train—lots of them, actually. Kind of like on airplanes.  One little child boarding the train exclaimed upon boarding, “Oh!  Yay!  TV!”  Yes, well, not exactly.  The presentation shared facts about the history, flora and fauna of the area.  It was cool and crisp and a nice little jaunt around the base.  We were so busy looking at the granite monadnock that we forgot to look at the lake that we must have passed somewhere along the line.  Oh well.  The area of full of hiking trails and camping grounds.   It was really cool to see.  And such a view from the top!!  So nice.  The weather was overcast so no-one got overly hot or sunburned.  Bonus all around.  Our daytime temps were in the 60’s, I think.

I don’t think we really did much that evening.   We had a nice late lunch, so didn’t really feel it was necessary to go out to eat dinner, so we just snacked on what we had in the room, visited and fell into bed kind of early.  I did watch a movie on Donna’s iPad before I went to sleep.

Sunday Morning we needed to be downtown for the events of the day. I had planned, if possible, to attend church in the area of our hotel.  It was close, but the timing was not right to get us to the places we needed to go AND to avoid the masses of people who would be converging on the MARTA rail transit after the football game.  Football?  I think that’s who the Atlanta Ravens are.  I dunno. It’s sports, and I seldom pay attention to sports.

So we rode MARTA!  Laura had ridden it from the airport when she came in on Thursday or Friday, but none of the rest of us had.  It was an adventure to try and figure out the kiosks to buy our cards and rides, but we did it and felt so smart!  There was NO ONE around—the place was deserted and the trains very empty.  But it was a Sunday morning.  We enjoyed the adventure and went downtown to figure out our excursions.   None of us, not a one, has any sense of direction.  Not in a big city with sky scrapers all around.  We tipped a kind homeless-looking person who gave us correct instructions.  Mom had a ready tip for our hotel shuttle driver who didn’t accept it, so Mom gave it to him.  I’m sure it made his day. ha.

MY adventure was the Georgia Aquarium. I'd never been, but Mom and Donna had, so they opted to see the World of Coca Cola.  I'd already seen that and opted to NOT.   So it worked out well. I spent about 5 hours in the aquarium and they went on a long tour of the Coke place plus CNN then we met up with Donna's friends for dinner that night at the Cheesecake factory. 

Georgia Aquarium has whale sharks!!  And albino crocodiles!  And lovely displays.  Here are a couple.

Oh, but I get ahead of myself.  We had to get OUT of downtown first.  On the train, you know.  So we found the station after way too many stairs up and down and up and down for poor Mom and Laura-with-the-blisters-on-her-feet.  Ouch!  We found the station.  It's surprisingly lacking in signage, unlike the Metro in DC which has very adequate signage.  And the one in Boston.  Heck, probably even in Rome and Munich--I've ridden them all!  So we took the wrong train.  All the way out to the end of the line.  Enjoyed the ride immensely, even when we realized we were in the wrong place-ha!  So we got back on and rode it back in, switched to the RIGHT train and got back to the station where we could be picked up by the hotel shuttle and be taken back to our car so we could freshen up before going out to eat. Whew!
Some photos of one of the longest Escalators I've ever been on. About three or four stories, at least.  Coming up from the MARTA stop.
Looking UP

Looking DOWN. I took stairs a lot in our hotel.  Fifth floor room.  I did NOT take these stairs!!

And we ate.  And Ate and ATE. Yummy cheesecake.  Mmmmm.  We fell into bed that night, stuffed to the gills.  

Monday morning, we took Laura to the airport after breakfast, then Mom and Donna and I headed over to the downtown area.  We thought about seeing the Federal Reserve to pick up a free baggie of shredded money, but it it was a federal holiday.  We looked at the Margaret Mitchell House gift shop.  Then we three went on a fabulous tour of the Fox Theater.  I didn't have my camera, but it is pretty cool.  Cool enough that I bought not just a post card, but the whole souvenir book!  I am looking forward to reading it.  Then it was time to take ME to the airport.  

Such a fun weekend!  Thanks to Donna and Mom and Laura for making it such a great time!!!