Monday, August 26, 2013

ONP — The Mountains

We went to Olympic National Park last weekend to celebrate Rick's 50th birthday. I've been wanting to visit this park for years, so I was thrilled we could make it finally. I've always heard Olympic is basically three national parks in one — the mountains, the rainforest, and the ocean. I've decided to split them up and share some photographs from each area in separate blog posts. Today I'm featuring some of the things we saw in the mountains.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Elvis Week

August 10-17 is the official Elvis Week where fans from all around the world celebrate his life, music, movies, and legacy. I've never been to Graceland, which is where all the celebrations take place this week, but it's on my list of things I want to see sometime.

I was fortunate, however, to see Elvis live in concert when I was little. This was in the mid-70s. My mom took me to see him several times at the International Hilton in Las Vegas. I also saw him once in California. I believe that show was in Long Beach. My mom was a huge fan, so I grew up listening to his music, watching his films, and hearing about him almost on a day-to-day basis. I was crushed the day I got a phone call from my mom saying he had died. It broke my heart. As I got older, I really appreciated the fact that I had been blessed to see him perform live. He was heavier by the time I saw him, but his concerts are still the best I've ever seen in my whole life. No one — absolutely nobody — has ever come close. He was a true showman.

With it being Elvis Week and all, there are a lot of photographs and video clips popping up on the social media sites I'm on. I'm always scouring for pictures from the Las Vegas Hilton shows. I would absolutely LOVE to come across one from the shows I went to. The last one concert I went to at the Hilton was amazing because my mom and I were sitting front row center. They had long tables up against the stage and we were very close to being in the middle section. It would be fantastic to stumble across a picture and see myself in it. Who knows ... maybe I'll find one someday. However, if you ever see the little girl below in any of Elvis' old show pictures, please let me know. This was me after one of the shows at the Las Vegas Hilton.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Updated website ...

After months and months of procrastination, I finally updated my website. There are still a few things I need to tweak, but they're not that major. One of them is for A Dinner Date for Dilly. On that page it says to click on an image to watch the book trailer. I haven't made that yet, but the link sends you to the one for A New Friend for Dilly. Close enough ... for now. I'll get that trailer made soon. It totally slipped my mind.

I decided to change the background color from bright blue to brown. I also switched some photographs of me, since my old ones were taken before I lost weight. For the most part, the site is pretty much the same, although I did change the photo gallery. It had been Creepy Crawlies, but I changed it to photographs of deer. I hope you'll check it out sometime.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Little Bear

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen a picture of this little dish. I took the first picture when I was at the Salvation Army thrift store on Saturday with Neil. I saw this little bear dish and thought it was really cute, but for some reason I didn't buy it. Of course, as soon as I got home I wish I had. The store is closed on Sundays, but I knew I'd be driving by Monday morning on my way to the dentist. I had meant to leave the house early so I could stop before my appointment. Turns out I left later than I wanted and didn't think I'd have time to stop, so I went to the appointment first. I figured if the little bear dish was still there after I got done, then it was meant for me to get it.

Turns out, Rick called me after my appointment and wanted to meet me for lunch. That took another hour. I figured if the bear was STILL there, then it was DEFINITELY meant for ME to get it. Imagine my disappointment when I finally got into the store and didn't see it. I practically sulked. As I was turning around to leave, I spotted it. It had gotten moved several feet down the shelf. I practically leaned over a lady to grab it. After all, it was meant for ME! So, feeling quite happy and smug with myself, I walked to the register and dug out five quarters from my wallet while I waited in line. There are two registers, and most of the time everyone waits in one line and moves to the next available cashier. Well, for some reason, the lady behind me didn't want to wait, so she cut in front of me and went to the other register. For a second I was a little peeved — don't mess with me when I'm in the thrift store — but then I looked down and saw my little bear dish in my hand, and all was well in the world.

I have decided to name him Little Bear — and now, he needs some huckleberry taffy to hold.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

New Boots for Little Wolf

This is Little Wolf. Neil got him at one of the national parks we've visited, probably Yellowstone. Neil and I went up to the thrift store to look around a bit today. Neil is my little Salvation Army buddy. He came running up with these black rubber boots from Build-A-Bear. Little Wolf isn't a Build-A-Bear toy, but Neil has others that are, so the boots will fit quite a few of his critters. Little Wolf got to wear them first. I just looked online and see that these same boots cost $7.50, not including tax and shipping. We paid 75 cents. Not too shabby considering the soles aren't even worn down. HA! Little Wolf is ready for puddle stomping. Neil also got 3 chapter books for 25 cents each. He had the first chapter of one read by the time we got home.

I found these McDonalds character glasses. I picked them up immediately, much to the dismay of the lady who came up next to me. I think she was kind of hoping I'd set them down again, but I didn't. We have had our share of fast food restaurant glasses. Many have broken over the years. All we have left is an Alice in Wonderland one and a Garfield one. So, these were a cool addition, especially at 50 cents each. I looked on eBay and see the whole series of six glasses going anywhere from $25 to $45. Considering these were from 1977, they're in fantastic condition. I also found a square scarf with red, hot chili peppers on it. Not the band, sadly, but just cartoon peppers. I had to buy it, of course.

We left with a bagful of treasures and paid only $2.75 — can't beat that.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Travel Journals

I was looking through this book today. Its one of those write-in journals. I used it to keep track of our camping trips. We bought our first trailer in 1998 — a Coleman pop-up. Up until then, we had only taken the girls tent camping, so this was a big step up for us.

In the picture above you can see the pop-up along with me, Rick, and the girls. We loved it. We took it to the beach a lot. Jalama Beach was a county campground and it had spots you could camp directly on the sand. With the pop-up being so light, we could easily move it around by hand to get it in just the perfect position. I think the furthest we took it was Yosemite NP.

The book is fun to look through. I kept the book in the pop-up along with an old Polaroid camera. During each trip, I'd write what we had been doing, where we'd gone, what we'd seen, etc. I kept a roll of tape in there as well so I could attach the instant pictures. This was obviously before digital cameras and cell phones. This particular book goes from 1998 to 2001. Nathan was born in 1991 and Neil came along in 2002, so I guess things just got too hectic to keep the journal going — although we never stopped taking camping trips. 

In fact, we increased them and eventually traded the pop-up in for a 24' Prowler travel trailer. That had two bunks for the girls, but eventually we needed more room for the boys, so we went with the 28' Frontier trailer we have now. This one has two sets of bunks on one end and a full-sized bed on the other. Now that the girls are older and don't travel with us as much, we've seriously thought about downsizing again. It would be nice, but that would mean taking on trailer payments again, which would be hard. As it is now, our trailer is paid off completely, even though it's really big and hard to get into a lot of the local places.

The journal was fun though, so I'm a little sad I stopped doing them for so long. I mean, sheesh, it's been 12 years! Many years ago, my mother-in-law bought me these two journal books above. She got them at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel. They're bears, if you can't tell, and they're covered in faux fur. My intention was to continue the travel journals in these. Sadly, I never did, but I still have both blank books. We're going to Olympic National Park in a few weeks, so it might be fun to start the journals up again.