Monday, June 20, 2011

Sailing, Sailing

In the 1950's when I was a small child, my parents went on a grand trip. My father sang with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and the choir went on a goodwill singing trip to Europe. My mother was able to go on this trip, and for them it was the chance of a life time. Unlike the modern age there were no planes. The trip was made in ships and on trains. It always seemed to me like this was the height of romantic traveling. I watched all the great old movies with trains and ships. An affair to Remember, North By Northwest, The lady on the Train, and Murder on the Orient Express, just to name a few. They were all so great, and I just knew that I needed to travel like this some day.

The opportunity to be on a boat, sailing to a foreign port was the goal of a life time for me. I really wanted to sail on the QE-2 but never had the extra cash to make that journey. Now the QE-2 is gone, but the Queen Mary 2 is out there. I'm not giving up hope on the Atlantic trip, but a practice journey seemed like a great idea. My husband has always wanted to go to Alaska, and I always wanted to make an ocean voyage and so a few weeks ago we sailed away.

My sisters asked me if I would ever do this again. I'm already planning the next trip. We had a blast, no one was murdered, and the food was great. The only thing missing was Cary Grant, but I have Kevin so what does that matter!

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Last weekend my dear husband decided to show me how to use a propane torch to solder a jewelery project I was working on. Sometimes in my strange crazy life I have projects that require a variety of useful skills such as soldering, pipe cutting, glass cutting, and even sewing. I know how to solder with a soldering iron, but I had never used a torch. So here is how it went....

We decided to do this project out in the garage instead of the basement because the weather was nice and you need good air circulation when you're soldering. It was going pretty well; Kevin explained how to light the torch and we experimented until we found a good safe way to solder the parts I was working on. After I had successfully completed a couple of items Kevin needed to refill the torch. This was a small torch and you use a regular propane tank to fill the smaller tank inside the torch. Kevin has had both of these items for many years. As he was lighting the torch the on/off valve failed and the whole thing went up in flames. See the life like photo below.

Gas was shooting out and it was on fire. Kevin threw the whole thing out onto our driveway and then we both just stared at it for quite a while, not knowing what to do. I said, "this might blow up", so we stared at it again. I said, "Could we smother it". I ran into the house and completely soaked a towel in water, and we threw it over the tank. NOPE that didn't work. Now Imagine a light bulb coming on over Kevin's head. He mentioned that we had a fire extinguisher right over there on the wall. This thing was about 30 years old and we had never used it.

It worked! The fire was out and for the first time we had used one of our fire extinguisher. If you don't have a fire extinguisher, get one! It's a very good thing to have on hand. If you have one, try and remember what it's for. I think we will remember next time.

Now comes part 2

I have very old, dry, abused hands. I think it's because of the wear and tear from all of the strange afore mentioned techniques I have used over the years, not to leave out, roofing, painting, scrubbing, and diaper changing. My hands have participated in a lot of destructive behavior. And so it continues. Last night I was working on the same piece of jewelery from my previous story and one of my fingers developed a crack. When this happens I use Super Glue to fix the crack. This isn't pretty but it takes away the pain and helps the crack to heal. We just so happened to have a whole new pack of super glue. When I poked a hole in the top of the little glue tube, unknown to me it had squirted out and glued two of my fingers together. It was late at night, I was frustrated, my cracked finger was killing me and two other fingers are glued together. This calls for KEVIN! He came down and to his credit did not burst out laughing. We both just kind of stared at my glued fingers and then we tried rubbing alcohol. That was a bust. Then I turned to the source of all knowledge, Google! I don't really like Google but it comes in handy at times. It's hard to type with two fingers glued together, but I found the answer. It suggested acetone. Although I have pitiful hands, I still have acetone in my home at all times, Fingernail polish remover! Hooray! I soaked my unworthy digits and dabbed them with a Q-tip. They aren't pretty but they're free from bondage. If you don't have fingernail polish remover, get some! It's a good thing to have.

The piece of jewelry still isn't done.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

O Captain! My Captain!

When I was a little girl in Second grade, my teacher (Mrs. Olsen) taught me about Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States. I was immediately enthralled with this man. This is what I was taught: Abraham Lincoln would walk miles to return a book, he was honest at all times, he had a tremendous sense of humor, and he was kind. This was all I needed to know, I became a Lincoln fan over night.

Here is a Lincoln Story:

In the old days, when Abraham Lincoln was one of the leading lawyers of the State, he noticed a little girl of ten who stood beside a trunk in front of her home crying bitterly. He stopped to learn what was wrong, and was told that she was about to miss a long-promised visit to Decatur because the wagon had not come for her.
``You needn't let that trouble you,'' was Lincoln's cheering reply. ``Just come along with me and we shall make it all right.''
Lifting the trunk upon his shoulder, and taking the little girl by the hand, Lincoln went through the streets of Springfield, a half-mile to the railway station, put her and her trunk on the train, and sent her away with a happiness in her heart that is still there.

In these times of fear and danger, a little girl being helped by a tall strange man seems a bit odd, but when I was an innocent child in 1957 this seemed like a wonderful story to me. Here was a man who would go out of his way to help a little girl, and I was certain he did this kind of thing every single day, although having spent time personally in Decatur I’m not sure why the little girl was making a fuss to get there. You can find story after story like this about President Lincoln. There are around 16,000 books written about him and there are more published every year. In America there are at least 15,000 serious Lincoln collectors. I am a Lincoln collector, but I would not be in the serious category, mainly because I can’t afford to be.

Although not a handsome man by any standards there was something about his face that drew me in and I loved his face. He had a rather sad and thoughtful expression that I still find compelling.

If you Google “Lincoln Myths” you will find that there are plenty of people who want to rain on my parade, and are not fans of Lincoln at all. They call him a dictator and other less flattering names. I’m only concerned about the man that I think he was. We all need heroes that we look up to and admire. I’m lucky enough to have many of them in my life, and Lincoln is one of them. I like Lincoln so much that I have a room in my house dedicated to him. I call it the Lincoln Library. Any time I or one of my sisters or friends finds a cool (affordable) Lincoln artifact we buy it and the collection grows and grows. This being said I also collect Star Trek, I wonder what this says about me and Lincoln.
Here are a few Lincoln quotes:

All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.

America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.

Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren't very new at all.

Every one desires to live long, but no one would be old.

I care not much for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.

Here was a man who literally gave his all for our country, Abraham Lincoln, My Captain!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

These are a few of my least favorite things

I've thought a lot about what my sister Victoria said about the HATE word only being used for pornography and other heinous crimes, and I too truly hate and despise those types of things, but also I have a list of minor things that I hate. Here are a few of them..

Late Fees
Stubbed toes
Pot holes
Cracked fingers
Dirty toilets
Dentist drilling on my teeth(actually almost anything that a dentist does to me. Waiting in line at the post office when Bob is the only postal worker available.
My 2010 Word calendar at work that will not print the lines.
Tripping and falling
Dead car batteries

I know that HATE is a strong word, but I have strong feelings about this stuff. I hope I can be forgiven for all my hate crimes.

Next, I'll post a few of my favorite things, of which there are many, many more.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Now I can rant and rave^--^

Let me just say that I have no idea why I put the picture of Megan's cat, Tony the Tiger on this blog. But it's really cute.

Thanks to Tobi I can now blog once again. Tobi is my personal blog fixer-upper. It looks great Tobi. You're a genius.

I have wanted to rant and rave on my blog about several issues in the last few months, but the thing that has driven most crazy is Google. My question is-----Who died and left them in charge? Suddenly I could not get into my blog. The email address and the password that I have used for years was not responding. Every time I tried to post I'd throw my hands up in despair, stomp off, and loose a lot of air. I am a world class sigh-er. I can let out enough air in one sigh to inflate the Hindenburg. Today was a little different. Yes I was still loosing a lot of air and ranting all over the house but I decided I just couldn't let this technology get to me. I settled into the computer chair determined to conquer. As I explored my options a memory came back to me. Oh yes, I changed to a google account several months ago but I couldn't remember my own address. The reason I changed is because I was forced by Google to do so. Ha ha! I found the address on my smart phone, and was able to get a new password. Thanks to Tobi I'm back, but I'm not sure anybody will notice. It's been a long time. Sigh!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Grandpa's Cheer

When I was growing up Dad would honor us with a perfomance of his class cheer every now and then. It is so amazing that I felt as though I should put it in writing, and share it with the world. Here is goes....

Yo Triumphy! Yo Triumphy!
Hobbem Swabbem
Rebeccady Andy
Woopty, Woopty,
Shell diveer
Dee Boom Dee Rah
Dee A Dee Paw
Hunika, Swunika,
Wick Wack
Hobb Dobb
Balda Bora, Balda Bora
Com Slobbidy
Hobb Dobb

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Toy and Action Figure Museum

Last week, Kevin and I drove from Denver to Fort Hood, and on down to Austin Texas where our sons and their families reside. We took a different route than we usually do, and went east on I-70 and then turned right at Kansas, and down to Texas. I love to look at this wonderful country as we drive along, and I am amazed by all the peculiar things that you can stop and see on the way. We went this particular way because I wanted to stop and see a museum in Hutchinson Kansas. The Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center.

It was a very cool space museum. They have the Apollo 13 space capsule and a bunch of rockets, an IMAX theater. and an observatory dome. It was worth it. When you get into the museum there is a sign that says the Cosmosphere is one of the eight wonders of Kansas. I asked a young man there what the other seven wonders were and he hadn't a clue. I looked them up, and you can too.

¢ Big Well, Greensburg.

¢ Cheyenne Bottoms and Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, in Barton and Stafford counties.

¢ Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum, Abilene.

¢ Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center, Hutchinson.

¢ Kansas Underground Salt Museum, Hutchinson.

¢ Monument Rocks and Castle Rock, Gove County.

¢ St. Fidelis Catholic Church (Cathedral of the Plains), Victoria.

¢ Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Chase County.

The important part of this trip is the stop we didn't make. On our way through Oklahoma I saw a sign for the Toy and Action figure museum. We simply did not have enough time to check this one out, so I guess I'm going to take that route another time. For those of you who know me, you'll understand my interest in this Oklahoma wonder.