Friday, August 31, 2012

Drama in the Neighborhood

Last night we had a little excitement in the neighborhood.  Mike was in at the church but Sam and I were home.  First, I thought I heard some hollering outside but saw nothing.  I muted the television but all was quiet.  The next thing Sam and I heard were far-off sirens.  Right then I had a strong feeling that those sirens were headed our way.  I was right!  The sirens stopped right next door.

It turns out that our neighbors had a small fire in their front yard.  They weren't home and we do not yet know why there was a fire.  It was really just a matter of  feet from our cars and our house. A row of dry trees line up between our house and their's.  It is great for privacy but certainly would have made powerful fuel.   Have I mentioned that Wyoming is in a drought?  It has been really, really dry around here.

The fire did not amount to much I guess.  It was out before I saw it.  The reason is this, a passing motorist took the time to care.  He or she saw it and called out for help (explaining the hollering I thought I heard).  The neighbor on the other side helped put out the fire before it became a big deal.  

I'm so very grateful to people who see a problem and do what they can to help.   I know there are people who would have just driven by, expecting someone else to handle the problem.   I don't know the name of the person alerting to the fire, but we are very appreciative.  I'm happy to be reporting just minor drama, nothing more.

I also want to give a shout out to all emergency services folks.  They walk into a lot of unknown situations on our behalf.  I am pretty sure we don't thank them enough.  If any of my readers are among our protectors, know that we are grateful!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Pretending to Be My Age

When I was younger I knew, of course, that there were people of all different ages.  What I didn't understand, though, was that a lot of those people didn't really feel like they belonged in the age category to which they found themselves assigned.

Am I making sense?

Well, here's the thing.  I know in my head that I am now in the middle-aged category.  To be honest, I've been in that category for awhile now.  How did that happen?  You see, I still think of myself as a young mother.  I feel I should be about 32 or so.  I feel like I kind of got mentally or emotionally stuck there.  I feel comfortable there.

Don't get me wrong.  I'm not really complaining about being in my 50's.  It's just that I feel like I'm only pretending to be in my 50's, like I'm wearing a costume or something, but inside I'm still 32.  It feels kind of weird to know that people I meet don't realize that.

This happened to me when I was 14 as well.  Someone asked me how old I was and I blurted out that I was 12.  I was horrified at my mistake.  What 14 year old wants to be 12?  Well, I think I liked being 12.  I felt comfortable being 12 for several years.

I was thinking about all this and remembered something I read a long time ago.  I read that inside every person is that person from every age they'd ever been.  That is, even a middle-aged person still has inside of them the memory of who they were at a younger age and really, they are that person still.  It's kind of true, don't you think?

Next time I look at an elderly person I'm going to be wondering if deep down they feel like an imposter.  Maybe they feel like they are 25 and just pretending to be old since they are stuck wearing an old costume.  Something to think about, right?

Mike and Me in Our Early 30's

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Father and a Daughter

I was looking through some of the photos 
took from the recent gathering of relatives.  
I loved these photos of our 
brother-in-law, Joe, enjoying some 
father-daughter time with our niece, Erin.  

 What do you think they were discussing?
I really did't hear but, knowing Joe,
I'm guessing he was telling a corny joke.
Maybe he was giving her insightful advice?
It doesn't matter.
It was just sweet to see them enjoying
each other's company.

 Like I said, I just love these photos.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Party Ends

Well, I guess all good things must come to an end.  Yesterday the last of our guests left town.  The house is really quiet!

Before we took Mike's Mom to the airport  Mike and I were commenting on how proud we are of her.  It took some gumption to fly here on her own!  There's no direct flight, of course, from her town in Montana to our's in Wyoming, so she flew through Denver. She bravely faced the layovers, the crowds, luggage, flight changes, etc. to be here with her family.

Carol also calmly accepted the change of motel after the first one had a hostage/drug/suicide incident.  She smiled and complimented all our meals, experiencing a lot of new vegan foods.  She spent a LOT of time playing with an almost-3-yr-old, which required a lot of energy.  She rocked and patted a baby even when fussy.  She made everyone feel special and loved.

We're so glad she did all this as it would not have been the same without her.  I hated sending her off alone again.  It made me sad to see her disappear through the security area but she looked satisfied and confident.  Thanks for coming, Carol!

Monday, August 27, 2012

A Party for Elise

Saturday evening the family gathering continued at our house.  You'll be surprised (not) to know that I took a lot of photos!  Lucky for you all, many of them were blurry or otherwise flawed.

Elise and Maria
(I love this photo!)

Our son, Sam, and our son-in-law, Eric

Elise with her great uncle, Joe

Great Aunt Sue had her turn as well.

A lot of visiting, game-playing and eating took place.

Sunday was Elise's baptism.  Wearing a family gown that is 117 years old, Elise looked beautiful.  To read more about that gown, please click here.  Our daughter, Maria, already wrote up a nice post about it.  The gown was made by Elise's great-great-great grandmother!

It was fun to have so much family together at a church service.


Me with Elise

Karen, Mike, Carol, Sue
(Mike with his mother and sisters)

Elise and her parents

After church we enjoyed a lovely meal at Maria and Eric's home.

Erin (our niece) with Maria

My handsome husband, Mike

Cordy giving Grandma Carol a Hug


  Our son-in-law, Eric, visiting with our brother-in-law, Gregg, and Mike's sister, Karen.

Some of the family had to leave yesterday afternoon 
but the rest of us gathered at our home last night.

Grandma Carol with Elise

Yes, we do know how absolutely blessed we are to have so much family supporting and loving us!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

I Have Called You By Name

  “Do not be afraid, for I have 

ransomed you.

      I have called you by name; you 

are mine." 

Isiah 43:1

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Fun With the Rellys

We've been soooooo busy the last few days, but it's busy in a good way.  We've been visiting with relatives, going on picnics and just having a good time.  Here, let me show you...

This first picture is Mike and Cordelia crossing the river in a covered wagon.
OR, it may be a replica set up at an interpretive center.

The interpretative center had fun things for Cordelia to enjoy.
She kept taking the pieces of the kid displays and putting them in better order.
She prefers her cows and things to be in lines or rows, rather than just milling about.

Eric had the day off and was able to picnic and play with us as well.

You won't believe this but this is one of Mike's sisters...Elise's great-aunt, Sue. 
She looks the same as when I met her about 37 years ago!
How does that work?

Cordelia was like an energizer bunny, running and playing.
She's pretty outgoing. 
At the park she saw some older girls
and chased after them saying,
"Hi!  It's me, Cordelia!"

Eventually, though, I think we wore  her out!
She told me she was just going to sleep right there on the bridge.

We don't have all our family here this week but we've got a 
good-sized group, representing multiple states.  
We're so grateful for family!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Happy Birthday, Sara!

Any of you who have adult children will know that what I am about to say is absolute truth...  It is a true joy when you know your child has married someone who loves and appreciates them.  I'm talking about my daughter-in-law, Sara.

(photo lifted from Sara's Facebook page... is that wrong?)

Sara is kind and supportive of Ben.  Sara has a beautiful smile and a musical laugh, which she shares easily and often, especially at Ben's jokes.  I hate being far away from Ben, but it is a great comfort for me knowing that he has Sara.  

This pretty girl with the bouncy curls is also smart and accomplished in her own right.  It will be exciting to see where her ambitions take her!  She's inquisitive and loves exploring new avenues of thought.  

We are celebrating Sara's birthday, so happy that she is a part of our family!  

RU Ready 4 This?

Mike's Mom is visiting us and she arrived with a request.  She'd purchased a new cell phone with a QWERTY Keyboard because she wanted to join the world of texting.  I think that's pretty cool!  Her children and grandchildren are texting and so she wants to join the conversation.  I'm proud of her!

(Sam, teaching Grandma Carol how to text.)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Kindness Bandit Fun

Like I posted yesterday, I was able to join Maria on one of her Kindness Bandit Projects.  If you want to know more about the Kindness Bandit check out THIS or THIS or maybe THIS.  You may get some new ideas of your own to do as random acts of kindness.

Nearly three years ago, when Maria had Cordelia, we learned that in our community there are a lot of people who arrive to deliver and have very little to provide for their little ones.  We looked at all the little outfits and such for Cordelia and got the idea of sharing the joy.  Maria remembered it as my idea but I'm pretty sure it was her's.  At any rate, all we did was buy up some baby stuff, package it and take it to the nurses in the OB Dept. to distribute at will.

We thought it would not only be a nice surprise for the parents but that the nurses would enjoy being the bearers of gifts.  I don't know if you realize this but often nurses are the bearers of yucky things, such as needles and enemas.  This would be a nice change, trust me.

So, now that Elise is safely here, we wanted to do the same.  We actually started buying up things when Maria was pregnant.  We just watched for clearance items.  We found some amazing buys!  For example, we purchased a bunch of snowsuits, originally about $20, for just $3!  Additionally, Maria crocheted up a bunch of sweet little baby hats.  I sure have a sweet daughter, don't I?

We divided it up into gift bags, encouraging Cordelia to join in the fun.  Maria took some photos which you can view HERE.

She seemed pretty concerned at first.  She really needed a lot of reassurance that we still had lots of baby clothes for Elise.  We liked that she was watching out for her little sister.  I think she did understand we were trying to do something nice, but I think it was hard for her to understand about people in need.

So, we loaded up the gifts...

...loaded up the sisters (notice Cordelia's fashion statement in bracelets) ...

...and made our delivery.  It just took a few minutes but it was fun for us and hopefully helped Cordelia learn about helping others.

Not long after our trip to drop off our gifts at the hospital, I had to stop at the store for some things.  What do you know?  They had more baby items on clearance and I have no self-control!  I guess we're going to have to do this again!

For the record, I also purchased two matching sister dresses for Cordelia and Elise that may fit them in a year or so.  I love clearance racks!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

An Intersting Day in Our Town

Yesterday was an interesting day!  The weather was weird all day.  It seemed like it might rain but really I think the overcast feeling was mostly smoke from some distance fire.   We had periods of sunshine as well, so it was plenty warm.

Maria and I and the grandbabies went out and about on errands.  I got to be involved with one of her Kindness Bandit runs.  Maria has been doing Kindness Bandit Projects for years now.  She is very creative thinking up ways to improve someone else's life in some little way.  I will be telling you more about what we did yesterday but for now, click HERE to read about one of her previous Kindness Bandit Projects.

One our return trip from our little adventure, driving through town, we saw these beauties.

Don't they look sweet?  We didn't bother them much.  They are so used to people they felt very comfortable in our presence.  In fact, I couldn't use all the photos I took because they felt comfortable enough to poop and potty while I was snapping their photos.
I love that we live in a place where deer and antelope play...
or at least munch peacefully on a lawn, as long as it isn't mine.

Not long after leaving this peaceful scene we learned that there was a hostage situation occurring near our homes.  This is not a big city so something like that is pretty surprising.  The situation was at a nearby Super 8.  Click HERE if you want to read about that.  The photos below were taken for the Casper Star Tribune by Alan Rogers.

We have lots of company coming to town, beginning today, and we have reservations there for some of our relatives.  I'm really glad they weren't there yet!  Thankfully, it sounds like the situation was well-handled by our local protectors.  I don't know much about it all but I believe all the hostages survived.

It was also voting day in Wyoming.  Mike and I did our good citizen thing and looked through a bunch of voting propaganda information.  My favorite thing about voting is coming home and finally throwing away all those mailings!  OK, my favorite thing is really simply that I have the right to vote.  I do love throwing out that stuff, though!

So, that was my Tuesday.
What did you do?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Don't Bug Me!

Do you know what you are looking at in this photo?

It's bugs!  Mostly little flying gnat type bugs!

When we were in Minnesota last week we encountered a few swarms of bugs one night.  We had just returned to our hotel and the first entrance we went to was so covered with bugs we rerouted to the front entrance.  The lights were higher up so the bugs were not quite so in our face but there were so many still!  I'd never seen anything like it so of course I had to run in to get my camera.

I was shooting away, impressing myself with how cool they looked in the photos.

At some point I became aware that they were coming down toward me.  
When I returned inside, Mike was trying to pick them out of my hair!

We mentioned it to the lady at the front desk who didn't seem too concerned, probably 
thinking we were over reacting.  She did, however, go toward the door to look.
I was so creeped out I hurried to our room and showered but as we were leaving the lobby we heard the front desk lady making horrified exclamations about what she saw.
That made me smile.
Is that mean?

I'm not sure you quite have the feel of how horrible 
it really was so let me leave you
with some close up photos.

Cool and yucky all at the same time, huh?

I think I have to go shower again!

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