Fortunately / Unfortunately

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At the time, I thought it was fortunate the food in my fridge was mostly consumed, since I was leaving for several days.

However, it was unfortunate to come home to a bare fridge.

Fortunately, it was Farmer’s Market day, so I could pick up some fresh lettuce for the chef salads for dinner.

Unfortunately, it was Saturday and I did not want to do major grocery shopping, but there were a few items on sale that I needed to pick up (even if it was Saturday).

Fortunately, the store was close to the Farmer’s Market.

Unfortunately, the store was out of the item I wanted.

Fortunately, I got a rain check.

Unfortunately, I needed a few more items, but they were all at different stores.

Fortunately, I checked the ads before leaving home so I had a plan in mind of the order for the stops.

Unfortunately, the heat and humidity was suffocating as it took me three hours to pick up a “few” things.

Fortunately, I stopped at the library to claim my books on hold. The temperature and humidity dropped so I could enjoy my books on the patio and I didn’t have to get groceries for a few days.

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My Story

Hello! Let me introduce myself. I am a fledgling robin.

This was my home until mother and father so rudely (and unexpectedly) pushed me and my siblings out of this luxury high-rise viburnum bush nest.

These past few days have been trying (to say the least). Once I got my bearings, I discovered there’s a new world beyond the nest. I found out my legs could take me from one side of the field to the other by hopping. I think hopping is a perfectly fine way of moving, but one of the adults in my life is telling me to use my wings. I just don’t get the big deal. 

There must be a family reunion in the maple tree. I hear a chorus of chirping over my head all day long as I travel from one spot to another (you know, hopping along happily). Relatives zoom past me, urging me to spread my wings. Leave me alone! I’ll do it, but not yet. If only someone would bring me a nice juicy worm, life would be great.

Mama! Where are you?There you are, help me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wait a minute, what just happened? How did I get here? Did my wings do that? Cool!

I think I’ll just rest for a bit. That was fun, but I don’t want to overdo it.

That rest gave me energy to explore more. What is that lady doing behind the glass? Wait a second, I have an itch. I hope she notices my steely stare. Stop stalking me lady!

In a day or so, I’m out of here. There’s a great big world to explore.Know a good place for juicy worms?

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Finding a Slice

Every Monday, my mind begins to sift through the happenings of the past week to pluck that just right snippet of life to become my “slice of life” on Tuesday. All week long, I am collecting bits and pieces in my mind (and photos on my phone), but none jump out and say, “I’m the one you want to bring to life with words.

I could write about what’s growing in my backyard sanctuary.

 

I could write about the strange shape and color of clouds that appeared after dinner.

The next day, I learned about a tornado that touched down within twenty miles of us about the same time I watched the clouds.

Just as I was thinking there was nothing interesting to write about, I saw my slice, but it happened too fast to get a photo.

My husband and I were on the way to my mother’s apartment. There’s a long stretch of road that has fields on both sides. One field usually has horses. Recently, I wondered where the horses had gone because the field was empty and the grass was long.

All of a sudden, two horses came running from the top of the field. Manes and tails flying, as they ran along the fence. I started to make a comment on how frisky they were when I my gaze swept across the road. A young deer bounded across the road  and disappeared into the wild brush. The horses came to a stop when they reached the fence parallel to the road. A possible new friend disappeared, they seemed disappointed as they stood there, eyes glued to the spot where the deer vanished.

On our return trip, the horses were back at the top of the field. I imagine they were discussing the stranger who didn’t stay to play.

Sometimes, a slice just runs right in front of you and all you can do is catch it with words.

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Water Everywhere

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I go to the closet, take the weather forecast into account, and what I’m doing for the day before I pick out my clothes for the day. I don’t spend a lot of time considering what might happen to my clothes through the day. My hope is there won’t ever be a malfunction with my wardrobe.

Yesterday, I knew I would be spending half a day in a meeting. I knew I would be going for a pedicure after the meeting. I knew I would have dinner out with friends after the pedicure. So the clothing of the day had to be comfortable and able to be worn in all three situations. I opted for a knit pair of capris rather than denim and a light-weight knit tunic top. Wise decision . . .

Dinner was over, dishes had been removed from the table, and everyone was sitting around chatting when all of a sudden the table lurched and water glasses came flying towards me. Fortunately, I was on the end and able to jump up quickly when I realized what had just happened. A waterfall cascaded down the side of the table! My right side was soaked from my waist to my knees! My right sandal was water logged as water dripped off my foot. However, as I stood there trying to soak up water from my clothes, I realized that you couldn’t see how wet I was. The knits did not change color. Unless you touched me, you wouldn’t know half of my body was dripping wet.

At that moment, I was grateful for the decisions made earlier in the day. You just never know how your day will go.

This Land of Ours (Part 2)

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After spending the morning at Arches (which is on the east side of Utah), we traveled across the state (340ish miles) to explore Zion National Park. As we were driving an unusual looking cloud appeared on the horizon.

This cloud was actually a snow storm.

Soon the ground was covered, but it didn’t stick to the road.

Eventually, we made it to our hotel. A good night’s rest was just what we needed before hiking the next day.

We stayed in St. George, so we had about an hour drive to get to the park. Everyone warned us how busy the park gets, so we arrived shortly after eight. We were able to find a parking place easily. After a short visit with a ranger, we had a plan of several short, easy hikes for our adventures.

Zion is rather unusual because the main road is only accessible by a shuttle bus. This bus is like a hop-on-hop-off bus stopping a places near trails. We decided to ride all the way to the end and work our way back towards the car. It takes about forty-five minutes to reach the end.

These canyon walls make one feel so small.

First hike was Riverside Walk (2.2 miles round trip). Canyon walls tower above as you follow the Virgin River meandering through this canyon. Weeping walls create hanging gardens.

Plants grow out of the cracks in the rock walls. Sadly, nothing was blooming when we were there.

 

Walking along the Virgin River. Seems more like a creek here.

A few interesting views of nature along the walk.

When you get to the end of the path, you don’t have to stop, but you have to walk in the water upstream. Of course you have to be outfitted with the right clothes: waterproof shoes, some kind of waterproof pants, and a large walking stick. To get to the Narrows, you need to allow six hours of hiking. Walking in freezing cold water was not high on my “must do” list. However, my husband now has a burning desire to do this hike.

Someone is wishing he could go further upstream.

On the return trip, we walked along the sandy edge of the river. Suddenly, a mule deer crossed the river oblivious of us.

Mule deer nibbling on new leaves for a snack.

Before starting the next hike we sat at a picnic table and devoured our snacks and drank a bottle of water in our backpacks.

This is my view while having my snacks or should I say lunch? Not bad, right?

After a few missteps, we finally found the start of the Grotto Trail (1 mile), which ends at the Zion Lodge. This led us to the Lower Emerald Pool trail (1.2 miles). It was a nice paved path, but it was a gradual uphill walk. I have to admit, I was starting to tire.

The easy section ends with a walk behind a small waterfall.

Guess the green water is why they call this the Emerald Pool walk.

After this walk, I announced I was getting worn out and I could feel some blisters forming on my big toe and heel. It was time to head back to the hotel for a shower and relax before dinner. Another day of great weather and beautiful sights.

A shower was calling my name, but when we got to the hotel, the front desk announced the water was off and they hoped it would be back on soon. I decided to wait for the water in the spa pool. That felt wonderful, however, the water was off another two hours. That was aggravating. Of course with the water off, there was no hot water for a while. Eventually, we were able to get showers and go out for dinner. Our adventures in national parks was over for this trip. Wonder where we will go next?

 

This Land of Ours (Part 1)

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The two items above (national parks pass and new hiking shoes) have kept me away from my computer and slicing for the last two weeks. Here’s where I’ve been . . .

An open two weeks from work and appointments meant we had some time to head west to visit our son and his family. Instead of zipping out and back, we decided to put that national parks pass to work before our visit. Arches and Zion (both in Utah) were the parks selected for this trip.

Shortly after lunch, we entered Arches, ready to stretch our legs from driving. Incredible rock formations had us speechless as we drove up the switch back road. I cannot imagine the reactions of the early explorers who first laid eyes on this land. These rocks were massive!

Top left is Balanced Rock (total height is 128 feet, rock on top is 55 feet). The top right is Courthouse Towers. Bottom left is Three Gossips close up, then on the right it is in the distance.

Delicate Arch was the first hike. It was listed as challenging. I had my doubts about my ability, but we set off. Halfway into it, I had to give up. It was too steep for me, but I sent my husband on. I slowly made it back to the car. While waiting, I took the map of the hikes and arches and created a plan for the rest of the day and the next morning.

Here are some of the arches .

Top left: Delicate Arch taken by my husband as he fought 50 mph winds. Top right: Landscape Arch, just over 300 feet long, it is the second longest span in the world. Middle right: North Window Arch Bottom left: Turret Arch Bottom right: Double Arch

The Fiery Furnace

A massive wall of rock called The Fiery Furnace is on the left, then turn slightly right and you see the field on the inset picture at the bottom.

Sand Dune Arch

To get to this arch, you have to walk through deep sand and a narrow crevice (pictured on the bottom left).

As we were leaving the park, something caught our attention. We had to turn around to get a closer look. Would you do this? I would not!

Thanks to the zoom on the camera, we could see this ant fellow climbing this rock.

What a fantastic park! I know there were arches we didn’t get to this time, but I bet we will be back. Next week: Zion National Park.

 

Thoughts of a Reader

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It’s just a book.

Stop thinking about it.

I can’t. 

It’s not real.

But it feels real.

Don’t dwell on it.

I can’t help it.

I can’t stop thinking about 

Citra,

Rowan,

and all the Scythes.

You need to read something else.

This is troubling you.

I need to know what happens!

Arghhhh! The third book doesn’t come out until 2019!

I read the premise of the book. I didn’t think it was the book for me. The story line sounded morbid, so I don’t know what possessed me to request it from the library. I thought I’d read a little and discover it wasn’t my cup of tea, so I could abandon it. That didn’t happen. I continued to read, I needed to find out what happened.  I consumed that book in a few days. The book is Scythes by Neal Shusterman. Hungry for more I returned to the library to find I was fourth in line for requesting Thunderhead. Impatiently I waited for other readers to finish. Now I have it. This book will be finished soon. The characters will have to live in my memory until The Toll is published in 2019.