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Showing posts from September, 2008

Playing Tourist

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Friday and Saturday I made a road trip and decided to play tourist on the way to my destination. I was amazed with what I saw when I began to look at familiar surroundings with a fresh perspective and when I did some internet research for this post, I learned even more and developed a deeper appreciation to those who carved a road through the canyon and, in places, through solid granite. The photo at left is the north end of the canyon, just outside of Thermopolis, WY. Note the cyclists near the highway sign. They were on a tandem bike. According to J. Tom Davis' book Glimpses of Greybull's Past , the highway took two years to build, and the first automobile went through Wind River Canyon in early 1924 . I don’t know how many times I have traveled the 12 - 14 miles through Wind River Canyon, perhaps hundreds. I have traveled this stretch of the highway in a school bus for athletic, music and field trips in my childhood and later as a teacher. I have driven the route in a ca

Simple Woman's Daybook

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Simple Woman Daybook Monday, September 29, 2008 Outside My Window. . . the street is slowly coming to life. Neighbors rush to cars on their way to work, children sluggishly plod to school. Squirrels scamper the deserted driveways, looking for possible treats, dropped by the distracted humans. I am thinking... how much I like to linger over a cup of tea in the morning. I rarely drink coffee. In my experience, coffee is not a beverage that likes to linger. Coffee is for those in a hurry; it is a grab and go drink. Tea demands patience. I am thankful... that I had a safe trip on Friday and Saturday and that I connected with one more patient for the PH support group. In the kitchen... the preparations for a pot of minestrone are waiting to be assembled. I love soup and can eat it anytime of the year, but I find it especially comforting in the fall and winter months. I am wearing... khaki slacks and a black sweater. I am creating... my Christmas gift list and checking it twice,

Clearing the Clutter

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This afternoon I was reading the new issue of all you , a magazine that I really like. It has fresh ideas, attractive layouts, short informative articles, and good tips. The October 24, 2008 issue has a great tip on page 146 that explains how to stop receiving unwanted catalogs. Many of the catalogs I receive go immediately into the recycling bin. This unwanted mail is a huge waste of paper and the Postal Service's time. From the article, I easily unsubscribed to many of the unwanted catalogs on Catalog Choice . If you are tired of the clutter and want to do your part to preserve the forest, check it out.

Frugal Snacking

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My all-time favorite snack is popcorn: I readily admit that I am addicted. I can eat popcorn everyday, at anytime. When I go to the movies, I always buy a bag of popcorn, and when I have the opportunity to attend a movie with my sister, she wants to buy a bigger bag (that is refillable) and share, but I refuse. I don't like to share popcorn. It is a treat that I give myself. Popcorn is a healthy snack choice, minus all the toppings, seasonings, and coatings. Recent studies have proven that popcorn snackers get more whole-grain than those who enjoy other snacks. While popcorn is probably the cheapest snack (at home, anyway) that a person can buy, I have discovered the best way to microwave popcorn: it is healthier than any prepackaged microwave popcorn because you do not use any oil and you can determine if you want seasoning. I am on sodium-restricted diet, so I do not add any seasoning. First, you will need popcorn, lunch-size kraft bags, and a microwave. Seasonings are option

Foliage Police

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When I returned from my volunteer shift at the hospital yesterday, I found a surprise on my front door - a neon-green tag declaring my trees are violating a city ordinance. It appears they need a haircut, as their branches are lower than the city mandated 8 feet. I must have jinxed the trees earlier this week when I boasted to a friend how healthy they were this year. She was concerned about one of her trees, and I recommended the arborist that had pulled one of mine back from the brink of sure death. I called Cedar Mountain Tree Care and asked to have a crew come by and trim the trees. I told the receptionist they were probably due for a thinning, too. I hate to do this because they were so pretty this year, but Caesar has wished it, and I must comply. My only comfort is that by thinning the branches the tree will remain healthy. Sigh!

Simple Woman's Daybook

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FOR TODAY - Monday, September 22, 2008 Outside My Window. . . the sun is slowly slipping over the horizon, hesitant to begin its day. As the days get shorter, I have been waking later and later, too. I am thinking... about the economy. Generally, Americans are spoiled and do not realize that we are our own worst enemies and that the country has been crumbling from within for a long time. We spend more than we make because we want the newest gadget or automobile. We confuse want with need . I fear another Depression is in our future. I am thankful... that my house and car loans are paid. I am thankful that I have no debt and that I have invested my money in a variety of places. From the kitchen... I need to start planning weekly menus; perhaps, that will help me eat healthier meals and minimize snacking. I am wearing... a denim skirt and tee shirt. I am creating... a twined rug to give to my sister for Christmas. I am going... to volunteer at the hospital this morning. I "

Autumn's Treasure

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Yesterday, I noticed the backyard, ash tree is changing color very quickly. Some cast-offs are beginning to clutter the lawn. Ash trees turn a lovely yellow, and when the entire tree is golden, the sun filtering through the leaves shimmers and covers everything a blanket of gold. Lovely to see, but so short-lived because the ash do not hold on to the transformed leaves long. They shower to the ground and too quickly dry out and turn into curled and brittle shells. I have three trees in my yard, all ash. They are usually the last trees in the neighborhood to leaf in the spring, and the first to lose their leaves in the fall. My neighbors and I enjoy their shade in the summer, and because they provide such wonderful shade, I endure the billions of seeds the tree in the front discards in the lawn, on the drive and walk, and in the street. Keeping a tree healthy in Wyoming takes some work and dedication. Ash trees are susceptible to scale and all sorts of bugs, but thanks to a great l

Caught in Life's Web

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Recently, life has managed to get in the way of my knitting. It seems like I have been running from one task to another and not getting much done. Last weekend, I was busy getting ready for the Wyoming Pulmonary Hypertension Support Group meeting, and this week, I hustled to get the group newsletter ready for publication and distribution. (I'll write more about this group later.) I've met three friends this week for two separate luncheons, and begged out of a quilting group gathering today. My laundry piles are high, I have dishes in the sink, the floors need vacuumed and the furniture dusted. I needed to stay home and get something done. In between all of this activity, I knit on an Oddball Baby Blanket and an Oddball Shawl. Angel Wings made its return visit, and I added another section. The Oddball Baby Blanket, Tropical Plantation, was started by a lady in Hawaii. She used the bright pink, which reminded her of a Hawaiian flower. I added the lime because it was the only

The Simple Woman's Daybook

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Simple Woman Daybook FOR TODAY - Monday, September 15, 2008 Outside My Window. . . the trees appear tired and weary with the burden of their leaves. Near the crown, the foliage has a slight tinge of gold. Soon, the ground will be littered with the castoffs and the barren branches will sigh with relief. I am thinking... that I had better get busy and winterize my yard before the cold weather decides to settle in. It is a chore that I dread, but one that is necessary. I am thankful for... my ability to find things to occupy my hands and mind. I am thankful that I can use my talents to create things for people in need. So many of people claim to be "bored," but I think they are just boring. From the kitchen... rows of gleaming, mason jars are waiting to be stowed in a box for Christmas gifts. Twelve pints are filled with apricot jam. Seven quarts contain crab apple and plum juice for making future batches of jelly. I love capturing the taste of summer to be enjoyed in

September Pillow Talk

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September and cooler temperatures blew into Wyoming last night. The house shuddered from the wind gusts, and this morning the lawn was littered with fallen leaves and branches. A light rain fell periodically all day, and now the sun is shining. I knit my way through the dreary day and listened to Tall Grass by Sandra Dallas, a book that I highly recommend. The reader (or listener) feels like a member of the Stroud family. I was drawn in by the description of the farmhouse and the surrounding fields. It brought back memories of my childhood and my family home. The narrator is a young girl that the dad calls, Squirt. She is much like Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird . Tall Grass shows how a Japanese internment camp brings out the best and worst in its community. Wyoming also had an internment camp during World War II, and I am sure the communities surrounding Heart Mountain went through the same struggles as those in the community in this book. This page gives you an idea of camp