Sunday, June 29, 2008

Slideshow Part 4 - Salt Lake City, Utah through Grand Teton National Park Jackson, Wyoming

Friends, Romans, Countrymen, Lend Me Your Ear!

My favorite high school English teacher came sauntering into the library this week. I knew her immediately but amazingly enough she remembered me also; my name and the year I graduated (1983). Wow! She is now retired from teaching after 35 years in the public school system and to my knowledge always taught sophomore English Literature/Grammar. She was so tough that everyone wept and gnashed their teeth at the dread of taking her class, but she was one of those teachers who made you want to learn and do your best. We were required to memorize Mark Antony's funeral oration from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar and then recite it in front of the class. Nothing since then in my life has been quite as mortifying! On the positive side - I can still quote most of that speech and if your name is Caesar and you need someone to speak at your funeral...well, I'm your gal. English Literature was hard enough for one semester but the second semester was Grammar! UGH! A comma splice was simply not tolerated in her class. If you wrote a paper with a comma splice, a big red "F" would be at the top of the paper and believe me, I made more than my share. Please no one give her my blog site. She would still eat me alive. BTW she now sells vegetables at our little farmer's market. I can buy my cucumbers and tomatoes from her. Life is funny!

I accomplished all my goals last week:

1. Finish the laundry.
2. Iron.
3. Write out my grocery list.
4. Go grocery shopping.
5. Sew some quilt blocks together.
6. Balance my check book.
7. Eat and enjoy mint chocolate chip ice cream.
8. Do not feel guilty about being on a summer schedule.
9. Be kind to a stranger.
10. Study my Sunday School lesson.

This week I want to clean out my kitchen drawers. What an exciting life I lead and thought you guys should know that I might have one night available on my calendar open for a non-formal social function.

Thanks for reading and Park IV of our slide show is coming soon.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

What's That I Smell?

I haven't touched on how much I love to read yet and therefore as, "Reading Rosie," I should probably tell you a bit about this topic. Working at a library, of course, is my ideal job because I love everything about books. Since I am on staff, my co-workers and I get first choice of the books before they are released to the public. There is nothing like a brand new book hot off the press. From the clean cover, crisp pages and new ink smell, every book is magic and reeks with the potential to change your life, make you think or take you on a memorable journey. Some books with great reviews turn out to be disappointing while others books with little known authors might become a favorite. Actually, I prefer the lesser known authors most of the time because the best sellers tend to get more hype and usually never equals the build up. I read a lot of Christian Fiction. Christian fiction used to be cheesy but over the years newer authors realized the potential for this venue and began writing more in depth plots and broader story lines. While I don't completely limit my reading to the Christian Fiction market, I find the more I read books without bad language, gory death details, or sexual escapades, the less I tolerate books with that garbage. I also decided when my boys where younger if I wouldn't want my them reading it, then it wasn't worth having around. Lead by example is my motto! When I was much younger, energetic, thinner and better looking, I could read five or six books per week, but I am slowing down. I only manage to get maybe two books read per week and sometimes only one. I don't understand this phenomena since I am still relatively young, energetic and aging, for the most part (or parts because some areas are questionable), gracefully. Forget the thin part!
Last week I read Refuge, an Unnatural History of Family and Place by Terry Tempest Williams. This book was given to me by my reading buddy Ruthetta and she has me pegged very well as to what I like. From the Great Salt Lake and the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge to a daughter dealing with her mother dying of cancer, this book is educational, reflective and spiritual. It was a ten tissue read at least.
This week's book was the complete opposite which shows my diversity in what I read.
Ted Dekker is a Christian Fiction/Thriller author. Adam is his latest creation and it has nothing to do with what you are thinking about the name. Dekker, for lack of a better word, is bizarreo! His books are comparable to Stephen King, but without the bad language or morbidness. You can expect the unexpected, unusual plot twists and usually a spiritual side, although, I find I really have to dig for the spiritual part sometimes. If you have never read anything by him, give him a try and expect a chill to run up your spine.
Usually I have at least five books stacked up on my nightstand but tonight I have zero, zilch, nada. Luckily, I work tomorrow and hopefully will have a minute to look for something or better still, a new box of books might arrive at our door! I can smell them now.
Thanks for reading and look for Part III of our trip slide show coming soon.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Unemployment is Up

It has been over a week since I posted anything personal and I am getting harassed by friends to update. What I find funny about this is my friends know what is going on in my world yet they still want to hear all the random thoughts I have skittering around in my mind. My everyday life is so routine I find it amusing anyone cares. My excuse for my slothfulness is I've been working extra hours at the library since returning from vacation because several of my co-workers are now on vacation. I am filling in for them just as they did for me. This has made me extra busy along with the fourteen loads of laundry I have washed, dried and ironed the past two weeks.

I do have a few tidbits to share from the public library world. First, a guy comes into the library to apply for a job application on-line. He knows nothing about using a computer so I end up filling out the application for him. He then proceeds to belch in my face. I am fairly sure he will not get a job. Second, a young man comes into the library to take an on-line test to get his boaters license and wants to pay me under the counter to let him cheat. He fails the test the seven times he takes it and then sneaks and uses his cell phone to text a buddy for the answers. I throw him out. I am fairly sure he will not hold a job in his lifetime. Thirdly, all teenagers are now reading vampire books. I can't sleep at night knowing the teenagers in this town are into vampires. This fact compels me to consume large quantities of garlic, which makes me stink and gives me indigestion and causes MDH and Oscar to sleep with their noses covered, which causes them to snore and keeps me awake and so on. It is a vicious cycle. I am also fairly certain knowing everything about vampires will not be a job requirement and these kids will never enter the work force. Unemployment is up - not because jobs are lacking but because ignorance is abundant! That is my political soapbox stand for the evening.

MDH used the word “exponential” this week in a conversation! In the 20 plus years we have been married I’ve never heard him use this word. It surprised me so much I asked him if he actually knew what the word meant. He made Little I go look it up to prove he knew what it meant and that he had used it correctly in a sentence. I was so impressed, plus it kind of turned me on. Whisper “exponential” in my ear the next time around would you hon!

I have a leaky, drippy shower. It is driving me crazy. All I hear is drip, drip, drip. All I think about is the water being wasted. Waste, waste, waste. Drip, drip, drip. What is ironic about this is MDH is a maintenance mechanic and Big C is working for the water department this summer. Need I say more on this topic?

I have Part II of our vacation slide show ready and I will post it tomorrow evening sometime.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Little I's Pictures at Creation Museum





Little I took some good shots at the Creation Museum, plus the one we got of him. I like looking at the world through his view point.

Creation Museum







We saved our visit to Ken Hamm’s Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky, for the last big event. We did this on purpose because all the National Parks push evolution and old earth theories. Most places we visited estimated the earth to be 500 billion years old and I am sure for most people that theory is not a problem because it wasn’t a problem for me for a long time in my life.

I’ve read the National Geographic and I’ve watched Nova and Nature on PBS. I’ve been to the Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC and the Field Museum in Chicago, IL. I've been to countless zoos and aquariums, I’ve read about dinosaurs and the different eras in which they were supposed to have lived, heck I’ve seen Jurassic Park at least 500 times (if that counts for anything). Still, I’ve always believed in God and believed that He created the world and everything in it; yet I’ve not always believed that He actually created it in the literal six days of creation as the Bible teaches. Don’t get me wrong, evolution has never been a factor for me. That is a foolish theory. But, for years I simply believed God created the world probably over a period of a long time. The Bible does say, “But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.” 2 Peter 3:8. But, contextually that verse is talking about God’s patients. God is patient enough and loves humanity enough to wait long periods of time to allow all to come to salvation. People close to me have said, “What does it matter how long God took to create the world as long as you believe He did?” At first it didn’t make a difference to me, but now it does and it has been a long spiritual lesson God has taught me personally.

Several years ago my children starting asking me questions and it was important for me to give them definitive answers. If I believe something, I should be able to tell someone, especially my children, why I believe it. Having taught my kids that the Bible is true and not a bunch of mythical stories as some believe, and that God’s word can be trusted, I began questioning myself on what I truly believed about taking God’s Word literally or figuratively. For example, the story of Jonah and the Whale. Do I tell my kids that this is a true and literal story? Did God actually punished Jonah by allowing him to be swallowed by a large fish (the Bible never says whale, we just assume)? Or is this an allegory? Did God empower David to kill the giant Goliath with a sling shot and a stone or is that an embellished story? Was Mary a virgin when she gave birth to Christ or was that just the story she told? Did Jesus die on the cross and cover our sins with his blood and then rise from the grave and conquer death or is that a religious story to make us feel bad about ourselves? By questioning Creation, I was also questioning the entire Bible. God is more than capable of creating the world in six days and by questioning this, I was lessening who God is and what He can do. I was allowing my mind to be conformed by man’s “knowledge” rather than allowing it to be transformed by God’s Holy Word. So I made a decision. I begin reading again and again for myself the Genesis account of creation. I didn’t just skim over it, I studied it, I included all the little words…it, and, but, the, etc. I thought about it, I prayed about it, I wrote about it, I taught about it, I covered it from every angle and through the Holy Spirit that lives within me, my conclusion came to be that the word “day” in the Genesis means a literal twenty-four hour period. Moses was inspired by God to write the first five books of the Bible and Moses knew what a day was. He experienced sun-rise and sun-set. He was raised and educated in a palace and was probably taught to worship the sun and moon. Calendars and time might not have been kept as we keep them, but Moses knew what a “day” was and by writing “day” I believe he meant a literal “day”. I believe the Bible was inspired by God and written for generations of men to read, not just an early generation; therefore making it reliable from the beginning of mankind to the end of mankind. The Jews studied the Torah which are the books written by Moses and believed the words. Just because our generation is more “educated” doesn’t mean we should believe less.

Now, what does all of this have to do with the Creation Museum? Well, everything! How refreshing it was to go to a museum that taught exactly what MDH, I and our kids believe. Big C and Little I both said how nice it was that we didn’t have to read about evolution one more time. The Creation Museum did this in a way that revel other museums. This was not a cheap production with felt board displays, but rather a modern technological version of His Creation without shoving it down your throat. It simply lets the Bible speak for Itself. They have created a beautiful planetarium that takes you on a Biblical account of the Universe. They have a 4-D theatre that answers the age old questions, “Why am I here? What is my purpose? Does anyone really care about me? Did God really create the world and all we know?” They also have a theatre showing “The Last Adam” which tells the story of God’s redemptive plan since the fall from the Garden of Eden. This, of course, was God’s son Jesus who died for all mankind. You can’t see or hear that story without being changed. Their dioramas were equal too or better than anything you’ve seen at Disney World and their botanical gardens (although we didn’t get to see them much because of the rain) were beautiful. It even had really nice places to eat that weren’t overpriced. We left feeling that it had been well worth our time and money and it also reconfirmed everything that we have seen on our trip. It talked about the formation of the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone and how our earth can be viewed as only a few thousand years old rather than billions. So……Go! Take a youth group, or a school group, or your family and support this ministry outreach. If you want more information on Ken Hamm and this museum go to http://www.answersingenesis.com/ You’ll not regret it.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Clicking My Ruby Slippers






I've been clicking my ruby slippers for the last few miles and magically here I am at home! And let me say a resounding "There's No Place Like Home!" In fact, the last two weeks seem like a dream and if I didn't have the pictures and this blog to prove it, I might convince myself it was a dream. Do you recognize any of these places from the above pictures? I don't want to hear anyone from East Tennessee say to me it is dry and brown here, because believe me, it is NOT! I've haven't seen this much green in, oh I'd say, TWO WHOLE WEEKS!
If you are still interested, since we are home, check back with me in the next day or three. I have my posts regarding the Creation Museum still in the works and a few homecoming shots with our baby Oscar and maybe a few more funnies as they come to mind.
Thanks for reading and taking this journey with us!

Ramblings of a Road Weary Woman

5,200 miles later we are crossing the Kentucky River and are back in the South. Thanks God! The blues hills of Kentucky are in front of us and we are about 200 miles from home. I could tell we were back in the South yesterday when people started smiling back at me. We just have a different mentality down here ya’ll. “You are not from around here are you?” had become an all too familiar question. We would just smile and ask what gave us away which would immediately lead to several more questions. We happily answered most of them.

I talked with my brother last night and he told me the cicadas (17 year locust) came out the day after we left and their noise had been loud. When we hit Lexington we could hear a faint noise through the road/radio and then large bugs began hitting our wind shield and I remembered what G had said. We rolled down the window and the noise was a loud screech. Wow! There are large spots of bug guts all over the windshield. Yuck! Gag! Anyone who knows me well knows I have a weak stomach, so I had to pull out my computer to take my mind off the junk but I can still hear them hit the windshield occasionally and I cringe.

I’ve listened to the radio until I am sick of the ten songs that every country radio station plays. MDH likes to listen to help keep him awake so I have to suffer. I do listen to my IPod some but then I am always yelling “What?” Anyway, Brad Paisley, Kenny Chesney, and Carrie Underwood own the airways and if I never hear one of their songs again, it will be too soon.

The last leg of the trip is bittersweet. While we are anxious to get home, we realize our adventure is coming to an end and it has been a great one. Looking back, the price of gas seemed like a good reason not to travel, but on the other end of this trip, we’ve agreed that it wasn’t a good enough reason not to experience what we have seen. We are glad we made this trip and have no regrets about the expense or the miles put on the car. That seems insignificant now.

The one thing I appreciate on this last leg is that I cleaned my house well before we left home. The clean underwear syndrome that I experienced three weeks ago will be refreshing tonight when we lie down in our own clean beds, use our own bathrooms, and walk across our floors barefoot without our feet turning black. I can’t wait. I’ve slept in 15 different beds the last two weeks, fortunately with the same man. J

We stayed in Hebron, Kentucky, last night so that we could visit Ken Hamm’s Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky, this morning. I have a lot to say about this museum visit, but I am going to post it later after my mind processes all the information it took in today. Also, it is important that I say it just right. I’m praying about that now and know God will help me write what he wants me to say. I hope that makes you curious enough to come back to this site knowing that we are almost home.

I think we are going to stop in Corbin, Kentucky, for supper. That is home to the original Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant and it contains a little museum also. Only in the south can you find a fried chicken museum. What a country! I bet they will have good sweet tea also. Amen!

I would liked to stop in Berea, Kentucky, and look around in their arts/craft shops, but it is too late in the day and I think I would have a rebellion on my hands if I mentioned it. Anyway, Berea is close enough to visit anytime. Maybe I could bring my Mom up for a weekend and look around. She would very much enjoy that.

My dad finished up his chemo treatments while we were away. I talked to him two days ago and he was beginning to feel better since the treatments last week. The shot they give to raise white blood cells really knocks his feet out from under him for a few days afterward. I am so glad they are over and pray the scans show excellent results.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Indianapolis or Bust






I don't know what the deal is regarding the comment section. I'm sorry it isn't working correctly and it is probably something stupid that I've done since I am a novice at this stuff. I hope you have enjoyed reading this nonsense because I have really enjoyed sharing this with you. It helps me sort through all the thoughts I have running like a train wreck through my mind.
We left Illinois this morning headed toward Cincinnati, OH. My sweet boys asked, "Is it possible that we could see the new football stadium they are building in Indianapolis for the Colts?" Since we had no particular place to be today, and because it wasn't raining, and because I was feeling adventurous, I said, "Sure, why not?" to which MDH replied, "I do not want to drive through downtown Indianapolis." I had to shake my head sadly. For goodness sakes we have this perfectly GOOD GPS that could direct us to the front door of the RCA Dome which is directly in front of and down the street aways to the right of the construction area where the road is blocked off behind the partially bricked and fenced in building with the bright orange pylons on the one way street. How hard could it be? Not all that hard really.

He's Mine and You Can't Have Him

MDH has taken a lot of ribbing from me through this blog. I just want you all to know that I adore this man! He has the patience of Job. He is tireless and always available to me and the boys. I've only seen him lose his cool once these past two weeks and that was only for a moment and then he was the same even tempered man as always. Steady as rock. Strong as an ox. Sly as a fox. Cute as a bug. Sweet as molasses in January. Harmless as a dove. Proud as peacock. Cool as cucumber. Sharp as a tack. Lost as golfball in high weeds without the GPS.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Family in Illinois






We began our journey by visiting friends in Oklahoma and we are almost at the end of our journey with a visit with family. MDH has an Uncle D and Aunt D who live in Lincoln, Illinois. We arrived at their lovely home around 11:30 a.m. this morning and enjoyed a wonderful visit with them and Aunt D's parents. They took us to a wonderful local Italian Restaurant named Guzzardos and after a huge and I mean huge dinner, we went back to their home for dessert, girl talk and the 1st NBA playoff game for the guys. (Hooray! Boston Won). What a wonderful day it has been visiting, eating, eating some more and visiting and actually resting a little bit. We love this family and the extended family (Aunt D's mom and I are book buddies) and want to say thank you once again for their hospitality. Aunt D is learning to play the harmonica so she entertained us with a few songs. Don't look for her to be on the David Letterman show anytime soon but you can check out her public debut by watching this......

Dogs, Dogs, and more Dogs




One of the hardest parts of this trip has been leaving our baby dog Oscar at home. I believe I covered that in an earlier blog. We've seen a lot of dogs on this trip. People travel with their dogs all over the United States. We've seen big dogs and little dogs, cute dogs and ugly dogs, sweet dogs and mean dogs. We are blessed to have family in Illniois (more about them later) who own dogs. The demon eyes in the top picture actually belong to a sweet beagle named Scout (a solid southern name). Scout has a big brother named Rocky Top (also a solid southern name) and then there is their cousin Marmaduke. He is part dog and part horse. He is taller than my 5'11" Big C which means he is two feet taller than me. He is a gentle giant and loves to give kisses. He also has a large water dish. We got a doggie fix today watching Scout and Rocky Top perform some tricks. Take a look.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Bye, Bye Birdie


I love birds! I love their feathers and their beaks. I love the different variety and the fact that every bird makes its own unique nest and has its own unique call. How can anyone look around at the different types of birds, from the tiny hummingbird to the ostrich, and not believe in Intelligent Design? I forgot my daggum Audubon Society North American Field Guide to Birds book on this trip. I could have identified a thousand variety of birds, but alas it sets on my bookshelf at home. So why does the above picture bother me? I know you can't see it well. I don't have Photo Shop on this computer to edit; but it is a big black raven or crow. Look at its proportion to the trash can and you can tell he is BIG. The problem with this bird is that we've seen it everywhere we have been since the Painted Desert. Little I was taking random pictures at the park, we noticed the bird and he captured this image. I don't mean to imply that it is the same bird, that would be spooky right? But, how do you explain that this bird has shown up in strange places where we are? We woke up this morning and Big C went out to pack the car and this bird species was setting on our car and had done his birdie business on our already filthy vehicle. He has shown up at the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Cody, and several little towns in between and at odd places like a wall, or dumpster, or a small tree in hotel lots or walking around in the sand, etc. He is always alone. Don't birds flock or something? As much as I like birds, I don't notice every bird nor am I always looking for them, but I sure have noticed this one. Just thought I would creep you out a bit.

Basketball and Chicks






Big C who is a basketball freak of nature has gone into withdrawal. There have been no basketball games for him to watch this past week since the NBA championship doesn't begin until tomorrow night. He is pumped that his "team" the Celtics are in the finals. We have felt sorry for him because I think this is the longest time he has gone without a basketball in one hand for about eight years. He's also a chick magnet! Little I has traveled well. We've put over 4,000 miles on the car already and are still three days away from home. These guys have been real troopers as this has not been a theme park vacation. I've tried to surprise them with special treats along the way and made sure that the places we've stayed had indoor pools for them to work out their energy at the end of the day. Who knew that Sioux Falls, SD had a Ramada Inn with an indoor water park? We just lucked up on our hotel search for the town and found the place. They enjoyed the basketball goal, volleyball goal and water slide about four hours last night and I even got hugged and kissed! For what more can a mom ask?

Animal pictures from Yellowstone






1. We think it is Elk scat.
2. Buffalo
3. Desert snake that MDH wouldn't let me touch. It wasn't poisonous!
4. Mountain goat with kid.
5. Grizzly bear track -- just kidding! We saw this where we picnicked.
I've posted a lot this evening so if you are following this adventure be sure to scroll down and catch the sordid story.
Thanks for reading!