Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Kindred Spirits

The more I drive Tank, {or Beast as some refer to him}, the more attached I find myself feeling. We're like kindred spirits - he speaks to my innermost depths and crevices of self-identity. Allow me to elaborate:

1.  The fan squawks randomly and obnoxiously and I find myself compensating for the irritating opposite of silence by turning up the voices in my head {or the radio, whichever is more entertaining at the moment}. LOML told me, when I questioned him, that the irritating noise cannot be heard outside the blue metal framework. That knowledge was a relief on the one hand but is a little disconcerting the more I think about it. Of course, it means that any strange looks I get from people cannot be blamed on the noise. Dang! I guess I'm going to have to quit singing along to the radio at such a high volume.

2.  The trip-o-meter has slowly quit working. First it started getting stuck when there were lots of 9s. So it would stick at 99.9 and 199.9. It would start up again after going another 50-60 miles down the road. I felt pretty clever when I figured out its little trick. But, then it began to lose its accuracy. It was moving at a slower pace than Tank so even though it maintained a consistent rhythm, it wasn't giving Tank credit for all the miles he had actually traveled. Finally in a last ditch - albeit pointless - effort to revive itself, the trip-o-meter decided to go backwards. I'm now driving in some time warp where I may be gaining ground on the overall journey while not ever reaching any of the destinations in between. Interesting concept.

3.  Not knowing the accurate miles Tank has traveled is frustrating on another level, too. I was using the trip-o-meter to alert me of Tank's need for fuel. Forget the fact there is a gas-o-meter on the dash comprised of a little half circle image with an 'E' on one end and an 'F' on the other end and an arrow that fluctuates between the two letters. In theory, the arrow moves from the 'E' to the 'F' when I'm putting gas into Tank's tank and it moves from the 'F' to the 'E' if I'm driving down the road, using gas out of Tank's tank. When the arrow gets close to the 'E', theoretically speaking again, that should be my clue that Tank needs a fill up. Yeah, well, when Tank's gas-o-meter reads 3/4 full, it's time for a fill up {gas, that is, not Max}.

4.  Tank seems to enjoy trying to confuse me. I have finally deduced that Tank is a South Paw. So, keep in mind, if you're following me and Tank is continuously winking at you with his left blinker,  rest assured, it's an omen. I will eventually turn left. Eventually. Until then, my village has an APB out for their idiot.

I hope I don't ignore the soft, subtle sounds while I'm trying to shut out the world's obnoxious, random squawking and I'm afraid my life-o-meter keeps getting hung up on little inconveniences so I'm not sure I've reached very many little destinations in this Journey of mine - maybe because I keep forgetting to keep my personal Tank full of the right kind of Fuel. And, yeah, if you are from my village and are looking for me, don't give up. I'm turning left somewhere and if you turn left enough, you eventually come full circle. Right????

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Hobble Crick

That's right - crick. Hobble Crick - not creak, as in a floor board noise. I had to give the easterners a lesson on pronunciation!

As it turned out this year, work gave us the 23rd and 24th of July off for vacation. That meant I had Friday afternoon, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday off. That's a lot of days in a row not to have to go to work!

So I got the idea in my head a week or two before that maybe I should impose on Betty and Allen and their little piece of heaven in Kelly's Grove. So, yup, I invited myself and my trailer and they being put in an awkward position by my forwardness, couldn't do anything but agree.

LOML and I were headed to St. George the week before and since he doesn't trust me {nor do I trust myself} to pull the trailer, he decided we should leave it at Betty's cabin on our way down to St. George. It not only got the trailer down there for me, but it made it so we didn't have to drive the whole way to St. George in one day.

Friday the 20th, after another awesomely amazing visit to my dentist slash oral surgeon, I headed down to Springville. Soon thereafter, Betty and I were heading up the canyon to join Glenn who was already at the cabin.

Parking the trailer at night has its disadvantages. Location being one of the disadvantages. {Like Fish Lake many, many years ago where we ended up on all alone on a high spot where you could see our trailer from wherever you were}. Not being able to assess how the sun will hit being another one. However, I don't think we ever get it perfectly right, even in the light of day. Needless to say, the first afternoon it became apparently clear I was going to have the afternoon sun full bore if I didn't do something. Quick.

Can I just say, Glenn is every bit as good of a Redneck and LOML! He had my awning up in no time! Of course, I helped a little bit. I told him LOML usually tied some kind of scout knot to hook the tarp to the trailer. Glenn didn't skip a beat as he tied some famous K-nots {the 'K' is not silent in his version - therefore, you CA-not get them undone}. He was right, too. LOML had to ask him to come and untie them when we were breaking camp. I thought that was pretty funny.

Glenn tying his K-nots.

Not too shabby if I do say so myself!

So, Glenn can't sit still. He's constantly doing something to maintain his little piece of heaven. To prevent the creek from eroding the bank away, he tries to keep jams from damming it up {or is it dams from jamming it up? Or is it damn jams that are damming it up?}. I think sometimes he gets confused and thinks he's He-Man or the Hulk or somebody like that.

Not bad for an old man, huh? I personally think it's the IFA hat that gives him his super powers. I'm sure at least one other person would agree with me.

Betty and Basha watching Glenn clean out the creek

LOML wanted to go for a ride {big surprise} and Glenn had a great time showing us all the spots he remembered coming to when he was growing up. Not very many people can go back to the memories of their childhood and have them still be there. Usually they've turned into a parking lot or a subdivision or a Wal-Mart.

This is the rock Glenn would sit on while he was fishing in his

younger days.

Stage one of pushing Betty over the edge {not

the edge of the bridge but the edge of life as

she knows it}

Stage two of pushing Betty over the edge {not

the edge of the bridge but the edge of life as

she knows it}

Betty not only going over the edge but going back

to the truck.

Fortunately Betty was not close by at this point, either.

We hiked for a bit. Obviously Glenn took great pride in getting higher on the trail than the rest of us!

Sometimes I sits and thinks and sometimes I just sits!

Thanks for the hospitality and a fun four days. Hopefully my trailer didn't kill your grass too bad!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Upstream Gal

Awesome freebie t-shirts that LOML hands

down to me!

So while I was playing in the water at Clear Creek, I made a disturbing discovery. Maybe not really a discovery because that word leaves you with the idea that what you discovered has never been discovered before. Much as I hate to admit it, I think this discovery was more of a validation of something I've long thought to be true - perhaps even feared it was true.

While the boys were 'fishing', I was just wading around; walking upstream a ways and then turning around and making my way back down. I think it was about my second trip when I realized it was much easier for me to wade upstream. I stumbled more and felt a lot less secure when heading back down to the creek by our campsite.

Wow. Let me think on that one. What a concept. I am more comfortable going upstream than going with the flow? Me? There's my life in a nutshell {or a creek bed}.

I can't {or don't} do anything the easy way. Even getting a fountain drink is complicated - 3/4 full of ice, diet Pepsi {or Max} to the top of the ice and then top it off with Dr. Pepper. LOML cringes when he has to get me a drink - or food from taco time. Gotta be a substitution or an addition or a total omission.

I'm left with a dilly of a lemma deciding whether I should learn to be more comfortable "going with the flow" or if I want to continue taking the, hmmm, how shall I put it, well I guess the rockier uphill treacherous stupid no, the more challenging way. There. That makes it sound like I'm learning more going the way it is that I choose to go. I'm not, though. If I was learning more, I'd have quit fighting my way upstream a long time ago!

But, alas, after several days of mulling this all over in my little mind, discussing it with my Sis and analyzing all the repercussions and complications, I'm afraid I will continue to make things difficult; take the scenic route; stumble upstream; use recipes for my pop and ask them to please leave that nasty green stuff off my burrito.

It makes me me and after this many years, I'm kinda getting used to being me.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Another Icon Bites the Dust

Yeah, well, I got teary when I saw this in the news. There will never be another Andy Griffith and all he represented. It's like part of my life is gone, too. My grandkids will never grow up with the values and morals Andy Griffith portrayed in his shows. They were clean and wholesome and funny. Man, oh, man! I hate it when this happens!

Andy Griffith, creator of Mayberry, dies at 86Andy Griffith, creator of Mayberry, dies at 86

Andy Griffith, creator of Mayberry, dies at 86

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Griffith was born June 1, 1926 and passed away July 3, 2012. Andy Griffith's gift to the show that bore his name wasn't just the homespun wisdom of the plain-spoken sheriff he played. It was the place he created: a small town where all foibles are forgiven and friendships are forever, full of characters who felt like family.

Mayberry, a fictional North Carolina village said to be modeled on Griffith's own hometown of Mount Airy, was so beloved that it practically became a synonym for any community that was too innocent and trusting for real life. After all, Griffith's Mayberry was a place where the sheriff didn't carry a gun, the local drunk locked himself in jail and even the villains who passed through were changed by their stay.

On "The Andy Griffith Show," he created an endearing portrait of a place where few people grew up but many wished they did.

Griffith played a sage widower named Andy Taylor who offered gentle guidance to son Opie, played by little Ron Howard, who grew up to become an Oscar-winning director. Griffith inhabited the sheriff's "aw, shucks" persona so completely that viewers easily believed the character and the man were one.

Don Knotts, who died in 2006, was the goofy Deputy Barney Fife, while Jim Nabors joined the show as Gomer Pyle, the cornpone gas pumper. George Lindsey, who died in May, was the beanie-wearing Goober. The sheriff's loving Aunt Bee was played by the late Frances Bavier.

His television career resumed in 1986 with "Matlock," a light-hearted legal drama in which Griffith played a cagey Harvard- educated, Southern-bred attorney with a leisurely law practice in Atlanta. Decked out in his seersucker suit in a steamy courtroom (air conditioning would have spoiled the mood), Matlock could toy with a witness and tease out a confession like a folksy Perry Mason.

This new character – law-abiding, fatherly and lovable _ was like a latter-day homage to Sheriff Andy Taylor, updated with silver hair. The show aired though 1995.

Griffith was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts Hall of Fame in 1992. In 2005, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, one of the country's highest civilian honors.

More recently, Griffith won a Grammy in 1997 for his album of gospel music "I Love to Tell the Story – 25 Timeless Hymns."  {I have this CD!! And it's on my mp3 player, too!}

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Born in 56, Turned 56

Reading my new book to the boys - not that they want to

grow up to be Mommys but they still listened.

It started out as a coincidence but after a time or two I guess we had a tradition and Carter got the idea that we NEED to camp sometime in July every year - for both of our birthdays. It certainly is something to look forward to! This year, as it did last year, my birthday fell on one of the days we were at camp.

My birthday dinner was Dutch oven chicken, baked potatoes and peach cobbler on Saturday when Nathan and Krisy were at camp, too. Sunday I got sung to and got to open my cards and presents.

The card from LOML - referencing how getting

older causes me to 'wonder' more - as in


On the way home, Hunter called me and sang to me, too. I could hear Aspen in the background laughing at him - not because she was being mean but because she was enjoying listening to him.

They all had to show me where they had signed the card


Here's to another great year!

Camping at Clear Creek

Have I mentioned lately that I love camping at Clear Creek? Here's just some random pictures from our camp out.

6/28 - LOML getting all the gear unloaded and camp set up.

I discovered a cool panoramic feature on my camera so I tried to get some shots of our campsite to try and show the parts of the area that make it so beautiful.

The creek itself was quite low this year. Amazing when you think we couldn't camp here last year because the creek was too full and parts of the campground had gotten washed out from the extremely wet winter we had and now this year there's hardly any water in it at all.

The road coming into camp. Our trailer is off to the left in the trees.

Another shot of the creek area.

There were lots of birds and butterflies. I saw a mouse or squirrel or some rodent a time or two. There was a black snake seen a couple of times or else a couple of snakes seen sporadically. They were just little ones - thank goodness. There were a lot of antelope {not in camp but in the fields around} and, of course, the baby skunk.

Tyler taking a rest.

Between their bikes and the water, the boys were constantly in motion.

Carter and Tyler


Carter and Colton

Carter and Colton cooling off in the creek

Layne and Garrett - they were quite the imaginative explorers

Nellie and her boys

Paisley even enjoyed the water for a bit.

Proof that even I succumbed to the temptation

to cool off in the creek!

With all the fire restrictions in force, we assumed we wouldn't be able to have an open fire. Adam came prepared with a propane campfire that we could use to roast s'mores and sit around in the evenings. However, two different park rangers came to our camp and confirmed that we could have a fire in the pit, as long as we were careful. "Probably the only place in Utah," they said. So, with a little persuasion, Adam accommodated our need for a REAL fire and built a good one for us for Saturday night. There's something about a real wood-fueled fire! Thanks for pacifying us, Adam! 

Flat Tired

I truly believe everything happens for a reason. This curtain blowing out the trailer window is no exception. Yeah, I know what you're thinking. Janis forgot to shut the window. Ha, ha! This window is notorious for sliding open as are moving down the road. There's no lock on it so it's fairly inevitable that it's going to happen no matter who is in charge of shutting the trailer up!

We were headed home from camping at Clear Creek when LOML suddenly pulls off the side of the road. Well, not suddenly as in screeching brakes and sharp turns or anything. Just suddenly as in not traveling in the normal lane of traffic anymore and gravel crunching under the tires as he comes to a stop at a wide spot on the shoulder of the road.

When I asked him what was wrong, he just said the window was open. I immediately got defensive, stating unequivocally that I know I shut and locked the windows. He calmly explained which window it was and I calmed down, except that he's never paid enough attention to it to pull over and shut it. We're usually home or to camp when we realize it's jiggled open and so I go in and brush the dust off my bed and slide it shut.

So, LOML gets back in the truck and starts slowly on down the road, mumbling under his breath, "Gotta flat tire, gotta flat tire". Okay, I'm officially confused because normally, when you get a flat tire, you stop said vehicle with the flat tire and get out a jack and tire iron and start to loosen and remove lug nuts on said wheel with the flat tire. You don't keep rolling down the road. That's when he explains it's not that flat yet and we'll be okay to get to a better spot to change it. He finally pulls off on a driveway sort of thing in front of someones ranch. And, yes, LOML knows every ranch owner out here in the desert.


He actually had it changed in record time. I guess it makes a difference when the tread hasn't torn off and ripped off the wiring and a big chunk out of the bottom of the trailer.

This is the point where LOML says, "This jack was the best investment I've made!" I'd have to agree with that - if only for the trailer! Otherwise we'd have flat out left this trailer on the side of the road a long time ago!

The Rest of the Story:  LOML took the tire into get it fixed and was told it was toast, history, flat out dead. He was also told he was lucky it didn't totally blow out - that's what it should have done. So, the window jiggling open enough for the curtain to blow out so LOML would notice it - well, it happened for a reason!

Oh, and based on a picture I was sent the next day, I now not only get a new roof vent but also a new tire for my birthday present!