Saturday, December 29, 2007


Another day of snow :(

I made a couple of beads, got Lukas up & dressed & fed, cleaned a bit, read a bit & took a nap. Another exciting day...

Well, at least I got some photos of my beads done and listed a couple sets and some prints on etsy.

Sunday, December 23, 2007


Yippee Skippee!!! I made my first etsy sale! A print, not beads, which is just fine with me.


It's snowing and the wind is howling from the northwest. Well, at least the days are getting longer...

I have decided to shift away from making sets of beads, for a while anyway. Since I got back from going out west, I have been selling beads for too low of a price on ebay trying to build up a following, and it just isn't happening. So I'm going to make beads that I like to do, and do just focals for now. If they sell on Etsy, fine, if they don't, fine too. It least I'll be enjoying myself making them.

Diane on wetcanvas posted a butterfly tutorial, and I'm going to give that a try today. I was thinking maybe I'll try it with boro.

Friday, December 21, 2007


I just had to put on the pictures of a couple of beads I did this morning. They turned out really nice, especially the reddish brown with peach dots.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


The gremlins are out to get me, truly. The cat knocked my trackball down on the floor, the ferrets found out that the scroll button has that nice, soft rubber that they just love to chew on... Scratch one trackball. Not even 5 minutes of using a mouse and my wrist is starting to ache. I know where I'm going Saturday: Best Buy to buy another trackball.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Oh, this winter just gets better and better... We went out to do chores and Suzy, my cow, was down in the barn. Yes, she was old, and yes, I had planned on putting her down before it got too cold, but I just kept putting it off because she was still getting around. I called the vet & he put her down. I am so tired of crying.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


Only about another week until the days start getting longer!!!! Can you tell I DON'T LIKE WINTER!?!

I bought another ferret. I was so depressed with everything happening, I went to Petco to look at ferrets. They only had one left, and she bit me so bad the store clerk had to run for a bandaide. (They gave me a discount. What could I do? If someone with less experience had bought her, she would have ended up in a cage or released outside. Not my baby!) It took a couple of days handling her with leather gloves, but now she's such a little sweetheart! (I named her Fang.) She falls asleep behind me on my chair when I'm on the computer, and she loves to play with snow, and Pip and her play together. She is just so much fun!

This is Frankie keeping Fang inside the dirt box.

This is Fang playing with Bandit

I have flexible tubes for the ferrets to play in, and this is Frankie keeping Fang inside one, with Taz watching

And here is Pip playing with Fang. She's hiding in a watering can.

I've opened a shop on Etsy. I have so many beads laying around, I have to do something with them, and ebay is such a let-down lately. I'm just not going to sell my beads for $1 a bead when it takes me 10-15 minutes to do one, and then to have to pay ebay and paypal fees... I'll see how Etsy goes, and maybe sell my orphan beads on ebay.

Sunday, December 02, 2007


I had to laugh watching NBC Nightly News last night. They were covering the winter storm and the reporter went on to mention the frigid temperatures in Minneapolis, then they flashed to a bank thermometer showing 19°. This time of the year, 19° is, well, maybe not warm, but it's bearable. When it gets to -19°, that's frigid!!

I put some beads on ebay, but they're not selling. It's quite discouraging, especially when I stupidly reached across in front of the torch and burned the inside of my wrist a couple of days ago.

Tammie suggested etsy. I think I'll open an account there and give it a try. It's cheaper than ebay.

I haven't seen the cardinals for a week or so. I so enjoy their color. Right now I have the blue jays, nuthatches, juncos, goldfinches and sparrows. Adds a little life in a bleak, dark, cold landscape. Can you tell I hate winter?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


How much darker can this winter get? My mom (who's in the nursing home) isn't eating and is losing weight. My sister says she's given up. I've been saying goodbye to her for 5 years now, since the dementia took hold. This life can be so horrid.

Friday, August 17, 2007


Quasimodo died this morning, and it hurts so much. My big, fat, white, fearless (Well, almost fearless. I can remember once accidentally scaring him. He screamed and ran!), playful, into everything ferret. What a character he was, bringing so much laughter and joy to me, and a few scary moments too, like the time he pulled the floor vent up and got into the furnace ducts. He was unique.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


We're in Bozeman, Montana for the night, and glory be, they have wifi. I had to stop driving early today, about 4 p.m., because of the wind. One gust caught me and scared the crap out of me. Lots of wildfires out here, the air was smoky for a hundred miles.

I sure am glad Scott is along. It took longer to find an alternator than it did for him to pull it and put the new one in. And it works perfectly!!!

We got through eastern Washington and Idaho pretty quickly. We stopped in a small town on the interstate in Idaho to get some coffee and take a break. It's a town that progress passed by; they kept their old buildings instead of tearing them down and putting up new. The coffee shop was originally a tiny little church that was built in 1907. Still had the original floor and stained glass windows.

This was at Neah Bay, at low tide. Those are bald eagles in the foreground.

This is a picture I took the next morning.

Our last day at the beach. It was foggy, and I and Pip took a nice long walk and collected shells and sand dollars.

This was a cedar tree by Olympic National Park.

This is from our campground at Mt. Rainier.

There was an awful lot of damage to the roads on Mt. Rainier (and on Mt. Hood) from floods they had late last fall. This is a picture of one of the roads we were on. Unsettling...

And here is Pip relaxing. She certainly knows how to make herself comfortable.

Friday, August 03, 2007


Well, instead of heading up to Grand Coulee Dam, we're sitting at the Walmart in Moses Lake in the middle of Washington, with a dead battery. The voltage gauge started dropping this afternoon, and when we stopped for gas, it almost didn't start. Scott checked the connections & everything was OK; he figures it's the alternator. We just barely made it here. I called a mobile repair place & left a message, he called a auto parts store to find an alternator. After a while the guy from the mobile service called back. He doesn't do chassis work, but he told Scott how to use jumper cables to hook up the house battery to the car battery, and as long as we run the generator, it'll charge the car battery. And tomorrow morning, Scott is going to get up & pull out the alternator, call the auto parts store & they're going to run the alternator over here for us.

If that fixes it, we're headed for home. I've had enough.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

8/1/07 Photos

Mt. St. Helens

Beach Pictures


I was hoping to get my blog updated with photos, but the campsite's wifi doesn't work with Macs. Would have been nice to be told that when I asked for a site close to the wifi antenna...
So I'm trying to upload photos via my cell phone Internet connection, which is slow.

Today we started out at Neah Bay, a small fishing village in the NW corner of Washington, on the Makah Indian reservation. Last night we drove up to Cape Flattery, the farthest North and West you can go on the continental U.S. By the time we got there, it was too late to walk the trail to the beach, though. But the drive was pretty neat, on a (sometimes) 2 lane road winding up and down and around, with trees overhanging the road.

This morning when I got up, the air was so cool and fresh. I walked down to the beach in Neah Bay and watched bald eagles and listened to sea lions. What a wonderful memory.

We heard late this afternoon about the bridge collapse in the Cities. What a horrible, horrible thing to happen. I've been on that bridge! That happening is one of my biggest fears, and to think that that's why I wouldn't drive over the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. And here it happens in Minneapolis!! I pray that these horrible things will soon come to an end, and we can all live in peace and security and happiness.


It's been a pleasant few days, now that we're over the Cascades. Mt. Hood was very impressive, but Mt. St. Helens beats it. We were lucky this time, it was clear weather and we could see the steam coming up from the volcano. Wow!
The next mornin was cloudy, so I decided to head to the beach instead of Mt. Rainier. It is so nice and cool along the ocean, with a cool breeze coming off the ocean. I can see why people lay in the sun on the beach.
Today we headed up to Olympic National Park, and tonight we're camped in a national forest campground, with the generator on and watching Raymond for a while. Tomorrow we'll be as far west as we can go, and will have to head back east. I'm kind of ready to come home, but sad too. And I'm NOT looking forward to having to head back into the heat wave...


What a day! We started out in Idaho, went to the town of Weiser (Scott wasn't too impressed) and had lunch by the city park. They sure do grow a lot of onions around here. Then we went on to Oregon and jumped onto the freeway. It was hot and got hotter. Even at 5 p.m. it was still 96°. And then we got to where the freeway parallels the Columbia River. I like mountains, although, I do admit, the drop offs scare me a little; I am afraid of driving by or over water, and when the wind is strong, it bounces the RV around. Combine all three, and you describe my day: nerve wracking!!!! I was doing 35 mph on the freeway, hanging onto the steering wheel with a death grip, going along (sometimes 20-30 feet above and right next to a river 4-5 times the width of the Mississippi in Elk River, getting bounced back and forth by gusts of wind. And I still have to drive over that river, but it's not going to be tomorrow! I decided we're going to go to Mt. Hood tomorrow and then go to the coast and spend a day or so, at least hopefully until it's a bit less windy.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Well, after waiting for over 5 hours to get our RV in (and that was with an appointment made last week), we got the front end aligned and the brakes checked and bled. Very, VERY frustrating!

Tomorrow morning we're going to pack up and head up to Craters of the Moon. It's a lava field in Idaho, and is pretty cool. Then we're going to meander up to Washington.

These are a couple of pictures of a pair of ospreys in a nest on top of a bridge outside a small town in Idaho. We pulled off the highway so I could get Lukas up and dressed, and found it. Pretty cool.

Sunday, July 22, 2007


We've covered quite a bit of ground since I last wrote. We haven't had any internet and very little phone service, so I haven't been keeping this up, and then it's been so blasted hot everywhere except in the park, I just haven't had the energy.

After our first night at Yellowstone we went on up to Earthquake Lake. Not much has changed in the 30 years since I last saw it. The slide looks like it happened yesterday, not almost 60 years ago. There was an earthquake in 1959, and it broke off the entire side of the mountain, which slid down into the valley and half way up the other side of the opposing mountain. Unfortunately, there were campgrounds in the valley, and 19 people are still buried under the slide. Altogether, 28 people died that night.

This is the side of the mountain that broke off. Notice the roundish rock formation in the middle?

This boulder (3000 tons) broke off from the formation and rode the slide down and up the other mountain, without rolling. They could tell that because of the lichens on it were undamaged.

After that we went up to Bozeman to try to get some phone service and stock up on groceries. Then we headed back down to the park, where we spent the 18th and 19th at Fishing Bridge. We went up to Mammoth Hot Springs, where they have a resident herd of elk who are absolutely fearless of man.

Then we went to Tower Junction, through some of the ruggedest terrain and worst roads in Yellowstone, very narrow roads, no shoulders, up and down, deep drop-offs... you get the picture. Below is a picture of the RV on the side of the mountain where they cut out a road. Between the RV and the mountain is the road. They had to cut the road into the mountain, so if you stand in the middle of the road and look up, there's the mountain. Wow...

We proceeded on the road to Canyon, which goes by Mt. Washburn. This area is one of my most favorite places on earth. It is just so beautiful. On the way up, there was a bit of a traffic jam with a ranger posted there. There had been a grizzly sow and her cubs for the past several weeks coming down over the road and into the valley below. They had closed off the turnouts in that area and posted a ranger at the next turnout because she was going up to some of the cars. She hadn't been seen for a couple of hours, so we continued on.

This is at our campsite at Fishing Bridge. Scott and Scottie are playing ball. Both the kids found friends pretty quickly. The next morning I spent 3 HOURS in the laundromat. Never again! There were people standing by washing machines waiting for them to finish so they could get their laundry in. One mother dragged 6 kids in, all under the age of 9-10. I'd rather wash the clothes by hand in the RV.

Here's Lukas and Pip, waiting for us to get going. We headed back to Tower with the intention of going to Lamar Valley. I hadn't been there for 30 years, so I wanted to see it again. Back over Mt. Washburn and onto Tower, with the windy up and down, narrow, no-shoulder roads. Then just over the worst of it, I put on the brakes and the pedal went to the floor, and the red brake light came on. PURE PANIC!!! I started pumping, and they came back a little bit. I slowed way down, and kept on pumping to keep a little bit of braking. We got to Tower-Roosevelt Junction and pulled over. We let it cool down and Scott checked the brake fluid, which on this thing is a complicated procedure, because the brake fluid well is under the front tire well. He took off the engine cover to try to find it, then crawled under the RV to get to it. Well, it was full. He checked for leaks and there were none. So we decided to turn around and go slowly back to our campsite. Thank goodness, the brakes returned to normal. He figures there was an air pocket in the line, so when we get to Idaho Falls, we'll have the brakes bled.

It turns out that there was a silver lining in that cloud. Scott has been really wanting to see a grizzly bear, but so far we have just been missing them. Going back over Mt. Washburn where the grizzly sow had been seen before, there was a huge traffic jam. I let Scott and Alecia off at the turnout where everyone was gathered and went up further on the mountain where I could park. Luckily for Scott, the sow and cubs were there, and he spent about 45 minutes watching her through the binoculars. He tried taking some pictures, but they're not too good. I need one of those $500 telephoto lenses :)

So we headed back through Hayden Valley with it buffalo herds, and stopped at Dragon's Mouth Spring, a hot spring that has a hollow, roaring sound.

There were buffalo all over. One was walking in the parking lot, hopped the fence and strolled up the hill.
We returned to Fishing Bridge for another night. The kids biked around, and Lukas, Scott and I watched Everyone Loves Raymond.

On Friday we headed out of the park to go to Cody. The road on the other side of Sylvan Pass is under construction, so that was fun going over. That's another rugged part of the park, with deep valleys, but beautiful. We got to Cody, where it was beastly hot. I had planned on staying 2 nights at the campground, but it was another one of those that advertised wifi, but didn't produce. Their network was down, and I wasn't the only was who was a bit upset about that. I had tried going up by the building where they have their antenna, but was unable to get on, so I was going back to the RV when a guy passed me carrying a laptop just like mine. We compared notes and complained about campgrounds that advertise wifi, but don't really have it. So then next morning, I canceled our second night and packed up. We went to the museums and I took the kids in. We just spent a little over an hour there, because Scott was staying in the RV with Lukas, and it was already beastly hot. I really want to come back out here someday and spend a couple of days in the museums.

So we went to Walmart and stocked up on cereal and drinks and headed back into the park. It seems as soon as you get into the park it cools down. It was so nice.

When we got down to Canyon, there was a big traffic jam. We saw a moose in a pond by the side of the road, but there were two groups of observers, so I found a place to park and went back. It seems the moose had been chased by some wolves and had gone into the pond to escape. The wolves had gone back into the forest, but the moose was still there, so I shot some pictures of it, and we headed on. Between Norris and Madison, we saw a nice big bull elk with a huge rack.

Well, we're in another vastly overpriced campground that advertised wifi, but doesn't have it unless you're in the first row around the building. Stinks. Their cable consists of 18 channels, but at least the Simpsons is on, so Lukas is watching that. Today we went down to Old Faithful. And again, it's been reinforced that Lukas is not at all enjoying himself. He was complaining every step of the way from the RV to the geyser, and then when it went off, he wouldn't even look at it. And right now I'm watching Simpsons with him while Scott and the kids are at the swimming pool. Oh well, live and learn. But I'm determined to try to enjoy what I can, because honestly, as much as this trip is costing, I don't know if or when I'll be back.

Tomorrow we're going to fill up the water tank and head up to Earthquake Lake, and find a campground in the National Forest. $7 compared to $70, and the only difference is the lack of cable. Oh, and the DVD/VHS player won't work with the generator. Whoopy-doo.

Well, I'm giving up on my idea of dragging Lukas around on trips (other than south for the winter). He just doesn't enjoy it, and it's too difficult for him to get around. We stopped at the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone, and made it down a set of stairs and about a dozen paces before he was done. We sat for a while and then headed back to the RV. Most of all, he just DOES NOT like being without TV or Internet.

Meanwhile, I feel so content to be here. This morning I took some grand pictures of the Tetons. We missed seeing a grizzly bear by about 1/2 hour (the ranger was at the road keeping people in their cars because just a couple of weeks ago, she said, it had mauled a man). We saw a couple of coyote, and lots and lots of buffalo, and elk, and some REALLY stupid people. I couldn't believe seeing a man standing 6 feet from a bull elk taking pictures of it! They act like these are big horses or something. And then the people who stop right on the road instead of pulling off when they see an animal. That really ticked me off. Why do some people lose their brains when they see wild animals?

Tonight we're at Madison campground, and tomorrow we're heading into West Yellowstone to a KOA with wifi and cable. It's been a very pleasant evening. It's cooling off nicely, and there are no bugs. The kids are outside playing and NOT inside. They've been pretty good, although I made Scottie sit on time out for 10 minutes because he didn't close the door on his way out and Pip got loose (the third time). Part of his time out was to think of how he could prevent that from happening again, and he decided he needs to look behind him before he opens the door to see where Pip is. And then I got tired of listening to Alecia farting and giggling about it, and after warning her a couple of times, tonight she had to sit in the bathroom for 5 minutes after doing it again, and (oh I'm feeling my age) had to listen to a lecture about how young ladies do not go around farting.

Well, it's a quarter after nine, and I am so tired. I'm going to go lay down and read until 10 and then chase Lukas to bed and try to make it through an episode of Raymond. Elaine, Scott is actually being nice to Pip. Right now he's sitting on the couch with his arm wrapped around Pip, watching the kids play outside.

Here's pictures from the last few days.

Flaming Gorge in NE Utah.

Scott and Scottie sampling supper.

Lukas roughing it.

Scott and Lukas at the riverside.

Scottie and Alecia in the river looking at a fish.

That's Scottie trying to break up a log by throwing a rock on it.

Moose and calf

Scott taking a picture of me at the Tetons.

This bull was just massive, and you could tell he was the head herd bull. Every other buffalo moved out of his way if he came close to them, even the ones laying down, and he was bawling and grunting constantly.

Lukas at Yellowstone Falls.

Yellowstone Falls