Sep 27, 2014

Yosemite National Park- Glacier Point- Day Two

Tuesday night we didn't even eat dinner until 9 pm so we had a slower start this day. Our first stop was Glacier Point.

It is at Glacier Point that the is the famous Over hangin' Rock! (BTW the handwriting on these photos is my Grandma Elsie's hand.)

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The more I learn about my Grandad, the more I understand where my impulsive behavior comes from!

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And, you know, this IS a heritage-reenactment vacation...

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But, surprisingly, I've learned to be cautious in my 60s (I want to see my 70s and 80s). So this is my version of Bill Munce on over hangin' rock! (Taken the day before at Olmsted Flats) Also, the rock is fenced off and folks are not allowed to go out there any longer.

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One of Bill and Elsie's first stops was Inspiration Point. Aren't they so darling? Inspiration Point isn't too far from Glacier Point.

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I have to say that my favorite of all the places we visited was Glacier Point! The views from up there are wonderful!!
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Grandad says of their hike to Glacier Point-
Our longest hike was to Glacier Point by the long trail, which skirts Vernal and Nevada Falls. It is 13 miles and that was tough going in some places. But the climb was well worthwhile, for from Glacier Point you can look straight down onto the floor of the valley. The stages looked like toys as they rolled along the road and the people looked as big as dolls. We went into the restaurant up on the Point and had our meal out on the porch, which was glassed in and was nice and warm. From here we could look out all over one side of the valley and it was marvelous. Vernal Falls is only a short distance away, maybe a mile, and it is so clear and bright you almost felt as though you could touch it. Nevada Falls is further back, but it completed a beautiful picture.

We returned to the valley by the short trail, which was 3 miles long and all downhill. This was only a narrow foot trail and animals were not allowed on it. It was unimproved and in a great many places the going was tough, on account of the rocks and deep gullies, and if you think your feet won’t get sore getting jammed into the toes of your shoes every step, just try it. Our feet and ankles were sore for a week.
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Several years ago Rebekah and family took Camille to Yosemite on one of her summer visits. Rebekah, Camille, Tadhg and Caden ended up taking the hike down (and according to Grandad, straight down!) from Glacier Point to the Valley... IN FLIP-FLOPS! Bek says they got a lot of strange looks that day! Curtis and baby-Brock met them at the bottom. We decided we would forgo this reenactment since it cost $25 each for a bus ride to the top. Happy little Elio took us there for only a sip of gasoline!

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I will be back tomorrow, or the next, with more of our Yosemite adventures. I'm having such a good time remembering!

Sep 21, 2014

Yosemite National Park- A Heritage Vacation- Day One

Several months ago I gave a Primary sharing time about family history and shared a trip that my grandparents made to Yosemite in 1912. That started a hankering in my soul that needed to be satisfied. I knew that at 62 I would finally qualify for my Senior America the Beautiful pass. So with those two pieces of information I cooked up a Yosemite trip with Rebekah (who lives an hour away from Yosemite). I just wanted to go back needed to make a heritage vacation with Bill and Elsie in mind.

They traveled by horse and wagon and it took them 4 days to make the trip from Fresno to Yosemite. They camped near where their great-granddaughter would one day live on the second night.

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We traveled from Yosemite Lakes Park, where Bekah lives, in Elio and made the trip in about one hour. But that first glimpse of Yosemite Valley is still just as breathtakingly beautiful.

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Since there isn't an easy way from Bek's house to Utah (every route is 13 hours!) they frequently cut through the Park and then head out across Nevada and Utah on Hwy 6. They are always in a hurry to leave or get home when they pass through Tuolumne Meadows and don't take time to stop. We decided that would be would be our first destination. On our way we stopped at Olmsted Point for our first hike.

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My beautiful Bekah... she kindly hiked at my Grammie pace.

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Our next stop was Tuolumne Meadows. We hiked around the meadows, not across, and back to the Tuolumne River. The river was unusually low due to the severe drought affecting California.

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The temperature was much cooler here, for which we were grateful.

I'll be back in the next few days to post more about our adventures.

Sep 10, 2014

Birthday Beauty

Miss Bitty, aka Fiona, is 1-year old! Wow, it's been a fast year. She had the wonderful family birthday party in her lovely backyard (with perfect weather). She is such a dynamic little person! Her sweet personality just radiates.

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She totally enjoyed her cake. Especially the frosting! Eventually she grabbed a handful of cupcake after she'd eaten most of the frosting and was so frustrated that she had cake crumbs all over her frosting-y fingers. Grammie to the rescue! I wiped off her hand and she was good to go for another round.

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This little girl brings so much joy to all around her.

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And if you needed more proof... just look at this!

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Seriously... does it get any better than this? We are so blessed to be near to so many of our grandchildren!

Aug 24, 2014

Christian's Big Day

Today, Christian's 12th birthday, was a special day. His Dad conferred upon him the Aaronic Priesthood and ordained him to office of a Deacon. We are so pleased that he is a worthy (and handsome) young man.

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Since it was their Ward Conference today we all gathered at Doug and Jessica's home (which was quite nice and packed to the gills) for this happy occasion.

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Grampy Gordon, Papa Dell, Papa Warner, Christian, Doug, Uncle Stuart, Uncle Kevin (Camille's kind of Kevin), Uncle Kevin (Suzi's kind of Kevin), Uncle Beau and Uncle Matt.

We are so blessed to be here to participate in these wonderful milestones.

OK... Funny story-

Years ago I was sitting in Primary with the older boys when Josh says to me-

"Sister Lewis, when do I get to be a duncan?"

"A DUNCAN, Josh?"

Yeah, a duncan. You know, those boys who pass the sacrament!"

"Ahh! A DEACON?"

"Yeah, yeah... a deacon!"

Today our Christian is a Duncan!

Ashton's Debut Recital

This last month has been a busy one for Ashton. She's been preparing for her debut recital. You would think that one recital would be enough, but no, this was the 3rd one in 15 days!

Since we've been to each of her recitals I don't think I comprehended what a *debut recital* entailed. It was over an hour of her playing; mostly without music! When I looked at the sheet music for the last concerto (it was a duet and only her teacher had the music) it was mind boggling! I asked her how she could memorize all of that. Her answer, "I have a photographic memory."

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Ashton has a lovely touch and a gift for music. My personal favorite was an arrangement of If You Could Hie to Kolob (the music is taken from an Irish melody). It literally brought me to tears.

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Ashton and her piano teacher, Kristi
And here is the funny part about our Ashton... she is obsessed with these funny bracelets. At her first recital I asked if she needed to take them off. I took her quite a few minutes to get all 28 of them off.

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(But perhaps funnier still, that Grammie had to sort them.)

Aug 21, 2014

The Goodness of Light

On Tuesday last, Elder David A Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints challenged us to flood the internet with a wave of good, uplifting and positive. I love that challenge. I've seen many others accept that challenge as they post uplifting quotes, experiences and photos.

This week we've been blessed with our August monsoonal flow of moisture. We've badly needed every drop we have received. I love the quality of the light after thunderstorms. Each evening Harley and I take a little doggie-walk. As I was walking last evening, with a soft, cool breeze ruffling my hair, I was struck by how a walk on a pleasant rain-washed evening just feeds my soul. It fills me up.

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It takes me back to my carefree days of childhood when I lived in the ultimate safe haven of Indian Valley California. I was free (and safe) to roam the pastures, mountains, creeks and forests of that beautiful area. Perhaps because I am the baby-of-the-family by quite a gap, I learned early on to be happy with my own company even though I am basically a social person.

I marvel at the goodness of our Heavenly Father, who created such a beautiful world. And the wonderful godly light that shines through the clouds testifies to my spirit of his love for me, his daughter.

I'm grateful to know that God *is no respecter of persons*. He loves all of His children!

Aug 9, 2014

Alpine Loop- The Last Hurrah?

Last fall when DeLoris and I normally take our annual Alpine Loop trip she was not feeling well enough to go. Ever since then I've felt overwhelmed that we didn't get to do it and I MIGHT NOT EVER GET TO MAKE THAT TRIP AGAIN with my DeLoris!

Only a few weeks ago I got a call from Shari, DeLoris' daughter, telling me I'd want to go see *Mother* because they didn't expect her to last the week! I couldn't get down to Payson to see her until the next morning and when I came into her room there she was sitting up in bed drinking a carton of chocolate milk and looking very frail!

I've been down several times since then and she has always looking tired and in pain. Imagine my surprise when I went yesterday and this is the woman I saw!! I told her she was beautiful (and the Ever-ready bunny)! This is just a pix taken with my iPhone and edited in instagram! My wonderful, beautiful, glorious DeLor-EE-ous! She just turned 93!

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Welp, I wasn't going to let the opportunity slip by again. I made a date to come back this morning and we would get in our 9th Annual Alpine Loop Trip (only 10 months late!) And I realize that this truly may be our last hurrah trip. My DeLoris has shrunk so much that she joked she needs a booster seat to see out the window!

When we arrived at the park entrance I asked the girls working there if I could buy my America the Beautiful Senior Pass a week early. They kindly sold it to me with a promise that I won't use it until next Saturday! I am so excited to have this happy little pass. It allows me free entrance to all National Parks for the rest of my life! Yay little-Joanie!

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I made several stops for photo ops. We both commented that we've driven this route so often that we have favorite views and sights along the way. I always love how the aspen look. I almost feel like this should be a *find the hidden objects* puzzle.

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We always make our stop at the rest rooms on the American Fork Canyon side of the trip. I have a selfie from this exact place in 2008. Today's selfie doesn't merit publishing (especially since we both have a very cute photo included in this post!)

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And it wouldn't be a photo outing without a flower. I got this one with my olloclip macro lens on my iPhone.I love my MPC!

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After lunch at In 'n Out as we were motoring back to Payson DeLoris said she might live another 5 years. Oh, how I hope that is true if (big IF) she can remain healthy and without much pain. What a wonderful dear friend she is to me. I'm a lucky girl!

Aug 3, 2014

33 Years

Today's anniversary of Tony and Amanda's death coincided with Fast Sunday. I knew that I needed to share my testimony of my Saviour. I must testify that Jesus is my strength, my comfort, my rock. He has never left me alone in my grief. Has it been hard? Absolutely!

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"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." 
Phillipians 4:13

And as in years past, an anonymous angel has sent me flowers. Chad Wright delivered these at 8:15 this morning.

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And they always bear this same message.

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The thought just occurred to me. I've been sad that I couldn't decorate my kid's grave each year since they are buried in Livermore, CA. But some earthly angel decorates my house instead. What a wonderful blessing.

Truly they have followed the Saviour's counsel to "... succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees." (D&C 81:5) and "... are willing to bear one another's burdens, that they may be light: and are willing to mourn with those that mourn: and comfort those that stand in need of comfort" (Mosiah 18:8-9)

But I learned a new fact today; I am not the only one to whom this marvelous Christ-like person ministers. There are others in my neighborhood who received like remembrances on their difficult day.

I also had a visit and sweet treat and lovely note from my Whitley. I taught Whitley's Sunday school class last year. She is an angel.

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I am so very blessed to live in an area where there are so many people who listen to the promptings of the Spirit and "comfort those which stand in need of comfort."

Jul 27, 2014


We live in a small area called Spring Cove tucked right into this, erm... little cove up against the mountain.

MY mountain.

I love looking out of my office or sewing room windows to watch the changing beauty of this long ridge. So you can imagine my distress when I got up to close the windows and saw this!

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I'd smelled smoke in the night but wrote it off as lingering from Friday afternoon's lightening fire up on the mountain just north of Maple Mountain (that is behind our house) that was put out very quickly with water dropping helicopters.

Apparently teenagers playing with fireworks, in an unauthorized area, started this blaze just one street west from us at about 2 am. Fortunately, they were smart enough to call 911 when they realized what they'd done! (Poor stupid kids! I'd ask them what they were thinking, but obviously... THEY WEREN'T!) Folks who live up on the mountain-proper got a wake up knock at about 4 am telling them to be ready to evacuate.

I can't say enough about all of the many people who sped into action to save the many homes that are located on the foot of this mountain! There was a perfectly choreographed team of workers who got this fire under control.

This big orange dragonfly-looking helicopter was my favorite!

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They set up a staging area just down at the high school for all of the responding agencies. They had a portable pool, about the same size as an above-ground pool, where the helicopters would hover and refill their water tanks.

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When this fellow opened his *bombardier doors* a huge waterfall would plummet to the ground, dousing the fire. It frequently looked like water shot out of a cannon.

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Then there was this dashing little fellow! He was much more methodical. He would circle around and hover over the hot spot then let go. I observed that he had the ability to release all or part of the load.

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As soon as the water was dropped he was right back into high gear and speeding away for another fill-up. I didn't realize until I looked at the photos on my computer that he had this cool paint job on his 'copter! I love how he flies so fast that his paint is dripping!

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Many of the neighbors brought out their lawn chairs to a shady spot to watch the show. One group even had a pizza party! Finally this little guy joined the fray.

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He had the same kind of upside-down-badminton-birdie shaped bucket.

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This pano from my sitting spot belies the size and scope of MY mountain and the fire. Each of the peaks has a small ridge with a canyon on the other side. The fire burned up the draw to the left of the middle peak and around the back of the mountain. You can see the red line of fire retardant that was dropped while I was driving (hence, no photos!) It was so interesting. I watched the duo of tiny spotter plane and huge tanker making repeated drops. The spotter plane would fly first and drop a marker (of water?) that the tanker would use as his drop area.

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I just heard on the local news that the fire has burned to 145 acres and is 15% contained. This call was a little too close for comfort.

Thank you again to all of the people, in the air and on the ground, who responded to this fire.

Jul 6, 2014

Somebody's Got a Screw Loose!

OMSH! I think that is me!!

Yesterday I wanted another ceiling fan, this time in the master bedroom. I just like how they move the air around on hot days. Somehow it makes 78* a little more tolerable.

Since I had previous experience last year, I knew that I could easily install this one. But is seems that I'm a little challenged when it comes to the screw part! (Sheesh!) Last year a posted this-
Okay true story… I was installing a ceiling fan today when I lost one of the mounting screws. I looked everywhere for it. Finally I had to go down to Sunroc and buy two screws that would work. I just took off my bra...tink, tink, tink... guess what I found? (7.29.13)

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Because of that experience I wanted to be oh-so-careful, but somehow my Grammie-hands just can't handle the job like they used to. I needed to move the bed out of the center of the room so I could install the fan, of course that exposes all of that wonderful, long pile, brand-new, never-been-walked-on carpet that we installed several years ago.

I was very methodical, but, yup, still dropped a few screws, but they were all big and easy to find. Finally I get the screws that hold the cover over the lighting fixture and dropped not one, but two of the three screws! Great coogily-moogily! I glanced around hoping for an easy find, but these weren't normal sized screws they were teeny- not even a 1/4" long! (Are you kidding me?)

So I-
  • Got out my high-powered flashlight. Ha! I found one!
  • Used the strong magnet on the flashlight... no luck.
  • Remembered reading that a way to find small things is to put a nylon stocking over the end of the vacuum hose. Yeah, not so much... I loosened my grip slightly on the stocking and the vacuum ate the stocking!
  • Laid down on the carpet to get the horizontal view- erm, no.
  • Tried each of the above several times. All to no avail.
  • FINALLY, I started vacuuming very slowly and as soon as I heard a click on the beater bar, stopped and found the teeny screw.
I suppose that *All's well that ends well* but sometimes I like to have just a little less drama with my DIY projects.