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Thursday, May 29, 2008


Well, since there was not a lot going on over Memorial Day decided to take a short road trip to see the laser light Show and the fireworks at Grand Coulee Dam. Grand Coulee is located about 90 miles northwest of Spokane,105 miles south of Canada, and 250 miles east of Seattle.

A lot of the terrain is flat and some places you can see for miles.

A field of green dotted with sheep caught my eye.

This homestead looked very inviting.

And here is the first glimpse of Lake Roosevelt and Grand Coulee. ( Don't mind the reflection of peanuts on the dash - they were there in case I got hungry).

Grand Coulee Dam is often called the "Eighth Wonder of the World". It is the largest dam in the state of Washington and the largest concret structure in the United States . It is one mile long and is 550 feet high - four times as large as the great pyramids

It is the third largest hydroelectric facility in the world. Not only does it provide 6.5 million kw of power it also irrigates over half a million acres of farm land in the Columbia Basin.v

Here is the backside of the dam.

and the spillway and left powerplant.

Spillway and left and right powerplants.

Third power plant and visitor center.

If you notice there are two parking lots for visitors.

and a picture to prove I was there.

I took over 150 pictures and it was hard to narrow them down. I split them up and will put some more photos in the next post, and maybe the next and the next. It truly is a beautiful area with lots of history.

Until next time, in the words of my Father, "That's it for Today".

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

10,000 and Still Counting

When I first started this blog Tioga George (another blog I read) was nearing 2 million hits. I thought If I make 100 I will be doing good. If I hit 1000 that will be super good. After that if I hit 10,000 it will be fantastic. Well, my dear readers you have made that possible. Yesterday I went over 10,000 hits on my counter. I was so excited I was jumping up and down! I would like to take the time right here to say "Thank You" to each and everyone of you who made this possible. While I do not post every day and I am not a writer the fact that you are reading makes me feel good.

I have learned a lot of things since I started this blog. It has also opened my eyes up to a few others.

If I miss a couple days it is harder to catch up.

It's not always easy to write.

Sometimes there isn't anything interesting to write about.

You never know who is going to read your writing.

Last but not least, I love your comments. They are what keep me going. I love to get comments be they good or bad. Again, A special Thank You to all of you, my dear readers, for giving me the incentive to keep this blog going.

Let me hear from you.


Monday, May 26, 2008

In Remembrance

One of the Tombstones in this cemetery belongs to my father. My father served overseas in World War II. He never talked about his service to his country or what he did when he was in campaigns in France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Africa. We respected his wishes and never asked.

He had great respect for his flag, his country and his fellow man. He was very proud to have served during a time of conflict and it was always his wish to be buried among his fellow soldiers with whom he helped to defend his country. That wish was granted on September 24, 1984.

Today, I take time to pause, remember and honor those brave men and women who have served and still serve our great country. Their sacrifice grants us the freedom to travel freely wherever we choose. Let them never be forgotten.

And, as always in the words of my Father, "That's it for Today".

Friday, May 23, 2008

Religion. Politics and the Weather

Well, Okay I promised myself to blog more often. So I sat my "Self" down and said, "Self you have to find something interesting to talk to the folks about". "Self" says, " Well, there's three things you can talk about -- Religion, Politics, and the Weather".

Religion , while I have deep religious convictions I prefer to keep them private and not to be discussed on this blog.

Politics, well that's a whole new can of worms. Politics is a lot like religion. Its private and also nobody's business. Besides my Mother always said, "If you don't have something good to say, keep your trap shut. So I will take her advice and "keep my trap shut" on that one too.

Well. Guess what? that only leaves the weather and there is certainly a lot of discussion about that. We are still under flood watch, however, the freeways are dry. The lake is to crest today. Since I am having a bout of cabin fever I thought I would check out the water myself to see if it is really as high as the newsmakers say it is. I see a road trip coming on. HI HO HI HO its Off to Coeur d'Alene I go.
The lake is higher than I have seen it for awhile. Going around the east end of the lake in some places the water is about one foot from the road. Trees and bushes are underwater. Looks like they have been planted there.

On to Beauty Bay, this is Varnum Creek. The rocks here have lots of minerals in them. You can break them open and they are very shiny with mineral inside. At one time there was a mining company here with 64 claims, one hundred acres per claim. That was a total of 6400 acres It was owned by Magnum Tin Corporation and mined by the LaNore family.
This rock was brought from the top of Mt. Coeur d'Alene on a grapple skidder and traded for a fifth of whiskey. I love this rock. It has lots of character like its previous owner. Rest in peace Bette.
and a very cute waterfall

I don't think there is any chance I will go boating today...

These flowers standing in the water intrigued me.
More docks! It will be awhile before these boats see passengers walking on the docks. Notice how close the road and the water are.

Now to check out farther east and the Wolf Lodge Campground. I have to many photos to post so I will post them in a separate blog.

As in the words of my father, "That's almost it for today".

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Well, the talk around here is about the weather. Again!! First we had all that snow and the mountains were covered. They were very pretty with all that white stuff up there. Now, with the high temperatures all that white stuff is leaving and all we have left is the water. Lots of water.

This is the most flooding we have had in a few years. The Coeur d'Alene River at Cataldo some 50 miles from me is flooding. We can't go to the Cataldo Mission today (Larry and Leann) the off ramp is covered with water and has been for several days. Roads have been closed, sandbags have been placed and people are on high alert. They are also being requested to boil their drinking water. Coeur d'Alene Lake is almost out of its bounds. The city beach and seawall are non existent. The RV Park on the Spokane River is under water. There will be no camping there this weekend (Fred and Jo you can relate to this). The price for their sites is too high anyway. Wolf Lodge Campground at the east end of the lake is underwater. No camping there either.

Spokane River here in Washington has flooded in some places and the pedestrian bridge near the Spokane Falls downtown is closed. The Governor has been here and declared a state of emergency. The Governor of Idaho came to see the flooding in North Idaho but was unable to fly over it due to the inclement weather. State of emergency there too.

Other than the weather there is not much to report. The grandkids are spending the holiday weekend camping with some of their friends. Here is a pic in their holiday shirts. Don't they look patriotic??

As usual, As my Father used to say, that's it for today.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Have a Great Day Corky!!

Well, here is the picture of my friend Corky I promised. She doesn't look a day over 33. I hope I look that good when I turn 33.

There isn't much going on here. The weather is supposed to turn colder. The low today is supposed to be the high tomorrow. That darn weatherman just can't make up his mind. First he makes us think its summer by bringing lots of sunshine and high temps. And then when we have a couple of days of that (and getting used to it) he sends us right back to the icebox with freezing cold temperatures. Wind and rain too!! There ought to be some kind of law against having to change from summer to winter clothes - sometimes in the same day. I didn't wear my coat today and when I got out of work it was raining and the wind was blowing. You can bet I am wearing my coat tomorrow.

Work today, a little dinner, a little chat, and off to bed. That's a wrap for Monday.

In the words of my Father, That's it for Today.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Corky and George

Well, once again I've done it. Almost missed someone's birthday. On a road trip to Coeur d'Alene today I discovered my friend Corky was having a birthday. I also learned she shares her birthday with George Strait. Now that's a guy I wouldn't mind sharing my birthday with!!

Corky Here's wishing you a great birthday !! And may you have many many more. Picture to follow!!

Another candle in your cake?
Well, that's no cause to pout,
Be glad that you have strength enough
To blow the darn thing out.

That's it for today!

Of Cabbages and Kings and Many Things

Well, I haven't posted in a few days and I got an email asking me why. It has been a really busy few days.

My Grandgirls had their Spring String Fling - A Musical Journey on Thursday. It was grades 4 thru 12 from the East Valley Orchestra. Lauralei plays the viola and Kimberlei plays the violin. (I call 'em both fiddles) From the traditional and American Folk songs to This Land is Your Land by Woody Guthrie and Wipe Out by the Safaris, performed by the seventh graders I enjoyed it immensly.

There was also a tribute To Mark Williams who was tragically killed late last year. Mr Williams dedicated his career to teaching, composing, and arranging music in such a manner that it would be accesibile and meaningful to musicians of all ages, especially student musicians. He did his student teaching at the school and the Seniors were superb and flawless in their truibute to him.

The graduating Seniors were also reconized for their talents and talent they did have. The Strolling Strings, as they are called were absolutely stunning in their performance. It was also neat to watch them play with the 4th graders, a song played as first year 4th graders and only if you make it to the 12th grade do you get to go back and play the same song again. And of course 4th graders get to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

Friday was a work day, but it was also the birthday of two very special people in my life. My twin sisters, Mae and Faye celebrated their 58th birthday. I certainly hope I look as good as they do when I get to be 58. I have many happy memories of them. Mae is the quiet reserved one and Faye has always been the prankster.

Happy 58th Birthday Mae and Faye! Remember to take good care of yourselves. Antiques are valuable.

(Pictured here with my brother on his 75th birthday------they are all older than myself).

Time for the Weekend - I can't believe I forgot a party. My friends George and Roberta were having a special anniversary party on Saturday. They celebrate every year. I knew about it ahead of time and it completely slipped my mind until this morning when I finally remembered it was yesterday and I was a day late and a dollar short. Am I losing it or what or is it "Old Timers" setting in??

Today is normal Laundry and Walmart Day. Also Church Day and time to give thanks for the many blessings I recieved in the past few days. The Lord is very good to me and I am thankful.

As I left Walmart today, a couple of sailors in their U.S. Navy attire were passing out poppies for the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Of course I stopped and took one. It reminded me of my father. He loved getting a poppy each Memorial Day and always had a quarter in his pocket to pay for it. He served in World War II and getting a poppy each year was very special to him.

As always , In the words of my Father, "That's it For Today".

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Whew!! It's Hot

Well, it loooks like we have skipped spring this year and gone straight to summer. It is a beautiful day outside with a low this morning of low fifties and high predicted of eighty one degrees. I am not going to complain. I have waited through all that cold winter and this unruly spring for some weather and I am thankful we finally got some. The pants are off and the shorts are on.

Now with the event of warmer weather, we have something else on our plate - flooding. Because of the large amount of snowpack in the mountains of Western Montana Northern Idaho and Eastern Washington the Army Corp of Engineers and emergency personnel are keeping a close watch on the rivers. There are around 100,000 sandbags ready to go in Kootenai County (Idaho). There is also possibility of evacuations of some homes along the Coeur d'Alene River. I remember one year when Coeur d'Alene Lake flooded next to the City Park. Therer were lots of volunteers with sandbags to keep it out of downtown Coeur d' Alene.

I dug into the archives and found some pictures of past nice summer days. These are the kind I am looking forward too.

My friend Sandra in Ottawa Canada had posted some pictures of violets on her blog the other day. Here is a picture of some Tennessee violets. I think they are very pretty. As a matter of fact in high school I once wrote a term paper on the violet (Viola papilionacea).

In the words of my Father, "That's it for Today".

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Reflections of Mother's Day

Well, it was just a Monday not much going on. Work and Home that's about it.

I didn't mention too much about Mother's Day. It was a busy day with the Grandkids and their mother visiting and of course the usual presents, breakfast etc. It was also a time for making special memories and reflecting on past Mother's days and things that gives you that special feeling.

I remember once when my kids were little my daughters went shopping for Mother's Day. They were always allowed to pick out their own presents. On their return they went straight to their bedroom to wrap their beloved treasures, the best gifts they could find for their mother. Their father was just chuckling. It seems my younger daughter, Tawnee had picked me out a present that was spectacular. He couldn't wait to tell me about it and I couldn't wait to open it.

It was the cutest thing you ever saw. It was a ceramic piece with a grandmother on the top and the words "Chopper Hopper" on the front. You lifted the lid and it was a place to keep your false teeth at night. When her dad asked her what she thought I might do with it, she replied, "She might want to keep flour or sugar in it". To a four year old, that was a great gift and to a mother it was a very special gift. For years it sat in the window sill and held a lot of things but never false teeth. Now it holds only memories.

This year my grandhcildren gave me a very special card which reads,

You're a Blessing

When special people
Touch our lives
Then suddenly we see
How beautiful and wonderful
Our world can really be.
They bless us
With their love and joy
Through everything they give--
When special people touch our lives
They teach us how to live.

Mothers in my life that have touched me would be my own mother, Ola Holloway, Irene Johnson, Bonnie Swift, Bette Snyder, Sissie Stout, Sue Roberts, Thelma Wylie,Emogene Swift, Dodie McNeel, Alice Swift, Mary Swift, Neita Jamison, Jean Humphrey and my sister, June Thomas. These are but a few mothers that have taught me how to live.

And, in the words of my Father, "That's It for Today".

Monday, May 12, 2008

Word of the Day - Uneventful

Well, it was a pretty uneventful week and weekend - not much to blog about. Weather is holding out nicely except we got a lot of wind on Sunday. Don't know what that is all about.

The Grandchildren came to visit over the weekend - that kept me pretty busy. We made a couple crafts for their mother and their other Nana. We had a great Mothers Day Breakfast - Beef bacon, scrambled eggs, hash browns, and watermelon. It ws great.

Today is back to work. One of these days I will get up on a Monday and not have to go to work.

I leave you with picture of two of the reasons it is great to be a Mother and a Grandmother.

In the words of my Father, "That's it for Today".

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Baseball Cards

Well, I have always been a baseball fan. Although I don't follow it much any more, I still get excited over the World Series. My father was a died in the wool New York Yankees fan. To him there was only one team , The Yankees. When I was a small girl before we ever had TV he would sit by the radio and listen to every game that was broadcast. After we got TV he loved to watch them play.

Today, on my way home from work I stopped at a yard sale. I looked around for a few minutes bought a couple things I did not need and then I saw a metal tin of basebball cards. Thinking I might buy them for my grandson, I asked the price. When the lady said, $1.00 I couldn't get my buck out of my pocket fast enough. I started to pick up the tin and she says, "Here's another box and here's a sack and here's another sack". I couldn't believe it. There must be two or three thousand baseball cards.

Well, I brought them home and started going through them looking for familiar names. Now I don't know anything about baseball cards. They are not on my priority list of collectibles, however, I thought it might be fun to see if they are worth anything. If I sell them I may have enough to buy a new RV. At any rate I know they are worth more than what I paid. I got on the internet looking around at some of them. A Barry Bonds was priced at $10 and a couple of the others were priced at $5. But what they are advertised for and what you can get out off them is two different things. I guess I will study up on the fine art of baseball card trading. It'll give me something to do.

And there you have it, the interesting part of my day today.

Tuesday, A squirrel, A sack and A Name

Well Tuesday was a repeat of Monday . Home-----Work----Home. Weather has been beautiful, nice and warm and I do believe we are finished with that dreadful white stuff.

Not much going on ...been on the diet for two days now----all I have lost is two days. I decided I would walk the parking lot on my breaks and lunches. Did 3 laps at lunch and 5 in the afternoon.

Today I was really getting into it. I figured out if I ate my lunch while I walked I could do more laps. Now I don't know what the people at work thought when they saw an old lady in the parking lot walking back and forth eating a sack of vegetables nor did I care. The thing that matters is I am getting some exercise and eating a little healthier. That's gotta count for something.

I had quite a few comments on my milking blog the other day so I thought today I would share another story.

Grandma was a Midwife

I Grew up in the state of Tennessee, the county of Johnson, the city of Mountain City, and the hamlets of Dewey and Doe Valley. We lived way out in the country about five miles from town...

My story begins when I was born on a place called Shupetown Road. My paternal grandmother was a midwife. She was also a medicine woman and used a lot of herbs and old wives tales for practicing her doctoing. She was born and raised in a place called Old Butler which is under Watauga Lake today. In her midwifery duties she delivered or helped to deliver lots of babies including four of my siblings.

On the morning I was born my father had gotten up early, grabbed his gun and a flour sack to bag his catch and set off to go squirrel hunting in the woods back of our place. He had been able to bag a squirrel and he carried it home in that sack. When he came through the door, his mother rushed up to him and said, "Roy, you just had a brand new baby girl, what are you going to call her? He looked at the sack with the squirrel and looked at me and said, "Virginia Rose". That's the story of how I got my name from a sack of flour.

And in the words of my Father, :That's it for Today, Virginia Rose".

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sunday, Monday

Well, The weekend ended on a good note. Kinda lounged around on Sunday. Did the usual Wal Mart run for groceries etc. That wiped me and my pocketbook out so I took it easy for the rest of the day. I did work some on a project I am doing. Other than that I kicked back in my easy chair and surfed.
Monday was the same old thing. Get up, go to work, come home. Boy, what a boring life.
I did put myself on a diet and promised myself I would get more exercise. I started walking yesterday, At work there is not much place to walk except in the parking lot. I figured walking a lap around the cars is about equal to one block so I lapped them a few times. People at work probably thnk I am nuts but it is better than sitting in the lunch room chowing down on junk food from the vending machine.

On another note, Ralph I want you to know I am thinking of you and wishing you well as you have your heart surgery on Wednesday. XXXOOO . I will say a few extra words to the man upstairs for you.

And, In the words of my Father, "That's it for Today".

Running Around

Well, the weekend seems to be shaping up just fine. Spent most of Saturday running around. Went to Coeur d'Alene, ran a few errands here and there and visited with some friends.

Kohl's were having a big sale so stopped there. I was looking for some new shorts. I bought some last week, except they were a little bit too snug. Now, I am not saying I have gained any weight but I certainly haven't lost any either. Maybe I need to start exercising and cut down on my eating.

I did find shorts at Kohl's but when I got them home they were the wrong size - Yep you got it -- too big!! Can't we just have one universal size?

On to dinner, I grilled steak, Baked potato, loaded of course, salad and of course I couldn't pass up Ice Cream for dessert. I guess the diet will start tomorrow. I will return both pair of shorts and next time I will try Spokane Tent and Awning. Maybe they will have my size.

On another note, A very special birthday to Uncle Larry!! You're one of the best. Hope your special day is a great one.

And in the words of my Father, "That's it for Today".

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Milking Memories

Well, not much going on here in the middle of the week so I thought I would tell you a true story. There is plenty more stories like this in the pea patch of my itty bitty brain. It is the start of a book of memories. Let me know what you think.

My first experience with cows must have been when I was about four or five. We had a jersey cow which we called "Old Jerz". My grandmother did all the milking. My first job went we went to milk was holding the cow's tail to keep her tail from hitting my grandmother in the head.

One day we bought a box of oatmeal which had a little dipper in it. Actually it was a 2 cup measuring cup with a handle, but that became my milk bucket. I wanted to learn to milk so my grandfather made me a little stool and gave me that dipper. My grandmother sat on her stool on one side of the cow and I sat on the other side of the cow on my stool. She taught me how to milk, I would milk my dipper full and pour it into her bucket. I could quit when I had milked two dippers full. For a four or five year old thats quite a long time to sit still. You had to sit still because if you moved around or pulled too hard the cow would kick and you certainly didn't want to end up with her foot in your milk bucket.

My grandmother had a stroke in December of 1955, milking was never the same after that.

Since we had no refrigerator our milk, butter and dairy products was kept in the springhouse. The springhouse was a small building which stood over a small branch from a spring. It had a wooden trough in it that the water ran through. Once the milking was done we would take the buckets of warm milk to the house and strain them through a white flour sack similar to cheesecloth. We would then pour the milk into gallon jarsand store them in the trough in the springhouse. The water kept the milk good and cold. The cream came to the top usually two to three inches thick. It was skimmed off to be used for making butter and put it into another jar so that we could make buttermilk. Most times we would churn once a week. So it took quite a bit of cream to make butter. We would pour the cream into a churn. and sit and churn and churn. Finally you would see bits of butter appear. These were all skimmed off and put into a bowl rinsed and salted and then put in a wooden butter press. Usually made about 3 to 4 pounds of butter and then you would also have buttermilk. There is nothing better than a good cold glass of buttermilk.

Sometimes if we had extra milk my grandmother would let it set out and clabber and make cottage cheese out of it. Cottage cheese was a great treat and nothing like you get in those little cartons at the grocery today.

Its nice to remember all those good ol' days when life was easier and a lot slower ---- not so complicated and rushed as it is today.

And in the words of my father "That's it for Today."