Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Chief Over All Winged Creatures

Eagle tree carving in Shipshewana, Indiana.
Everyone loves an eagle, right?

The symbol of hope, strength, leadership, courage.  "Fly like the eagle," they say.  Pure freedom.  

An "eagle eye" is considered to be superior.  Did you know that eagle's eyes are up to eight times sharper than that of humans?

And they get around.  Bald eagles, during migration, can travel 400 to 500 miles a day.

The Aztecs, ancient Romans, and Hittites loved eagles.  Native Americans loved eagles.  Patriots love eagles.  The eagle appears in the bible, and in Islam, the eagle represents warlike ferocity, nobility, and dominion.

I read on Wikipedia that "eagles normally build their nests, called eyries, in tall trees or on high cliffs. Many species lay two eggs, but the older, larger chick frequently kills its younger sibling once it has hatched. The dominant chick tends to be a female, as they are bigger than the male. The parents take no action to stop the killing."  That's some serious shit.  Another plus for being the older sibling.

Over the last year or so, I find myself having a growing interest in bird-watching.  I saw an eagle's nest once, in Montana, but I don't think I've spotted an eagle yet.  I've seen big birds over the years, but don't recall an eagle.

I'll have to keep my eye out for one.

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Remembering The Old Spanish Trail

2015: Rain Frog
2014: Wanted: Traveling Maid
2013: Flippin' Fantastic Finds
2012: There’s Room At This Inn – For Dancing And Gambling
2011: Later, Fishies!
2010: It’s In The Details
2009: Plenty Of Places To Roam, No Place To Park It
2008: E Vac You A She Own!!
2007: Eddie Steals A Bite Friday
2006: Steal-A-Meme
2005: The Day In Pictures

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Full-Blown Wonder

I've had the opportunity to see glass artist Dale Chihuly's work in Seattle, Las Vegas, and at the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio.  His work is stunning and impressive.

He's exhibited all over the country and in several major cities around the world and there are many pieces on permanent display in places such as The Bellagio in Las Vegas and the Oklahoma City Museum of Art in Oklahoma City.

There are several exhibitions happening this year so if you're able you should try to catch one of them.  His work can be seen in the following locations in 2017:

The Catalina Island Museum in Avalon, California.

The New York Botanical Garden in Bronx, New York.

The Chihuly Sanctuary at The Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center in Omaha, Nebraska.

The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.

The Maker's Mark Distillery in Loretto, Kentucky.

If you have the opportunity to visit any of these locations, do it!  My choice would be the exhibit in New York.  But then, as a New Yorker, I'm a little biased.


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2016: Saguaro Nest
2015: I Do Laundry And Bring Strawberries
2014: A Match Made In Trucking Heaven
2013: Shiny Ride Home
2012: Chow Fun And Coconut Bliss
2011: Beautiful By Nature. Dirty By Choice.
2010: Let’s Go Shopping!!!
2009: A Magnificent Place To Wait For A Train
2008: Old Blue Eyes Was Right When He Said It Was A Very Good Year
2007: The Hills Are Alive…Or Are They?
2006: Nostalgia
2005: 37 Going On 20

Monday, August 28, 2017

My Brain Loves Order

I'm a list maker.

To Do lists, shopping lists, work-related task lists, gift lists, lists about subjects I want to blog about, lists about places I want to visit, lists about inventions I'm sure will make me millions, lists of people I need to call or email, lists about websites I need to check out, lists about new lists I should be making.

I even type them, using my handwriting font.  What can I say?  I'm very organized.  And super-nerdy, apparently.

I've always been a list maker but now that I'm getting older, I find I need them.  As soon as I remember I need to do something, I write it down.  If I run out of something, I put it on the list.  If I have to make a phone call or set an appointment, I write it down.  If I have to tell Ed to do something. I write it down.  It's just easier that way because I can forget in a split second.  Seriously, I can go blank seconds after I say, "I gotta remember to buy..."

If you're interested in the benefits of list-making, there are tons of articles online you can look into.

Here's one to get you started..

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A Good Atmosphere Doesn't Always Equal Good Food

2015: Will Walk For Coffee
2014: The Real Challenge Was Getting In And Out Of It
2013: Stormy Wyoming
2012: Entertaining The Masses
2011: A Very Expensive Day Of Laze
2010: A Little River On A Big Lake In The Middle Of A Floating Stage
2009: Eddie The Cicada Whisperer Friday
2008: Maybe We Should Sell Our Truck And Buy An Airboat
2007: Me And My Man
2006: If You’re Going To Rescue Me, Bring Sandwiches
2005: Hurricane Equality

Sunday, August 27, 2017

As The Crow Flies

I've been watching a lot of YouTube videos lately and looking up songs from TV shows and movies.  If you're not aware, YouTube is a giant rabbit hole.

One of my favorite TV shows, from its inception, is Nashville.  I love the characters (I have an extremely cheesy gene), and I love the music.  If you've been following the lives of Scarlett and Gunnar.  In the season finale, Gunnar finally tells Scarlett - after being cast aside more than once because of her insecurities, performing fears, other men, etc. - that he can't be with her anymore. The song, knowing the history of their relationship is fitting, beautiful, and sad.

"As The Crow Flies"

(performed by Sam Palladio & Clare Bowen)

If I've wasted your time

I'm sorry my love
Thoughtless and careless
Oh I was young
And like a ship in the night
I watched you pass by
I wish that I may
I wish that I might
Get back to you

I'll chart a course that's straight to your heart

Follow the light from a northernmost star
I'll love, I'll love like I couldn't before
I'm here and I'm yours
I'm yours

And I'll get to you
The quickest I can

One if by sea
Two if by land

No wandering this time
I'd draw a straight line
As the crow flies
As the crow flies

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Mall Princess

2015: Oklahoma Wind
2014: All Along The Shining Sea
2013: Waterfront Wedding
2012: Crossing The Mighty Hudson For Our Radio Debut
2011: All-Inclusive Social Butterflies
2010: The $7 Date Night
2009: Them’s Fighting Words!
2008: Skulls And Hot Chocolate In The French Quarter
2007: Once As High As An Elephant’s Eye
2006: Trouser Snakes On A Plane
2005: Big Honkin’ Truck Makeover

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Music For Meatballs

An entertainer playing for money on 4th Avenue in Tucson, Arizona.  He's strategically placed in front of one of Tucson's oldest restaurants, Caruso's.

Here's a list of 24 other restaurants in Tucson over 25 years old.

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2016: Flashing Back To '79
2015: Pugly Curiosity
2014: Our Rear View Looks Fantastic
2013: An Oasis Of Tranquility
2012: Clouds Over The Whitestone
2011: Room And Board
2010: Filler And Fluff
2009: Ghost Town
2008: Second Only To Feet
2007: I’ve Been Everywhere Sunday
2006: Heading South With One Wayward Goose
2005: Red Texas Sunrise

Friday, August 25, 2017

Weird Video, Good Song

Heard this song in the movie The Last Word and really liked it.  I think it fit the scene in the movie better than it fits this odd video, but whatever.  Listen, don't look.

Starring Amanda Seyfried and Shirley MacLaine, the movie was charming and feel good.  

My kind of flick.

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Grab A Banana And Get Shopping!

2015: Castles And Murder Ballads
2014: Not Really Trucking From NOAA To WHOI
2013: Paddling The Hudson 
2012: Cue The Flying Monkeys
2011: Project Island Life
2010: Be Italian
2009: I’m Not Just In The Granny Lane Anymore
2008: Where Pretty Resides
2007: The Sweet Sight Of Summer
2006: You Oughta Be In Pictures
2005: Oh, Brother!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Sunny Side Of Friendship

Ed went motorcycle riding with a friend of his last weekend and came home with a dozen fresh eggs.

Fresh as in, came right from the chicken moments before they were placed in his hands.

There were white, brown, and green eggs - so pretty!  The yolks were a nice, deep yellow, and Ed said his omelette was extra tasty.

Seems like quite an advantage to have a friend with chickens.

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The Party Is Over

2015:  They've Mastered Chocolate, Cheese, And Watches. Maybe They Should Tackle Trucking.
2014: This Is What Sweeping Looks Like
2013: This Takes Fresh Chicken To A Whole New Level
2012: Exemplary Exemplar Prints
2011: Hurricane? What Hurricane?
2010: The Summer Of 1947
2009: From Pablo Neruda To Mother Goose
2008: Almost Two Beautiful To Eat On
2007: Sweatin’ Eddie Friday
2006: Steel City Glow
2005: Bravo, Bravo

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Dining On The Local Devil's Food

 Today Ed and I had lunch at Diablo Burger.

The restaurant's name comes from Canyon Diablo, located between Flagstaff and Winslow, in Arizona.  Canyon Diablo divides the 426,000 acre land area where two ranches, the Flying M and the Bar T Bar are located.  These two ranches supply 100% of the beef used for Diablo's burgers.  

The restaurant is located on Congress Street in downtown Tucson, across the street from the famous Hotel Congress.  
Each burger is made from six ounces of 100% local, open range-raised, antibiotic free and growth-hormone free beef from the two Diablo Trust ranches.  Wow, that's a mouthful.  I just want a burger.

The burgers are char-broiled and served on a signature handmade, preservative-free, branded MJ's English Muffin, with seasonal greens, tomato, pickle, and DB fries - Belgian-style frites seasoned with Herbes de Provence.  All that fancy language comes straight from their menu.

Look at the cool branded English muffins!  

Ed had the SeƱor Smoke - Ancho Grilled Onions, Grilled Avocado, Bacon, Cilantro & Sriracha Mayo ($14.75).
I had the Wrigley Field - Bacon, Swiss, Grilled Onions & Rising Hy Spicy Honey-Mustard ($14.75)
The burgers were delicious.  And the Herbes de Provence seasoned fries were good too, although waaaaay too salty for me.  My friends Marlaina and MacG ate here when they were in town and she said she didn't remember the fries being salty.  Maybe the chef today just had a heavy hand.  I won't hold it against them.

They served water for the table in this cool stopper-topped clear bottle, Ed's iced tea in the brown bottle with a small cruet of Simple Syrup for sweetness, and my Diet Coke in an 8 oz. glass bottle.  I liked the presentation. 

The have an extensive burger menu and it's definitely a place I'd try again.  I never venture downtown because the parking situation is dreadful, but I'd be willing to drive around the block a few times or walk from a parking garage for another visit.  

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2016: Named By A Canadian, Mined By A Western Legend
2015: 34-Hour Restart
2014: Founded By A Millionaire Fur Trader
2013: Woke Up This Morning
2012: Trust Me, I’m A Truck Driver
2011: Doesn’t A Gastropod Always Have A Helmet On?
2010: This Is How We Do It
2009: Storage In The Storm
2008: Devil Horse In The Louisiana Wetlands
2007: Not Sloppy. No Joe. Just Bob And His Loosemeats Residing In The Ice Cream Capital Of The World
2006: Playing With Your Money But Not Really SPENDING It
2005: Glamour Puss

Monday, August 21, 2017

Passing Between The Sun And Earth

Today in Tucson we witnessed a partial solar eclipse.

We weren't in the path of the total eclipse - although our lucky friends were - but five minutes to the time we'd hit max coverage, I decided to geek out and make a pinhole viewer.

An old white box, a piece of aluminum foil, and a thumbtack did the trick.  As you can see from the photo below, with the sun at our back, we were able to see the shadow of the moon partially covering the sun.  In the photo above you can see the small crescent on the arm of the cactus, as captured by the camera, although I don't know how that works.

We didn't have a viewing party, no news crews showed up, and none of our neighbors were even visible.  The excitement of those in the path of totality didn't seem to make it to our neck of the woods.

The next total eclipse for North America will come on April 8, 2024.

Save the date.

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Mid-Century Copper Town

2015: Signs Of Summer
2014: State-Of-The-Art Movement
2013: Not My Kind Of Gold Mine
2012: Fat Lou Captured In Rare Photo
2011: Oceanfront Property At Lot 61003/94
2010: Monkey Pod Treasure
2009: Eddie Embraces The Rules Friday
2008: They Have A MAGAZINE???
2007: Planting The Sun
2006: Training Day
2005: Cannonball Run

Sunday, August 20, 2017

A Castle In Bluegrass Country

I remember the first time I saw this castle.  I was amazed.

Fifteen years ago I was living in Elizabethtown, Kentucky and on one of my many adventures, I set out on an overnight trip to Lexington.  The castle is located on the way to Lexington, in Versailles - in Kentucky, they say ver-sales, not ver-sigh like the city in France, which the Kentucky city was named after - just a few miles north of the Bluegrass Parkway.  
I didn't get photos the first time I passed it, and these were taken from a moving semi because there's nowhere to safely pull over on U.S. 60 where the castle is located.  

A castle in Kentucky!  Who knew? Here's an aerial view of the castle.

Lexington is BEAUTIFUL.  Green grass, rolling pastures, horses, and miles and miles of fencing to keep those horses in.  Kinda makes sense that it would have a castle.

I loved living in Kentucky.  From Hopkinsville to E-Town (Elizabethtown), I did quite a bit exploring around the state and found all of it to be beautiful.  Who ever thought a native New Yorker would be living in Kentucky??  Never in a million years did I see that happening in my life.

Wikipedia says "construction on the castle was started by Rex Martin and his wife Caroline Bogaert Martin in 1969, after they had returned from a trip to Germany and were inspired by the architecture and many famous buildings they had seen in Europe. The finished project was to have seven bedrooms, fifteen bathrooms, a fountain in the driveway, and a tennis court. In 1975, the Martins divorced and left the castle unfinished."

There are many stories about the castle, but it's always generally the same.  I think I heard or read somewhere, someone saying that after the divorce, Rex Martin was so heartbroken he had no desire to finish the castle he was building for the love of his life.

The castle has changed hands a few times over the years, with each owner having big plans for it.  It's been on the market for as much as $30 million dollars.

You can see more exterior shots and the interior of the castle in this video.  And if you're interested in booking the castle - like, for a wedding maybe? - you can check out the castle's website here.

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2016: The Crest At Sunset
2015: Over 80 Feet Of Traveling Comfort
2014: Insta-Coastal
2013: Traffic
2012: Fire Hazard
2011: Smiling High
2010: Time Travel
2009: One More Reason I Love The Highway Hags
2008: Boathouse On The Gulf
2007: Canada Is Bubblicious
2006: You Know You’re In A Hotel That Doesn’t Have A Star Rating…
2005: It’s A Dry Heat

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Friday, August 18, 2017

I've Realized I Need Cookies AND A Vacation

Photo Credit:  Getty
I need this TV in my life.

I've always wanted to go on a train journey.  Here are a few I can start with.

Small living never looked so good.

This is not the usual stoner's VW bus.  Check out this concept microbus.

This is truly amazing.  Could this be the next wave for the homeless living under bridges in our country?  

The most important line of this very short article:  "They simply lack the knowledge to recognise what he’s saying is dumb."

This is when I'll know my desire to watch birds has gone too far.

Where were these little air conditioners when I was a slave behind an office desk?

Just slice, and bake.  Easy peasy.

I heart Canada.  And this list has one of my top hotel choices on it.


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2016: Sitting On Secrets
2015: More Montana
2014: 'Scuse Me While I Kiss The Sky
2013: I Feel Like I'm Being Followed
2012: Keeping Pace With The Seniors
2011: Island Bound
2010: Cristo Velato
2009: Flash Dancing Through Summer
2008: Another Day, Another 32 Things About Me
2007: A Bottle And A Nap Would Be Nice
2006: Because You Never Know When You’re Going To Need A Roman Candle
2005: Thank A Trucker

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Good Old Days

This is a photo of my brother, my father, and me at my aunt's wedding in October 1974.  I was 7 years old, sporting my Dorothy Hamill haircut.  I'm also wearing a solid 14 karat gold heart necklace that I received for being a flower girl.  I still have that necklace.

Today would have been my father's 76th birthday.  Boy, do I miss him.  

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A Little Birthday Pomp

2015: Lone House On The Prairie
2014: Squeezing Through The Backroads
2013: Waves Of Steel

2012: Forever In Bloom
2011: Ed Visits His First Warehouse Store
2010: HBD 143
2009: Eddie Hauls Laundry The White Trash Way Friday
2008: Sun Setting Over Lake Pontchartrain
2007: Sanchez. Pedro Sanchez.
2006: Remembering Those In Heaven
2005: The Line Of Gold Thread

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Comforting Souls

The monument dominating the cemetery at Manzanar National Historic Site.  In 1942, the U.S. Army leased 6,200 acres at Manzanar to establish an internment camp to hold nearly 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II.

The information on the site map states, "Catholic stone mason Ryozo Kado built this obelisk in 1943 with help from the residents of Block 9 and the Young Buddhist Association.  On the east face, Buddhist Reverend Shinjo Nagatomi inscribed kanji characters that mean "soul consoling tower."  People attended religious services here during the war.  Today the monument is a focal point of the annual pilgrimage, serving as a symbol of solace and hope."

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Get Lost In The Links

2015: Up In The Bakken 
2014: I See A Molasses Sorghum Cookie In My Future
2013: Save Fifty Cents By Staying Away From The Card Tables - Go To A Concert Instead
2012: Zero Tolerance Zone
2011: Flicker Of Hope…GONE
2010: Knee Deep In Training
2009: She Sells Seashells By The Seashore
2008: Shopping At Walmart Is The Closest Some Of Us WilL Ever Get To China
2007: Giving Indians A Bad Name
2006: Six Flags Of Horror Fly Over Texas
2005: Snake River

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Say Yes To The Dress Shopping

Today was my first outing for wedding dress shopping.  My friend Kim and I went and I tried on several dresses.

Being a plus-sized bride presents a bit of a challenge when it comes to styles, but I tried on several dresses to see which style I liked best.  I wasn't expecting to feel so pretty in them, but they really do have an ability to transform.

I don't know how many dresses I'll have to try on before I find the one I love, but I think I'm going to have a great time doing it.

Stay tuned.

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Catalina Moon

2015: A Round Town
2014: A Dark Cloud Hangs Over The Plantation
2013: I Wonder How These Longhorns Would Feel If They Knew A Steakhouse Was Named After Them?
2012: Frying Up Memories
2011: Icy Beverages, Sun, And Sand
2010: Smalltopia And Rowdy Kittens
2009: Severely Disabled
2008: Boys In Dresses
2007: I’ve Been Everywhere Sunday
2006: When I'm Done Peeing, Do I Bang On The Pipes Or Just Yell When I Need Someone To Take Me Back To My Cell?
2005: The Emerald City