Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Living Desert

Yesterday Ed and I visited the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.  We had absolutely perfect weather - which here means not hot - and spent about five hours walking every inch of the grounds available to us.

The Desert Museum is the #1 attraction in Tucson, receiving approximately 400,000 visitors per year.

Founded in 1952, the facility blends zoo, botanical garden, art gallery, natural history museum, and aquarium.  There is a hummingbird aviary and a temporary exhibit where you can touch stingrays.

The Museum sits on 98 acres and offers 21 interpreted acres with two miles of walking paths.  There are 230 animal species (4,892 specimens), 1,200 types of plants (56,000 specimens), and one of the world's most comprehensive regional mineral and fossil collections that include 16,583 specimens.

This attraction is a must-see for anyone coming to Tucson.  For years we have taken guests to experience something unlike anything else they've ever seen.  The Museum is regularly listed as one of the top ten zoological parks in the world.

This week I will feature photos from that visit.  Read more about the history HERE.

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2016: Power Washer
2015: Reading Comprehension In Question
2014: Snapshot From The Road: Trucker Dogs
2013: The Luxurious Nomadic Life
2012: He’s Just As Handsome In Black And White
2011: Crab Cakes And The Chesapeake
2010: Young, Poor, Footloose And Fancy-Free
2009: Badass Badlands
2008: Proof That God Exists
2007: Spring In The Desert
2006: Shadows Of The Setting Sun
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Uphill Chug

Traveling Interstate 15 through a tiny slice of Arizona in the far northwest corner on the way to Utah.

The rocks belong to the Virgin River Gorge.


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That Face, That Face, That Wonderful Face!

2015: We Both Share The Same Blood
2014: My Choice
2013: Pregnant And Dating
2012: They Really Don’t Want You Coming Through This Gate
2011: Deep Down, She Knows She’s A Princess
2010: A Three Hundred And Fifty Foot Long Dream
2009: Dillinger The Horror Hog
2008: Supernatural Hair
2007: They Must Have Been On Sale
2006: Sorry, no post on this day.
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005! 

Friday, April 28, 2017


I've become a bird watcher.

From the living room of our house, we have a great view of passing wildlife - white-winged doves, cardinals, cactus wrens, quail, ground squirrels, coyotes, bobcats, etc.

I have several bird feeders, including a hummingbird feeder, right in my line of sight.  I watch the bigger doves swing on the feeders which make seeds spill to the ground.  The birds on the ground love that trick.  Right now I have a little family of quail that visit daily.  You can see them eating in the photo above and I got a snap of them leaving below.

They're quick, and they must have excellent hearing and senses because as soon as I even move closer to the window, they scatter.  This morning I counted nine babies.  Very tiny, maybe two inches tall.

They're costing me a fortune in feed, but for now, I'll keep buying it because I really enjoy the activity in the yard. 

I hope they appreciate the never ending buffet.

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Elephant Cactus

2015: 5 Foxy Links To Pass A Few Minutes
2014: Flying Through The Links
2013: It All Started With A Tweet
2012: Waiting For Summer
2011: It Should Have Been Titled Boringpants
2010: Ed Blows A 750
2009: Another Reason I Love The Great Indoors
2008: We Think The Only Thing Worth Stealing From The House Would Have Been The Fresh Baked Apple Pie
2007: Not Nearly As Appealing As Gnocchi
2006: Working The Yard
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Red Planet

Click image to view the full infographic
Right now I feel like I have to travel to Mars just to have something to write about.  Or at least have time to think about something to write about.

Click the image to see how long it would take you to get to Mars and then click HERE to read some facts about the red planet.

It's gotten so bad around my blogosphere I have resorted to sending you to outer space.

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2016: The Calm Before And After

2015: Cheese On Horseback
2014: A Life That's Good
2013: The Big Weekend Event
2012: Bringing The Sea To The Sleeper Bunk
2011: The Lonely Road
2010: Boys’ Town, Old Digs And A Non-Working Number
2009: She Needs To Wear A Bell
2008: Budding
2007: I Hate When He Does That
2006: The Toes Of Summer Are Peeking Out
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

One Of These Things Is Unlike The Other

Rollerblading Canadian girls.

I think I should ask someone to caption this photo.

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2016: Girl Catcher

2015: Oklahoma Tin
2014: She's There Already
2013: Still Waters Run Deep
2012: The Princess Of Fruits Welcomes You
2011: I Love This Lookout
2010: There Ain’t No Rodeo On This Rodeo
2009: Covering All The Bases
2008: Ed Fantasizes Out Loud
2007: Better Late Than Never
2006: The Last Best Chance
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Tutti A Tavola A Mangiare!

Semi-prepared meats at Atwater Market in Montreal, Québec, Canada.
My favorite shows about food:

Lidia's Kitchen

Lidia Bastianich is very down-to-earth and makes you feel like you've known her for years. I feel like I'm sitting in my favorite aunt's kitchen.  She often has her mother and her children joining her on the show which is filmed in her actual kitchen.  She makes very simple, delicious dishes which are easy to follow.  You can find tons of great recipes on her website.  And I love her signature phrase: Tutti a tavola a mangiare! (Everyone to the table to eat!)

Cook's Country
I'm a HUGE fan of America's Test Kitchen.  I devour their podcasts and I love Bridget Lancaster (she's a genius!) and Christopher Kimball (a quirky, geeky foodie).

Giada in Italy
Taking an extended vacation, Giada films her show from the country of her birth, glorious Italy!

Barefoot Contessa
I love Ina Garten's style.  She's calm and makes me want to eat at her house.  With her and Jeffrey, of course.

Chef's Table
This one is on Netflix.  The website says, "In this Emmy-nominated docuseries, find out what's inside the kitchens and minds of the international culinary stars who are redefining gourmet food."  It's pretty great.

Oh my GOD, I can't stand the pressure!  But I love it!  I'm always on the edge of my seat.  And I'm pretty good at picking the winner.

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Do Your Brain A Solid And Read A Book

2015: Massive Collision In Wyoming
2014: Even His Feet Are Handsome
2013: Not Evolved Enough To Clap Just Yet
2012: A Cat’s Life
2011: Not So Lucky
2010: A Capitol Idea
2009: Blooming Where The Sun Don’t Shine
2008: Eddie Wakes Up Smiling Friday
2007: Gnocchi From The Gods
2006: Blurry Super Hero
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Monday, April 24, 2017

If Only Gas Were That Cheap Again

Wilson's General Store & Cafe in Evansville, Indiana.  We ate here several years ago.  The food was so-so, but the place was cool.  Lots of memorabilia decorating every inch of the place.  I wasn't able to find a website, so I'm not sure if they're still in business, but it was another interesting stop in our travels.

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Friends Don't Let Friends Exercise Alone

2015: I Would Never Mute This Commerical
2014: State Line
2013: No Pity
2012: Stop Grackling!
2011: Chicks And Kids
2010: Ultima Lavada 9:00 PM
2009: Eddie Touches Up The Old Girl Friday
2008: The Morning Sun Greets Guadalupe
2007: Starting Soon. No, Really.
2006: This Mary Doesn’t Go To Pre-School
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

In The Heart Of Amish Country

Old Village Store Hardware on Old Philadelphia Pike located in Bird-in-Hand, Pennsylvania.  
In this store, you can find Amish made brooms, belts, bird houses, fresh produce, pretzels, jams, jellies, mustards, pumpkins & gourds, and more!  You can also see the world's smallest covered bridge located inside.  

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A Spark Of Male Bonding

2015: A-MAZ-ING
2014: Ghosts Of Retail
2013: Orange Is The Devil
2012: Sixteen Hundred Miles Makes All The Difference
2011: In Need Of Some Color
2010: 122 Years And Counting
2009: Sixteen Days Old
2008: Racism Comes With A Convenient Handle
2007: Evening Tide
2006: Glittering Pasties And Swinging Tassles
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005! 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

My America

Patrons at the Taste of St. Louis event held in downtown St. Louis, Missouri.

A pretty diverse crowd made it a great day for people watching.

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2016: Addictive Retro Fun

2015: Boldface
2014: Ciudad Juárez En La Noche
2013: Live It Up!
2012: The Last Supper
2011: New York Always Stands Out
2010: Visitor Number 933 To Room 525
2009: Makes A Nice Desktop
2008: Leaning Tower Of Texas
2007: It Should Be Called “Thimble Shot”
2006: Southern Hideaway
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Getting Your Ducks In A Row

I am very organized.  Probably a bit anal, if you ask others.  Of course, when those very same people need something, they seem to know who to ask.  I've been working on things in the house for weeks, trying to organize the office, making files, making room in my pantry for everything I need in the kitchen, finding a place for Ed's gadgets (I think I need another room for that alone!).

Everyone has their own ways of making their space work for them.  But while perusing the internet for some ideas, I came across the following ideas for organizing.  Check out the links below to get ideas on how to keep your
 home, family, kitchen, office, fashion, work, finances, etc., in tip-top shape.

102 Tips To Get Your Home Super Organized

25 Organizing Before And Afters

100 Ways To Get Organized

Pinterest is the endless well of organizing ideas.

17 Bathroom Organization Ideas

31 Smart, Low-Cost Organizing Ideas

52 Brilliant Ideas for Organizing Your Home from Design*Sponge

150 Dollar Store Organizing Ideas and Projects for the Entire Home

I think this should keep you busy for a while.  I know I've got my work cut out for me.  I can't wait to start sorting and labeling!

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Rise Up

2015: Slide
2014: Sitting In The Sun Of The Southwest
2013: The Sunniest Black Hole
2012: A Visit From Woodland Creatures
2011: The Man I’m Spending My Nights With
2010: Let’s Hope This Industrious City Can Get Our Truck Fixed
2009: Free Range Horns And Humps
2008: The Earth Is Sending The Paper To The Folder
2007: Some People Are SAD; I Am Not One Of Them
2006: An Eye For Fashion…And Other Things
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

They Nestled The Produce On Beds Of Kale

Today was my first trip ever to our local gourmet grocery store - AJ's Purveyors of Fine Foods.

It was a nice store.  A little dark.  Not as nicely organized as I would have expected.  Not as luxe either, considering the plaza it's located in.

They had cheeses, lots of wines, a good selection of meats, a nice bakery, and the produce was displayed beautifully.

But it's no Wegman's.

I wasn't in the market for anything particular and I'll probably have to go back when I have more time, but Ed and I weren't overly impressed.  I bought some 00 Flour for making pizza dough, gnocchi, and bread (my next project), and a few apples.  

Next time, I'll go for the fromagerie.

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2016: Take It To Ramon
2015: California Field
2014: Happy Easter!
2013: A Tree Grows In A Truck Stop
2012: The Herb Whisperer
2011: Turning Tables With Adele
2010: A Different Kind Of Dumster Diving
2009: Federal Glow
2008: My Mother Is An Oxymoron
2007: The Restroom Shell Game
2006: The Pressure
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

On Your Mark

Ed decided he's going to get his motorcycle license, so today we went to the local riding school to check out the program.

He said something about MacGyver wanting to ride motorcycles in Africa, so he needed his license so he can go.  What the what??

If he takes the course, he'll be licensed for 18 wheels, 4 wheels, and 2 wheels.

What's next, a unicycle?

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2016: Always Be A Moose

2015: Where The Good Girls Run Into Trouble
2014: Feed The Children Of The World
2013: Burst Of Power
2012: If This Worked, I’d Become A Cannibal
2011: How I While Away The Hours
2010: Incredibly Average, Yet Heroic If Necessary
2009: May I Take A Message?
2008: Doing The Speed Limit In Your Sleep
2007: Now I Can Go Back To Watching The Show
2006: Ten Of Life’s Simplest Pleasures
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Blue Girl

It's a slow week 'round these parts.  Here's a picture my mother took of her cat, Blue.  She commands the space she occupies.  She decided this was her chair and she's just hanging out in it.  Two minutes later, she was asleep, head hung over the side.

I want to bite her to pieces, she's so damn cute!

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2016: Vintage Beauty

2015: Truck Yeah
2014: Break Time Selfie
2013: The Glories Of Our Journey
2012: The Herb Whisperer
2011: The Switch Between Morning Glory And Country Strong
2010: Name That Tree
2009: Getting Plowed
2008: Eddie Friday In Squares
2007: The Color Of Elizabeth’s Eyes
2006: The Result Of A Little Flax In Your Diet
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Approaching The Future Of Space Travel

Storm clouds hovering over Van Horn, Texas.
Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of, purchased 290,000 acres of land 25 miles north of Van Horn in 2006, to start a space tourism company called Blue Origin.

If you're not an aspiring astronaut planning to have a "spaceflight experience" at Blue Origin, just keep on driving because there's nothing worth stopping for in this dead little Texas town.

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2016: Hmeep Hmeep!
2015: Spring In The Sky
2014: Power To The Tree
2013: For Mommy
2012: There’s Always Room For La Dolce Vita
2011: Drop It Like It’s Hot
2010: The Art Of Being Tardy
2009: Vantage Point
2008: Cape Cahd Hadba
2007: Waxing Brilliant
2006: Seven! Seven! Seven! Seven! Seveeeeennnn!
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Not A Time For Restful Sleep

This is the beach in Turks & Caicos when we were there in 2011.  This was just before Hurricane Irene hit the island.  The hotel brought in all the bedding, pillows, and billowy curtains from the beach beds.  

The sky started to darken and the water was getting rougher as the hurricane got closer to us.  It wound up hitting the island as a Category 1, which was not as forceful as we originally expected.

The day after, it was business as usual and the beach beds were back in use.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~2016: Yellow Pop
2015: Union Wharf
2014: Mysterious Exercise
2013: Doris Day Spends The Weekend In Texas
2012: Evening Ball
2011: Taxes And Ta-Tas
2010: Ah, The Subtle Contrasts Of New Jersey
2009: A Fishy Pishy Is Never Dishy
2008: Before The Luck Ran Out
2006: Five Guys I’m In Love With This Week
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


Every once in a while we see these giant nests at the top of the power line poles.  This one was alongside the interstate in Montana and we're pretty sure we saw eagles flying from it.  Not sure if they were bald eagles or golden eagles - both are popular in the area - but they definitely appeared to be eagles.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~2016: Working On The Railroad
2015: There's A Killer Whale On My Sightseeing List
2014: You Look Hungry, Take These For Later
2013: A Dumpster Diver's Dream
2012: Reigning Over Sitting 300 Days A Year
2011: Raining In Baltimore
2010: Back That Ass Up
2009: Shaved, Slivered, Sliced, Grated, Chunked, And Best Of All, In Meatballs
2008: Too Small For America?
2007: Waiting For A Beautiful Balsamic Splash
2006: Other Weird Things In Utah
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Don't Even Go There

Approaching Chicago, IL
I often get emails from people asking me if they can share articles on my site, write guest posts for me, or share graphics their company produces.

Last year I got an email from a guy named Chris from Zehl & Associates, a law firm in Texas, who wanted me to share an article he wrote about commercial drivers and sleep apnea.

He was very nice and sleep apnea in our industry was and is a current issue, so I was considered doing a feature on it. He tried to sell me by saying it'd be good for my blog and audience.  Humpf.

But then I did a little more research on his firm and found that they pride themselves on suing commercial drivers and/or their companies, and the more I thought about it, the more annoyed I got. Why would I want to promote a law firm that sues the hardworking drivers in our industry?

It wasn't until he followed up with an email to ask again if I was interested that I knew I had to say no.  But I just didn't feel like saying no without a reason.  And I didn't feel like being overly nice about it. Sure, he was pleasant regarding his request, but he was also working for a law firm that helps others screw people just like me.

So here is my reply to him:

- - - - -


I sincerely apologize for not getting back to you sooner.  I've been saving your email intending to respond but I let it get away from me.  

I just had a chance to read your piece.  I understand the concerns with fatigue and commercial drivers, but I'm not inclined to share an article written by a law firm that aggressively represents clients suing commercial drivers and their companies, especially when 81% of the time accidents between passenger vehicles and big trucks are the fault of the car driver.  

81% Of The Time It's Not Our Fault

I understand that's not always the case, but when you're on the road over 300 days a year like my boyfriend and I are - he's driven over 3 million miles, and I've driven over 500,000 accident-free miles - you see up close and personal the reason car drivers are usually the ones at fault for these accidents.

It's frustrating to see the constant barrage of fear-mongering commercials, billboards, and advertisements urging car drivers to get the "millions" due to them.  Sometimes I think it even encourages dangerous driving, as I personally witnessed a car driver in Houston, on Interstate-10, pull in front of us and intentionally brake to a stop.  As you well know, being rear-ended by a semi can result in a sizable settlement.  

People like you and your law firm are capitalizing on the commercial aspect of this industry, suing drivers and companies alike, requesting exorbitantly high settlements based on the fact that these companies have the funds available for payouts.  Truckers do not have aggressive lawyers backing them and are repeatedly demonized in the media.

What this does is cause the life of a commercial driver to be exceedingly difficult by creating myriad regulations that penalize an entire industry based on the actions of a few careless drivers.  

We are professionals and our industry boasts some of the BEST drivers on the road.  I doubt you've ever met a car driver with over 5 million ACCIDENT-FREE miles, but I've met truck drivers in my own company with 3, 4, and 5 million miles, driven without incident. 

In fact, at our last company event, they honored a driver who logged over 6 million accident-free miles.


They've Mastered Chocolate And Cheese...

Thanks again for reaching out, but I think I'll pass on this one.


Salena Lettera

- - - - -

Never heard from him again.

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Pretty Purple Prickly Pears

2015: Visually Artistic Lighting
2014: I Lost Sleep Looking At All These Links
2013: Five Facets Of Comfort
2012: The Daily Rant Brings You The Daily Commute
2011: Not For The Shy
2010: A Barge And A Lady
2009: Easter Preparation Takes Its Toll
2008: Eddie In The Blue Friday
2007: The Man Filter
2006: There Is Still A Chance
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Getting Served

My solo breakfast at the hotel the day Ed went on his Tour de Mesa ride - oatmeal with a little brown sugar, walnuts, raisins, and flaked coconut.  A side of fresh fruit.  And bottomless Earl Grey tea.  I love having someone serving me a meal I didn't have to cook.

A daily newspaper and my iPhone and I was set for more than an hour of me time.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~2016: Bringing 1946 Back To Life
2015: Vintage Heaven
2014: No Wonder China Is The Exporting Superpower
2013: 109 Miles Of White Knuckle Passengering 
2012: Strong
2011: The Man Unmasked
2010: Fingers Crossed For All Things Motorized!
2009: Eddie Forces A Smile Friday
2008: A, B, C, D, DD: No Matter What The Letter, The Trauma Is The Same
2007: How To Watch American Idol The Right Way
2006: Dings And Hos
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Smoke Rings In The Light

Another weekend in the Godfrey-Lettera household means something cooked on the wood pellet smoker.  This Sunday it was another brisket.  

After six hours in the smoker, followed by three hours in the insulated cooler, the brisket was ready for eatin'.  When Ed unveiled the brisket, the photo below is what we saw...a six-pound piece of meat with a beautiful bark on it.

Known as "bark", this is the crispy outer surface.  There are pages and pages all over the internet on how to do this and people actually talk about it and share pictures in BBQ forums.
The next step to get to the yummy goodness is to break out our brand spankin' new electric knife and get to work carving.  Here's Ed going in for the first slice.
Once you've sliced into the brisket, you'll see what is known as the smoke ring - that pink edging all around the slice.
Ed kept slicing - I requested a few reeaaallly thin slices - and we sat down for a delicious dinner.  It was very tender and pretty delicious.  Ed eats it like he did growing up in Texas, with slices of raw onion, baked beans, potato salad, coleslaw, and barbecue sauce for dipping.  We didn't have any Texas toast, but I didn't hear any complaining.  
The best part is that we have enough to keep Ed happy for the next week.  And at least one less meal a day I have to prepare.

Happy Sunday!

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2016: This is FONTastic!!

2015: Perky For Spring
2014: Spring In Wyoming
2013: Texas For Immigration
2012: Mys-Understanding
2011: Zumba In My Dreams
2010: Eddie Peep Show Friday
2009: Some Like It Hot
2008: The Desert Blooms With Irritants
2007: Squeeze Me?
2006: Relationship Deal Breakers
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!

Friday, April 07, 2017

Go For A Walk Or Take A Bath? That's A No-Brainer.

(Image credit: Better Homes & Gardens)
Lots of interesting links to sift through...

Are you emotionally intelligent?  Find out here.

I need this for deciding on a paint color for our house.

Ed isn't going to be the only person kneading dough in our house.  I'm planning to make this bread.

Have you all seen the BBC interview where the guy's kids walked in while he was on camera? Funny, yes.  But now look at how a woman would have handled it.

This is just amazing.  They're pencil drawings.  DRAWINGS.  Look again.  Be amazed.

A hot bath can burn as many calories as a 30-minute walk?  Jeeves, please get my soaking tub ready.

This is kinda cool, but really, mostly creepy.

Want to know which is the most tender cut of beef to buy.  This chart is a big help.

Think you can't put your bed in front of a window?  You're mistaken.  And I have another way to rearrange my bedroom.

I eat cauliflower ALL THE TIME, people.  But I've never had it on a sandwich.  I can't wait to make these.

I love anything that has to do with makeup.  These cheat sheets are awesome.

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An Area Illuminated By The Bright Light Of Trinity

2015: Tugging At Human Heartstrings
2014: Don't Be Crabby Because It's Monday
2013: If You See One Of These, Please Follow Instructions
2012: Not A Deterrent
2011: Wooden You Love Some New Toys?
2010: In Truck Portrait
2009: Unwatchable
2008: Nesting
2007: The Quickest Way To Get Ready For A Nap
2006: One Stop Shopping
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!