Swap-bot: Something that made me happy in November AND My favorite picture of the month November

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Hi folks! Today’s post is for a Swap-bot swap. This one is for the group Electronic Swaps, which, as you can imagine, a group dedicated to electronic (e-mail, pintrest, etc.) swaps. This lovely swap has the directions to, as the title suggests, share something that made me happy during the month of November, and to save on uploading the same set of pictures twice, this is also for my favorite pictures for the month of November.

The biggest thing in November, for me, was thanksgiving. We all went to my grandma’s for dinner, it was a blast. Sadly, I did not get any pictures of that (not really). But what I did get was pictures of the rest of the weekend as my sister and brother were visiting. I haven’t seen either of them in over two years. Ok, so when I say k got pictures of them, what I mean is I got pictures of my nephews and the landscape from the hikes we went on.

Me, with my daughter and baby nephew

Me, with my daughter and baby nephew at Thanksgiving dinner

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My sister with her oldest two bots, hanging out outside my grandma’s house after dinner.

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Me and the baby nephew at the pool

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Hard to tell, but up in the left hand corner is 120 year old graffiti. The pioneers scampered up these rocks and painted their names on the rocks. They frown on that now.

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Me and my sisters oldest son. We scampered to the top of the rock to look at the names. We were the only ones who did it.

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Me and my oldest youngest sister at Snow Canyon State Park.

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My and my brother-in-law in one of the slot canyons in Snow Canyon State Park

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My nephew telling me about his rock stack and pretending to be a train (choo! choo!)

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My son and I in Zion National Park

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My nephew (my sisters middle son) at Zion. He was no happy about not being home. He’d had enough traveling at this point.

 

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My spirit plant, in purple! I do love a good cactus. My nephew insisted that I take this picture.

While my sister (and other siblings) were visiting, we did hiking in some of the local hot spots. Snow Canyon State Park and Zion National Park. I love this area. As much as I’m missing the cold and drizzles that happen in VA this time of year, I really do love the scenery here more.

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Swap-bot: Shutterbuggin’ [3]

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Hi folks! Today’s post is for a Swap-bot swap. This swap is a general swap, second in a series, that asks for the participants to share three different pictures. The first two will always have the same theme, a picture I took this month and a picture I took last month. The third picture will have a different theme. This time, the theme is a picture I took with lost of color.

The picture for this month is one I just took today at Snow Canyon State Park in Southern Utah. I wanted it to be a picture of the “100 Year Old Graffiti” but the picture was messed up. This is a view looking out on the valley from an overlook.

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The picture from last month is from my trip to Zion that I took with the girls that I work with in group. I almost picked the same picture as last time, but I thought better of it. This one was taken at the Lower Emerald Pools, looking at the water falling from above and just the beauty and majesty of it all.

 

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The last photo is one that I’ve shared before, but I just love it and it’s full of color. The wild flowers planted in a curbside box at my old work. They always made me smile.

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Swap-bot: ESG: 30 Questions

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Hi folks! Today’s post is for a Swap-bot swap. This one is for the group Electronic Swaps, which, as you can imagine, a group dedicated to electronic (e-mail, pintrest, etc.) swaps. This swap asks for the participants to answer 30 random questions. Here are my answers:

  1. What bill do you hate to pay the most? It’s a tie between rent and the electric bill. Rent is the most expensive, and the power bill is just annoying because no matter what I do, it seems to keep going up.
  2. When was the last time you had a romantic dinner? Just over a year ago when my fiance proposed to me. It was a lovely stake dinner with a baked potato and molten lava cake. And a very fancy restaurant.
  3. What do you really want to be doing after answering these questions? Going to bed. It’s almost midnight.
  4. How many colleges did you attend? 4. Two for undergraduate, 2 for graduate. The first college I went to was a Junior College, I did a few semesters before I got married. After my divorce, I went back to a larger 4 year school and got my Bachelors. I did a year online for my graduate degree before transferring to a small liberal arts college back east.
  5. Why did you choose the shirt you have on now? Well, it came with the pants…yeah, I’m in my pajamas. Very warm and cozy.
  6. Thoughts on gas prices right now? They aren’t so bad really. Could be worse, have been worse.
  7. First thought when the alarm goes off in the morning? “What is this fresh hell?”
  8. Last thought you have before you go to bed? I wish I didn’t have to get up in the morning.
  9. Do you miss being a child? All the time, especially when I have to pay bills.
  10. What errand/chore do you despise the most? Laundry and dishes. Both are tedious.
  11. Do prefer to wake up early or sleep in? Sleep in…though I do like a good sunrise.
  12. Found love yet? Yes, my fiance is a lovely man.
  13. Favorite meal to eat for lunch? Sandwiches. Usually turkey.
  14. What do you get every time you go grocery shopping? The small pack of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies they have near the checkout at my local grocery store.
  15. Ocean, river or lake? Ocean, I love the salt water.
  16. Is marriage overrated? No, it’s nice to have a partner in life.
  17. Ever crashed your vehicle? Yes. Twice. Once because I was being an idiot (swerved to miss a car I didn’t see in my blind spot and fishtailed, ended up flipping the car). And the second time was because a deer leaped out of a corn field onto the hood of my car.
  18. Somewhere you’ve never been, but want to go? New York City. And basically anywhere in Europe.
  19. At this point in your life, would you want to start a new career? Oh heck no! I just started this one.
  20. How many days until your next birthday? 329
  21. Who is your go-to person when you need to vent? My older sister. She only gives advice at the very end if I want it.
  22. Are you where you want to be in life? Not really, but that’s ok. Because I’m still happy.
  23. Growing up, who were your favorite cartoon characters? I loved the Animaniacs, I still do really.
  24. What do you think has changed about you, since you were a teenager? I am way more jaded then I was as a teen. Also, I’ve gained some weight.
  25. Looking back at high school were they the best years of your life? No. Most definitely not.
  26. When do you still feel like a kid? When I have to make the hard decisions (like moving across the country), I want to have someone else make them for me, like when I was a kid. Doesn’t work so well though.
  27. What was the make, model and year of the first car you owned? 1998 Toyota Tercel. It was a 4 speed manual in a teal sort of blue, coop.
  28. Were you the type of kid you’d want your children to hang out with? Yes. I was a bit odd, but a straight arrow.
  29. What radio stations did you listen to when you were a teenager? I don’t remember…some pop, some 80’s (this was in the 90’s), some “oldies”, some alternative.
  30. Who was your high school ‘crush’? I didn’t really have one…late bloomer I guess. 

Swap-bot: Shutterbuggin’ [2]

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Hi folks! Today’s post is for a Swap-bot swap. This swap is a general swap, second in a series, that asks for the participants to share three different pictures. The first two will always have the same theme, a picture I took this month and a picture I took last month. The third picture will have a different theme. This time, the theme is a picture I took of something in nature.

All of my pictures were taken on my cellphone, as that’s what I have handy. It’s a Galaxy S7, and so the camera is pretty decent.

First up, a picture I took last month (September 2017):

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This was taken at a cliff that surrounds the valley in which I work. It goes by several names, Sugar Loaf, Dixie Rock, Pioneer Park…there are others. I love the view from up here. I liked the way the clouds looked in the background. Were we still back east/down south these clouds would have meant a rain storm was coming. That is not the case here. We got some wind, that is all.

Next, we have a picture I took this month (October 2017):

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I took the girls I work with to Zion over our fall break. Not all of them came, the idea of hiking was just a bit much for some of them. Those that did come though, I think that they truly enjoyed the experience. This picture was taken from the vantage point of Weeping Rock. This is one of the more popular hikes in Zion, not much of a hike really, it’s paved all the way up. And the last bit of it is kind of steep, but not so much that you couldn’t take a stroller, which I have done before.

Which leads us right into the last picture, a picture of something I took in nature:

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Another picture taken during the same trip to Zion. This one shows the sun just cresting the mountains as seen from the Emerald Pools trail. I’ve only ever done the lower pools, because it’s paved and you can take a stroller and small children with not much stress. But this time, we went all the way to the top pool. It was an almost transcendent experience. It was well worth the boulders you have to climb over in parts, and the sand that you have to mush through to get there. It was a magnificent day.

I hope you have enjoyed looking at my pictures. More to come later, I am sure!

Swap-bot: Something that made me happy – September

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Hi folks! Today’s post is for a Swap-bot swap. This one is for the group Electronic Swaps, which, as you can imagine, a group dedicated to electronic (e-mail, pintrest, etc.) swaps. This lovely swap has the directions to, as the title suggests, share something that made me happy during the month of September.

September was a month of changes for me. The biggest change, aside from a job as a therapist that requires a masters degree (no pressure there, right?) was that we moved from North Carolina where we’d be living for a year on the boarder with Virginia, to Southern Utah. Talk about big. I drove the whole way. Kansas was the worst of it. Very flat, lots of farms. At one point, I called my dad to talk and the GPS said I had 3 hours to go till I hit Colorado. I talked for an hour and a half (I had to stop for gas). The GPS still said I had three hours to go. I wish I was kidding (please don’t be offended if you are from Kansas, I’m sure it’s a lovely state).

So, photo heavy post coming up! The kids left North Carolina before I did and in August, so the last picture we have of all of us with the Andy Griffith statue outside the Andy Griffith Theater and Andy Griffith Museum will have to wait for another day. But here I am on my trip, with my traveling companion Trek, the three foot tall triceratops.

Me and Trek, day 1

He belongs to my daughter, and had I not said I would bring him in the car with me, she would have attempted to cram him into her suit case.

The first day, I made it from where I was in North Carolina, up through Virginia (to hit up a few Virginia LOVEworks signs) into Tennessee and ended the night outside the Nashville Tennessee LDS Temple where I spent the night (in an attempt to save money I slept in the car all but one night). I saw the Grand Ole Opry and downtown Nashville, which apparently doesn’t open until 10:00.

Day two saw me making a visit to the cemetery where many of my grandpas relatives are buried, though no one lives in Tennessee now. I pushed through and stopped in Metropolis Illinois where they have a giant Superman statue. I caught a glimpse of the Mississippi River, the St. Louis Arch, the LDS temple in St. Louis, the Ohio River, and I don’t even remember it all (and not in that order). I spent the night at the Kansas City LDS temple. I had hopped to make it a bit further, but I was falling asleep at the wheel and decided to error on the side of caution.

Day three brought the Missouri River, and Kansas…yeah. I was ready to be done by that point I think. However, I did get to stop at the “Brown vs. Board of Education” memorial site in Topeka, and the Russel Stover factory, which was good for chocolate. I hit Colorado, and then Denver just about dinner time. I visited the Denver temple and then, took advantage of a friend who lives near Denver and spent the night in a real bed and with a hot shower. Life was good, despite Kansas.

Day four was my last day on the road. I stopped to see the grave of my great grandfather. Half an hour, two grounds people, and several phone calls latter, it was discovered that he never had a headstone. So instead of pictures of grave stones as I took in Tennessee, I took a picture of a lovely patch of grass that was freshly mowed. I hit Utah just after 6:00 pm, and drove another four or five hours till I hit my parents house. Where I collapsed into my mom’s rocking recliner and slept all night.

I swear in the two weeks I was separated from my kids, my daughter grew about three inches and is now wearing the same size shoe as I am. This wouldn’t be a big deal if it wasn’t for the fact that she’s 10, and I’m just not ready. One of the best parts of Southern Utah is the close proximity to the beautiful red rocks. The Navajo Sandstone that forms the backdrop to my daily commute is the same formation that forms the Grand Canyon. I do so love this part of the country.

Swap-bot: Shutterbuggin’ [1]

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Hi folks! Today’s post is for a Swap-bot swap. This swap is a general swap, first in a series, that asks for the participants to share three different pictures. The first two will always have the same theme, a picture I took this month and a picture I took last month. The third picture will have a different theme. This time, the theme is a picture I took in black and white.

All of my pictures were taken on my cellphone, as that’s what I have handy. It’s a Galaxy S7, and so the camera is pretty decent.

First up, a picture I took this month (September 2017):

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This is Trek. He is my daughters’ dinosaur, she got him for Christmas a few years back, and she loves him almost as much as her blankie she’s had since she was a baby. We recently moved across the country, the kids flew and I drove. And had I not said I would bring Trek in the car with me, she would have found a way to cram him into her suitcase. Trek was my driving buddy from one side of the country to the other. Here, he is less than impressed with Kansas. No offence if you are from Kansas or love Kansas, but I was less than impressed. I may have been just a bit tired of driving at that point though, so my perception could be skewed slightly.

Second-a picture from last month (August 2017):

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I was going to use a picture that I took during the “Great American Eclipse”, but as I was going through my camera roll, I saw this picture and just had to share it. The school I worked at before our move, had a little dirt patch in the front where they planted flowers. In the spring they are all bulbs and such. But this past summer, they seeded wild flowers. Oh, they variety was amazing! So colorful! And as one type died, another came in. Middle of August, about the same time as the eclipse, I was walking back to the building past this patch of flowers and this butterfly was alight on one of the flowers. This was as close as I dared get for fear that it would fly away.

The last picture I have is one in black and white:

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I am LDS, and for us, our temples are very sacred places. For the past four years I have lived 3-4 hours from the closest temple. It has been hard to get to one, and I have felt the absence of one close to me. One of the benefits of being back in the west, specifically back in Utah, is that I no longer have to plan for a full days travel to see the temple, to go to the temple. This is the temple closest to me. My parents were married there. And while my parents are close enough to walk, I am still only a 15 minute drive away. I love it.

 

Swap-bot: ESG: My favorite picture of the month July

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Hi folks! Today’s post is for a Swap-bot swap. This one is for the group Electronic Swaps, which, as you can imagine, a group dedicated to electronic (e-mail, pintrest, etc.) swaps. This lovely swap has the directions to, as the title suggests, is my favorite picture for the month of July.

 

I don’t usually like selfies. but this month was different. From the top left:

  1. I am LDS, going to the temple is a privilege for those of us able to go inside. I don’t usually go, I have to borrow the specific clothes, but I needed to go, a very strong feeling, and towards the end of the month I was able to make it to the closest temple (it’s about three hours away). This is the picture I took while there, I do so love the peaceful feeling that I get there.
  2. 4th of July fireworks. When I was a kid I lived in an area where personal fireworks were illegal. When I moved somewhere where you could buy fountains and other types of fireworks, I have loved them all.
  3. My daughter and I went on a hike along the Blue Ridge Parkway and came across this picnic table that looks like it was used by fairies. I love it.
  4. Virginia has these “Love” monuments all over the state. My graduate university had one installed the year I left. This was my first opportunity to go back and see it. i had to take a picture with it, which I think turned out pretty nice.
  5. This picture of me and my daughter was taken on the same hike that we saw the fairy table. It was a lovely day.