Plum Blossoms

Plum Blossoms

Happy Mother’s Day!

On this Mother’s Day, my thoughts drift to my Mom and my Mother in Law, both of whom are deceased. My Mom, Florence, gave me a love of nature, cooking, flowers and quilting. I only wish I would have appreciated these gifts sooner than I did. Mom was a fabulous cook! She could make a wonderful dinner out of two or three ingredients. When my brothers and I were growing up, Mom made dinner every night which included an entree, vegetables, homemade bread (usually), assorted sides, and a homemade dessert. I, on the other hand, had no interest in cooking until now. When my kids were young I made dinner every night, but it was nothing like my Mothers. She CREATED dinner and I just muddled through preparing something. In my defense, my boys were kind of picky eaters, so creativity was not important.
My Mom was ahead of her time. She recycled, was a natural gardener, and did not have anything to do with fast food or junk food. All of our sweets were homemade not store bought. She canned pickles, fruits, and tomatoes. Her baking was to die for! I only wish I would have appreciated it sooner. More so, I wish I would have let her know how good it was….that her efforts were worth what she put into it. I’m sorry for that Mom. She was a beautiful woman and dressed to the nines! She had never colored her hair and it was beautiful, even as it greyed. She had style and she was happy! She had a spring to her step and enjoyed life. It didn’t take much to make her smile. She grew up on a farm with her 7 siblings. She tended to be cautious and a little fearful.  She was happiest when she was creating something.  Later in life she began quilting and made some beautiful pieces.  In quilting, she found her passion.  When Mom and Dad stayed with us during the summers, she would sit in front of the windows and quilt with a big smile on her face.  I think of you often and I miss you.

Helen was the best mother in law a person could ever hope for.  She was a partner is crime.  She was an adventurer.  When my husband and I lived in Spokane WA with our 4 year old and new baby, we made the decision to move  back to Casper, WY and go into business for ourselves.  Jim left to get started in Casper and I and the boys were packing and for the move.  My father in law  (Red) had come to Spokane with a load (he was a truck driver) so he and some of our friends loaded the semi truck and Red drove it back to Casper.  The boys and I were going to pack up the car and leave in the morning.  The kids and I were about a month or so into the process of moving and we were tired, frazzled and running on fumes.  The next morning there was a knock on the door and there stood Helen.  She had flown in, to my surprise, to drive back with me and the boys!  I was so ecstatic!! We loaded the car and the boys, and headed out.  The baby screamed and cried and crawled all over the car and could not be consoled.  We made it 32 miles that first day.  Helen was a wonderful friend and we shared a lot of adventures.

I miss these wonderful ladies and I pray that I can live up to their example.




What happened????

I feel like I just lost 5 weeks of my life!  Losing 5 pounds would have been nice…but not 5 weeks!  A very nasty bug invaded my body and did not want to leave.  I was given antibiotics and later steroids, and today the cough still persists.  I don’t want to bore anyone that might (hopefully) be reading this useless information, but that is the explanation for my lack of posts on my blog.  As I lament the loss of time, I began to consider what had happened to others, friends and family, during the same 5 week period.                                                                                                                                                                                                                         That 5 weeks was about the amount of time a good friend of mine was given to discover, and deal with, a  diagnosis of cancer and the subsequent death of her husband of 43 years.  How does one even begin the process that type of news in that amount of time?  Before she could even digest the fact that he had cancer, it had taken his life.  Now she is digesting what her life without him will be like…financially as well as emotionally.  My friend weighs heavy on my heart because of her loss… but she is strong and she will manage to move through this terribly sad period of her life.  5 weeks…….

Another good friend of mine was blessed to have her middle daughter get married to the man of her dreams during the same 5 week period.  I don’t know if I can adequately describe what a beautiful evening we experienced as they exchanged their vows.  They were a beautiful couple and it was a lovely ceremony.  The reception was elegant and relaxed and my husband and I marveled at our blessings…being good friends with most of the people attending, and getting to meet some very fun and enjoyable people.  I have never attended a wedding that was as joyous, and made you feel happy to be alive and so excited for the new couple.

The man of MY dreams and I also celebrated our 40th anniversary in this same 5 week period.  Again, we felt very blessed to get to spend the morning after the wedding with our boys and our daughter in law and our precious grandson.  Unfortunately we were missing our son’s girl friend and her sweet daughter, but we had a great brunch and laughed and enjoyed our family and counted our blessing before heading back home.  Our sons have grown into fine, independent young men and we are so very proud of them.  We treasure the time we get to spend with them and the girls, and our grandson.  It seems like yesterday that we exchanged our vows and started our journey together. I fell in love with him the first time I saw him on that ladder in the gym, hanging a disco ball from the ceiling in preparation for a CYO dance.  46 years ago, I told my friend that I was going to marry him….and I did!  One of the best decisions of my life!

My dear father in law went to the emergency room on Monday with a nosebleed that would not stop.  Today is Thursday and here he sits with rhino rockets in his nose, not sleeping, not eating much at all, and feeling very weak and sick.  Hopefully, the rockets will be removed on Friday afternoon and the bleeding will have stopped.  I can’t even imagine how uncomfortable he is and how bad he feels.  Sleep would help him, if only he could…. He is 86 years old.

As I contemplate the events of the last 5 weeks, I reaffirm that life is precious. None of us know how long we have on this earth or what challenges we will be given, or where the road will take us. It is a series of joys and sorrows, and ups and downs.  Love is what makes it tolerable…without love life would hardly be worth the pain.




The Aspen are coming on….

The Aspen are coming on....

I know, I know…..another catkin! I am tired of them too, but the light shining on this brings a smile to my face. Here in Wyoming we are getting closer and closer to buds on trees, and some actual bulb-type flowers blooming. Woo Hoo! Our weather forecast is calling for 4-8″ of snow tomorrow though, and it appears it may be so. It is raining now and if the temperature drops, it will happen. At this rate it is looking like June again this year before we warm up. How is it that they can predict with pinpoint accuracy what our weather will be doing, UNLESS we have hay down in the pasture? Hhhmmmm.

Morning Has Broken….

Morning Has Broken                                                                                                                                                                                               I love walking out the door in the morning! The birds  are singing at the top of their lungs and because we have soooo many birds in the spring, the noise is joyous!! As if that isn’t enough, the glow of the rising sun makes the catkins on the trees literally bask in the glow! It is the perfect way to start a day and the setting sun casts a warm glow on the budding trees in the back yard to end the day.  Spring is the second best time of year for me.  The earth is coming alive and you can literally smell life in the air.  There are no bugs and mosquitoes yet, and it’s not too hot.  It is so exciting when the flowers begin to break ground and poke their heads out of the dirt and the trees set their buds before leafing out. It is a time of renewal and hope and regeneration.  Spring motivates me to action after a long difficult winter, and refreshes my spirit in a way that nothing else can.

More Yellowstone Photos

More Yellowstone Photos

Still digging through the archives and processing older photos. Would love to photograph flowers and other signs of spring, but spring has not yet arrived and we haven’t had our barn-burner spring snowstorm yet so it’s best that things have not blossomed out. I am so tired of looking at brown grass and bare trees that are only thinking about maybe starting to bud. The weather forecast for the upcoming week looks promising…a little heat should help the process along. Fingers crossed…