09 December 2016

Utah: Part II

Thank YOU for all your kind comments on my trip posts! 
I hope you'll continue to enjoy touring the country with me (and hubby of course). 

So, I got to thinking. that at my very slow-maybe once a week posting of the trip pics-it'll be spring before I get them all posted. Plus, I have SO many photos (taken since our return) of wetland waterfowl and the coast (of course) that I am eager to share with you too...
Anyway, I decided I need to increase my posts to maybe 2 or 3 a week. We'll see, with limited data and a crazy, crazy life and maybe Christmas visitors coming...who knows? :)

Today's post will be a bit of a potpourri of things we saw and ate in Utah. I miss seeing these places already...


The mountains of Utah always captivate me!


I took this photo during one of the photoshoots I did for my DD on our return to their home from our trip south. The colors were incredible--I finally fulfilled my dream of being in Utah in the autumn. Now, I just want to be there every autumn! This was taken at about 5200 feet in elevation if I remember correctly. Oh--and I did get to spend some time admiring my beloved aspen (not in this photo) 

:)


Up in the mountains (canyon) still. There's a pretty lake close by here. 


Another view of my beloved Utah mountains. 
All the better with a bit of icing (snow) on them, don't you think?



One of the many cornfields of Utah. 
Early morning is made even better when you're out in the middle of nature!


This was taken at Golden Spike National Historic Site up in the Promontory Point area (which I totally fell in LOVE with). Had a very enjoyable time up there with our dear son-in-law, who played tour guide for us and his incredible mom (who has one of the sweetest hearts I have ever known). This was one of the two places we used my hubby's America the Beautiful pass at. The pass is an excellent buy if you are a senior as it's only $10, good for a lifetime and allowed hubby and his visitors (the three of us without passes) in for FREE! 


A "spa" (natural hot springs) my son-in-law took us by. The water was quite warm, the decor unique:)


My DD made this for me. She knows it's one of my favorite meals! 
There are NO words to describe how awesome it is...but I'll try. LOL
Fabulous, flavorful, great, wonderful, totally yummy...
makes me hungry just looking at it again. 
It's a Mexican seafood soup.
YUM!


Another photo that makes me VERY hungry is this one. 
Yes, this is an Amish buggy. 
Yes, this is in beautiful Utah. 
And yes, I only wish we lived a LOT closer to this store which is filled with shelves of the yummiest preserves and about everything else to eat!
If you're ever in Utah, in Willard or Provo, I highly recommend a stop at Apple Creek Bulk Food Co. 
and Apple Creek Amish Market. 
Nom nom:)

Oh and yes, my dearest hubby just finished our jar of pumpkin pecan butter last night. 
Here's a link to their site should you be interested. 



By the way, this store--though they don't know it-was an answer to one of my prayers. 
It just so happened that I wanted to bring back some Amish jams for friends at home. and never really got a chance to stop down South at one of the several places that have Amish made products. Then the same day we landed back in Utah, I found out about  this store when I did a search for Amish jams on the Internet. 
Well, it just so happened that my DD was heading out on an errand to meet someone and asked me if I wanted to go with her. And where you ask was she going? Yep. the place I had JUST learned about on the Internet. 
The place that had everything I had prayed for!

Coincidence? Nah. She doesn't even live in that area. 
God is VERY good!

:)

Blessings, 
Aimee


07 December 2016

Next Up: Utah

Moving swiftly along (surprisingly for me--LOL)...

Okay not so swiftly after all due to it being a bit crazy here...
But onto Utah!

After one very, very long day of traveling, we finally made it to our first destination-Utah!
Arriving after dark was somewhat a challenge as we had never been to our DD's new home before. 
We finally solved the problem by having her give us turn by turn directions over the phone as we drove through the darkness. Can I just say it was SO good to be stopped for the night and SO good to see her and the family again? There's just way too many miles between our two families and my heart longs to live closer to them. 

Morning found us surrounded by cornfields with a lovely view of the mountains--we would see LOTS of cornfields on our trip as well as a few mountains:) 
There was lots to see--goats, dogs, cats, chickens, cats, burros and best of all horses! In fact, there were 4 horses and 2 of them were Arabians, which I happen to be particularly fond of. For the next week or so I spent lots of times loving on these beautiful animals-it was wonderful!

My DD asked me to do a couple photoshoots while I was there-one that involved the horses. 
It was quite fun getting them trying to get them to pose with my DD and her hubby:)

We did have a bit of excitement while there when a very, very  nasty storm hit the area. In fact, after reading the warning that was issued I headed inside the home with rain blowing sideways, heavy wind and lightning like you wouldn't believe. My hubby, of course, stayed in our RV...
checking for leaks he said :)

The family, who have lived in Utah for quite awhile now had never seen anything like it, and later I learned there had been some tornados further away. I will always remember the sight of one of their horses lit up by the lighting standing frozen in their fenced area and the next day we found one of the other horses had jumped the fence and been injured. Scary. 

And now some photos..


I was so tempted to take the little guy home. 
I just KNEW he would fit in our RV. 
Sadly it was not to be, but I did get to spend lots of time with this cutie!


 When the sun rose after the big storm we found a lot of standing water in 
the paddock area and damage to the fence. My hubby helped them repair it. 


Their dogs always made me smile when they put on their mournful "Can I come in look?" 


My hubby, who is a regular Dr Doolittle, become best buddies with their very temperamental cockatoo. It was great fun to carry on conversations with her:)


A couple of my DD's goats. I wanted to take one of her goats home too:)


One of my daughter's beautiful Arabian horses. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this fella:)


Blessings, 
Aimee

Next: More Utah

19 November 2016

On Into Idaho

Crossing over the Snake River we entered into the state of Idaho. Here's a few pictures I took during our time there-not necessarily in order of course:) Since I was still in the dining area of our RV and since the windows were still icky...well you know.


I always enjoy seeing the windmills of the Gorge, Wyoming and Idaho. 
These things are huge!


Somewhere in Idaho. I liked the colors. 


We ended up in Glenn's Ferry this time through and it was fun to see this historical town! It would be on my list of things to see should we go this way again. Also it would be fun to see the Three Island Crossing State Park area sometime. 
(if you guessed that black thing in the photo as being our rear view mirror,
give yourself a big pat on the back. LOL).


A closer view of the wagon and another part of our RV in the photo...LOL


More Idaho. Not sure when I took this particular photo,
but the lighting in the very early morning was just beautiful-both here and in Wyoming.


Spotted this guy somewhere between Boise and the border on our way back through Idaho.
 Isn't he adorable? 
Haven't been able to find out anymore about him though...
anyone know?



Next up: Utah!

Blessings, 
Aimee


A final note-
Many years ago, 
after a VERY distressing incident brought on by MY own actions, 
I made a decision to keep this blog a politics-free zone 
and have done so for the last three Presidential elections. 
Since then, incidents in my life have 
confirmed that this was the right decision for me...
in fact, given the often very stressful circumstances of my life and my personality, 
it was absolutely vital.

I want this blog to be a place of peace--
I NEED this blog to be a place of peace--
a place anyone, no matter their political affiliation, 
no matter their personal convictions and beliefs, 
can feel comfortable, 
can feel welcome, 
can feel loved. 

I need that for you
and 
I need that for me.
I hope you will understand. 

Peace, 
Aimee












15 November 2016

First Things First: Oregon


Sorry about the delay in posting but we were enjoying another RV adventure-
albeit a much shorter one:)

Continuing with Aimee's Cross Country Adventure...
All adventures have a starting point--
we'll start our little trip here in the lovely Columbia River Gorge around sunrise. Since we traveled a lot in the pre-dawn hours, I saw a LOT of sunrises-a lot of gorgeous sunrises!


Pre-dawn photo of the Columbia River Gorge


Early morning fishermen on the Columbia River

Since most of the photos in Oregon were taken from my chosen seat-in the dinette area of our home on wheels-and since there was some kind of icky film/scum on the windows, the photos are a bit imperfect (okay a lot), but hopefully they'll be sufficient to give you a taste of the beauty that can be found east of the Cascades...


The famous poplar tree forest in the Boardman area. 
Sigh, the famous soon-to-be-cut poplar tree forest.
BIG sigh. 
A trip through the Gorge won't be the same without it-
it has already changed from several years ago.


The also famous (I could say infamous) Emigrant Hill - AKA Cabbage Hill.
A lovely trip up, up, up into the Blue Mountains and
on the way back,
 a lovely trip down, down, down-past 2 runaway truck ramps. It's a trip you'll never forget...
(an older post with more pics is here)


 A quick photo at the top-our reward for making it up the hill:)


Autumn color in the Blue Mountains--
we saw a LOT of autumn color on our trip.
I LOVE autumn!


 Love Baker City but sadly there was no time to explore it more on this trip. 
One day I am going to make it to the Oregon Trail Center here though--one day!


Some of the old buildings in the area east of Baker City


I was glad to see the old mysterious plant at Lime wasn't ALL gone. 

Next: Idaho and Utah

Blessings, 
Aimee

05 November 2016

A Dream Come True: Aimee's Autumn Cross Country Adventure

Oh my, it's been a long time since I've posted, and a long time since I read and responded to your always kind comments. For the latter I do offer my sincere apologies, but I have an explanation :)

You see, sometimes dreams DO come true and I have been living out my dream of seeing the Deep South and points in between this autumn! In fact, besides seeing places I had only DREAMED of seeing, I had the joy of spending extended time with my DD and her lovely family AND spending extended time with my DS#2 and his lovely southern girlfriend:) I even had the extra special dream come true of celebrating my birthday with them!


There were SO many times I wanted to pinch myself because I felt that this had to be a dream NOT reality -- but it was all true and I am feeling SO blessed right now I can't stop smiling.


But this dream all started several years back when my DH bought me an RV for another birthday...
suddenly in late summer a plan rapidly developed that we would travel from our beautiful PNW to the lovely South. Before the trip my hubby went through, it seemed, every square inch of our home on wheels making sure everything would be in good shape for the many miles that lay between us and our goal and, it seemed he packed every tool known to mankind (LOL). Meanwhile I went to work organizing the wardrobe, pantry and other parts of our home for the next month+


Then one morning, well before sunrise we set out on our adventure-an adventure which would involve aspens (my favorite tree!), lots of time with beautiful Arabian horses, learning how to make TRADITIONAL Mexican food (made by a woman with one of the loveliest hearts I have ever had the privilege of knowing), trips back in time (pony express, Oregon Trail and antebellum homes to die for)....

It truly, truly was amazing! We traveled through/to 14 states, crossed countless rivers, climbed over the continental divide and survived (by God's grace) winds that blew us around as well as semis that did the same, a storm such as our family in Utah had never seen and missed out on seeing the Atlantic Ocean because of a hurricane! I met a cousin I had corresponded with for years (so, so COOL!) and ate a whole bunch of Southern food (but gained-at the most-only 3#), saw many sunrises and many sunsets.

But perhaps you would like to relive our adventure? LOL--I know I definitely would so let's start!  Let's call this an "appetizer" because I still have so many photos to sort through but I do have a little "dessert" for you at the end:)


Alabama
The butterflies were amazing there!


Alabama. 
I FINALLY realized my dream of seeing a cardinal in person!
Next time I will dream of getting a better photo of these lovely birds :)


St Louis, Missouri
The Gateway Arch -- around sunrise and the Mississippi River!
Yep, I know this is an odd photo, but it helps bring back all the excitement of traveling through that city during the insane rush hour traffic! Needless to say, on the way back we hit the city well before dawn. 
LOL


REAL cotton in a REAL cotton field. Can't recall if this was in Florida, Georgia or Alabama, but I LOVED the fluffy white balls (bolls) that were in fields and - sometimes - in the middle of roads!
One of the most memorable gifts I received while in the South was a cotton boll (the top of the plant) glued into a mason jar! Anyone that knows me, knows I LOVE nature and-in fact-my hubby and I kept adding to our nature table display wherever we went on our adventure>


Utah
Two of my DD's lovely horses! I spent LOTS of time petting them, enjoying their lovely horsey smell (better than the most expensive bottle of perfume to a horse-lover like me), watching them run, just BEING with them! Heaven on earth!


Closer to home--well sort of...
The Columbia River Gorge. 
We were blessed to see the sun rise over many beautiful places--
the Gorge, the Continental Divide, Nebraska cornfields, the lovely Gulf Coast area of Florida--
so many beautiful places in our country!


And now -- a bit of dessert. 
This year has been a year filled with countless blessings (like our cross country adventure), 
but it has also been a year of loss for in less than one year we lost all three of our white furry babies :(

Little did we know that God, through our son and his girlfriend, 
had a gift waiting for us in the Deep South--
a very, very special little gift who would always remind us of answered prayers, 
the kindness of family
and 
the South. 

Meet our new pup pup


Blessings for a new week, 
Aimee


PS: Since I am writing this at a rather late hour, I ask you to excuse any typos and other errors:)
Thanks!

12 August 2016

Magical Summer Continued


One morning we got up really early and headed off to Depoe Bay. 
Early mornings in a fishing community is magical too with the sounds and sights of boats getting ready to leave the safety of the bay for the open sea. It truly was an experience I won't soon forget!
BTW, do you see the little beach in the corner there? 
In all the times I have been to Depoe Bay (and there have been countless times), I had NO idea there was any beach in the city at all:)


Some of the life to be seen in the tidal pools further north...
incredible!


One of the local residents--
I never tire of seeing them. 


Might have already posted this..apologies if I did. 
This is looking northward from the tidal pools. 
Our visitors totally fell in love with them...
I can hardly wait to show them the ones we recently visited--
no slippery rocks there :)


I feel like someone is watching me!
Shudder, shudder. 


Pink flowers! As you may know this girl LOVES pink. 
Did I tell you my sweet kids bought me a iPhone this summer?
And, they made sure it was rose colored (technically rose gold)...
it is SO fun to be able to FaceTime them now and, not only hear them, but SEE them too!
Can hardly wait till my DD joins our bunch of Apple lovers:)


North of Depoe Bay, south of the tide pools, is the historic community of Taft (part of Lincoln City) and lovely Siletz Bay. And these guys are some of their more famous residents--
the Salesian Spit harbor seals. 
They were more active then I had seen them before and we enjoyed watching them move about on land and in the bay.


Such fun we had--posting these photos brings back those days!

Hope you are making sweet memories this summer too!

Blessings, 
Aimee



10 August 2016

Magical Summer

This has been a magical summer. 
YES it has!
Not too hot for the most part
(always awesome for those of us who are heat intolerant), 
but still filled with many beautiful days.

Garden pickings have been plentiful enough for us to be able to stop buying fruit at the grocery store. 
Figs, lots of berries, apples and Asian pears with more fruit on the way. 

Hubby and I have been eating MUCH healthier and losing weight (yippee!)
and I am right on schedule to be my ideal, healthy weight in early autumn:)
Now that my DH is retired, 
we've also been hiking more in varied locations
(although I am sidelined today by a blister--boo!). 
And hopefully, hopefully we'll be able to do some camping soon too. 

It has indeed been a summer full of blessings
and I will be telling you more about them in the next few weeks
(we upped our data plan and have figured out part of the tech trouble we were having)

And now for blessing #1: 
Do you remember way back in May when I said I had some news?
Well between tech problems -- which included phone issues on both of my smartphones--
I just couldn't find a good pix of someone special who I wanted to introduce you to. 
And I definitely wanted a good pic because this little somebody is indeed VERY special...

then early one morning, about 0100 (1:00 AM for those who don't speak hospital or military time), I got the strangest text from my DD and it turned out she was bringing this special little someone, 
and four other very special people to see us. Oh--and she expected to be here in about 6 hours.

And, a bit later then the appointed time, 
after a marathon 6 -8 hour all night cleaning session, 
my house and we were ready to meet our guests:)

So, without further delay, 
our newest special one. 



Yes, we are totally in love with her--and with ALL of our special guests!
SO adorable!
Just like her adorable daddy and mommy:)


This special little someone is our very FIRST great-granddaughter
and it goes without saying that she is cute, charming, totally well behaved 
and very, VERY special!


And, though our family had been on the road for hours and hours...
I knew where they'd want to go...
I told my hubby before they ever arrived.
And, yep, I was right...
they wanted to see our lovely sand and ocean right then. 
So down to the sand we did go. 

BTW, THREE of our very special guests had never, 
and I do mean NEVER, 
been to a ocean beach before.  


So, over the next 
--all too short days--
we beach hopped. 
And had an AMAZING time!!


And I remembered, what I had seemingly forgotten, 
that EARLY mornings are BEST spent on the sand...
(oh yea, one of my special visitors is on one of those boats out there)


Though you can't really see, 
the lighting is more magical in the morning, 
the beaches and roads a LOT less crowded. 
The atmosphere even feels different. 
And when a minus tide and those early AM hours coincide?
Aimee is in heaven. 
And that's the SAME way our special visitors felt as we walked the sands 
and explored the AMAZING life to be found in the tide pools.

God definitely blessed us this summer
and there were more blessings to come. 
I hope this has been a summer of blessings for you as well. 

Blessings, 
Aimee


Photos: 
Lincoln City, Oregon



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