09 February 2012

Skywatch Friday .. Season 5, Episode 31

This is a shot out of my archives. The skies have been overcast this week, not good enough to shoot 'snow moons'. This particular moon was captured in May... the date on the bottom right corner is incorrect, though the year is correct...back then my camera was new, and I hadn't figured out how to take the date off...unfortunately, I haven't figured out how to remove it from the archived shot either...

Click here to see incredible skies from all over our planet...as always, special thanks goes out to the Skywatch team for hosting each week...Happy sky watching weekend all!

07 February 2012

there's a lump under my blankets...

My cats have been feeling a little insecure... Are we or aren't we moving?  I've been packing and unpacking, moving stuff in and out the door... Old stuff going away and new stuff coming in.. No, we are not moving!!! I suppose I don't blame them for feeling a bit on the uneasy side... so what is this moving lump under my bed covers?

Oh my, it's Puzzle! She has taken to hiding under any blanket she can find. She's done this before. When I lived at my friends place last year, she hid then, apparently to hide from my friends cats, who were unfriendly and didn't want to share their house with my furries..

I had to reveal her so she would consider emerging for her dinner ... Apparently, she didn't appreciate the intrusion and the food dish received a dirty look...

Even taking the food dish away didn't accomplish the desired effect ... this time I received disgusted look...

After shooting these pics, I left her to decide what she wanted to do... ultimately she did eat her dinner, then retired under the blankets again....

04 February 2012

Sunsets and dinner out

Around 4 PM today, I decided I needed to treat myself... an evening out for a dinner I wouldn't have to cook.. I headed out to feed Traveler and then to one of my favorite spots to take some pics. This sunset wasn't as spectacular as some are ... there weren't a lot of clouds to help it along.. but I did like the crisscrossing vapor trails from planes high above that couldn't be seen.. those vapor trails tell me the air (what little of it there is up there) is really cold.

Just around the corner from my favorite picture taking spot is a restaurant. It's called the T-Bone Steakhouse. It's been there a very long time ... in the vicinity of forty plus years. I'm told it used to be a private residence and was constructed in the 1920's.

It's a rustic place with sawdust on the floor, bunkhouse style wooden tables, and fabulous panoramic views of the city below since it sits on the hillside just outside South Mountain Park's western borders.. It can be accessed by car or horseback. Believe it or not the parking lot is not even paved.

The menu is cowboy fare. Choose from a variety, perfectly cooked steaks, chicken, grilled salmon, or pork chops with cowboy beans and a trip to the salad bar. Ala carte items include baked potato, red skinned mashed potatoes, garlic toast, or fresh corn on the cob. There is a menu for L'il Folks and deserts if you're not too full to enjoy it. There is full bar service, too. You choose where you'd like to sit. You can choose outside if/when the weather is pleasant, inside in two different dining areas, or at the bar.

As always, dress is casual... more often than not you're likely encounter cowboys bringing guests into the restaurant for a meal after an hour long ride through South Mountain Park, or other horse back riders just out enjoying the great weather (this time of year) after a good ride .... stopping by for a quick micro-brew or other cocktail before they head home. I have fond memories of riding Traveler there for dinner with a large group of  'horse' people. Many an evening have been spent on those trails to the T-bone Steakhouse.

Tonight, I had an excellent meal, enjoyed the company of two ladies who's names I didn't get, because it wasn't necessary, and I returned home pleasantly full.

Shopping online

Guest post of the week by Brittany Booker
I love to shop online. Since we recently got internet in Forest, I would much prefer to sit in the comfort of my home and shop online than to go to the mall or some crowded store to find what I am looking for. I often get emails about online sales that are happening at my favorite stores. I actually end up saving more money shopping online than I would if I were shopping in the stores. I do hate having to pay shipping, but I usually buy several things at once so that the shipping sometimes ends up being free. I am also amazed at how fast delivery is on most of the things that I order. For example, I bought a sweater last week on clearance and it was actually on backorder, but I ordered it on Monday and it sitting on my doorstep on Thursday. It is also much easier to find specialty items online than searching at stores for them. Last Christmas my husband and I wanted to get his parents a personalized sign for their lake house, but could not find what we wanted in any stores. I looked online and found exactly what we had pictured and also got a great deal on it with free shipping. I love the deals that I find online.

02 February 2012

Skywatch Friday Season 5 .... Week 30

Ahhhh, the weekend is almost here! I haven't had a lot of time this week to hang out around and skywatch so this shot was pulled from my archives...

On this evening, a storm was brewing to the west and this sunset turned amazing. Thanks to the skywatch team for hosting each week. For more awesome skies from all over the globe click here.

Surprise vacation in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The family has wanted to go skiing and snowboarding in the Canadian Rockies for a long time. I thought I'd surprise them with a three week vacation to Alberta. I've located affordable short term  rentals in Edmonton where we can base ourselves to begin our exploration of the area.

I've secured snowboarding lessons for our boys at Snow Valley right in Edmonton where they can learn to snowboard. I'm not that game so I'll spend the morning taking pictures of them and blogging from the lodge in front of a roaring fire. In the afternoon 'the gang' will ski at Edmonton Ski Club.

Since Dad will be skiing with the boys, I'll be able to get away to visit the Alberta Aviation Museum where I can tour exhibits from early Canadian 'bush pilots' and learn more about 'Wop' May who was my 'Nana's' brother on my father's side of the family. With a little luck, I might be able to find his son Denny, and perhaps arrange a meeting of cousins for an afternoon and evening during our visit.

I have plans to drive down to Banff National Park and spend a couple of days. I want the boys experience the wonder Canada's oldest national park. On our way back to Edmonton, we will stop in Calgary and spend an over night taking in a hockey game. With only two days remaining once we return to Edmonton, I'll let the boys choose what they want to do...chances are they'll want to go skiing again...