Sunday, March 29, 2009

Just Another Snowy Sunday!

Yesterday was a beautiful day here in North Central Utah, replete with long awaited warmth and sunshine after days of comparative chill and dreariness.

Indeed, sweet Harley and I even spent a little time outdoors yesterday afternoon enjoying the sunshine as I strolled (and he followed) around the back yard, searching for various signs of the budding Spring.

But alas, today brought with it yet another new blanket of snow!

The storm front began mid-morning, approaching from the north, and bringing first winds, then sleet, then snow. Within hours, we had 3 inches of new snow covering our back yard.

Today's snowstorm was enough to convince Lee and our visiting photographer friend to change their plans for a photo shoot at the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge. Hopefully, the weather will be more suitable tomorrow, for sitting in a blind and photographing birds!

As for this day, another snowy Sunday, we all passed the time in the warmth and comfort of the house, sitting by the fireplace, enjoying quiet conversation and reminiscing about old times and future plans, as we watched the snow fall and the landscape turn white once again.

It's been a day to remember.

Until we meet again . . . .wishing you all the joys and beauty of Spring, wherever you are.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Etsy Greetings Team March Challenge! Cast Your Vote!

Easter is just around the corner, and in honor of that, the Etsy Greetings Team is sponsoring their March Challenge around the theme of Easter.

Eleven Etsy Greetings Team members (ahem . . .including yours truly!) have entered one of their Easter-themed handmade cards in this Challenge, and the cards are now available for viewing and voting on the
Etsy Greetings Blog!

Please stop by the Blog to take a look at all the unique and artistic card creations that have been entered in the team's March Challenge.

(You'll need to scroll down to the Tuesday, 3/26 post entitled "March Challenge - Voting.)

I think you'll enjoy seeing the wide variety of styles represented!

Don't forget to cast a vote for your favorite card (voting poll at the upper right hand corner of the Blog) AND make a comment too! (You don't have to be a member of Etsy Greetings to vote OR to comment.)

One Blog commenter will be selected at random, to receive the winning card (free of charge!) once the March Challenge is over. How fun is that??

Please do go check out the activity at the Etsy Greetings Blog!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Springtime in the Rockies!

Was it only a few short days ago that my Blog Post heralded the onset of Spring, with a photo of sweet little purple crocuses popping up through the ground? As I sit here at my computer, looking out the window at our backyard covered once again with a blanket of white snow, my last Blog Post seems weeks ago!

But such is Springtime in the Rockies (that is, the Rocky Mountains of the Western United States)!

I should be used to these unexpected changes in the weather in this wondrous mountain state of Utah. After all, it's been many a year that I've lived here, and I can recall several times when we've even had snow on Easter Sunday!

As Lee is dragging out the snowblower for the umpteenth (and hopefully the last) time for this season, I thought I'd share some photos with you. And NO, these are not re-cycled photos of our yard from earlier in the winter. Each of the following photos was taken personally by moi, just a little while ago.

Hard to believe, but this is the way our back yard is looking as I'm writing this, AND it's still snowing!

And below is a photo taken of our front yard, just off our front steps.

There is no denying the beauty of freshly fallen snow. But, nevertheless, as beautiful as the snow is, I'm more than ready for some extended warmth and sunshine!

Luckily, our Spring snowstorms generally don't last very long, and the snow usually melts over a few days. The weatherman tells us that next weekend, we're due for 70 degree weather again!

Oh, the wonders of Mother Nature!

Friday, March 20, 2009


"No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow."
~ Proverb from Guinea ~

Today was officially the FIRST DAY OF SPRING . . . And none too soon for me!

Seems like it's been a very long and very cold winter for us here in Utah (and I know for others as well). But, I'm happy to say that we're finally seeing signs of Spring!

Today was a beautiful cloudless day with temps in the high 60s. And as Lee and I enjoyed a bit of sunshine outdoors today, we even found some crocuses blooming in the far reaches of our back yard.

Lee, who as most of you know, is the "real" photographer of our family, was kind enough to take this photo of our sweet little Spring crocuses for me.

Happy Spring, Everyone!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Lee and I arrived home from our Southwest vacation late yesterday afternoon, just in time to rescue Harley from the "doggie hotel" before it closed at 6 p.m.!

So now we're all home. . .happy, safe and sound, and ready to celebrate St. Patrick's Day!

I think I might have mentioned before that St. Patrick's Day is one of my favorite "holidays" for cardmaking.

Unfortunately, due to our travel plans this year, I didn't have as much time as I would have liked to make a lot of St. Patrick's Day cards, but I was able to make a few before we left.

Over the years, I've collected a number of Irish Blessings from a variety of sources, and I often use these on my cards. I love the wonderful lilt of the old traditional Irish Blessings, as well as the beautiful thoughts they convey.

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I'd like to share a few card designs that I've developed over the past few years, several of which incorporate some favorite Irish blessings from my rather eclectic collection.

I think I found this Irish Blessing on a purchased (birthday) card that was given to my mother-in-law one year.

This Irish Blessing is probably my all time favorite, and one that I'm sure you'll recognize too!

I can't remember where I found this one, but it's another of my favorites.

I actually found the above saying on a coffee cup that I gave one of my Irish friends a number of years ago for St. Patrick's Day. You may have to double click on this photo to enlarge it in order to read the words on this "blessing" It's quite tongue-in-cheek, but it's always given me a chuckle!

And I'm including this last featured card, just for fun! No Irish blessing on this one, just a rather cute (if I do say so myself) whimsical paper pieced cat. It was a hit on eBay a couple of years ago!

Here's Wishing You All a Wonderful St. Patrick's Day! (And don't forget to wear GREEN today.)

Until we meet again . . . .May the luck of the Irish be with you.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Uptown Sedona

Well, our vacation interlude to the beautiful Southwest is about to end. Tomorrow we head back to Utah.

But, I wanted to make just one more Blog post before we leave this beautiful place, and share a few more snapshots, particularly of Uptown Sedona. Who knows, maybe if you haven't already seen this part of the country, this little travelogue of mine might just encourage you to come see it yourself some day!

Uptown Sedona is the older part of town, and begins at the lower end of Oak Creek Canyon, about 28 miles south of Flagstaff, Arizona. Uptown Sedona is centered around a short stretch of U.S. Highway 89A that runs from the base of Oak Creek Canyon to a mile or so west, and is peppered with numerous restaurants and touristy shops (t-shirts, southwestern souvenirs, fine jewelry, clothing, etc.)

The next few snapshots were taken as we were driving east on Highway 89A toward Uptown Sedona.

As you can see, Sedona is nestled among numerous huge red rock formations. Most of these rock formations have names, based on their shapes, although I certainly don't know all of them!

That's Uptown Sedona in the distance.

We're just beginning to come into the center of town, where all the tourist type shops and restaurants are located.

Sinagua ("without water") Plaza is a two level outdoor shopping plaza toward the eastern end of Uptown Sedona, near the entry to Oak Creek Canyon.

The sidewalks and most of the structures in Sedona are apparently made with stucco and cement using the local red dirt, since they're all about the same color.

There are several bronze statues scattered around Uptown Sedona, which is also known for its galleries and community of artists.

Here is Lee standing beside a hot pink sculpture of a mother and baby javelina. Javelinas (collared peccaries) are known to roam about the nearby countryside. We even saw some of these nocturnal animals outside our condo one night a few trips back. They look like pigs, but they're actually not related, I'm told!

Once again, an accommodating fellow tourist offered to take a photo of Lee and me as we strolled Uptown Sedona. This shot was taken at the edge of the sidewalk looking toward the red rock formations to the south of Uptown Sedona.

This and the following photo are also taken from our vantage point in Uptown Sedona, looking toward the south of town. The cottonwood and sycamore trees in the foreground line the banks of Oak Creek, which runs along the south edge of town. The trees are just beginning to leaf out.

It's always a little bittersweet for Lee and me when we're approaching the end of one of our little trips. As usual, we've thoroughly enjoyed our time here in beautiful Sedona, but we're both looking forward to heading back home tomorrow.

And most of all, we can hardly wait to see our dear greyhound, Harley, after being gone for a week!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Sedona Landscapes

It’s hard to believe we’ve been in beautiful Sedona, Arizona now for 5 days . . How time flies when you’re having fun!

We try to come to Sedona once or twice a year, and always enjoy both the scenery and the climate here. This year particularly, coming here has given us a nice reprieve from what has seemed like an especially long winter farther north.

Sedona and the surrounding area are some of Lee’s favorite places to photograph, so of course, one of his main goals when we come here is to add to his repertoire of fine landscape photographic images. And I generally tag along with him on his quest for photo opportunities, to keep him company, and to enjoy the sights and sounds of the local countryside.

Lee’s photography ventures are usually around late afternoon and sunset, when the “light” is more interesting and the longer shadows add more contrast to one’s photos. A couple of days ago, we took a drive out to Long Canyon, an area a few miles north and west of Uptown Sedona, so Lee could capture some late afternoon images.

While he was setting up and conducting his own “photo shoot”, I wandered about and took a few snapshots of my own. I’d like to share these with you, since there are such incredibly beautiful landscapes around here . . . .

Here's the master photographer!

And his loyal companion . . .

As many times as we've been to Sedona, I never cease to be amazed at the beauty and grace of this area of the country.

In my next Blog Post, I hope to show you a little of Uptown Sedona, so please stay tuned!


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Trip to Bryce Canyon

Last Friday, Lee and I took off on our eagerly anticipated Spring (well, almost Spring!) trip to Bryce Canyon in southern Utah. Although we have both lived in Utah for over 30 years, I’m embarrassed to say that we haven’t made it a point until recently, to venture out to the many beautiful scenic places that Utah has to offer.

Lee had been to Bryce Canyon long ago, before we met, but as for me, I’d never seen this natural wonder until a few days ago. And, of course, now that I’ve seen it, I regret that we waited so long!

Bryce Canyon shares its geologic origins and history with the Rocky Mountains in the western United States. Along with the Grand Canyon, Bryce is part of a vast geological landmark called the Grand Staircase, which spans portions of southern Utah and northern Arizona.

Lee has been planning our trip to Bryce Canyon National Park for months. Intrepid photographer that he is, Lee's main goal was to explore the photo opportunities of this striking landscape.

We knew that March is still the “off season” for tourist travel to Bryce, and that it would likely be chilly there, particularly since Bryce Canyon and the surrounding country is at an elevation of 8,000 feet or more. But, Lee wanted to go this time of year, hopeful that he could capture some photos of the magnificent red rock formations of Bryce Canyon and the nearby Pink Cliffs with a light covering of snow.

As it turns out, we did indeed experience some snow during our one day/two night stay at Ruby’s Inn near Bryce Canyon National Park. Unfortunately, by the time we drove out to the Park, and stopped at Sunset Point, where one has the best view of the Bryce Canyon "hoodoos", the brisk winds had already blown the skiff of dry snow off most of the hoodoo peaks.

Nevertheless, I think Lee did manage to get some beautiful landscape photos on this trip. So please do keep an eye out on Lee’s Blog and in his Etsy Shop for some new photographic images of this beautiful part of the country!

In, the meantime, I wanted to show you some of our trip “snapshots” right here on my Blog!

Here we are, “on the road again”! This photo was taken as we headed southbound on US Highway 89, near the small town of Junction, Utah.

This is a shot of Piute Reservoir, also near Junction, Utah.

Here we are, eastbound on Highway 12, as we’re entering the red rock country of southern Utah, and nearing Bryce Canyon National Park.

There were two of these natural red rock “tunnels” we passed under within a few miles of each other.

And the following photo shows the entry to Bryce National Park.

The road within the park runs about 18 miles from northernmost to southernmost tip. At the north of the park, is Bryce Canyon, which is viewed from Sunrise Point and Sunset Point.

As the main Park Road winds its way south along the top of the Pink Cliffs, there are a number of smaller canyons and view sites scattered along the way.

Our first photo stop was as Sunset Point. This is probably one of the most popular spots for photographers, in that it overlooks the main part of Bryce Canyon, an area called the Bryce Amphitheatre.

It is at the Bryce Amphitheatre that one sees the miles of distinctive “hoodoos” for which Bryce Canyon is well known. These hoodoos are pillars of rock standing high above the base of the canyon, their unique shapes the result of years and years of erosion.

Although there weren’t all that many fellow tourists around in the Park this time of year, the ones that we encountered were quite friendly, and one was kind enough to take a photo of Lee and me at Sunset Point. (If you think Lee and I look cold in this photo, we were! I think it was about 28 degrees late Friday afternoon when this photo was taken, and a brisk wind was blowing as well.)

Sunrise Point is another overlook which affords a slightly different view of Bryce Canyon.

And here’s the intrepid photographer himself, standing near the edge (well, as close as I would LET him stand!) of Sunrise Point.

We took a drive along the 18 mile highway in Bryce National Park that runs south from Bryce Canyon and adjacent to the Pink Cliffs, which comprise another segment of the Grand Staircase, and stopped at several of the smaller canyon overlooks to enjoy the spectacular views and take a few more photos.

I don’t recall the name of the area where we stopped the take the following photos, but the scenery was a mixture of red rocks and towering pine trees.

And here’s another photo of Lee and me that was taken by a fellow tourist while we were at this scenic overlook.

And a photo of me.

One of the scenic viewpoints about 2/3 of the way south through the Park is called Natural Bridge, no doubt named after the distinctive shape of this rock formation.

Here is Lee again, headed back down the hill from a viewpoint over Black Birch Canyon, another canyon toward the southern end of the road through Bryce Canyon National Park.

Ponderosa Canyon is yet another canyon toward the south end of Bryce Canyon National Park. The next few photos were taken at Ponderosa Point, overlooking Ponderosa Canyon.

And here was one of many large ravens we saw during our time in the high country. It was clear that this particular bird was not very afraid of us, and I suspect that many of the crows in the area are accustomed to being fed by tourists. He did sit still long enough for Lee to get a pretty good photo of him!

I should mention that during the time we were in the Bryce National Park, we also saw a number of deer grazing at different locations, as well as some cute little singing birds that I later identified as nuthatches! Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get any good photos of them.

As always, I would like to thank you all for visiting my Blog, and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my little “travelogue” as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it.

Lee and I are continuing our vacation now in beautiful Sedona, Arizona, and I will most likely be posting a few photos of that phase of our trip in a few days, so if you’re interested, please check back!