Archive for the ‘travel’ Category

As you have noticed, I have been spending time doing all sorts of things this Summer – things other than sitting at a computer writing.
We have had family visits from New Zealand, growing lambs, book reading, learning to knit socks, gardening, shepherdess-ing, and trying to keep cool in our hotter-than-usual summer, and fighting the reoccurring sinus-infection-from-hell.
One of the problems I have been having is accessing my photos to be able to post to this blog or even to access lamb photos to place on my sales list. I have been using Picasa, which I loved until I updated it and now can’t find anything…or I have multiple files showing up.
It’s frustrating and, in short, I hate it. Photos I have downloaded from my camera disappear. I’m not sure this is Picasa’s fault, or someone tinkering in my photos when they shouldn’t be. All our home computers share a home server unit and I suspect things are going on I have no inkling of.
Yup. Frustrating. Period. I had just taken lamb-for-sale photos, downloaded them into Picasa with the intent of getting them online as a few of you have expressed wanting lambs from me this year. I cannot find them anywhere at all. I will have to really give thought to a replacement program and educate myself as to how to remove Picasa while retaining the photographs I do have on that program to a safe place. It’s just been very aggravating.
Other than the “Photo Conundrum”, the summer is going by quickly here. We had Val & Hugo, our son-in-law’s parents, visit us and included them in a trip to Oregon and Black Sheep Gathering. Other than car problems, it was a nice trip. (I did get sick on the way home…) Oregon was beautiful! We managed to stop at Crater Lake before heading cross-country to Eugene.
Black Sheep Gathering was wonderful! I got to visit with friends as well as see more Shetland sheep from other breeders, look at vendors’ wares in the vendor tents, and I even got to help show my friend, Lois’, sheep in the show ring. I had a ball! That said, I found out I don’t get up and down in a show ring that well any longer, but it was a ball nonetheless. 🙂
It’s finally time to get some lambs moved into others’ flocks. Every one of them is a keeper, but that is a luxury a person on a small farm can’t afford, due to space availability. I have picked out three or four to keep in my ewe flock as replacements for their mums. Hard decisions, but decisions nonetheless.
I promise…I will try to write more as we start into Fall. And I do hope to have some photos to go with the entries as soon as I can find them….

wherever it is they are hiding…

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As you view Auckland from other various parts of the harbor (see previous posts re: New Zealand), you notice a towering, impressive building gracing its skyline. That’s the Sky City Sky Tower. A trip up the Sky Tower offers you 360 degree views of not only Auckland and its suburbs, but even farther views – on clear days.
I share with you now some of those views for you armchair travelers. The blue-tint of the photos comes from the tinted glass of the View Deck windows. You will also see that the day we were there wasn’t too clear a day. It had been misting on and off that day. Enjoy!

The Bay Bridge linking north and south sides of the harbor and cutting many miles of driving to get from one side to the other.

Looking past Devonport on to Rangitoto Island, remnants of a volcanic eruption 600 years ago witnessed by local Maoris. We’ve actually taken a ferry over, ridden in a guided tour-tram as well as trekked to the summit of the remaining volcanic cone. The landscape is amazing with its volcanic lava rock outcroppings and areas where you could see where the lava had flowed down into the sea.
Other various views of downtown Auckland as well as “the Burbs”:

If you follow the link above, you’ll be taken to the Sky Tower site with all the information on the Sky Tower itself. What always dumbfounds me is that people actually bungee jump off this blasted tower. During a previous visit to the Tower we were treated to the sudden appearance of a man in an orange jumpsuit dangling outside of the windows of the Observation Deck for just a moment before plummeting downward with the giant rubber band around his ankles. Craziness.

About the only thing we didn’t see from the Tower was the Travelocity Roaming Gnome…but then “The Amazing Race” people weren’t there that day. 😉

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I have had a really hard time deciding which photos to post from our trip. There are so many good ones! I just had to share a few more of the family before we move on to the next post…
For this trip to New Zealand we decided just to concentrate on visiting family and resting. It has only been a little over two months since my DH’s surgery. He would be filled with energy at times, other times just running low and “out of gas”. Most of all, I believe our spirits really needed to refresh themselves…and not only from the DH’s surgery, but from a very hard winter. I was physically (and mentally) exhausted from all the snowstorms and the work they entailed: shoveling, splitting wood, feeding the wood stove when the furnace acted up at the end of January, and the anguish we both felt not being able to be in New Zealand to welcome Gwen or to help the Kids around the house during the last part of Kelly’s pregnancy as we had hoped to do.
Being with all the family was worth every mile of that long flight over. 🙂

Kelly introducing Gwen as we arrived with the morning’s light

“Who is this Grandma person and why is she calling me her ‘Little Shepherdess’?”

“Alright, Gramps…pull my finger!”

Having a chat while waiting for the ferry from Devonport back to Auckland while “the kid” has my camera
Ross and Kelly’s first attempts at their newly acquired Wii Guitar Hero band. They named their virtual band “Attention Shoppers”.

My buddy, Sam the Cat, whom I tried to spoil

The look out the back off the deck. The tallest tree in the background is a Norfolk Island pine.

The two pictures above are of a Mandevilla vine growing on the deck. It was absolutely breathtaking and a welcome change to see its cheery color after our winter white at home.

Sam sunning under the Pohutukawa Tree
One amazing, happy family! (even if Gwen was getting a bit grumpy…)

Next post…riding the Nihotupu Tramline with Val and Hugo through the New Zealand bush!

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I’m not sure why Picasa did not include these last three photos. I am not used to using it extremely well, but I have also noticed that Blogger is tempermental, at times. So…here we finally go to finish that trip over to the other side of town, towards our small mall.There is a BIG difference between the micro-climates on our side of the mountains, to the eastern regions of Flagstaff. We are actually about 7+ miles from our actual town proper. And we travel about 7+ miles to get over to the other side of town, but the climates are so totally different. While we get more snow and rain, the other side of town is much drier and windier. People I know who live on the east side of town always mention that while they have a longer growing season for their gardens, the have to water like crazy to keep the wind from drying out plants. Plus they have more prairie dogs on their side of town while we have gophers and ground squirrels.

Here you see by the I17 road signs we have a choice here…east to the mall or west towards California and Las Vegas. As I don’t have that much money with me, I think it best to go east to the mall and we’ll just have to save Lost Wages for another trip.

Now we’re on I40, headed east. We pass one exit, then head towards Mt. Elden and the turnoff for the mall and the road heading up to Page, AZ. It goes through the Navajo Reservation. We’ll save that for another trip as well. As my DH says, “It’s miles and miles of miles and miles.” – meaning it’s barren with not much to see. We usually stop in Cameron for breakfast if we’re headed up that way. (for those of you following along with a map)

And here we are at Mt. Elden. As you have probably figured out, we either must turn left and head back towards town, or turn right. We’re going right but will leave you with this picture of Mt. Elden instead of our Small mall and parking lot. Who wants to see those anyway? I only get over this way a couple of times a year. I try to stay away from temptation and since I have all the clothes, shoes and gee-ga’s I need, I stay away. The only reason we’re over this way today is to go to Best Buy to get a new printer for my computer.Mt. Elden used to be completely covered with Ponderosa pine tree as well as Gamble oak and aspen trees. Back in the late ’70s there was a huge forest fire which destroyed all the trees and almost destroyed all the housing along the base of Mt. Elden. There are hiking trails on the eastern slope where you can spend an afternoon. But you have to be on your guard as this is mountain lion territory (well, it is here too). A few years ago a lion was shot as it had threatened two dogs and their owner. Of course the lion had to pay for this guys stupidity – the dogs were loose, not leashed, and were in the lion’s territory, not on the path. Too bad for the lion. I’m more of the thinking that if the guy got it, it was just the Darwin Patrol thinning out our herd.I can just see my DH shaking his head at that statement, but it really IS a fact of life here…”If you go out in the woods today you’re sure of a big surprise…”

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OK, OK…Enough Already!

Yes, Friends…I am alive and mostly well. I’ve been touring the SW with part of our NZ family and haven’t been anywhere to use a computer – and I refuse to go into a CyberCafe when I’m on vacation. 🙂
Now, I have to admit that since we’ve been doing more day trips around the countryside, I have gone to bed early as I find myself getting pretty well pooped by nightfall. Not to worry…my back is fine: I went down (and back up) the 240 steps into Walnut Canyon to look at ancient ruins near Flagstaff, did aobut 2 miles at a fast clip on one of Zion’s beautiful trails in just a bit over an hour, walked up and down the Las Vegas Strip many times from here to there and back again, and just yesterday tooted around the town of Jerome south of us.
All that is in between eating and sleeping. My back has hurt some on occassion, but all in all is doing well. I have had to admit that I do need to slow down a bit. Things will go back to normal paces next week when our Family fly out to do the rest of their Holiday in San Diego and beyond.
I know the cats will be glad we are not going anywhere as both Shadow and Ziggy seem upset if we are gone for any length of time now…just this morning Zig was yowling through the house when we all left the living room to get ready to go out for a bit. He just needed a bit of reassurance that we would be back soon. It’s amazing how they miss us….all they seem to be doing is sleeping when we’re home, but maybe they are secretly keeping tabs on all of us.

So, I will try to get back to blogging soon. I do have a few to catch up on. Rest assurred, I am still walking although some mornings it takes two cups of coffee to actually walk upright. 🙂

And thanks to Nancy K., for passing this one on:

You are The High Priestess

Science, Wisdom, Knowledge, Education.

The High Priestess is the card of knowledge, instinctual, supernatural, secret knowledge. She holds scrolls of arcane information that she might, or might not reveal to you. The moon crown on her head as well as the crescent by her foot indicates her willingness to illuminate what you otherwise might not see, reveal the secrets you need to know. The High Priestess is also associated with the moon however and can also indicate change or fluxuation, particularily when it comes to your moods.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

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