Writing My Life

Now and Then

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Apparently We Brought Ireland Back with Us!

I doubt we have had more than a handful of sunshiny days since our return from Ireland nearly two months ago! The republic knew how much I loved our visit and so the climate followed us to the western desert we call home.

Ireland comes to Eagle Mountain!!!

Ireland comes to Eagle Mountain!!!

Every cool rainy day reminded me I hadn’t posted the photo essay I have planned, and so now, as the sun is fighting against wind and clouds, I feel prompted to finish what I started. Sit back and enjoy the FACES and PLACES of the Emerald Isle.

Dublin – March 26-28, 2015

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Oh, Dublin! How You Make Me Laugh!

I know Dublin town is crowded and bustlin’ at most hours, but who cannot appreciate the cobbled stones, the cathedrals and pubs, the River Liffey with its Ha’penny Bridge, its viking origins, and the beautiful, friendly people. Walking the winding streets for two plus days was enough to start the love affair, and here are some of the reasons why!

Our Georgian accommodations where we had to read instructions on how to open the room door with an actual key and how to flush the loo with “gusto”!

Faces of Dublin: Devlyn Elvis TaylorDevlyn Taylor – Our Irish Elvis – drove the “hop-on/hop off” tour bus and he broke out in song whenever the mood struck him or the traffic jammed. He had a great voice, and he really could sound like Elvis! He belted out “All Shook Up” and “Danny Boy” among others. And when his voice tired a bit, Devlyn loaded the CD player so we could hear his original compositions recorded in a studio. My favorite was a lullaby he wrote for a grandson who passed away in January. Intermingled amongst his songs, he shared an occasional historical tidbit, but I especially liked his tales of growing up as a “true blue Dubliner.”

FOOD! GLORIOUS FOOD! I RELISHED the food and tried different sorts of yummies in all kinds of pubs where folks don’t just stop in for a pint, but they eat and chat and play games and listen AND dance to Irish bands when they can. We enjoyed the BEST FISH & CHIPS EVER at Leo Burdocks, est. 1913. And Keith and Cedric (if that’s their real names) kept us laughing. You can see their pics on the Leo Burdock website, but these poses were just for me!

Aren't they just too cute?

Aren’t they just too cute?

Temple Bar is the “happenin’ place” when it comes to the “Traditional Irish Music Pub Crawl”. G.E. and I dropped into a few to hear Irish tenors, guitars, and fiddles and watch a little Irish 2-step. Gogarty’s was the most festive pub we visited as guests sang along with the performers and one husky patron finally convinced a visiting miss to join him in dance. It was delightful. And one more thing – “Temple Bar”, a seemingly oxymoron to people of faith, refers to Sir William Temple, Provost of Trinity College in the 1600s. who owned a home in the area back in the day. The “bar”could be a play on words as the district is located on the Liffey River, thus referring to a sand bar as well as the pubs themselves. But there is nary a fact to back that theory as it’s my own.

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46 Shades of Green: an Unforgettable Anniversary

Forty-six years of marriage is a rather non-descript anniversary. Other than the comment – “WoW! You’ve been married that long? That’s really something in this day and age!” – there is not much to set it apart. I researched the appropriate gift for such an occasion and found there is no traditional present, but the “modern” suggestion is an original poem. As romantic as that is, I could hardly imagine my very “left-brained” husband coming up with a verse he hadn’t plagiarized. (In his defense, he is excellent in picking out cards that share the perfect tributes.)

Months ago I came up with my version of what couples could give each other for having stuck together for 46 years – a trip to Ireland. That didn’t seem any more random that “an original poem”, so I went with it. While G.E., the homebody (I almost wrote “homeboy”), wasn’t exactly thrilled about this idea, I whispered in his ear one night, “Don’t you remember that day we married, you kissed me and then said, ‘Sweetheart, when we’ve been married 46 years, I’ll whisk you off to Ireland.’?” He didn’t remember, but I reassured him the promise was made.

“Why Ireland?” you ask.

And I answer, “Why NOT Ireland?”

So off we went to the Emerald Isle on March 25 for nine days, including two for flying and flying and flying. Now, I’ll not bore you with dozens of photos and minute-by-minute details of our most wonderful holiday, but I will regale you over the next few posts with a few favorites of a MOST fascinating island of endearing people that are now part of my heart!

First: PRE-TRIP favorites –

  • Miracles: 1) Getting G.E. to be my traveling companion. He was heroic! 2) Recovering from a nasty cold and 3) packing 9 days of everything into 2 carry-ons!
  • Best investment: Skechers GOwalk – only shoes you’ll need!
Sum Total of My Luggage!

Sum Total of My Luggage!

"These shoes are made for walkin'!"

“These shoes are made for walkin’!”

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Our Ford Edge: The Deer-Slayer’s Sacrifice

Dear Folks at the Ford Company,

This thank-you note is overdue, but I want you to know how appreciative I am of the heroic efforts of our 2010 Ford Edge. With few exceptions, modes of transportation rarely inspire sentimentality within me, but our SUV is one I will always remember fondly.

On an October night, 2014, my husband and I traveled west to visit our son’s family in California. This is a well-worn route for us dating back to the 60’s, and NEVER in that time have we noticed deer – live or dead – along I-80. We figured the creatures must lurk somewhere, however, because warning signs and a state-of-the-art deer crossing served as evidence of the possibility.

Not long after leaving Wendover, Nevada, the two of us chatted about that very topic and even commented that we better stop talking and be on the look-out for deer because the desert night was growing ever darker. Within a few miles, a huge suicidal buck with our number somewhere on his person instantly appeared in the middle of the highway, staring us down, and daring us to send him to deer heaven.Deer in Headlights

With ninja-like reflexes, my husband of 45+ years swerved towards the shoulder of the road in a failed attempt to avoid the handsome 4-pointer. Few things can make you shudder like the sound of plastic – mixed with a bit of steel – slamming into flesh, fur, bones, and antlers at 68ish mph. Usually a screamer, I silently held my breath until our fish-tailing Edge finally slowed and stopped. (One advantage of traveling in the Nevada desert is the light traffic, and, thank heavens, no other vehicles interfered with my spouse’s defensive maneuvers.)

The next hour was spent assessing the damage to the victims (SUV crunched; deer splattered), calling 911, and reporting the incident to our insurance company. We also noted minor miracles: we actually had cell service – thank you T-Mobile – and the engine of our Edge was still running. Even though the driver’s side was pretty much “smooshed”, the airbag didn’t deploy (yay), and dangling bumper parts didn’t gouge the front tire or impede it from doing its job.

Deer Slayer 2Upon his arrival, the highway patrolman confirmed the deer’s demise was a quick one, and then he assisted us in removing pieces of yukky debris hanging off the Ford. In the meantime, the engine still hummed. Once the patrolman gave us the go-ahead to drive to Elko instead of waiting for a tow company, we traveled 75 miles to our destination with nary a glitch. No engine malfunctions. No more crazy deer.

Because of the late hour, we checked into a motel. The next morning the “deer-slayer” started right up, and we drove to Top-Gun Auto Repair. The manager was expecting us, but he was shocked to see that our brave SUV made it to his establishment under its own power!Deer Slayer 1

“I’ve seen cars with a lot less damage towed here. That’s amazing,” he commented.

At first he thought the Edge could be repaired, and we were thrilled because we really liked that SUV. The ride was smooth and quiet, the seats were comfortable, and most importantly, the vehicle was well-built. It handled so well when my husband played “chicken” with the buck; and the fact that the engine “just kept on ticking” saved us hours of waiting for a tow truck and enabled us to keep the heat operating so we were warm against the cold of the desert night.

In the end, our 2010 Ford Edge couldn’t be saved. Internal damage was too extensive, and we mourned the loss. But once the diagnosis was confirmed, and we knew we had to purchase another vehicle, there was no debate. We found a suitable replacement for that mighty deer-slayer that will always have a place in our hearts: a 2013 Ford Edge LIMITED! Oh yeah!

So we thank you Ford Folks in Detroit for building such a fine vehicle, and thank you personnel at Ken Garff Ford Dealership in American Fork, Utah for treating us so great both times we bought our SUVs!

P.S. If you want us to publicly endorse your fine product, we will be proud to do so – but not so proud that we would refuse a little compensation. (Wink, wink)

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October Remembered in December: Pictures and Poetry

October ~ brings about a

Culmination of colors to celebrate

The death of a season in an

Ostentatious flourish like no other.

Bidding farewell to days of light, the

Eve of All Hallows

Rouses the sleepers beneath stones.

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Autumn Reverie: San Diego in September

Technically, winter isn’t officially here until December 22nd – also known as the shortest day of the year and the winter solstice. That means I can still write about Fall 2011 – a very challenging time this year.  BUT the months were also sprinkled with great moments, and those are the ones I want to review – mostly in photos.

Busy times ramped up starting in August. With school starting, there is always tons to do at the school district office,  and even more so this year. My terrific friend and boss headed for Great Britain for 3 – yes, I said 3 – weeks. She deserved the get-away, and so I didn’t mind the extra workload.

In spite of the insanity, I was able to fly to San Diego on September 15th for an amazingly cheap price with the purpose of spending a couple of days exploring the San Diego Zoo and Sea World with two of my grandaughters. (Why can’t I spell grand daughters with one “d”? It makes total sense to me?”)

I don’t know why I feel I have to explain my reason for leaving at such a busy time, but I do. It’s the guilt complex I have cultivated over many years, I guess. Anyway, I originally volunteered to go so that my daughter-in-law would not have to drive back to Salt Lake City alone with her 5 and 2-years-old girls. AND I found the cheap flight.

Before even leaving, I learned that my son did not have to stay at the conference as long as he anticipated, and he could drive back after all. But I HAD to go because I purchased that inexpensive airline ticket, right? So I went; shared the tiniest room the Hilton Hotel offers with 2 adults, 2 little ones, and 15,000 pounds of luggage. Nevertheless, it was a great time, and here are the pix to prove it.

San Sea Diego Zoo World!

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… “lollypop, lolly pop, OH! LOLLY, LOLLY POP!” … may be the most disgusting treat IN THE WORLD!

It is DAY 23 of posting EVERY DAY IN MAY! Sheesh! I do have some important things to write about, just not tonight. Mondays are always SO tough, aren’t they? And this has been a pretty rotten day for some family members and friends.

To liven things up, I pulled out a photo taken by Grand-daughter Taylor. It features a VERY creepy, crawly, AND CRUNCHY treat I brought back from Albuquerque. Believe me it took courage to even buy these little suckers! And I just know there is a story to be told about how these “alacranes” found themselves in such a predicament!

Which do you prefer: Pineapple, blueberry, or apple SCORPION???

Maybe we could retell a favorite tale – something like “3 Little Scorpions.” They crawl off through the desert to seek their fortune but end up swimming in vats of artificially flavored corn syrup. Imprisoned in their glass-like houses, the 3 are packaged and trucked many more miles until they end up in the home of the bravest kid on earth – one who actually EATS the suckers … scorpions and ALL.



… our california kids …

G.E. and I had such a blast visiting our California kids during the 4th of July holiday. As always, we kept busy AND ate well! (Thanks, Lisa!)

I’m going to let the photos do the talking because they prove a picture is worth a 1000 words! So here is a slideshow worth about 42,000 WORDS!


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