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Bloomsday 2015

May 3, 2015

Fifty thousand people took part in a race today. Bloomsday is a 12-km course with some beautiful vistas and challenging hills, including Doomsday Hill.

Determination vs. Doomsday Hill

I like to station myself near the bottom of Doomsday Hill to applaud the athletes and take pictures. Mile post 5 is at the top of this hill (off to the right of where the above photo ends). I’ve run up this hill (back in 1994) but I even in my best days of running I could not make it to the top without dismounting from my bicycle; it feels like the uphill climb goes on forever.

DSCN1546

It is a race for all ages. During the time I was stationed near the bottom of the hill, I saw elite racers and some of the faster participants.

Elite runners, Bloomsday

I cheered on racers for about 90 minutes, during which the serious runners mixed in with those who were running for the fun of it.  After all, 50,000 people does tend to bring on a party atmosphere.

Coconut bras and grass skirts didn't slow these guys down.

Coconut bras and grass skirts didn’t slow these guys down.

some older, some colorful, BLOOMSDAY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This little guy and his grandfather made quite the spectator pair in their matching sunglass and Seahawks caps. 

This little guy and his grandfather made quite the spectator pair in their matching sunglass and Seahawks caps.

 

Go, BANANA

 

 

My guys were participants but I never caught sight of them.
EB said he passed the banana in the first mile, so by this point he had passed me several minutes before I snapped this picture.

 

 

 

Apparently EB, SuperDad, and SnakeMaster all passed by me unnoticed. We didn’t see each other, despite my looking for them. I’ve carefully looked through all of my pictures, but they aren’t there. Oh, well.

 

In the background, you can see the bridge filling up with runners as they cross the river and approach the bottom of Doomsday Hill.

In the background, you can see the bridge filling up with runners as they cross the river and approach the bottom of Doomsday Hill.

The road does fill up with runners, nearly shoulder to shoulder when the walkers reach this point, but by then I was on my way to church.  As it turns out, so was EB…

EB managed to run Bloomsday and still get to the 10:30am worship service on time, wearing his newly earned t-shirt.

EB managed to run Bloomsday and still get to the 10:30am worship service on time, wearing his newly earned t-shirt.

Happy Bloomsday!

Call me Red

April 29, 2015

There are a few things that, for me, represent London and the UK in general:

  • red double-decker buses
  • royal guards in uniform
  • Big Ben
  • red phone boxes

Now that so many people have and carry cell phones, the traditional telephone booth is rapidly disappearing. I’ve read several articles lately about this phenomenon, including how it impacts those who do not have or carry mobile phones. (Just try to find a working pay phone!)

This article that gives a fascinating look at the rehabilitation of Great Britain’s iconic red telephone boxes.

At the cost of anywhere between £2,000 and £10,000, a fully restored phone box is not an inexpensive purchase but think how amazing it would be to own one!

You can read more about the history of the red phone boxes here.

I owe, I owe, so off to work I go!

April 25, 2015

Knox Sanctuary Window.jpg  4x6 resized

I owe you the truth: I truly do love my job.  I work in an old building, parts of which were built in 1917 (above), 1926, and 1958. Sometimes, the places where those parts come together have a bit of oddity– like the juncture of various roofs that recently sprung a leak:

A meeting of 2 roofs from different eras. There is a 3rd juncture which is not seen in this picture.

A meeting of 2 roofs from different eras. There is a third juncture which is not seen in this picture.

Click on pics to embiggen

Somewhere up there is the source of a leak...

Somewhere up there is the source of a leak…

My husband was the one who manufactured this awesome drainage system in the midst of a heavy rainstorm. The water had been coming in at the rate of 2 gallons an hour.

Knox temp. repair

The good news is that once everything dried up after that storm, the guys investigated the problem, the leaky seam was sealed, things are being dried out and we will soon have a “new” bathroom.

We have a couple of handy men who voluntarily keep us in working order. I love it when they show up each Tuesday, even if I feel foolish when I walk by a room, glance in, and suddenly squawk, “There’s water on the floor! Water on the floor!”  (This was last week and completely unrelated to the roof or drainage system.) If they hadn’t been there, I would have been the one looking for a mop and bucket. Instead, I was the one sheepishly going back to my desk and they were the ones mopping up the mess.

It’s not all patch and mop around here. Sometimes there are flowers, cat art, and history.

This particular stained glass piece reminds me of a watercolor landscape painting.

This particular stained glass piece reminds me of a watercolor landscape painting.

And of course, there are some beautiful stained glass windows.

Carmi‘s Thematic Photographic this week is focusing on where we work. Click the link to join the fun!

Pink Saturday: Cathedral Wash

April 25, 2015

DSCN1404 Pink walls of Cathedral Wash

Cathedral Wash is carved out by water flowing downstream to the Colorado River. At times it is a mere trickle  or even a dry streambed, but when it rains heavily in the mountains, a flash-flood of water and debris change the landscape.

Caught in perfect lighting, the walls here look pink.

See more pink-themed pictures with Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound.

Five on Friday: Texts from the road (in no particular order)

April 24, 2015

DSCN5708 Thunderbird, Ho-made pies, 4x6 pic

  1. A pair of incoming texts in response to the above information being shared:
    “I swear I didn’t make any of those pies!”
    “Wouldn’t that more accurately be called a tart?”
    –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –
    I mentioned earlier this week that my youngest son, driving with his learner’s permit, was traveling quite legally at 75mph in a strong headwind. The road was not straight so with each rounded curve of the mountain highway we were buffeted from a different angle. Add to that a rather inexperienced driver, and the following texts to friends is how I attempted to keep quiet in the backseat:
  2. “Eeek!  [Youngest son] at the wheel here on I-17 which has winding mountain roads. I’m getting an ulcer in the backseat and I’m not the one instructing him.”
  3. “My tummy hurts… [SnakeMaster] is an inexperienced driver. Rumble strips, varying speed, truckers entering the highway. I’m feeling nauseous from the weaving and especially the stress. The guard rail has been too close for comfort more than twice. Luckily, [SuperDad] is calm.”   I was just trying to keep clam! 
  4. “My deodorant isn’t strong enough for this experience!!! I’ve got a stress headache on top of the nausea. Oy!”My now-15-year-old son may not appreciate those feelings… until he teaches his own children to drive.
    –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –
    While the guys were hiking Angel’s Landing in Zion, I took myself on several smaller hikes. Then I limped back out the way I came in, wondering if I could somehow not walk again for the rest of the day. At 3pm, I sent the following texts to my friend:
  5. “Decided I was done hiking. As in, stick a fork in me, I’m done! Just ordered a stout and an applewood-smoked BLT at the brew pub outside the park. My feet are screaming at me.”
    “PS: Conviction Stout is delicious.”By the time my menfolk found me, I had enough sustenance and relief that I was able to share my fries and applewood-smoked bacon like a good mama should. 

Unwritten stories of life and death

April 23, 2015

There are things about which I simply cannot write. Things like possums that curl up and die in a hidden corner of the garage/bonus room. It’s been nearly 9 years now since that incident and my boys know that just saying the word “possum” still gives me the heebie-jeebies.

There are other things about which I have written only in passing — upchucked chipmunk heads, for example — because I am thoroughly squeamish about such things. (I avoided both the cat and the front porch for many days after that incident.) When my husband was deployed, I relied on neighbors to rescue me from the horrors of decaying creatures and dead birds in the fish pond. When faced with a mouse in my suitcase, I locked myself and my baby in the bathroom (oblivious to the fact that there was a one-inch space between the floor and the bottom of the door).

Becky over at Noodleroux is much better about injecting humor into the situation. Go read this post and you’ll see why she’s my new hero.

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April 22, 2015

April 1991

scan0069

MM’s first birthday, celebrated with his older cousins

5th birthday with James (the red #5 engine from Thomas the Tank Engine series)

5th birthday with James (the red #5 engine from Thomas the Tank Engine series) — yes, the birthday boy helped to decorate his cake!

Happy 13th Earth Day birthday!  Mom made the cake, MM did the decorating.

Happy 13th Earth Day birthday! Mom made the cake,  MM did the decorating.

MM's 17th birthday

MM’s 17th birthday

High School, June 2010 College, May 2014

High School, June 2010                                        …and…                           College, May 2014

You’ve worked hard and found happiness and success.
I am so proud of you and excited for your future.

The Lovebirds at home

You grew up and moved away but you will always be my firstborn son.

Happy Earth Day Birthday, MusicMan!

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