Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The best made plans...are sometimes nearly unplanned

We took a spontaneous trip up North for an autumn experience.

Colorful leaves

make for good raking.

Grandmonkeys preparing homemade applesauce

A glimpse of the collapsed bridge over the mighty Missus

New bridge gleaming


A most Superior lake

Lovely bridge

Big ships

Skippin' rocks

Toastin' mallows.

Site of the proposal...taken on our 13th anniversary

Saw the luminous colors of red, yellow, and orange leaves still on their hosts...

Smelled the pine trees, wood fires, and dried leaves...

Heard the crunch of fallen leaves under our feet...

Felt the cold air...and even the large billowy snowflakes gently falling...

Tasted s'mores on the shores of Lake Superior, warmed up with hot chocolate...

and fortified our stash of wild rice, maple syrup, cheese curds, apples.

Best of all...
a renewal of our souls.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

It's official--Joe is excellent!

Our family already knew it. It's just that this time he's been recognized officially with both state and national awards!

All of Joe's hard work leading his team over the last 7+ years in rewriting construction specifications as well as creating and implementing a think-outside-the-box management program that has resulted in a whole new way of running things in his field of building bridges--with excellent results--has been acknowledged with honors.

Just yesterday, he and his team were presented with excellence awards from both the Texas Department of Transportation and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).

He doesn't think much about it. So like him. In fact, if he knew about this post he'd probably want it removed.

Sorry, HoneyBud, it's published. And it's official.

You're excellent!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A visit from a crawling critter

This little crawling green guy was lost and lonely.

He made friends with our non threatening Playmobile forklift operator.

They held hands.

Check out its metatarsals and phalanges. Wild!

After his brief playdate, Mikey (our best lizard catcher) brought him home--outside!


Please knock next time!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Finale

Where did we end our trip through the Great Southwest?

On the strip!

Yes, a little odd ending up here after boondocking in nature for 2 weeks, but that's where our RV lives.

The kids enjoyed a circus.

A few M & Ms

They start 'em young in Vegas.

Hungry lions

at the MGM

Eiffel Tower

A swim.


Onward home.

The End!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Missing Mike

An unwanted anniversary

Michael Jon Cox
(May 3, 1965 - October 7, 1987)

22 years ago
22 years old

A simple tribute...

We miss you, Mike.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A visit to Death Valley

We were excited to get to Death Valley, a place unlike any other national park. Unique geologic formations, crazy heat, eerie feeling at times. Very...crusty and sandy. Drab in places, colorful in others. Interesting and stiffling. There's plenty of history and intrigue here.

We got a deathly warm welcome of 116 degrees!

What's the lowest elevation in the country?

Right here at Badwater Basin in Death Valley -- 282 ft. below sea level.

So now we've been on the lowest road and the highest road (Mt. Evans, CO at 14,260 ft) in the country.

Aren't these cool salt formations? Like the crystals just started protruding through the mud cracks they were inhabiting.

Can you envision it?

Dead mud -- nice mosaic!

This slug-like thing was the only living creature we could find in the briny solution at Badwater.

Therefore, we concluded it was, indeed, bad water. Very bad.

Devil's Golf Course

Salt formations--very hard and sharp! Just ask Jimmer. He cut his hand on these things.

Golden Canyon hike

The old borax works

Remember laundry-boosting borax? 20 mule team? As in, 40 mules pulling the wagons? This is where it started--

with these wagons.

Colorful mountains--green streaks, mustard colors, reds, greys--all providing a unique display of different minerals.

Don't the kids look like they're deathly thirsty looking for an oasis?

Nah, they were just running around having TONS of fun on the dunes!

Son's supine slide

Swirling second born

A brief sand blasting productive exfoliation of the legs.

You know you're having fun when your pigtails are flying!

Now leaving Death Valley and headed for life.