Friday, June 28, 2013

Vacations and Yellowstone National Park

Holey-ga-moley geysers!! I knew about Old Faithful but Yellowstone has so many more. The landscape  is beautiful beyond description. I was properly awed in all directions. The sights and wildlife and nature and mountains and rivers were beyond expectation. 

I took a lot of photos with my iPad this time so I could share some of the awesomeness with you. 

This is Old Faithful. We waited about 20-25 minutes for it to erupt. There was a huge crowd around it was obviously a popular attraction. 

Upper Geyser Basin has more than 150 geysers in one square mile. We saw geysers everywhere. Some were pools, some were muddy, some just steam vents. 

We saw some amazing scenery and Yellowstone Lake was amazing. The West Thumb of the lake was full of geysers and pools as well. Even geyser cones in the water!

The water is so clear you can see the geysers under the water.

This waterfall is called Tower Falls. It's something like 132 feet tall. 
It feeds Tower Creek which then feeds into the Yellowstone River. 

Great scenery all around. 

We actually drove through the park in one day so we saw a lot fast. Except for the time we were stuck in a kong line of traffic because of road work. A flag an had vehicles stopped so only one lane could get through at a time. Strangely, every day on this trip we've encountered road work and flag men. It was always about the time I was hoping for a potty break.  

Some were very long waits. 

Signing off from the wild Wild West. Our next stop is Wyoming and visiting family. We turn in the rental after this and fly back to Florida. That is going to be another experience since there is no direct flight from Wyoming to Florida. 


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Vacations and Sightseeing

If you've seen one rock you've seen them all, right? 

You'd think so, wouldn't you?

Not where we've been. We hit Monument Valley first. All I can say is totally awesome. We stayed there several hours until sundown so we could get some sunset pictures of the rock formations as the sun set. The memories will stay with me forever. Or less than forever if I get dementia. 

This is just one of hundreds of photos I took using the camera, iPad, and iPhone. 

We got to tour the entire valley by vehicle. The park suggested high rise vehicles but I even. Saw a Saturn driving through there. I hope they made it through all right. The road terrain was pretty gruesome in places.

From there we went to Arches National Park. We toured that mostly by vehicle as well, only getting out in a couple places to stop and take pictures or walk to an arch inaccessible by road. 

Our final Utah sightseeing stop was 9 Mile Canyon. Don't let the name fool you. The canyon isn't 9 miles long. It's actually 75 miles long and sights are few and far between. And you have to get out and hike trails to the sights. 

What are the sights you ask? Petroglyphs, of course!!

We saw some amazing drawings from various ages of Indians. Some thousands of years ago others a lot newer. 

So, as I type, we are driving through Idaho on our way to Yellowstone National Park which we'll reach tomorrow. 

It's been an amazing trip through the wild Wild West. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Vacations and saying Good-bye to Tucson

We had a great time visiting the kids and grandkids in Tucson, AZ. We spent time together, had good meals and even caught the showing of Monsters University. It's sad to leave especially saying good-bye. We live so far apart and traveling is so expensive. 

We spent as much time as we could together working around family's work schedules. 

Traveling now, we are heading north to northern Arizona to make our first stop on the beginning of our trip through the western United States. Our next main destination is Yellowstone National Park. I've never been so I'm looking forward to seeing the natural wonders and roaming wildlife. 

Watch for pictures. Speaking of which, I'm attaching a picture of the San Xavier Mission in Tucson. It's a beautiful old structure and I can never do it justice in pictures. My husband got a picture about six years ago with the sunrise peaking through one of the bell towers. Totally awesome. 

Roaming the Wild West. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Vacations and Time Zone Changes

Officially on vacation and checking in with my blogger buddies. I think the worst thing about vacation besides living out of a suitcase is the time change. I'm here in Arizona. A THREE hour difference from Florida. 

I'm waking up at 3 am thinking it's 6 am in Florida. Then I force myself back to sleep and then I really do wake at 6 am. I can't seem to sleep past 6 here. 

I look at my watch, which I didn't change, and I see the morning mostly gone. 

My pill schedule is all whacked out and my body is trying to get used to the new times I take my bipolar meds. Trying to stay stable with a time change as drastic as this takes careful planning and diligence. 

But bedtime and night meds are the worst. It seems forever until I can crawl into bed. Thank God I've been falling asleep instantly, but it starts all over the next day. 

Does anyone have any suggestions to help with time changes?

Monday, June 17, 2013

Fun Word to Say-Not so Much Fun to Do

Spelunking. Just saying the word makes you want to giggle and smile. Spelunking.  Say it three times fast. What does the word mean to you?

If you are in the "know" you might be aware that spelunking is another term for cave exploration. Something I just can't wrap my head around. 

I am afraid of enclosed spaces. I don't like going underground. I definitely don't like enclosed spaces underground. 

Now, I know some caves are hundreds of feet wide, deep, and enormous. Call me crazy, but to have squeeze my body through tight narrow passages to get to the view just isn't worth it in my opinion. 

And, I'm not speaking from someone who has never tried it, either. I've bee there, done that, and would rather not again. 

I think my first trip underground was at Iron Mountain in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan close to the Wisconsin border. It was a family vacation and one of those things that had to get checked off on the list of things to do. I didn't have much choice. 

I remember riding into the mine on old miner's trains transferred to little cars with  seating arrangements. The ride was dark except for the headlight at the front of the set of tiny cars.
Overhead we could hear screeching and fluttering. "Just bats." Our tour guide spke with bored authority. Not the beginning of a great trip for me.

I feared enclosed spaces a lot earlier than that. A string of mean babysitters and older cousins who thought it fun to put you through narrow cardboard tunnels and not let you out no matter how much you screamed or begged. 

But who can be afraid of something called "spelunking"?

I'll raise an emphatic hand high.

Colossal Cave near Tucson, AZ was my next trip underground. No longer a child, and an adult woman with three children I gave in to the wheedling of my first husband and tried again. I shivered and sweated and screamed in the darkest parts of my mind but I completed the tour. 

Never again I swore. 

Anyone ever hear of Carlsbad  Caverns? Yeah, me too. Thank God they've been closed both times I've been dragged there. 

Now, I bring this particular topic up not just because it's five a.m. And I can't sleep, but probably can't sleep because we are going on vacation soon and a trip through Yellowstone National Park is on the agenda. The placed is probably riddled with caves. How much you want to bet my husband is going to want to explore one or two?

Well this very adult woman who now that she is in her fifties thinks I can do whatever I do or do not want to do will not be spelunking on this vacation. No matter how much hubby begs. Which he probably won't because he's so supportive and caring. But, he might go on his own which will still scare me but at least I can wait outside - above the ground - in open space. I'm sure they have really nice gift shops. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Getting Ready for Vacation

I'm supposed to be excited. I'm leaving for fifteen days of glorious vacation. A trip to see my children and grandchildren. I drive through one of the nation's best national parks and then another visit with my mother and sisters before flying back home.

But, here I am. Sick. Flat on my back sick with some sort of bronchitis or pneumonia or some other bronchial infection. I'm hacking a lung. Haven't been able to talk for 5 days and coughing so hard it hurts. My body aches, my ears ache, my eyes even ache.

It's torture to even write this blog, but I do so to keep you informed about what's going on and I haven't written in a while and it was sort of bumming me out.

On the up side, even though I have no energy for anything, I' still positive and upbeat. I have no depressive thoughts or dark dreary images traipsing through my mind. I am down about being sick, but that's all it is. Just bummed about being sick and all the things I still need to do before I leave. I've had to rearrange my schedule to fit in a doctor's appointment, which I will go to today. Hopefully she will have some sort of miracle drug that will make me better quickly and before I have to leave next week.

I definitely don't want to be carrying this onto an airplane.

I have packing lists to review. To do lists to review. To do lists to complete. I have a dog and a bird I need to prepare to go to boarding. And all the packing that that entails. I have to make sure they have enough food and treats and such for the fifteen days we are gone plus the extra days they'll be in boarding due to flights coming in extra late and not being able to pick them up right away.

I've had to get three week's worth of medication planned out for me. Taking it four times a day makes for some big med planners. I had to fill them all up and see which ones still need meds and how I'm going to convince a pharmacist that I only need one more week's worth to complete my vacation and I won't be back here during the middle of my vacation to get my prescription filled then, so could I get it filled early?

At least I have a neighbor coming to check on the house every day and bringing in our mail. And we have a friend coming to check on the pool as well.

But, all that aside, first things first. I need to get well. I've spent the last four days in bed and will probably spend some of today there as well, except when I have to keep my doctor appointments. I have to see my psychiatrist today as well, and I can't cancel that appointment. I already had to cancel my therapist appointment. I'm running out of days to reschedule before I leave for my vacation.

I need to be well for my vacation so I don't take my sickness with me and give it to my kids and grandkids. What a horrible present to leave with them. I want to be able to enjoy my visits and have fun playing with my grandbabies.

So, I'll accept all good wishes and prayers for a quick recovery and a safe trip. I need all that I can get. I'll try to post as much as I can about where I am during vacation and then get back to regularly scheduled posts.


Friday, June 07, 2013

Five Minute Friday - Fall

It's time for the "Five Minute Friday" blogging post. The inspiration comes from Lisa Jo Baker

What you do is set your timer for five minutes and write whatever you want according to the prompt Lisa places on her blog every Friday. Then you go back, link your blog and give support to those who posted before you. And, we connect on Twitter with #FiveMinuteFriday.



I love those moments right before I fall asleep. I'm drifting down into the subconsciousness of my mind. The day's worries are far behind me. 

My mind focuses on the prayer I pray right before sleep. Sometimes i make it through the entire prayer before I fall asleep. Sometimes I don't. 

I float away on the softest of dreams, just starting. Not yet developed into full stories for me to enjoy and get wrapped up in while my body rests. It's so nice to dream again. I've had night terrors for so long after the ECT treatments and I was afraid to fall asleep. Afraid of what horrors my mind would conjure for me to recall in the morning light. What terrors would keep me from sleeping at all. 

But, no more. I have sweet dreams now. Real dreams. Fun dreams. I dream. That's the best thing about falling asleep. I fall deep enough that I can actually dream. I awaken the next morning happy and relaxed. Refreshed from a good night's sleep. 

People don't realize how much your body depends on a good night's sleep. Your body needs to recharge. Relax.