Saturday, January 17, 2009

Hello from Sunny Oklahoma!

What an incredible day. My Dad treated me to a Dad & Daughter Day in downtown Oklahoma City. After a visit to the Murrah Building Memorial (I'll share that in a later posting), we visited the Oklahoma City Museum of Art and saw the Dale Chihuly ( Exhibit. It is a permanent installation for the Museum. The photos above are of the installation in the lobby of the Museum. It stands 55' tall and weighs over 3 tons. The light was amazing (it was a beautiful, clear blue-skied day) and the detail of the piece is overwhelming.

We spent some time visiting the American Impressionists traveling exhibit and then had desert and coffee in the Museum Cafe (don't tell my Mom - she has my Dad on a diet).

We then took a detour to drive through Brick Town (fantastic place to stay, eat, play & enjoy art). This is a new bronze installation commemorating the Centennial of Oklahoma's Statehood (

Another amazing experience. The bronze pieces are larger than life and incorporate both the natural grassland and canal running through the park in Brick Town. Well worth a visit! Plus, for your fishing and outdoor fans, it is steps from the parking lot of a very large Bass Pro Store (grin).

It was fantastic to finally do some sightseeing. I've been here since Christmas and it has taken much t.l..c, many hours of sunlight, home cooking and lots (LOTS) of sleep to finally feel like getting out. We also found a fantastic therapist for me (close to where my parents live). When I first got here, I could barely make it to the grocery store before needing to go home. I've even spent several days in my pajamas, feeling so bad that I couldn't get dressed - ugh!

There is a downside to being here, they may need to widen the border for me to get back home. My Mom is such a fabulous cook. Lunch today was homemade meat loaf, green beans, Jacque Pipan's potatoes (his Grandmother's recipe), home canned sweet pickle relish and I can't remember what else. Yesterday it was pork loin roast in a mushroom gravy, mashed potatoes, salad, fried okra and cranberry/orange/walnut relish.

Tomorrow is home made vegetable soup with cornbread (made from scratch and cooked in a cast-iron skillet). Yikes! My waistline is in trouble. For my own survival, I've been having a very tiny breakfast (like an apple or two Graham crackers), eating a big lunch and a small dinner (tonight I had a sandwich). Hopefully sticking to that plan will keep me from being mistaken for an whale on the Ferry.

Love to you all! Judy

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Home again, home again....

We finally got back to beautiful British Columbia on Good Friday. After a couple of weeks of frantic work, the tax documentation got delivered to the CGA yesterday! Yay! Now we can focus on everything else.

I took these at Servilleta Wildlife Preserve in New Mexico. Hope you enjoy.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Out of order...

These photos aren't in chronological order with our trip but they are too amazing to wait to share. I am overwhelmed by the beauty of our wold. I really like the clouds in the last shot - scalloped edges by God.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

How cute is she? My grand-niece makes her Debute!

A few photos from Christmas at my parents in Oklahoma. I got to meet and spend some time with my grand-niece, Katrina. She's 7 months old and she just learned to crawl up steps. We think that she will be walking in a couple of months since she is already pulling up. It feels great to have a little one calling me "Aunt Sissy". This is Katrina with her mom and dad. Her mom is my niece, Kira.

The other two photos are Katrina with her great-grandparents; my mom and dad.

How cute is she? My grand-niece makes her Debute!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Fine Art in Goodland, Kansas

We were on our way to Denver (many of you know that Mark had surgery while we were on this trip).

We stopped in a small town called Goodland, Kansas. This little town was in the middle of nowhere but is growing. They had a brand new Holiday Inn Express (open less than 6 months). Amazing changes in the brand; talk about a "wow factor". The lobby of this hotel had a fireplace with wide screen plasma TV above it; the rooms had high-end Egyptian sheets (triple sheeting!), wide screen HD televisions, pillow top mattresses and more. Plus, the room was less than $100 per night! We liked the hotel so much that we stayed a second night.

Since we were there a second night, we decided to do some exploring. We found something very cool.

A replica of the Van Gough painting Sunflowers, it stands on an 80' tall easel.
The painting itself is 24' x 32'. Well worth a stop if you are in the area.

Photos from Petrified Forest

Hope you liked the photos of the sky, the clouds were fantastic the day we we were at the Petrified National Forest. An overcast day makes it much easier to shot photos since the sun doesn't wash out the colors. As you can see from these photos, the skies change from sunny with some clouds to overcast and misty. It is easier to get better color representation when the skies are overcast.

The first photo is of the landscape in the early part of the park. Second photo is the desert and some of the petrified logs. Third photo is a close-up of the petrification (is that a word?). I think the colors are amazing. Can't believe that a piece of wood changed into this colorful stone. I loved the colors so much that Mark bought me a bracelet made from small, polished pieces of petrified wood (all legally collected by the 1st Nations' People in an area outside of the National Park).

Love to you all. Judy and Mark

Out of the Wilderness, at least temporarily

We've been having so much fun that I am behind posting. After the Grand Canyon, we made a stop at the Petrified Forest. It is an amazing, colorful place. The first time that we visited (I think we've been there 7 or 8 times since we've been married), I was overwhelmed by the complexity of the petrified wood and surprised to think that there had once been an expansive forest in what is now the middle of the high desert.

Mark and I spread some of Wisdom's ashes at a rock formation that looks like a reclining dog (head, shoulders, front legs & paws).

I'm going to make a couple of posts today to try and at least get December finished so I'll keep this short. I hope that the photos speak for themselves.

Monday, December 31, 2007

After we enjoyed our visit to Zion National Park, we headed to the Grand Canyon's south rim.

Our plan was to stay at Lake Powell but as we got closer and closer to the Lake we quickly had to change plans. The closer we got to Powell, the more aware we became of how much the area has changed since our last visit. What was once a lightly populated small town has boomed due to the rapid rise of prices in the Las Vegas and Phoenix areas and the continuing retirement of the Baby Boomers.

In addition to a pox of franchise-type development and sub-division fever, the air quality has deteriorated due to the emissions from the power plant, the increase in population and, what appeared to us, as a total disregard for maintaining the pristine high desert surrounding the Lake. In sort, the entire valley was filled with lung burning, air choking smog.

Our change of plans required pushing through to Cameron, AZ at the junction of 89 and 64. Once in Cameron we faced the issue of finding a "pet friendly" hotel; what we found instead was 1) overpriced, 2) so gross you wanted to sleep in your jeans, 3) so close to the highway intersection that you could hear the roar all night long, 4) had slabs instead of beds, 5) rooms coated in so much Febreeze that the wall paper had started to run. Mark and I couldn't bring ourselves to pay "that much money" for such a bad room. After an unsuccessful search, we elected to push on to the South Rim of the Canyon.

Here is where the excitement started. We made the turnoff onto the Grand Canyon highway around dusk. In the last hour of our drive, we began going through patches of thick fog; as we started up a hill we came very, very (VERY, VERY) close to hitting a full size bull Roosevelt Elk.

This beast was absolutely gorgeous and in his full winter glory, standing 6+ feet tall, weighing over 1000 pounds and having a 5-6 foot antler spread. The difficulty came in because of where he was the middle of the road, in the dark, in the fog, on a 2 -lane partially ice covered highway. We weren't speeding and Mark avoided hitting him, plus avoided jack-knifing the travel trailer (all 33 feet of it). The only negative outcomes were that Mark strained his wrist and we both had some heart palpitations from the close call. We were very lucky that there wasn't anyone coming toward us in the other lane, that we weren't speeding and that Mark was driving since my reflexes are much slower.

The next morning, I had a short conversation with an Arizona Highway Patrol Officer while in the line for breakfast. I told him what happened and he followed my story by asking a very interesting question, specifically, "Did you pull over?" I replied that we didn't and he then told me that it was a good thing since he has responded to several calls where someone had a near-miss with an elk, pulled over and then the elk attacked their vehicle. He said that they are very territorial during breeding season and will attack parked cars to defend their territory. Glad we missed out on that one.

The Canyon was amazingly beautiful and remains as gorgeous as it was on my first visit. Hope you enjoy the photos!