Big Truck & Goats

Moving Day. The truck was SO BIG it wouldn't all fit in the frame.

My very favorite thing about the new commute is seeing these guys in morning and in the afternoon:
It used to be that I would see cows or sheep or prison lights in the distance, and I tried to be cheerful about the landscape that was flying by.

But now these these GOATS at the local dairy make me so dang happy coming and going. It's inexplicable and unexpected, but there you have it. It's not for us to question the delights that show up on our journey. Just enjoy the journey.

And if you get to see goats twice a day...well, that's a bonus you can only hope for.


Old-Fashioned Cutting & Pasting

Cutting with scissors was a skill I learned early and have loved ever since. Back in the day we did not have glue sticks or adhesive rollers, we had paste.

Lumpy, minty, white paste.

There was a kid in my first grade glass who loved to eat the paste.

I did not eat paste. But I do have strong sense memories of the smell and texture and joy of cutting and pasting pieces of paper and making art. 

When I was five or six my Dad helped me cut up colored construction paper and reassemble the cut up squares into a big mosaic of a butterfly. I don't have the butterfly to show you, but I do have some collages from a gluebook I was playing in not too long ago:


Annnndddd...We're Back

OK. If you are peeking early, it didn't take five to seven days to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere. Everything moves so fast these days.


Life lesson learned from this move: be careful what you wish for.

Somewhere in a box in the garage I have a photo from 1986 of three-year-old Michael sitting on the couch in the living room of our apartment in Cedar City. So cute. Head of curls. Striped shirt. Orange vinyl couch.

Yeah. Orange. Vinyl. Pleather. I think it was what we used to call "naugahyde" (Google it, just for kicks).

Our very first couch. We were married almost five years and acquired two kids before before we acquired a couch. It was a sore spot in our early married life that I moaned and whined about often. It was my cross to bear -- we were so poor we didn't even have a couch -- but I wasn't suffering in silence. One time when I was apologizing/complaining that we had no decent spot for guests to sit down, my father-in-law tried to cheer me up with the thought that "it builds character."  I immediately replied that I was pretty sure my character was in good shape (notwithstanding my inability to bear deprivation cheerfully), but I certainly could put a couch to good use. 

In hindsight, perhaps the invisible couch symbolized other kinds of foundational things missing in our marriage. But now we are getting way off topic.


After a while the in-laws got so tired of my moaning that they offered to deliver a bargain they had found. Someone was refurbishing a houseboat on Lake Mead so we lucked into a slightly used orange vinyl sofa-bed for the low, low price of $50. It was hideous. But waterproof!

Fast forward 25 years. Couches have come and couches have gone. I have known and loved a wide variety since that first orange vinyl bargain.

Some more than others. Most recently a comfy, cushy, rust-colored leather sofa. Genuine leather. No nauga's had to die for this one. 

And ironically, or not, you decide, it looks like a sacrifice may have to be made because right now there are no less than FIVE couches in my new living room, on every wall and back-to-back in the middle of the room. Looks like a college dorm lobby. Except not an inch of space for foos-ball or pool table. The rust-colored monster has been too big for too long but I'm having a hard time letting go. Truly an embarrassment of riches.

God and I are gonna have some great laughs together if we ever meet up.

Be careful what you wish for, kids. Life delivers. Maybe not when you need it most. That's the tricky part. But still, life delivers.



I am warning you in advance of temporary blog-silence. Mr. Last and I are in the midst of relocating and it will take a day or two to get our connections up and running at the new house. I know I can use my PhartSmone to post, or I can do it from another computer, or I could have scheduled stuff to post without me if I had planned ahead.

Instead I leave you with the immortal words of Vada Saltenfuss: "Go away. And don't come back for five to seven days."


Three Fifteen Aught-Six

Way back when this millenium was still new and fresh these two kids tied the knot in fine style:
Look at that date stamp! This perfect portrait was snapped at Five Fifteen on Three Fifteen. That's amazing. But what does it mean? I don't have a clue. Let's find a fortune teller to figure it out...

Before this year is done their tribe will have increased to match their years of wedded bliss: they will be a Fambly of Five.
Anniversary to my beloved daughter
and her handsome husband.

This looks like True Love 4Ever to me.

Brings to mind the immortal love song of Kip to Lafawnduh:
 "Sure the world wide web is great, but you, you make me salivate... I love technology, but not as much as you, you see... But I STILL love technology... Always and forever...."

Now go on, you two. Get on that white stallion of love
and ride off into the sunset.


First Things First

Miss Bee recently celebrated the First Anniversary of Her Birth. There were so many details she had to keep up with: installing batteries in new toys, grilling burgers. There were cupcakes and kittens and bubbles and balloons and party dresses and kisses. It was fabulous!


DON'T mention the Red Elephant

While I was out shopping for travel-size shampoo, I popped into the art store and found a little something to cheer my inner child:
It's a great little book of thirty postcards with doodles and writing prompts by Taro Gomi. I also grabbed a little Dover book of animal stencils for a buck fifty. My inner child was so inspired she forgot all about the shampoo crisis and happily went to work:
Happy Mail. Coming Soon! To a Mailbox Near You.


Shampoo Rationing

So. It finally happened. This morning I blurted, "I wish we were already moved."

A lovely relocation opportunity came to our way months ago and the anticipation grew and heightened and became reality. A frenzy of sorting and discarding and packing ensued. We spruced up the interior and the exterior and the yards. We explored a new town and secured a new living space. O, the excitement!

We have remained largely in the excitement car of this emotional roller coaster with our hands high above our heads, but this morning I want off the ride. And what, pray tell, turned the tide?

I used the last drop of shampoo this morning.

Quit mocking me! Stop laughing!

Three MONTHS ago we would have ordinarily purchased a replacement bottle of shampoo and put it in the cupboard against the day when the half-empty shampoo bottle was entirely empty.
But in the name of using up what we have and not obtaining more because we don't want to have to pack and move anything that is not essential, we assessed and determined no replacement shampoo was necessary. Our needs for shampoo are rather modest anyway, and we could make this half-bottle stretch.

Three WEEKS ago we began carefully rationing the last quarter of an inch of shampoo calculated to carry us right up to Moving Day when we could gleefully toss the empty bottle and be on our merry way with bouncing, shining tresses. I even did the trick where you add a bit of water to the bottle and swirl it around to thin the shampoo ever so slightly.

Earlier this week I could tell we were perilously close to empty, but we were also perilously close to being in our new home in our new town where we could obtain fresh supplies at our new grocery store. So I proceeded with due caution.

Gentle reader: I sit before you now with dripping hair and heavy heart facing a week in which I must be well-groomed and professionally-attired and cheerfully helpful. I CANNOT shampoo my hair with bar soap or dish soap. I suppose I could go next door and explain my plight to Gloria and beg a tablespoon to get me through the week. But instead I will drag myself, utterly defeated, around the corner to Tar-Jey and buy the *&%$ bottle of shampoo I should have bought three months ago.

I have years of experience and worldly wisdom. I have counseled others to go gently and be prepared for the inevitable moment in every move when the joy entirely dissipates and you are left with little more than dogged determination to see the thing through.

I just did not expect the last drop of shampoo to be the final insult for me. And no one can predict what the final insult will be for you. Just let it come and do what must be done.

But for heaven's sake, and in the interest of good hygiene and good mental health, be sure your shampoo supply is adequate.


It's Clouds' Illusions I Recall...

Gentle Reader:

I was feeling derelict in my duties here until I compared with last year and discovered I'm keeping up just fine.

And I am reading books at a good pace.

Yes. Some of the books have as many pictures as words, but pictures require my careful attention to the same degree as words. Maybe moreso as I am working on expanding my visual vocabulary. Are you working on expanding YOUR visual vocabulary? Well, then.

Mr. Last and I enjoyed our first 2011 picnic in the park this afternoon. And I did not take pictures of our food even though the spread included fresh strawberries and a beautiful box of Girl Scout cookies along with our BBQ chicken and beans and green salad.

You're welcome.

I took pictures of clouds instead:

I also took pictures of pictures:

These are the precious photos I keep with me at all times. They are my riches. The plastic I have in my wallet to use for commercial transactions, or the little bit of currency or coins you might find there, are of considerably less value than the riches represented in these photos.

And it gives me great pleasure to keep them hidden in this skinny- turquoise-faux-croc leather wallet that I can pop open any time I want to be reminded how very rich I am:

I know right? How cool is that there are skinny-turquoise-faux-crocodiles somewhere in the world?