Category Archives: Mondays are for Memories

Mondays are for Memories – April, 2010

This post, from April 27, 2010, is from our “Rock Tour” of the Grand Circle (Grand Canyon, Arches, Bryce, Zion, etc.). We were just talking about our Arizona/Utah travels with some friends who are hoping to visit the area this summer with their grandson and I was reminded of the beautiful time we had there. It is a little picture heavy, so be prepared to do some scrolling!

We set out with just the truck to explore the Navajo National Monument in NW Arizona. This monument preserves three intact cliff dwellings – although we only hiked out to one. And really, we didn’t actually hike to the dwellings. We hiked to the view of the dwellings. Apparently they only have guided tours to the actual ruins on the weekends, and when we saw where they were, we realized that we probably wouldn’t have taken that hike anyway. (Again, it’s the bad knees going down and the asthma (and general stamina) coming back up. We just know our limits.) But the 1 mile hike to the overlook was very lovely, and the view of the dwellings excellent (even though they looked like doll houses!)
Navajo Monument-1
See that alcove in the rocks? Where all the shade is?
Navajo Monument-2
This little community was built into that alcove they estimate about 800 years ago. Amazing! And what’s more amazing, they estimate that it was only lived in for about a generation. Like 30-40 years. My goodness, what a lot of work for such a short time. And I wonder why they moved on?
Navajo Monument-3
This is a view of the entire valley from the pathway to the viewing point. At least they had a room with a view!

After we returned to fetch Lizzie we set out “for real”, heading north into Utah. But first, we stopped at the magnificient Monument Valley. This isn’t a National Park, but a Navajo Tribal Park – a first for us. It was actually very similar to a National Park – visitor center, scenic road, gift shop, and tours, but it was different in that there are Native Americans that actually live within the park, and at many of the pull-outs there were vendors selling Navajo jewelry and art.
I’m so glad we did this park – it was spectacular!
Even the drive there was beautiful –
But once inside the park – my, oh, my…
Along with the jewelry/art vendors there were also a couple of spots where you could hire a guide to see the monuments on horseback. Or, you could just have your picture taken on a horse.
More scenery….
And a final panorama –
ValleyofMonument Pano
(Sorry if that seemed like a lot of pictures – but if you had seen how many I actually took, you’d be proud of me for whittling them down to these!)

The rest of the day was spent on the road. But what a beautiful road that was!
Tuesday Road-2
Tuesday Road-3
(catch the 6% grade sign? Keep your eye on those signs!)
Tuesday Road-4
Tuesday Road-5
Oh, yeah, at the bottom of that last 10% hill – was this curve –
Tuesday Road-6
But we made it – down those hills, and back up some others!
Tuesday Road-11
But ah, the beauty along the way!
Tuesday Road-7
That little formation was just outside the town of Mexican Hat. Get it? Mexican Hat!
Tuesday Road-8
And those mountains are actually called the Navajo Blanket Formation. How appropriate!
Tuesday Road-12
The good new here is that we arrived at a lovely campground in Blanding, Utah before we came to those snow capped mountains!

After we got settled in, and had a nice home-cooked dinner (no, really, I cooked!), we were treated to this wonderful end-of-day blessing.
Utah Sunset
God is so good to us!

Mondays are for Memories – Tulips!

After a pretty rough winter I think we’re all longing for spring! So in honor of that longing, here is a post from early May, 2009, when we visited the Skagit Tulip Festival in Skagit, Washington. It was spectacular!

By the time I returned from Columbus (and that great week with the kids), the tulips had come out in full force over at the Skagit Tulip Festival. I couldn’t resist all of the beautiful color, and I was very busy clicking away. Although the main attractions are the fields and fields of tulips, we really enjoyed a little “sampler” corner that was full of individual rows of beautiful blooms.

Tulips - SkagitTulips - SkagitTulips - SkagitIMG_7142Tulips - SkagitIMG_7141 
But those fields full of blooms were pretty impressive too!
Renegade Yellow
(I loved that little renegade yellow tulip!)
Tulips to mountains
Skagit Tulips

But our day wasn’t only about tulips! We also went to the cute little town of LaConner where we visited the LaConner Quilt and Textile Museum (well, actually I visited the museum and Gary took a nap!). The exhibits were impressive – the first floor full of quilts and quilt tops by a traditional quilter that not only quilted by hand, but also pieced by hand. Such tiny stitches!
The second floor was dedicated to work by textile artist Sheila Groman. One of her specialties is the crazy quilt – fantastic detail!
Crazy quilt Sheila Groman
And up on the third floor were amazing works of textile art by Karin Franzen. No pictures allowed up there on the third floor, but the art was stunning. Ms. Franzen lives in Fairbanks, AK – do you think she’ll mind if I stop by while I’m in town?

Speaking of Alaska (we were, weren’t we?) – our scheduled departure date is Monday May 11th. Our caravaning buddies have all arrived here at Warm Beach and this week, along with our Sower work, we’ll be doing all of the last minute chores in preparation for our trek north. Here’s our team – I’m sure you’ll be hearing (and seeing) alot about them in the weeks and months to come!
(We took them back to the tulips today before it started to rain. Already fields are beginning to be de-capitated of the beautiful blooms!)

Have a blessed Lord’s day – and if you’d like to see more of God’s tulip creations – the entire set is here!

Mondays are for Memories – March 2007

Still pretty gray and drizzly here in East Texas – so it seemed only right that I took a peek back to March of 2007 and a beautiful day that included a couple of waves and lots of blue skies!
A Day in the Sun – March 26, 2007


I figured it was about time we actually saw some of the beautiful area that is all around us and get these toes into the Gulf of Mexico , so armed with the Reader’s Digest The Most Scenic Drives in America , bookmarked to Drive 116 (Gulf Coast Drive) we started out early Saturday and headed toward Tallahassee. Our first destination was the Apalachee Savannahs Scenic Byway. It was a beautiful drive toward the coast through “longleaf pine flats, cypress bogs and grassy savannahs”. But before we had traveled too far we took a little side trip to the “The Garden of Eden Walk – Apalachiola Bluff and Ravine Preserve“. It seemed like a do-able hike (3 miles round trip), and after all, this is Florida right? How hard could this be? So off we set, me in my slip-on sandals and Gary in his docksides.
It started out nice and flat….
Then the terrain started to change (you know you’re in trouble when the trail guide says -“Do you notice the change in temperature?”)

and then the ups and downs started…..(get it – ravine and bluff) IMG_7225

We did finally make it to the top – and the view was very fine indeed –IMG_7230_edited
…the only problem was the 1.5 mile hike back to the car! It really was nice hike – though a bench or two along the way would have been nice for us out of shape (and badly shod) adventurers. A good start to the day, though.
Back to the Scenic Byway :-), until we came to Fort Gadsden Historic Site. A small but interesting site of Florida history (of which I know very little) and a nice little side trip.

OK – enough of the pines and live oaks with beautiful spanish moss. On to the BEACH! There were several choices, but we opted for St. Georges Island State Park – and it was a very good choice.

Need I say more.

After our beach fix we headed to Panama City where we joined friends for dinner and then headed back home to Bonifay. It was a full day – and a very very good one.
You can see the rest of the day’s photos here, if you’d like! Lots of Flora, but no Fauna – and lots of Blue Sky!

Mondays are for Memories – February 2011

In honor of it not getting out of the 30’s today (along with some cold drizzly rain) here in Livingston, TX and the pretty horrible weather happening across most of the country, here are some warm Florida memories from 4 years ago!

This Month’s Florida – February 21, 2011
This was the Florida we were in last month –
Camera walk-15
This is the Florida we are in this month –
FBE Sights-10
The lean palm trees have been replaced by stately Live Oaks draped with Spanish Moss.
FBE Tree
We don’t see so many vibrant flowers,
but that doesn’t mean there isn’t lots of interesting flora if you look hard enough!
FBE Sights-6
FBE Sights-7
The Great White Heron and pelican
bay side
have been replaced with Sandhill Cranes.
FBE Sights-4
FBE Sights-5
We’re not surprised by bright green iguanas in the bushes,
but rather we’re always on the lookout for those funky armadillos!
(For a critter that doesn’t actually move all that fast, I was having a terrible time getting a good picture of him. I’ll blame the bad lighting, OK?)
They spend a lot of time with their noses in the dirt and leaves looking for food, so it’s not a surprise that when he finally got close enough for a flash picture, I managed to get it with an inappropriately placed leaf!

So that’s a snapshot of flora and fauna here in Central Florida. And while it’s quite a different Florida than what we enjoyed last month, we’re finding great beauty in this area also.
See ya later!

Mondays are for Memories – Real Life, January 7, 2009

January 7, 2009 – Real Life
Well, we’re back on the road! Our precious time with the kids and grandkids is sadly behind us. Our time together was wonderful – lots of laughter, game playing, great food, and time to re-introduce ourselves to those granddaughters. They are all growing so very fast! It’s hard to believe that Ellie will be 6 in less than a month, Hayley is 4 and Maddie is one. They’ll be in college before we know it!
I have found that one of the best parts of the family photo taking is the “OK – everyone be goofy” shot –
Crazy Conrads 2009
And this one was no exception!
I love my family!
(When I have a faster internet connection, and a little more time to process the scads of pictures that were taken over the last week (both by me and any other random person who was checking out my camera!) I’ll try to get some additional pictures posted.)

After an uneventful (but full of (now disappointed) Ohio State fans heading to the Fiesta Bowl) flight from Columbus to Phoenix and a good night’s sleep in our own bed (yes, it was hard to say good-bye to the kids, but it was good to be home!), we set out for Yuma, AZ. Did you know that Yuma is the winter lettuce capitol of the world? It’s also got lots of citrus, broccoli, asparagus, cotton, peanuts and dates. But what it really has a lot of is RV parks to accommodate the over 95,000 winter residents who come here for the sunshine and warm temperatures. Today was sunny and 70 so I can certainly see why they come! We’re chillin’ out at one of the RV parks for a couple of days before we head to our January project. We’re planning a quick trip into Mexico tomorrow morning and then will be hitting the Arizona Marketplace – one of the largest flea markets in the state. But on Friday we will be pulling out of Arizona and moving to CALIFORNIA!!! Our January project is at Palomar Christian Conference Center on (you guessed it) Palomar Mountain (home of the Palomar Observatory). While it’s not too far from San Diego, it’s about 5000ft. elevation, so we’re not counting on many 70 degree days there. In fact, since they got 16 inches of snow a couple of weeks ago, it could give a whole new meaning to the phrase “winter project”. Regardless of the weather, we’re excited to be finally entering California and are looking forward to getting back to work.

Just think – California. And it only took us 4 1/2 years to get there!
I love this life! ūüôā