Sunday, July 30, 2017

Levi Loves Grandpa

It started as a simple hand game and has grown into a full-fledged
partnership and maybe a little idol worship.

"I love you, Grandpa."

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Utah Sunset

Sunset pictures from the patio outside our room at the airbnb where we stayed for two nights in Salt Lake City. Sunset over the Great Salt Lake (that clear strip beneath the hills.

Moon over Salt Lake City. 

Thursday, July 27, 2017


On the road from Tahoe City to Salt Lake City across stretches of I80 I had never traveled. I took a few pictures along the way ~ and will continue them tomorrow as we head toward Breckenridge CO.

First stop: The Griddle in Winnemucca, NV for lunch. This wedge was so amazing looking that a man from another table came and asked if he could take a picture. That reminded me to take one too as I rarely photograph food. First of all, I have never seen a head of lettuce this big. The wedge was as big as some heads of lettuce I have seen. Grannie Smith apples, caramelized walnuts, tomatoes, bacon with bleu cheese dressing topped with onion crisps. Worth the picture taking!!

I liked this rock formation.

Rain the forecast.

We arrived at the rain and shortly after this, I had to close my eyes
because I could not see the road which meant Dean couldn't either.
He watched the yellow line and the little light posts and promised to
let me know when he could see again.

And then there was sun. The storm did follow us into Salt Lake City
and hit just as we were going to bed. 

Bonneville salt flats. That's salt out there and it just goes on forever.
Some of it was really wet and mushy from previous storms.

After checking into our wonderful airbnb, we had dinner at a small Greek
restaurant about 6 blocks distant. I did remember to take a picture of out
zucchini crisps. We stayed traditional. Dean had salmon and I had spanakopita.
We shared a tiny piece of extra rich baclava. Yum.
We made it through dinner on a patio and stayed dry. The storm hit after
we were back to our lovely B&B.

Sunrise over Salt Lake City. These are views from our room.

We are having a lovely time. Dean is exploring his genealogy at the History Museum and Library; I am writing, reading, and learning about hosting an airbnb. I'll let you know when that happens. Meanwhile ~ blessings on your journeys wherever they take you. 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Mother and Daughters

I mentioned in my previous blog that my mother was her mother's fifth daughter. This morning, I came across this picture while looking for something else entirely. The resemblance I talked about yesterday is definitely clear in this picture. My mother is standing directly behind her mother.

Front row: Mabel, Mama Dear, Lalah
Back row: Rubye, Polly, Maude

Mabel, the oldest, was born prematurely. The doctor signed a death certificate to save himself another trip to the country. Mama Dear lined a drawer with warm bricks, swaddled her little one and fed her when she cried. At age 21, Mabel had only a death certificate when she needed a birth certificate to get married.  Aunt Mabel lived to be 98.
Maude, the second, was a wonderful farm wife. She and Uncle Bill had room in their home for Mama Dear and Aunt Rubye and always welcomed my family every summer. 
Rubye was the professional woman. She never married and worked in a real estate office during a time when women were just beginning to be in the work force.
Lalah was called "Happy" because she was. She raised 3 children, always had room in her home and at her table for others. Shhh - don't tell, but of all the aunts, she was my favorite. Probably because she fed me grilled cheese sandwiches and homemade apple sauce for lunch.
Polly, my mother, was 8 years younger than Lalah and was loved as the baby she was. I don't think she was spoiled though because she could certainly keep a house and raise a child. She also had the courage to leave the North Carolina family home and venture to Texas to marry some upstart lawyer in the middle of the depression. 
I feel honored to be descended through Polly while at the same time having the blood of these amazing women running through my veins. They loved me, nurtured me, and taught me a lot. There is a lot more inheritance here than the shape of our noses.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Mothers and Daughters

Cousins found a picture of my grandmother as
a young woman. They thought my mother looked a 
lot like her.

My grandmother, Addie Martin Trent.
We called her Mama Dear.

Her fifth daughter and my mother, Polly Trent Shank.

My first daughter, Michelle, who probably carries more of the Martin family genes than I do.
This was my granddaughter Trinity's 6th birthday when she received a doll that Polly, Susan and Michelle had all received on their 6th birthdays. I am holding my mother's picture made at about the same age as her mother's above. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Kitchen Lessons

I have a very simple recipe for rather amazing oatmeal cookies. I have added raisins and chocolate chips (to separate batches). Lovely and yummy. Today, however, I also added coconut. That was too much. The liquid was not enough to allow the extra ingredient to adhere, especially to the batch with raisins, and I have a large batch of delicious crumbles. Without the raisins, they are ok - and as these are cookies I make when I am giving a tea, I will certainly go back to the original recipe then. Adding too many more ingredients just doesn't work.

On the other hand ~ earlier in the summer I had made a small batch of apple sauce which I discovered needed more than one kind of apple. Oh, well, I froze some anyway. It was tasty. Just not my apple sauce. Today I found one last container from last fall in the freezer downstairs. *Light bulb* ~ mix the two. Yummy!! The one from last fall made with several kinds of apples added just what was needed to the summer one. Perfect.

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. In this case, it was all good!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Summer Vegetables

I am not a vegetarian, not by a long shot. And over the years, summer veggies have often called for a meal all of their own. Today was one of those days. 

Nothing is from our garden yet and except for the asparagus (Costco) everything else is from the Farmers' Market. The squash was melt-in-your-mouth sweet, the tomatoes juicy and perfect, the asparagus just right off the grill and the corn - oh, my goodness, the corn. Sweet, tender summer perfection. Yummy.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Random Round-up

Chapter Three:The last pictures and some stories from the McKay family trip to Tahoe.

Little Man is off to explore the world. 

And isn't happy when he is called back to the
safety of the deck.

Precious loves to build with the blocks her Grandpa made.

And to discover stuffed animals on a high shelf.

Little Man loved to join Mama Susan for breakfast. Mama Susan
quickly learned to scramble him his own egg so to alleviate her 
guilt over eating all her own breakfast. 
Any time I sat in this chair, he wanted in my lap. If I was without eggs,
he was down in a flash.

If we can just keep him cleaning the floor as he grows up.

Ahhhh - this is the life.

Fun at the beach. 

We had another visitor one day. About 30 seconds after I took
this picture, Oso burst out of the shop, barking and levitating as he ran. 
I was worried for a minute he was going to catch the bear. He gave up
the chase while still in sight.

Did you ever wonder what dental floss looked like when explored by
a 17 month old? Now you know!

Proud and happy dad and Little Man at the beach.

Precious was there too and everyone was happy.

The McKay family minus one - our lovely grand daughter Kaitlyn
who has just finished her masters in Germany and will be staying
there to work. It was so good to have Carter with us before he is
deployed with the Marines in November. Kyle lives in Tahoe so 
we were glad he took his evening off to have dinner with us and 
spend some family time. It was a wonderful trip for them and a
delightful time for us.

Sunday, July 9, 2017


Chapter Two in last week's journey with grands in Tahoe:

Precious loves it when big brother Kyle plays 
Chutes and Ladders with her.

~ and then sister Carly joins them.

Big brother Carter and Precious have a delightful
conversation. Is he telling her Marine stories?

He's probably faking being asleep but Precious doesn't care.

Carly does all kinds of wonderful things with braids.

An idyllic day at the beach.

Carly teaches Precious to pose for pictures. 

She is also very good with Little Man who is happy with 
Carly but does not want to smile for pictures.

As much fun as being with the younger sibs is,
sometimes it is nice to be older together with
dad and just hang out.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Oso Has Company

I have learned over the years that when you are visiting with younger grands, you do may take as many pictures as you like but posting them in real time is out. So here you have some chapters in our last week when Precious and Little Man visited Tahoe.

Chapter One: Captivated by Oso
Oso was the immediate attraction as soon as they arrived. 

Little Man was fascinated even though he looks blasé' in this picture.

Oso made a great chair - just the right size.

Our boy was very patient. 

Conversations were often held at Oso's level.

It takes a while to learn to be gentle with an animal. 
Oso was a good trainer being both patient and gentle himself.

As the week went on, Oso began to ask for some relief.

Little Man loved his grandpa too and enjoyed going places with him although Oso wasn't so sure he liked the idea. He made it through the week though and was the wonderful dog we have always known him to be.