Tuesday, August 14, 2012
I can totally sympathize with parents I've communicated with recently who don't see their kids very often and had brief visits that were too short. I have two sons living out of state that I don't get to see them or their families often. But my oldest daughter, my son-in-law, and their 3 kids plus my SIL's stepson have been living here with me for 11 months. Every month they said they were going to leave and every month it didn't happen. It was originally supposed to be for 2 to 3 weeks, last September. They have a LOT of problems and issues and caused me major stress during that time. THe only reason they got by with that long was because I didn't want to kick my grandkids out and wanted them to have someplace they felt safe and had their needs met. But yesterday they finally finished packing their car (they've been doing it since last Saturday) and drove off to Las Cruces, 2 hours away. They will stay wil SIL's brother who is going to try to help them. I really think they will do better there. Better opportunities, and not the people from their past here who drag them down, especially son-in-law. The brother is a very nice guy, and about the only one of the 4 brothers that has his act together. He'll get them back in church, which helped them before. He also will push them more than I'm able to do to get jobs and get their own place again. My daughter has been in deep depression the whole time they were here, and seemed paralyzed and unable to make changes she needed to make. I think she was also totally burned out because when they had their own place in Las Cruces last summer, and she was working, she was also taking care of their kids, and the 18 year old who left with them yesterday, and and older set of twins that SIL had from a previous relationship who were living with them. Also one of the twins had his girlfriend and their 2 kids, who at that time were 1 year old and 2 year old. None of this group helped my daughter. The twins and their dad had a falling out several months ago and are not talking to him right now, so hopefully if they get their own place it will be them and maybe the 18 year old. He really is a pretty good kid though but the older ones were not.
Okay, so enough of the drama in my family. My thoughts and prayers are with them and I truly hope they get back on their feet. But in the meantime I am soooo happy they left! I am doing a happy dance all over the place and my house is so much quieter! It's me, my 26 year old son who is very quiet, stays to himself, works, gives me money every payday, and is no problem at all. And my younger daughter and 2 of her kids. Younger daughter has a number of health problems and is trying to get disability. Sometimes she stresses me out but not near as much as the others. We are all ecstatic today!
Friday, August 10, 2012
On Sunday of my vacation/camping trip, Lyndalovesto hike, her husband Tom, and I went to explore the ghost town of Mogollon, which was an old mining town. We were in Arizona and the town is across the New Mexico border, about an hour or an hour and a half away. It was a beautiful drive through mountains to get to it. When Lynda came to visit me the end of May, it was one place we had thought about visiting when planning but by the time she came there was a huge forest fire raging up in the mountains past it and the town was evacuated at that time. The fire ended up burning I think it was 400,000 acres. So many fires this year I can't remember exactly which one it was, but it did a lot of damage. At one point there was concern that the town would burn but luckily and with the expertise of the firefighters the town wasn't touched by the fire. It did hurt the small town in other ways, such as lost revenue from tourists during the time the town was closed down. That was really a hardship for them because it is such a small place and so far away from other resources. But so glad this piece of history was saved.
The town is about 9 miles off the main road, and the last 3 miles or so are a very winding, narrow road with sharp drop offs down into the canyon and the town. But it is worth the trip.
There is just one street through the town. At the end of the town is a forest road that goes up into the mountains in the Gila National Forest and some beautiful areas there. Currently that road is still closed though because of the damage of the fire and the risk of flash flooding.
This old general store now has rooms to rent to spend the night.
As you walk down the street you see that a creek runs along the road. The houses have little bridges into their driveways. There are still a few people that live there all the time. Places like the museum are only open Fri - Sunday.
At the time we were there the sky was very overcast, and we heard some thunder. Just as we left it started raining. But while we were there we were told by one of the little businesses that they were under a flood flash warning, and if we heard a loud siren to first look east, toward the mountains, for water, and then get in our car and drive west as fast as possible. The drive west is going back out the way we came in and climbs to a higher elevation pretty quickly. Luckily the siren didn't go off while we were there though.
This is a picture of the old theater. There is an old Billy the Kid poster hanging by the door.
As you can see the mountains are high all around
There are a lot of old buildings that aren't used anymore
But there are also homes that are lived in
And a few little businesses
And a little restaurant called the Purple Onion
In addition to the main little cafe it had another building, open on one side next to it, with tables.
Here is an old closed up entrance to the mine
But in the museum was a very short little section that actually went a few feet into the mine from a door inside the museum
In the 1970's the gentleman at the museum said that a movie was filmed there. I believe he said it was called "My Name is Nobody". I think I've heard of it a long long time ago. It was a major movie. He said this little building was never used as a general store but was simply a prop for the movie.
We had a great time there. On the way back to our camp we went exploring down a side forest road and enjoyed the day.
Thursday, August 09, 2012
I'm back from vacation but haven't had time to post more about my camping trip. I posted pics in my last blog of the campground area. On Friday we just lounged around and had an easy day. We were all tired from things we did in the days before we met up for camping. In the afternoon it rained for a while and I went to my tent to relax and read and Lyndaloves2hike and her husband were in there. Then in the evening, because it was still raining, we drove the 3 miles or so into the little town of Alpine and ate a great catfish dinner at a little cafe there. Funny thing was that as soon as we got to the cafe it stopped raining and we could have cooked. But it was fine anyway.
On Saturday, after lounging around over coffee and chatting and other things, we went for a hike on a trail right outside the campground.
It was actually a back road. You can't really tell as much but it did have some uphill to it. At 8,000 feet the elevation and thinner air is a little more challenging for both me and Lynda. She lives in souther CA where she's almost at sea level, but has been some places recently with higher elevations to try to acclimate a little. I live at a little below 6,000 feet and 2,000 feet can make a difference.
If you look at this rock just right, it looks like a face turned slightly. I see an eye, a nose profile, and a little of a mouth in it.
A pretty blue feather on the ground that I liked but left it there.
Lots of pretty flowers
Lynda, her husband Tom, Princess (the white fluffy dog), and Moani
An interesting structure that we weren't totally positive what it is but may be a hunter's blind to wait and watch for elk during hunting season.
We hiked for an hour, then we went to explore in the vehicle other areas around us. We drove over to Big Lake, which is another lake about 26 miles from Alpine through a forest road. Luna Lake, where we were, is a quieter area and mostly fishing. Big Lake is a little bigger and a very active area for fishing, boating, etc. It has several campgrounds around it and it was much more busy. I liked so much better where we were camping because it is much quieter. I didn't get pictures of Big Lake this time because it was raining when we were there and didn't really get out. We did have lunch stuff packed and we ate in the vehicle, and then we continued with our exploring. We took a different road out of the lake area and went on up to the Pinetop/Lakeside area and into ShowLow. My daughter lived there for a little while about 12 years ago and I had been there a number of times. BUt the whole area is just so beautiful with little lakes and lots of trees and very green.
Then we headed back to our campsite after a day of exploring that area. We ate and chatted a little then went to bed.
On Sunday we went a different direction from camp and headed down to the Mogollon ghost town back over the NM border. I'll post pics of that later.
Sunday, August 05, 2012
I've been out camping with my friend Lyndaloves2hike and her wonderful husband Tom (that I just met this weekend) has been so enjoyable. We're just outside of Alpine, AZ at Luna Lake in the White Mountains. The elevation is about 8,000 feet. It's been nice and cool and we have had rain but even when it's rained we've enjoyed it and just relaxed and talked and enjoyed being out here in nature a lot. We've done a little hiking, which I'll post pics of in another blog later. We met up at this campground about 4:30 pm Thursday evening, coming from opposite diretions. We arrived within about 5 minutes or so of each other. The first evening was spent getting everything set up. But Friday morning Lynda and I hiked around the good-sized campround which took us lose to an hour to explore. Lynda and I later went exploring down a mountain road while Tom wanted to relax, read a book, and just generally recharge. Then we relaxed most of the rest of the day and in the afternoon it rained for several hours and I went to my tent and relaxed in there while they were in their tent. My back was bothering me a lot at the time and I wanted to stretch out and they had a very busy 3 days before getting here and everybody just needed some time to relax and recharge. Then because it was still raining we drove the 3 miles into Alpine to a little restaurant and had a nice fish dinner. Of course, the rain stopped as soon as we got there. We had lots of stuff to cook but because we thought the rain was going to keep on we ate out. By the time we got through with that and got back to camp it was getting dark and we all decided we were tired and went to bed. I'll talk about Saturday in another blog.
Here are some pics from our hike around the campground area.
Here's my wonderful 6-person tent that I have all to myself that Lynda is giving me as she is oversupplied with tents and knows I want to start camping more and also take my grandkids with me. I have been so comfortable in it!
There are lots of trees and the spaces are not too close together. We had 2 spaces, across the road from each other, which was very nice. When we got here on Thursday there were very few campers but by Saturday there were many more spaces filled but no problems with really noisy campers and it's been very peaceful.
There are lots of wildfowers
As we were hiking one way with Princess, one of their little dogs, Tom was coming from the other direction where he was out for a run with Moani, their other little dog.
Just such a beautiful areal!
The lake down below
I did walk down to the lake early yesterday morning and along it for a while about 5:30 in the morning when the sun was rising and there was a mist coming up from the lake but I hadn't intended to really go down there and didn't take my camera with me, which I regretted. But maybe tomorrow morning before I leave I'll get an early walk in and get some pictures.
Yesterday we went on a nice hike and did some other things, which I'll post pics and details of in another blog.
Hope everyone is having a great weekend!
Thursday, August 02, 2012
Actually my time of from work started yesterday. Had a lot of little odds and ends to do to get ready to go camping today, which is my real vacation. My 2 daughters and their families were gone for the day up into the mountains here at the Cliff Dwellings. It's about 2 hours from here. So it was just me and my 26 year old son, who was off work yesterday but he's very quiet. So the house was so peaceful and I enjoyed it so very much! They were gone from about 9 until about 6:30. It was so different than when they leave for a little bit because I knew they wouldn't be home for a while so I could really enjoy it. Haven't had a day like this in a while. Ran some errands, went shopping for a few things, did all my laundry (it's always hard to get the washing machine with both daughters, one son in law, and 5 kids besides me and my son). Played computer game for a while. Just enjoyed it.
So this morning I have some last minute packing to do and a quick trip to Walmart and fill the car with gas. I'm trying to time it somewhat so I get to the campground at Alpine, AZ about the same time as Lyndaloves2hike and her husband do, and check in time isn't until 2 pm. I'm on New Mexico time, which in the summer is an hour ahead of Arizona since they don't go on daylight savings time, so I have to adjust for that hour too. So I've still got a little time.
I can log my activity and food from my Droid with the SP application, but may not get on the website until probably Tuesday. Not sure what time I'll be back Monday and I'll have to unpack and put stuff away and I know by then I'll be tired. So if I don't get a chance to get online I'll be thinking of you!
My computer goes with me because we're attached and I can still upload pictures from my camera, play games, share pics with Lynda. and other odds and ends if I want to. If I leave it here my grandkids will probably get on it, which they aren't supposed to do. They aren't always kind to computers and my 12 year old gs has downloaded a virus in another one before. I share my house and just about everything else with them, my computer it one thing that is off limits and mine only. Unless they need to do something for school on it and then only with close supervision. Mean they think, but that's okay. Sometimes we have to set things aside for ourselves, as well as time.
So have a great weekend and I'll talk to you later!
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