Thursday, December 28, 2017

The Blue Lady Travels in the Red Lands: Things We Do In South Dakota, Part 2, Festivals of Trees

One of the corridors at the state capital building this year.
A tree for breast cancer people on the left.
I never realized how much of a "thing"  a "Festival of Trees" is until I lived in South Dakota. I imagine lots of places have them, although I do not recall actually attending any except in SoDak. But here, they really are something. Every little place seemed to have one this December, and it's clear these things are traditions in all those towns and cities.

At home in Lead I was an usher more than once for our festival, held at the Historic Homestake Opera House (HHOH) as one of their regular fund raisers for the place. The Opera House was one of many civic buildings originally built by the Homestake Mine Company to improve the daily lives of the miners and their families.
Restored Opera House entrance plaza.
The spaces on the left used to house the pool and recreation areas.
Now they are offices and an art gallery owned by the local Arts Council.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

The Blue Lady Travels in the Red Lands: Things We do in South Dakota, part 1

Sock Monkey was so impressed with Dignity
Wow! Two months since I last wrote. I've been thinking about needing to do another post soon, but you know how it goes. One thing after another after another, and next a whole season is gone.

Part of what I did in the fall was to travel, and that's what I plan to write about. I have several posts in my my mind, but let's start with this one which involves two different trips, with stop-offs in places well known in South Dakota.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Blue Lady Travels in the Red Lands: Historic Hotels in Billings and Buffalo

Cody Wyoming is a gateway to Yellowstone

I had this idea to take a four day trip out to Cody Wyoming and back. Cody is a nice town, not far from Yellowstone. I went through there on my trip to Yellowstone, but didn't stop to check it out. I was thinking that 2 nights and a full day might be a good idea. They have both a yarn shop and a couple of breweries there, and the trip goes through the very scenic Big Horn Mountains.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Blue Lady Travels in the Red Lands: North Dakota, Because it is There

September turned out to be a month a lot like April-May of this year. I started doing some short trips and just kept going. And I'm not done yet because I'll be heading home to Illinois in a few days while it is still September.

One of my water exercise lady friends found a great cat sitter for me. Ms Jean is a retired school teacher who lives in town, has several pets herself and was up for the gig. She has lived here all her life and drives a Jeep. She told me not to worry at all if the weather should turn bad while I am away (which I'm sure it will some days); she's on it and has a lifetime of experience, plus that Jeep, that will get her out and about no matter what. OK then.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Blue Lady Travels in the Red Lands: South Dakota and Beyond

Smokey Rose knew right away how to get comfy in our
Black Hills home.
Smokey Rose and I are now living in our home in the Black Hills. We no longer have a place in Salt lake, just this little condo of ours. We arrived here around July 1 and spent most of July "moving in." Of course this place was fully furnished and all, but I brought with a carload and a pickup truck load of boxes of things that had to be integrated with everything that was already here. A lot of it was clothes, books and craft supplies. There were also some kitchen things, a bit of artwork and some misc things plus stuff like food, cleaning supplies, other consumables such as office supplies. We are mostly done except for the boxes with papers in them. That can wait to be sorted through until a rainy or snowy day comes along.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Blue Lady Travels "Home" to Chicago

So many interesting buildings in Chicago!
You tell me what we have here. I don't know.
My last two short trips before I left Utah were to big cities, Chicago and Denver. I went to both for kind of business reasons, but did my best to enjoy each. I didn't succeed in doing everything that I had in mind, but both trips had real highlights.

Chicago was first, in order to attend the annual meeting of the American College of Nurse-Midwives, my professional tribe for my lifetime. I became a lifetime member this year even because they put in a special category for us retired folks. Several people have asked why do I want to keep going to work related things now that I'm retired? Well, midwifery is, for me anyway, am identity or a calling, not just work that I did. I'll probably never practice midwifery again, but I am a midwife until the day I die.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The Blue Lady Travels in the Red Lands: Le Tour d'Idaho

Idaho is a good place to visit!
Idaho is an underrated state, I think. I mean what does anybody know about it besides famous potatoes and white supremacists, if you're old enough? It's shaped funnily what with that real skinny part at the top which seems like all it does is to separate Montana from Washington for no apparent reason. I imagine that if you drive it through the pan handle from Montana to Washington, Idaho must be a big yawn. Or a tiny blink. "Oh, did we just go through another state? I guess we did. Oh well."

But Idaho is right on top of Utah, and people from Utah go there from time to time, not just when they are driving through to Oregon or Washington. Fly fisher people know it as a kind of paradise. It has more natural hot springs than any other state (who knew?).

And they say that Boise is "the new Asheville".... or that Boise is a trendy place to live now that all the other places are "filled up" and maybe even "spoiled." Like Prescott Arizona, Boise shows up regularly now on lists of good places to live for a variety of reasons.

So a visit to Boise and therefore surrounding areas in Idaho has been on my list for some time now. Time was getting short in Utah for me, and I just decided to do it NOW. I told my knitting friends of my plans. Two originally signed on to go with, but one cancelled, so it ended up being my friend J and I taking this trip. J drove her car which was fine with me.

Monday, May 29, 2017

The Blue Lady Travels to a Blue Land

This time we did not see any orange groves.
California! Yes! I love California!

It began years ago when my friend at Red Butte Garden who used to  live in southern California told me about The Huntington Gardens and Museums. L. lyrically described the gardens and insisted that I must go there and see for myself. I was convinced; the only question was when.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Blue Lady Travels to Meet Some of Her Tribe at The March For Science

The president was in residence on Earth Day.
He tweeted something about loving our wonderful rivers and things like that,
and went to Walter Reed to present a Purple Heart to someone.
BTW, the garden is protected. It's under the care of the
National Park Service.
As soon as I heard it was going to happen, I knew I wanted to go. A March FOR Science on Earth Day in Washington DC. I did not make arrangements to go to the Women's March the day after the inauguration. I would have liked that, so I felt the need to do something similar at some other time. Bingo! Let's go to DC in April. I got a plane ticket and a hotel immediately.

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Blue Lady Travels in the Red Lands - A Tiny Vacation to Dinosaur Land

Got myself some fine new luggage mostly from Target,
pretty and just the right sizes,
so Sock Monkey & I can start to hit the road together.
I'm ready to get out of town again. This was the first of several upcoming short trips to a number of places. This time it was a driving trip in my little green car with my friend Jan Mi. We went east up into the Uintah Mountains to the small city of Vernal. We left on Saturday and returned on Sunday. The reason for the trip now was to attend the annual spring concert of the Uintah Basin Orchestra and Chorus. Two members of the Z family, who are friends of ours, were playing and singing.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Blue Lady Travels in the Red Lands: A Short Trip to Kansas City

Sorry, but I did not actually see any real fountains on this trip
Randy, my former TIAA advisor, told me, that in his experience, new retirees do a fair amount of traveling at first, and then kind of get tired of it and settle in someplace for the long haul. So be it. Right now I'm just barely into the "early travel phase."   I have quite a few trips planned in the next months. And lots of ideas for where to go after these already arranged excursions. I'll write about them as they happen.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Blue Lady Actually Talks to Someone in Washington

Best time of year in DC coming up soon.
I hope he has time to get out and smell the flowers sometime.
Gentle readers, I do have plans to write about some other subjects, but, as I say later, I can see I need to be in this game over the long haul. Ok, next chapter. 

I can't get tired of this, but I am already. He made a big deal in the campaign about stamina. Apparently he has it in abundance. (Stories are that he really does not sleep much hence all the tweet storms at odd hours.) And he is over 70 for heaven's sake. Can't let him see any weakness I guess. So here we go.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Sundance Again!

I got the pin this year. I thought it was coming next year.
I'm not arguing with them. They even put it in the yearbook.
So, as we were fed one bit of distressing news after another that are all designed to make us jump up and demonstrate no matter what the weather, I took more than a week to volunteer at the Sundance Film Festival. I got my 10 year pin this year! Yeah. And the jacket was reversable like last year, this time dark gray and bright yellow. My friend Jan says she can use it now.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Time to write to the new man in Washington again

Will there end up being a candidate for a new face on the mountain?
Well they wouldn't put up a new one anyway, no matter what.
Oh so much material to work with and so little time! What should I write about next?

I know that many people are taking up the gauntlet about health care so I decided to let that one go for the moment although the idea is rich with things I could and should say. I'll get to it.

I was thinking about what he said about the forgotten men and women who will now be heard. Well that's good, but there is another really large group of people whose lives are very directly affected by federal policy who are almost totally voiceless. I'm talking about employees of the federal government.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Blue Lady Travels in the Red Lands. She visits Two Small Cities in Arizona

Winslow Arizona .... I know the song, of course, but I had never been aware that standing on the corner in Winslow Arizona is something that people actually do. Someone mentioned it to me when I said I was going there. "Nothing much to do there except stand on the corner." What?

Well there is a corner with statues, and it's even "official." You can go there. And stand. On the corner. And have a picture taken. And stand there some more. Now isn't that thrilling? We, as a people, are easily pleased quite often.

I got into town at the end of a long day. I noticed that out on the highway were the Safeway, Walmart, etc. etc. The town was mostly south of the highway. I did not find the town to be very impressive. I didn't see anything that would make me think living there would be a good idea. Corner standing will only get you so far.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Blue Lady Decides to Enter into Correspondence with Some Red People

Taking the long view. Drop by drop, gust by gust,
just water and wind make great changes. 
The big change is approaching. I listened last night to President Obama in Chicago and came away both inspired and hopeful. He does that to me.

I decided that I have to start doing some things as a citizen or I will just go crazy. I can't possible run for office or get involved in actual politics myself. That's just not me, and even trying would make my life very very unhappy. So what can I do?

I can start by writing. I'm a writer. I can write. Writing lasts. Writing is powerful. Writing makes a difference.

The Blue Lady Travels in the Red lands: She Visits Some Places in New Mexico

Meanwhile back on the road, I stopped to visit two different friends in their new cities, and I stayed overnight in four other places. Two places each in Utah, Arizona and New Mexico.

I don't have much to say about Albuquerque. Of course, the people are lovely and the university excellent. But I was pretty much working all the time there and did not get out and about a whole lot. But I did make a couple of observations.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Blue Lady Travels in the Red Lands. She Visits Places Where Nature is Awesome

So, Bears Ears is a GO. Thank you President Obama. I'l be writing you a personal note about this soon.

Meanwhile it's time to finish up this whole series. I drove right by Bears Ears this fall on the way to Natural Bridges. Next time I'm headed that way I hope I can visit both.

Natural Bridges is not terribly far from Hovenweep. You can easily see both places in one day unless you do a lot of hiking. It was a very early monument, the first one in Utah established by Theodore Roosevelt in 1908.