Dear Readers,

The picture is a hay rake I saw during my last visit to Tennessee to see my daughter.

click photo to enlarge

I realize I have been absent a long time–almost a month. I have not turned on my “blogging computer” in that time more than two or three times. I apologize. All of you know life gets in the way sometimes. It got in the way very big and very unexpectedly after my last post. I have no idea when I will be back–if I will be back. I hope to be back, but I cannot predict anything.

Here is a little of it:

-Three months ago we had three pets. We now have one, and the other one we thought was lost as well. That has been a lot of stress, never mind time.

-Chic is still in Tennessee, and that takes a lot of time. Writing extra letters, sending extra packages, Skyping on her schedule and visiting. And although it is what is best right now, it is an emotional drain for us.

-Chic’s school here will be better next year, but there is giant upheaval that is causing extreme amounts of stress and time drain. Prince Charming is on the school board, and one week there were three meetings. There are meetings, interviews, etc. at least every two weeks, usually more, and private consults in between. (And I am so glad Chic is not here to be in the environment of upheaval.)

-A very good friend of ours has some serious health problems. We only recently learned the extent of the seriousness, and we know that we are among a handful in the know. Not only do we need to lend our time and support, but we want to.

What I hope is that this is like a new job with lots more responsibility. When I first get a job like that, there is often a big learning curve. It seems overwhelming, and I work late. But then suddenly, I figure it all out, and I am often bored like I was at the previous job. But I have not been bored in a long, long time. My schedule is always at maximum capacity, so extra things never fit. I might make them adjust with time, but I might not.

My life has thrown a lot at me lately that I have chosen to let take a lot of my time. I believe it is important that I do that, but the thing that has had to suffer is blogging (and Facebook). I have not even had time to get on here and do a post like this although I knew I should a few weeks ago.

I will be back when I can… if I can. But I think of you all the time. I  miss reading your blogs, but I know I cannot allow myself to do that right now or the daily things will not get accomplished. And I have a lot to tell you and show you, but now just is not the time.

Love you and miss you,

Louise

Last week when Chic and her “big sister” were here, we did lots of fun stuff. (Hopefully lots of it coming to a blog near you soon.) One day we went to the top of the mountain on the tram. There was about 6 feet of snow at the top, so the girls had a great time playing in it. We walked around to get better places to play, and I saw this picture. I really liked it, so here you go!

To see LOTS more terrific sky pictures or to find out how to participate in this meme, head to the SkyWatch blog.

Note to my regular readers: I know, I know, I have been worse than usual about posting/visiting. Chic was here for 10 days. I was completely occupied with the visit then. Now I am trying to dig out from under the pile that accumulated while she was here. I will be back!

Last Sunday after we left the Track and Field Championships, we saw this foreboding sky. We were not in a place to get a good picture so hoped it would last until we got to a good spot. This is not nearly as intriguing as when we originally saw it, but a few days later, it looks interesting to me.

To see LOTS more terrific sky pictures or to find out how to participate in this meme, head to the SkyWatch blog.

I actually don’t have blue skies today, and I do not believe I have had most of this week.  So I went into my archives of a picture I missed last summer. I believe this is just entering the mountains going east off the interstate that goes south out of Salt Lake City.

I love wind turbines, and I always love the moon. And I am just about as tired as winter many of you are, so I thought a summery blue sky would be nice.

To see LOTS more terrific sky pictures or to find out how to participate in this meme, head to the SkyWatch blog.

My memory does not tell me why I got side-tracked last summer with presenting my summer vacation, but I did. Now is the time to finish it. (And who is going to complain about some warmer-weather pictures?)

I left you at Red Canyon, outside of Bryce Canyon. From there we went to Cedar Breaks National Monument.

We go to this place every single summer. I have a convention every summer in Salt Lake City which is why we take these family vacations to western National Parks. The very first year we passed through Cedar Breaks, and we always return because it is so beautiful. The wildflower meadows are a place that we must get a picture of our kids each year. The times of year we have gone have varied which means the flowers have varied at lot when we have been there. But it is always a wonderful sight, and perfect for pictures of little girls.

(I must warn you that friends and a fellow blogger have been there as well and have not had the spectacular weather we seem to be blessed with. The elevation is over 10,000 feet, so weather can be unpredictable, but it has always been spectacular for us. There is a big ski resort in the area for winter visits, but leaving toward Salt Lake would scare me to death if the roads were bad.)

This is the big attraction--the "breaks." It reminds me a lot of Bryce Canyon, but not so many hoodoos. This is looking right into the area.

This is looking left in the same area.

Thankfully they had a quick Junior Ranger program here because we are always passing through. The Junior Ranger program is really a good one. It not only teaches children about the area and nature, but about being responsible with nature.

A week earlier or later and one would see completely different colors in a field like this.

I am sure these are not uncommon, but Cedar Breaks is one of the few places I have personally seen white thistle.

The wildflowers alone would be reason enough to detour here every year, but the "breaks" in the background make it absolutely spectacular. This is one of my favorite places I have ever been.

My World is a weekly meme in which participants are virtual tour guides. Go check it out and see the worlds of others. Or better yet, take a look at the guidelines, and do your own My World Post!

This picture is dedicated to those of you who live in the Northeast… and the Southeast… and, well… pretty much anywhere east of here.

I took this earlier in the week on a bike ride. No, it was not warm (below freezing anyway), but the sun and blue skies goes a LONG way in making the cold bearable.

click photo to enlarge

To see LOTS more terrific sky pictures or to find out how to participate in this meme, head to the SkyWatch blog.

I have shown “my” mountain before, but this weekend I was in Corrales, a quaint country village outside of Albuquerque, walking along an arroyo and got some new pictures from a different angle. It was a springlike day, giving me some hope for warmth, but it is over now. We had more rain and snow today.  (Sorry for the graininess in some of the pictures. I did not realize until I uploaded that I had one of my camera settings not exactly where it should have been.) All pictures will enlarge when clicked unless otherwise noted.

This is the arroyo along which we walked. Chicklet is in the bottom. During other seasons there are varying amounts of water in this. It stretches for several miles along the "back road" of Corrales. One rarely can take even a short walk beside it without seeing people with dogs and horses.

this photo will not enlarge when clicked

My World is a weekly meme in which participants are virtual tour guides. Go check it out and see the worlds of others. Or better yet, take a look at the guidelines, and do your own My World Post!

My life the past month has been packed full of travel. The biggest part of three (out of four) weeks have been traveling here or there. Last week/weekend, I went to visit my friend, Reluctant Farm Chik.  It rained. Then there was fog. Then it rained. Then there was sleet. One day the clouds were thin enough that one could barely see a shadow, and everyone was so excited that “the sun was shining.” I think I have lived in the Southwest too long. The sun was NOT shining. It was gloomy.

Usually this time of year I get comments about how my sky is bright and pretty while the other skies are gloomy. I apologize that I have not been home enough to give you a beautiful, cheerful sky picture, but I think this one has some interesting elements. (If you go back a little on RFC’s blog, you’ll find her “Pond Watch” entries to SWF. This is the same pond.)

click photo to enlarge. (It WILL be prettier.)

To see LOTS more terrific sky pictures or to find out how to participate in this meme, head to the SkyWatch blog.

Last week I was in Phoenix at a stamping Leadership Conference. Unlike last year’s conference in Orlando, I was not completely wiped out and actually went to it. But I did skip one class, and the view from my window when I did that was worth it to me.

This was through a thick and dirty window, but I thought it was beautiful anyway.

To see LOTS more terrific sky pictures or to find out how to participate in this meme, head to the SkyWatch blog.

This was some of the holiday décor at the outdoor shopping complex, Branson Landing.

To see LOTS more terrific sky pictures or to find out how to participate in this meme, head to the SkyWatch blog.

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