Archive for July, 2013
Every family should have one last Hurrah! to say goodbye to summer. This summer, the folks have been super busy with home improvement projects so they haven’t gotten out much.
(I’ve been camping without them! A LOT)
But yesterday, we all decided to head to Flagstaff to celebrate the last weekend of summer before mom heads back to teaching on Tuesday. The original plan was to ride the ski lift at Snowbowl but the monsoons just were having none of it!
Instead, it was a trip to Bookmans!
I love Bookmans. It’s a HUGE used bookstore with stores in Tucson, Phoenix and Flagstaff. I found some great resources for future blog articles! (And a couple of cookbooks just for me!)
From there, it was on to lunch at, you guessed it: Flagstaff Brewing Company! There’s this post that I keep seeing around Facebook that goes something like: “Just how DID we ever survive without seeing pictures of your breakfast/lunch/dinner/snack…” And while I whole-heartedly agree with that statement, I couldn’t help snapping this pic of my beer.
My favorite part? The guy’s back in the background!
And yes, I had the French Onion Soup! It’s to die for. If you’re ever in Flagstaff, go to there. Order it. Enjoy. Tell them I sent you!
Since it was still raining, we drove out to Mormon Lake to see if there were any elk grazing in the “lake”.
Let me explain about Mormon Lake: it’s the largest natural lake in all of Arizona. And it is massive! But really really shallow. Mostly it’s more like a marsh than a lake. But it’s also a great nursery for cow elk to raise their calves. There is an abundance of water, grass, and you can see for miles so mama can keep track of the herd, her calf, and any potential threats.
We figure there were upwards of 300 elk on the lake. Just munching and moseying from one primo patch of grass to the other. Now I know these elk look tiny but they’re really quite large animals! And thank goodness for a 35x optical zoom. Everybody else’s pictures just looked like green grass.
Sorry the color is so weird! I edited it a bit. The wet weather caused everything to be VERY washed out and the elk weren’t clear to see at all! I figure neon green isn’t too much of a price to pay for being able to SEE the elk!
we also checked on five of our six geocaches in the area. Here’s the entrance to my favorite: The Groaning Gate.
Nope, that’s not a stream. Or as we call them in Arizona A RIVER. That, friends, is a wash. Running. And doing its best to wash out the road!
A huge shout-out to all our service men and women who put their lives on the line for us so we can have our backyard BBQ, fireworks, parades, and daily celebrations.
I have a confession to tell you:
I never really “got” it until recently. I never really understood our Veterans and what they’ve given and done and sacrificed to our country. Isn’t that kind of sad? But I wasn’t raised in a military family. I had a few acquaintances who had ties to the military, my uncle sends regular care packages to troops overseas, a former roommates’ grandma makes blankets, a friend’s daughter graduated from the Air Force Academy.
But me, I never really GOT it.
Until last August when I started dating a wonderful man who had spent seven years in the Air Force. Yep, he was an officer. No, he wasn’t a pilot. He did two tours of duty, ON THE GROUND, in Afghanistan. Through his stories, I think I finally started to understand what these men and women do for us, for the country. He’s told me stories that made me laugh, he’s told stories that made me cry. And he’s told me some stories that left me shaking — stories that ended well but could have ended so badly; stories that meant that he may never have lived to even meet me, let alone help an average American woman understand what this day really means.
Now, when I thank a Veteran for his or her service, I feel I can look into their eyes and say, “I have no clue how you do it. I know the barest bit of what you give for me, and I am eternally grateful.”
So, happy Independence Day. Eat a hot dog, watch some fireworks, thank a Veteran. I appreciate you.
This post started out as a way to offer a 4th of July discount on my Publish Your eBook Blueprint: Home Study Course that I’ve created to help you publish your eBooks for Kindle and Nook. But as I sat down to write, I realized that it needed to be oh so much more. So I’ll make a deal with you: Here’s your coupon:
It’s good for 20% off through the weekend. But if you choose NOT to use it, I’ll donate that same 20% to Wounded Warriors.