Sunday, May 30, 2010

So, this weekend we set off and another desert adventure which turned into a scavenger hunt of sorts. Our goal was to find the California Trail, Carson River Route, which passes through the dreaded 40-Mile Desert (And Hubby wanted to metal detect for artifacts). Back in pioneer days, the journey from east to west was a long and difficult one but toward the end of the journey was the 40-Mile Desert. Forty miles where the landscape was hot and desolate and there was no drinkable water. As you can see on the markers in the following pictures, many, many people who attempted the difficult crossing died.
We started out with an idea of where the 40-Mile Desert was and directions found on the internet to a marker near the end of the route. We set out and found the first marker fairly easily. From there we were able to follow a portion of the trail and find a second marker. But then the trail went cold, so to speak. The area we were traveling had many dirt roads crossing every which way and we drove about looking for another marker to let us know we were on the right track. Unfortunately we could not find a third marker in this area. We decided to visit Soda Lake which is along the Carson Route. Now, you might think to yourself, "But I thought there was no water!?" And the answer is, there is no drinkable water. If you read the marker in the photo below, there is a journal entry which tells of finding a lake of salt water. I love how it says " is almost Strong enough for brine to save meat with..." But can you imagine being on this journey, nearly (literally) dying of thirst and coming upon a lake only to discover the water is too salty to drink? What a cruel joke.
At this point we decided to try finding the Carson Route near the point where it branched off of the main California Trail. On the Trail there was a point where the travelers came basically into a fork in the road. There was the choice to cross the 40-mile Desert via the Truckee Route to the Truckee River or the Carson Route to the Carson River. So we set off the try to find the trail nearer to this fork, hoping to find a marker to let us know we were in the right place. On the way we saw a large structure made of stone, stacked like a chimney so we stopped to investigate. It looked to be a large oven but there was nothing to tell us precisely what it was used for. After a bit of walking around there we headed on. When we approached the area where we should be able to pick up the trail we found that there was a large wet and muddy area which would be impossible for us to cross as we don't have 4-wheel drive. We had mostly given up hope of finding the trail again and Hubby wanted to drive a little further to try to find a hot spring that we had seen from the road on a previous trip in the area. But when we got there everything was all fenced off. There is a large geothermal plant operating there. We decided to head back toward home. As we were driving along the highway, Hubby spotted what looked to be a marker! It wasn't too far off the main highway and the road here was nice and dry.
Then after looking around we spotted another marker on the other side of the highway.
Again, we lost the trail and headed back down the highway. We were feeling pretty optimistic because now we knew what the markers looked like and it was easier to spot them from a distance. We spotted another and when we got to it realized that it was very close to the stone oven we had stopped at! We had missed it.

We followed the trail a short distance but came to a deep wash that we could not traverse. We doubled back to the highway, passed the wash and found yet another marker. We were on a roll!
Again, the trail became impassable to us so we hit the highway once again. When we left the highway we found this marker. Sorry, it isn't a very good photo but I was trying to hold the camera up over my head to get the whole thing in the shot and I couldn't see the camera display in the bright sun to see what the photo looked like. From this point we set out along the trail once again veering away from the highway. The trail more or less parallels the highway for a number of miles and then angles off westward, away from the highway which runs north and south. We headed out on the trail for a distance but the sun was getting lower in the sky and we certainly didn't want to get out into the unfamiliar section of desert, far from a major road or highway in the dark only to find the road impassable due to mud or deep sand and end up stuck. So, we stopped and pulled out the metal detector. Big R hunted around with the detector but mostly only found gun shells and some spent bullets. Here's one last photo of the 40-Mile Desert with the sun dipping low in the sky.
It was another fun adventure for us in the Nevada desert. A historical one and, once again, I find myself thinking of those brave and hardy pioneers who faced such a difficult journey and feeling thoroughly grateful that I don't have to cross vast miles of uninhabited, inhospitable country in a wagon. I have the luxury of following their trail in a pickup truck and heading home to my comfortable home and bed at the end of the day.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Happy birthday to my one and only niece! She's growing up way too fast (she's 9 today). And lives way too far away! I hope you have a wonderful day full of joy and laughter!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Here are a couple of pics from Hubby's birthday today. Look at all those candles! And that's not even one for every year. The kids put on the candles and it sort of ended up being a random number. Then again if you ask MoMo how old Daddy is she'll tell you 10. Hubby asked for chocolate ice cream to go with his chocolate/chocolate cake so it was chocolate overload. And you can see in the second pic that MoMo added some sprinkles to her slice. ALL of the sprinkles! And, yes, she's lapping up the melted ice cream with her tongue. Somehow I didn't get a pic of Big R but Hubby got a DSi for his birthday so I do have a pic that he (Hubby) took of Big R with the DSi.And here's one of Hubby.And MoMo...Alright, that's all I've got. Bye!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ok, so I saw this on another blog and even though this is a high tech version, it brought back memories of playing MASH the low tech way--on paper! LOL I hope it brings back elementary school memories for you, too! Click here if you'd like to read the original post at
Oh, and by the way, today is Hubby's birthday. Happy birthday! We'll be having chocolate cake with chocolate frosting since that's what he ALWAYS has for his birthday cake. No vanilla or strawberry or even plain white or yellow. It's gotta be chocolate. Ok, well, I better go get some things done. Love to you all!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Here's a photo of poor Big R's arm. Ouch!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

So, I took the photo in this layout yesterday. Big R has been practicing his bike without the training wheels. He's been doing so well and he's been happily riding up and down the street. But unfortunately today as he was riding he had an accident and fell off, landing on his arm. He got a pretty good sized abrasion about the size of 2 quarters side by side near his elbow. Scraped off several layers of skin there. His elbow began swelling up and we were worried about the possibility that he might have broken a bone so I took him to the ER. Thankfully we didn't have to wait long to be seen. I guess that's one of the perks of living in a small town. Anyway, they x-rayed his arm and fortunately there were no visible fractures. The nurse dressed his arm and he even got an Otter Pop! By the time we left he seemed to be doing pretty well, jumping around and all. Altogether, from the time we got to the ER until the time we left, we were there less than an hour, I'd say. Very quick and efficient. It's pretty cool how they can do x-rays now and immediately see them on a computer. Big R thought it was pretty cool to see the bones in his arm.
So, that was our Saturday adventure. Fun stuff. And by the way, happy Chocolate Chip Day!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Here is a preview of my MoMo's first school portrait! Isn't she just so adorable and photogenic!? I bet you can't wait get your hands on a copy! All you have to do is send a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) and I will send you a copy of your own. Please allow 6-8 weeks for delivery. Just kidding. I will try to distribute photos soon.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Monday, May 3, 2010

Coupons...You know that I love them. I have a LOT of coupons but I'm still struggling to organize them. Just a friendly word of advice: If you decide to collect coupons, be sure to get them organized right from the start. I have so many coupons thrown in a box right now that it's difficult to get up the will to get them all sorted and organized. I have a few in a binder but those are coupons that I just got. Instead of tossing them in the box when I got them I put them in my binder. I suppose if I just keep up adding the new ones directly to the binder then eventually as I use them and/or they expire it will end up organized in my binder.
Well, I also wanted to share a little bit about a company that I am really impressed with right now. Malt-O-Meal. See, along with getting coupons from the Sunday paper I also print MANY coupons from the internet on my home printer. There are a few websites (,, and where you can go and choose the coupons you want to print and print only those. They will print 3 to a page and use up the whole sheet of paper. Many company websites also will offer printable coupons as well BUT my big gripe with those is that more often than not you get one coupon at the top of the page then a HUGE advertisement at the bottom. What a waste of paper and ink! (I think they must have a deal with the ink companies!) Well, back to Malt-O-Meal. I recently went to their website to print coupons and they have a policy to curb waste by printing more than one coupon on a page. Yay! That impressed me so much that I decided to email them and let them know how much I appreciated and admired this policy. I expected nothing in return. I just wanted to commend them for a good thing. Give them some positive feedback instead of a complaint (which I'm sure they get plenty of). Most people (including myself most of the time) are more likely to contact a company to complain rather than compliment. And a few days later in the mail I received 2 coupons for their cereal! Wow! That made me even happier with them! So I just wanted the share that and talk up Malt-O-Meal a little. Even though my reading audience is pretty small. And, by the way, I really like their cereal, too! My favorite is the Golden Puffs, comparable to Honey Smacks.
Ok, I have just one more coupon related story to relate. Probably about a month ago I brought home a newspaper that had a Toys R Us ad in it. My little MoMo poured over that ad and saw a Barbie that she really wanted. So, she cut out the picture in a neat little rectangle and brought it to me. She said, "We have to take this coupon to the store so we can buy the Barbie and it will cost less." LOL She has seen me use so many coupons and knows that they help you save money. A couponer-in-training! Although, what she cut out wasn't an actual coupon. But she's got the right idea.
Alright, well I better get back to my studies. Fun fun fun. Until next time...

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Hello once again. Happy {inter} National Scrapbooking Day! In the digital world, it is a day full of freebies and sales! I've already picked up a few freebies and added a number of new items to my wishlists at various digital scrapbooking shops. The good/bad news is, most of the products on my wishlists are on sale for up to 50% off. Good because, well, what awesome prices! Bad because I want to buy it ALL! (sigh) So, I just wanted to let you all know that I'm accepting donations so I can expand my digital scrapbooking library. All donations will be put to good use purchasing lovely, hand-picked-by-me digital scrapbooking goodies. Please don't hesitate to make a generous donation! Love you all!