Tuesday, August 31, 2010


It has been awhile since we went to the zoo. Last night I saw the documentary about polar bears and then from the travel channel about the brown bears in Alaska. Suddenly, I wanted to go to the zoo and see the animals. It always brings back wonderful childhood memory in Viet Nam when my parents took us to the zoo. I would ride the bicycle (two front wheels, a back bucket seat and two rear wheels) with my little sister CH or little brother VL (aka Qaptain Qwerty) in the back seat. When was the last time you went to local zoo and really had a great time there?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

1985 (BLUE SKY IN AUGUST 2010)

A new employee started on Monday of this week. Since I handled personnel/payroll, it was crude reminder of my status as senior citizen when I saw that she was born in December 1985. I don’t know whether it was the frequent pains and ache I have experienced lately or the fact that in a few months I will be turning 50, that made me more aware of other people’s age.

This week has been pleasant with sunny days in the high 80s during the day and comfortably cool in the evening. In the morning, when I drove to work, I had to wait for the school busses loading up the kids around the corner. I thought of my nephew and wonder whether he is excited about what he will be learning. I thought of my childhood in Viet Nam when shopping for school supplies meant knowing the right people in the black market. It is very different from the abundance of back-to-school sales in America.
During the day, while my husband worked in the yard finishing up his landscaping project, I reached part of my clutter-reduction goals. The last few months, I kept up with my weekly donations of clothes and stuff to St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store and dropped off at least a bag of books to the library. I am down from five to three bookcases. It feels good to lighten the load of earthly possession.

Have a good week, a safe and enjoyable Labor Day weekend.

Friday, August 27, 2010


June 29, 2010 at 10:18 a.m. we traveled acrossed the vast land of California desert. No longer as treacherous as during the Dust Bowl, but we made sure the cooler was filled up with cold water and ice and of course, a full tank of gas.
We did not stay at this Desert Inn. I just thought the photo would be a good fitting for this week "Friday Desert Sky" theme.

Have a good weekend everyone. Thanks for reading and please come back again soon :)

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Folk Art on Route 66 – Elmer Long is the artist who lives on the property.
From, "The Bottle Tree Ranch created by Elmer Long is one of the most impressive attractions along Route 66, featuring hundreds with bottle-filled trees.
Elmer Long is the quirky artist behind the now famous Bottle Tree Ranch. He looks a lot like one of the guys from ZZ Top, but he’s really a fascinating man who loves greeting and getting to know the people who visit his
roadside masterpiece. As a kid, Elmer used to travel through the desert, with his dad, who would collect any objects they found, and keep extensive notes about their location.
After Elmer’s dad died, he was left with a sizable collection of colorful bottles, but he had no idea what to do with it. One day, it hit him – he decided to build his first bottle tree. He got to welding and after he completed his work, knew that he had to go on. Elmer Long started the Bottle Tree Ranch in 2000, and since then has created over 200 scrap metal bottle trees."

On display at the Bottle Tree Ranch are countless colorful bottles arrayed on “trees”, intermixed with Route 66 artifacts.
Some of the bottles are old and dusty, while others are newly added, as the “forest” continues to grow.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


In the early 1920s, an emigration to California started from the Midwest. Families packed up and headed West on National Old Trail Highways and proceeded right along Barstow’s main street. The depression and dust storms of the 1930’s sent families to California seeking work. Some ended their journey in Barstow and made it their home. In 1926, the road traveled became Route 66, the “Mother Road”.
The Southern Route of the Mormon Trail (mural below).

Monday, August 23, 2010


Tuesday, June 29, 2010 – We had a restful sleep, were up and ready to get on the road by 6:45 a.m. We both had a good laugh when I commented to my husband, “Let’s get out of this sin town.” We kept a routine of filling up the gas tank in the morning, at lunch and at rest stops. We wanted to make sure that we would not run out of gas in the middle to nowhere. Of course, only premium grade would be good enough for my husband “2nd Mistress”. It was $3.25 a gallon at a gas station across from Tropicana Casino.
We got a quick breakfast from a drive-thru. From Las Vegas, we took I-15 toward Los Angeles. After exit 76A, we crossed into California, San Bernardino County, at 7:59 a.m. We started to feel anxious that after three days of driving 10+ hours, crossing the Indian Territory of Oklahoma, the Panhandle of Texas and the old Spanish colony of New Mexico, we finally were at the doorstep of the Golden State.
9:50 a.m. was when we got into the town of Barstow. I will post photos of other murals, especially the Southern Route of Mormon Trail. We drove thru town and just spent enough time for me to take photos of a variety of vintage motels still lining the main road.
Continued along the way west on I-15 to Victorville, we found the “Bottle Tree Ranch”. (Come back to see photos and description of the Ranch in future post.) We spent about 45 minutes at Route 66 Antique Station in Oro Grande. We did not make any purchase, whether because we knew there was no room to put the items.

At 12:05 p.m. it was time for lunch and Emma Jean’s Holland Burger was a perfect place to get something good to eat. (More about the server “sprayed” ketchup at me while I was eating.)

Saturday, August 21, 2010


(Don't these sea lions from St. Louis Zoo look refreshing?)

We had a big storm on Friday evening. From my home office, I could hear the strong wind and the heavy rain pounding on the windows. This week we had kind of nice weather, starting with Monday in the mid 80s and gentle breeze as a bonus. The temperature went up above 90 but not as humid and unbearable.

Then I heard the siren for tornado warning. I quickly shut off the computer, ran as quick as I could to the basement. The warning lasted about 20 minutes. We listened to the radio and went back upstairs after the broadcaster announced that the tornado warning in our area had been cancelled. The rain continued to come down. It looked like a stream with the water rushing across the driveway.
Happy Days are almost here - NHL pre-season will start late September. My beloved Detroit Red Wings will be on the road playing against the Pittsburgh Penguins on September 22nd. Home opening games will be against the Chicago Blackhawks on September 24th. I am looking forward to see my “guys” when the Wings come into town on December 23rd, January 20th and March 12th. I am working on seeing all the Original Six home games by the end of 2011.
Happy Days are here and I am so happy. The NFL season started last week and my New England Patriots won both games against the New Orleans Saints (27-24) and the Atlanta Falcons (28-10). Mind you, these are pre-season games but winning is always better than losing. The Patriots will start the regular season on Sunday, September 12th against the Cincinnati Bengals. (Photo below is from the Superbowl XL in 2006).

I hope the current salmonella outbreak did not cause too much problems for your family. As mentioned in previous post that I have been getting eggs from a local nursery. The cost for a dozen eggs is almost twice compared to the price at the store. But it is worth it and it was nice that this week when I walked thru the door, "the farmer’s daughter" greeted me with a smile and said that she had a dozen fresh eggs ready for me.

Friday, August 20, 2010


If I offended anyone living in Las Vegas, please accept my sincere apology. I just thought this week "Sin Sky" would be a good fit following the theme from last Friday, "The Dam Sky".
I don't remember seeing a palm tree next to the Eiffel Tower when we visitied Paris - haa haa
And I don't remember cars passing by right in front of Lady Liberty either - unless they were watertaxis - hee hee

Thursday, August 19, 2010


After our visit to Hoover Dam (Monday, June 28th), we drove 35 miles to Las Vegas. We decided to seek overnight accomodation at one of fine motels since it was already 7:30 p.m.

Las Vegas has many attractions and plenty of entertainment. The city is one of those “love it” or “hate it” places. Personally I don’t feel strongly one way or the other. I don’t enjoy the casino scene and I don’t gamble. If we had more time, I would have enjoyed attending one of the shows.

I find it interesting that some clever marketing people using these mimic miniature cities such as New York, Paris, English castles, famous places around the world, and put them right in the middle of the desert to create a one-stop around-the-world fantasy.
We were tired and hungry so we just got a couples of sandwiches from a food court. After a short walk along the main strip, we went back to the motel. If you asked what else happened while we were in Las Vegas. Well, for two boring geezers, nothing happened and that would stay in Las Vegas or anywhere else!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I am about 2 days late with this post. (My faithful readers know that I am "a day late and a dollar short" kind of blogger.) According to a news article, "Thousands of people of all ages and walks of life gathered in Times Square for a group "kiss-in" on Saturday, August 14, 2010, in the first national day of remembrance for the World War II generation.

This year's event comes on the 65th anniversary of the end of the war in 1945.

The celebration was immortalized in Alfred Eisenstaedt's photograph of an unidentified sailor kissing nurse Edith Shain in Times Square. A group "kiss-in" recreating the moment took place beside a 25-foot statue of the couple created by Seward Johnson. (I took photo of the above scuplture last year when more than 20 of Mr. Johnson's work were on display prior to his masterpiece, The Awakening, was being installed in Chesterfield.) Free sailor caps and roses were given out to the first 250 couples to arrive for the kiss in.
At estimated 6,000 buglers played "Taps" coast to coast and numerous events were held at World War II memorials and City Halls all across the country. In future years, the commemoration will be held on the second Sunday of August.
The group Keep the Spirit of '45 Alive organized the kiss-in and hundreds of other celebrations of the World War II generation Saturday.
I plan to go to Times Square to see the sculpture the next time I am in New York.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


These two palm trees stood outside a rest stop at a welcome center in Nevada. With the heat still over 90 and would be back to 100, I thought the palm trees would be fitting for this week "Tuesday Two" post.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


The weather people were right when they predicted that the whole week would be hot. It was 100+ everyday. I went into the office, stayed inside until time to go home.
Simple joy - yesterday morning as I was making an egg sandwich, I cracked the first egg, one yolk came out. The second egg came a nice surprise with two yolks. Together the yolks formed a face that looked like a Mickey Mouse! Believe it or not, I have been making breakfast, very simple egg sandwiches or cheese omelets, on the weekends. Save money and avoid the heat. I am a simple person with simple joy :)
Late afternoon on Saturday, we did brave the heat to go to the First Classic Car Cruise on Route 66 along Watson Road, the original Route 66 in St. Louis. In addition to the vintage automobiles, carnival games, food and various local bands performed on the main stage in the parking lot of Crestwood Mall.

After the noon Mass, we went to the Mall looking for a new pair of polarized sunglasses for me. We decided to shop on-line for something less since those at the stores were over $200 and I would feel guilty spending that much money on a pair of sunglasses, even though they were from reputable companies.

Have a good week, everyone. Stay cool and don't forget to wear sunscreen!

Friday, August 13, 2010


This sculpture is a tribune to the highscalers who worked on the canyon walls removing more than one million cubic yards of rock. These men either climbed up ropes or were suspended from anchors sunk in the canyon walls, at times swinging in a pendulum fashion, hundreds of feet above the river.
Transmission lines carry power from the Dam to farms, factories, pumping plants, refineries, to southern Nevada, Arizona and across the Nevada desert to southern California.
BTW, Happy Friday the 13th everyone :)


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