Thursday, April 30, 2009

Last day of April

IMG_4885, originally uploaded by torri_g.

This has certainly been a month that has flown by. I'm afraid that May is going to go even quicker though. End of the month means time for me to back up the pictures that I have taken over the course of the month and time to do some computer clean up. It also means that it is time for me to sit down and work on the list of all the things that I need to get done before graduation week. (Boy is that a list that I'm so not looking forward to making.) Top of the list is getting the announcements completed and ready for mailing next week. Next is getting the final picture taken and put on the party invitation, then getting them printed and given to Binky Sue and Army Guy for handing out. Oh but there is also 8th grade prom shopping to be done, and the hunt for perfect shoes and other accessories for Little Bug. Wait can't forget the hunt for the perfect shoes to go with Binky Sue's graduation dress. There is also a stack of paper work sitting waiting for me to get around to filling out for Mia and her "Big dog" training classes before the next class on Saturday. Oh yeah and can not forget to pick up my phone and call the hospital appointment line and stay on hold yet again this week for at least an hour so I can leave yet another message for my doctor to call about fixing an issue with the wait I fixed the issue with that now my issue is with the doctor and I want that fixed. Yeah...May is going to be an incredibly busy month.

I hope that everyone has been having a good week, and I will be back to posting felines, furballs, and feathers as of tomorrow. Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Small happy dance

IMG_4891, originally uploaded by torri_g.

If I could get back out to the John Slaughter Ranch today, I swear I would want to ring this triangle in celebration! One more trip out to the college yesterday and Binky Sue was able to walk away from the financial aid desk without being handed yet more paper work! WooHoo! Yes, I'm doing the happy dance here. For her grant we had an April 30th deadline with a small list of things to have done. Which then turned into a large list of things. (Of course since there was no fine print we couldn't be prepared for that.) But it is done, and Binky Sue was finally able to make it over to the registration desk and is now registered for her fall classes. We still have a financial aid orientation class to attend, and she has to get her diploma and transcripts to the ever dreaded financial aid desk, but that will all happen after May 21st and her graduation. Binky Sue is very excited about being done, and I am very proud of her for doing the last of this completely by herself.
After the back and forth of Binky Sue and this year I happy to see that she has set her feet on the path that she wants to follow after graduation. I'm trying to avoid being the emotion Mom, but I think since we are just a day away from entering the month of May that is not going to work so well for me. As of today we are 23 days away from graduation and Binky Sue is already set to start college on the 17th of August. There is so much to get through in the next couple of weeks, honors recognition next Monday, the scholarship assembly the following Monday, a very busy senior week leading up to graduation night. Today Army Guy is taking Binky Sue to meet with someone about a summer intern job here on base, and I'm just proud of my baby girl for all the steps that she is taking. For someone who started the school year screaming that she wasn't ready, she sure looks like she is more than ready for it now. Now she can focus on getting that 150 page senior English project done. Great job Binky Sue! Maybe when you get home from school today you can join me in doing a little bit of a happy dance.

I hope that everyone has a good Wednesday.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Not so still water

IMG_4857, originally uploaded by torri_g.

Yesterday I mentioned the pond out at the John Slaughter Ranch, so of course today here is a picture of it. Reading through the information about the ranch, it is a spring fed pond. The day that I was out there the winds in Arizona were gusting to say the very least of what they were doing, so the pond was not still at all. One whole side of the pond has benches, picnic tables, lots of large trees and soft grass for sitting and enjoying a calm day.

I hope that the week is going well for everyone, and I will be back tomorrow with some more pictures.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Mindless Monday

John Slaughter House, originally uploaded by torri_g.

Still using pictures from my trip a couple of weeks ago. If you ever find yourself out in Arizona, or if you live in Arizona already, the trip down to Douglas and the John Slaughter Ranch is worth the time spent on the sixteen mile gravel road. The house and the buildings around are open as museum, and are filled with time period things. There are old fort ruins up the hill from the main house, and views of the mountains in all directions. There is also a beautiful pond to do picnic lunches by, and the best part...real green grass! The soft makes you want to take your shoes off and walk through type. Not the course, risk getting sticky burrs in your feet type that is found just about everywhere in Arizona. The ranch is about as far south in Arizona as you can go and still be on the U.S. side of the border. When you are standing near the visitors center you can look to the right and see the fence that is maybe 600 feet from where you are standing, that is the border. There is a farm with cows just on the other side. If you make the climb up to the old fort ruins you can watch the cars driving along highway 2 in Mexico.
The entire ranch is beautiful and quite a surprising change from the desert look that you see as you travel on the road to get out to it.

I still have more picture of the area to post, and hopefully will be able to that this week. I hope that everyone has a good Monday, and that there is a week of just being busy enough a head of us all.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sibling Sunday

IMG_4846, originally uploaded by torri_g.

Another busy week done here, and yet another busy week to get through. I'm hoping after the trip out to the college this week that we can be done for a little bit. Oh please, oh please, oh please! But things are on track for Binky Sue and at some point in time they have got to run out of paper work to hand us, or at least that is what I would really like to hope for right now.

Sweetpea and Little Bug really don't have all that much new to talk about. Their lives are moving at just a little slower paced than their sister right now. Sweetpea is really enjoying the fact that she isn't adding anything to the busy calendar and feels that she is the best of the three kids.

I could probably ramble on, but seeing as I'm tired I think I'll skip to an end here. I hope that everyone has had a great weekend filled with laughter and time spent with those you care most about.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Simple Saturday

Flowering Ocotillo, originally uploaded by torri_g.

Alright so I haven't been any better about posting this week than I was last week. Very busy week with appointments, and trips with Binky Sue to the college. My biggest hope is that after we turn in this next round of paper work to the financial aid desk that we are not handed yet another huge pile of paper work by them. After this batch I'm not really sure just what else they could have hiding behind that desk to hand us other than maybe a kitchen sink! I'm finding that for every one thing that gets dropped off the calendar that there are two waiting to replace it, and the month of May is just going to be insanely busy. Even Army Guys birthday may be taken over with other things, but hopefully if all goes well this coming week at the college maybe we will be able to leave the birthday as just a birthday.

Oh and it isn't just the kids keeping me running and busy, today Miss Mia makes the jump from private training classes to classes with other dogs. Mia has been doing a very good job the last couple of weeks and I'm hoping today goes well. So even though it is Saturday I have a pretty full day here yet again. Wait I have a pretty full weekend!
I hope that everyone has had a good week, and that we all can find a few minutes over the weekend to sit and relax.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mindless Monday

IMG_5023, originally uploaded by torri_g.

After getting so very much done around the house this weekend I'm in the mood for some mindless time. Since today is day without any appointments of any kind, I'm going to take today as that mindless day. There are enough days this week to keep my mind busy with keeping track of just when and where I'm supposed to be and with who.

I hope that everyone enjoys a good Monday.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sibling Sunday

IMG_5003, originally uploaded by torri_g.

The school year is nearing an end and boy is the calendar filling up with dates to remember in the month of May. Heck the month of April is filling with dates to remember. Let's catch up to date on each of the siblings.

Little Bug is happy to see the AIM's testing finally done, after it took much longer than it should have. She has 20 days till the 8th grade prom, and 24 days till her 8th grade graduation. In between those dates there is a choir concert, a possible awards night, and heaven only knows what else the school can come up with to toss out at us. Little Bug has been in what can only be called a 13 year old mood for much of the last couple of weeks. Mopey and moody are the name of the game, and after watching both of her sisters before her, she has it down to an art form really. I love the age where nothing makes them happy, and you really know that you have reached that age when spending a day at the mall wandering around and seeing a movie with parents money but without parents along doesn't even bring a smile to their face. When you hear the words " was okay" with very little emotion, you are so there!

Sweetpea is...well she is just my Sweetpea. For anyone that knows her she is just very level and likes it that way. She can't wait for the last 23 days of school to be done and over with, but isn't so sure about being a senior next year. Sweetpea is also the only child that isn't adding to the ever growing list of calendar dates, and is very proud in pointing that out. I wish there was more, but Sweetpea just likes that low profile to much to give me anything more to talk about.

Binky Sue! Wow just where to start with her is the biggest question. Her count down to last day of school is 20 and 24 days till graduation. She is adding days to the calendar at record speed really. She has received a grant to attend the local community college which she also received her acceptance letter this week for. We have gotten all of her FAFSA paper work done, she will be taking her placement test this coming Tuesday and then sitting down with a counselor. She has been pretty much stalking the mail box hoping for letters about any of the many scholarships that she put in for. On top of that she has been busy interrogating her teachers to find out just who put her name in for a honor recognition award. (This is no joke, she literally was interrogating them till she found out the name of who did it. Chocolate was the down fall of the English teacher, and she gave up the name.) Binky Sue has also been very busy with projects and the final push of the teachers on those that are seniors.

We have announcements to get ready for mailing, a final picture for her party invitations and a printing to get done. There is a calendar filled with important dates to keep track of, and me hoping to figure out just how to stop the checking account from bleeding to death before graduation. Well, I think that is more than enough for this sibling update. I hope that everyone has had a good weekend so far and that today is spent with those that you care about the most. Have a wonderful Sunday!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Simple Saturday

Gadsden Lobby, originally uploaded by torri_g.

Just a quick picture entry today. Another shot from the second floor looking down at the Gadsden Lobby.

I hope that everyone has a great Saturday!

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Gadsden Hotel Lobby

The Gadsden Hotel Lobby, originally uploaded by torri_g.

It doesn't look like all that much from the outside, but if you ever get a chance, go into the Gadsden Hotel down in Douglas Arizona. The lobby is incredible, actually the entire inside of the building is. The stair cases are white Italian marble, columns decorated with gold leaf, and beautiful stained glass skylights. Lots of interesting things to take pictures of, and lots of angles and places to shot the pictures from. There is lots of history to be found about the hotel and its famous or infamous guests. Completely enjoyed my time wandering through and taking picture.

After having a week of sporadic posting here, I'm hoping to get back on track with things. I have a lot of pictures from my trip out this week, and still have lots of pictures from last week. I hope that the coming weekend is a good one for everyone.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Another Day of Getting Out

IMG_4829, originally uploaded by torri_g.

I have a ton of pictures from getting out an about in Arizona today, so have more than enough new for posting for a while. However, tonight I'm tired and don't think that I have enough brain power left for a real meaningful entry, so enjoy the picture of the desert land that I so want. Actually I just would love to have for the mountain but there was a sign about 750 acres for sale. If it includes the mountain I want it!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ever Changing Way

IMG_4642, originally uploaded by torri_g.

Another year of April 13th coming and going, and me sitting here this morning happy about getting through another year in my own way. Birthdays are a celebration of life and growing, but when the little one that a birthday is for is no longer with you it leaves you pretty lost on just what to do. No matter how many years pass without Alexandria there are dates on the calendar in my mind that just will never leave. Yesterday was her birthday and she would have turned 15. I have found in the last 15 years that every year finds me with dealing with it in whatever way seems the most fitting. This year was just simple...sit and cry. It is difficult sometimes because the Mom in screams out that I need to be spending the day getting things ready for a family celebration. Finding or baking the perfect cake, getting the presents that she would want, preparing whatever special dinner was requested, oh and let's not forget the early morning birthday dog pile that happens in this house. Instead of those things though I find myself wondering. Wondering what she would look like, wondering what kind of personality she would have, tons of things to wonder about.
Yesterday it was a day of the very simple things reminding me to smile and that the day would eventually pass, and that today that part of my heart where all the thoughts of her live wouldn't hurt as much. A simple e-mail from my sister in law telling me that she was thinking about me and one very special little girl. A phone call from my Mom just to talk and see how I was doing. A ton of text messages from my Binky Sue while at school doing her very best to make her Mama smile. Army guy saying "I understand" when I tell him that I'm trying. I may never have a perfect way to pass the April 13th birthday of little miss Alexandria Marie, but at least I'll never doubt that those around me understand and will ride the day out with me doing it however seems best on any given year.

I hope that everyone has a good day, find the beauty in the day around you because even just the most brief moment of beauty can touch you for a lifetime.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

IMG_4589, originally uploaded by torri_g.

Just a quick entry this morning to wish everyone a very Happy Easter, and to say I hope it is a beautiful day spent with family, friends or any combination of the people that mean the most to you. Have great Sunday!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Tiny Fast Feathers

IMG_4681, originally uploaded by torri_g.

Tiny fast feathers of humming birds from down at the San Pedro. I love these birds and the challenge of photographing them while in motion. I also love that they will keep returning once you have gotten into place and are staying very still and quite. The fact that you can hear the buzz of them in flight help to let you know just when they are returning and need to have the camera ready to go.

Once again it is time to head over to visit Steve and Pickle for the week, and all of the great animals that gather for a visit.

Feline, Furball, plus Feathers Friday

San Pedro Riparian

IMG_4632, originally uploaded by torri_g.

Another picture from being out exploring this week. The area down by the San Pedro is beautiful and if you like watching birds or trying to photograph birds this is the area to head to. Or at least one of the many areas that I know to head to. Walking through and seeing so many humming birds was wonderful since they are one of my favorite birds to try to photograph. Then again pretty much every area around here right now has large number of humming birds back again.

We are taking a strange weather twist for the Easter weekend yet again this year, and since the winter advisory that we are under is calling for snow level to drop to 6000 feet, I'm hoping that sometime this weekend I will be able to take some snow on the mountain pictures. I hope that everyone has a great Saturday, and if I finally get around to it I will get up a feline, furball or feather's post for the week.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Finding things in the desert

IMG_4571, originally uploaded by torri_g.

Yesterday was an enjoyable adventure out in the desert. Well except for the part where Josephine and I stumbled across an illegal campsite. Since I live in very southern Arizona and only about maybe 30 miles from the Mexican border, I think you can figure out just what kind of illegal campsite I'm talking about. Back packs, water bottles scattered around, and Josephine and I getting back in the truck very quickly. Because fun is fun, but not knowing just who and how many may be watching from behind all of the brush in the area is just not fun at all.
Just to keep you up to date on the names Napoleon and Josephine are Army Guys parents that are out here for the winter months and Binky Sue's graduation in May.

Anyway, they took me out yesterday to show me some very cool locations to shot pictures. Some I knew of and have planned on getting out to but just hadn't gotten to them yet. Others I never would have thought of. It was a beautiful day weather wise here, and getting out of the truck to walk for the different pictures was great.

Today the girls are out of school for a long weekend because of the Easter holiday, which is probably a good thing since all three of them seem to be exhausted this week. We are heading out to visit with their grandparents for a little bit at some point in time today if they ever get up and moving. (My girls...not their Grandparents) Other than that I think the plan and hope is just for a calm semi laid back kind of weekend here.
I hope that everyone has a great weekend spent with all of the people that you love.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Getting out and about

IMG_4545, originally uploaded by torri_g.

What a simple idea I had yesterday. Get out of the house for a little bit with the camera and see about clearing my brain so I can think straight again. You know how you sometime have to reboot a computer or reformat a memory card? Well, I guess the same thing needed to be done to my brain. The results worked so well yesterday that I'm going to do it again today. Heading out to see about finding new things to photograph. I've been working on a list of things that I would like to find here to take pictures of, and today I'm getting in the car and going to see just what all I can actually find.

What has my mind swimming in the sea of lost confusion lately? Well, just about everything really. As we draw closer to Binky Sue's graduation things are picking up at an insane pace. Every day brings a new deadline, or request for money, or paperwork that needs to be filled out right now! Yesterday was take Binky Sue to Cochise Community College and get her admission paper work done, turn in paper work accepting the grant that she was offered through them, set up appointment date for her take her placement test, find out the dates for fall registration, get more paper work that needs to be filled out for the school and returned soon, get even more financial aid information and paper work that we need to sit down and work on sometime in the next 24 hours. I also need to sit down and redo my calendar for May that seems to be filling up rapidly. Add working with Mia to help get our issues back under control. Then just for another added level of fun I tossed in the bold attempt to stop smoking and start a work out routine in the never ending attempt to lose weight. Thank goodness Sweetpea and Little Bug have not seen fit to add anything into the mix! Army Guy is standing by my side with his own attempt to stop smoking and that is a good thing, I just think he may be able to do better than me with this. But I'm still trying and if I can not do this on my own then I'm making the call to the hospital for the classes and the medication because it is really what I want to see happen for myself. What's funny to me is that the working getting back into working out and changing diet is easy. I did make Army Guy laugh last night when I told him my perfect plan for me to get past the killer urges to smoke. If I could just go to sleep for the next say 5-7 days straight, I think I could get past the hardest part of this. My next best plan, get out of the house with my camera. I tend to have no urges to smoke when I'm out photographing. To bad the weather looks to be taking a nasty little turn this weekend.
Anyway, I hope that everyone is having a good week and enjoying nice weather while you have it.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Please excuse

IMG_4527, originally uploaded by torri_g.

Well now that I feel like I'm writing an absence excuse for one of my kids, I will just completely throw my own mind off track. Yes, I'm actually that distracted this week. I'm feeling sorry for anyone trying to have a conversation with me this week. Heck I think I'm going to feel sorry for anyone trying to read my blog and this entry! So it may be time to go with some wordless photo blogging or no blogging at all for a little while. Honestly if I'm not typing in circles, you will all have less of a headache which is really a good thing. I'll explain everything later, but right now please excuse me and my brain while we try to take back control of a few things.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Simple Happiness

IMG_4474, originally uploaded by torri_g.

We had our first session with the trainer this Saturday, and I happy to say that Mia did a wonderful job. Both the trainer and I were concerned about how Mia would react with all the distractions of being at the dog park, but we quickly figured out that she really could care less about any other dogs. Hmm...that means that it is solely a Trinity issue that needs to be worked on. Everyone in the house now knows several of the things that seem to trigger Mia into going after Trinity and we are all working of either avoiding those things or trying to change approach to how they are dealt with. Mia's exercise time has already increased in the past few weeks, and is going to increase more as of this week. Three to four times a week Mia and I will be making trips out to any of the local dog parks for walking. By the way when you hit the walked 3 mile mark with Mia she will lay down in the parking lot by the first car that seems to resemble Mom's. The goals of training are going to be to break Mia of feeling she is Mom's protector who needs to punish Trinity for anything she does wrong. Wow that is one heck of a goal! Basically it is to get Mia to feel that she has an important job here in the house that doesn't require her to use those teeth of hers. For our first time out I really was very proud of her because she did a great job. I learned new ways to get her attention when she is so focused on something she doesn't need to be, a few new ways of correcting her behavior. I also heard the words from Ms. L that she really believes that Mia is so willing to please her Mom that she will learn these new things rapidly and calm will return to house with both dogs. Great words for me to hear really.
Now since I have a goal for both Mia and myself here this week I need to get moving. I think the dog park and the mile long walk around it is calling for us, and for us to do at least the laps around. I hope that everyone has a great start to the week.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Music on Friday Night

IMG_4516, originally uploaded by torri_g.

Put ten people together on a Friday night armed with guitars, microphones, amplifiers, and what do you get? A good old fashioned jam session. Without their sound guy in the RV park anymore they had a little bit of an issue getting the amplifiers set just right, but they worked through that and if you didn't mind the couple of minutes high pitched squeals coming from the amps it was a very enjoyable time. Lots of good songs, and moments of comedy because who can resist being funny when they have a microphone right in front of them.

I hope that everyone is having a good start to their weekend. If you can get out and enjoy the day.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Playing nice

IMG_4485, originally uploaded by torri_g.

Well tomorrow Miss Mia and I have our first session with the trainer. I'm happy that Mia has had a better week with Trinity, but there was one attack that slipped through. The good thing was that the tips from the trainer on how to react and how to deal with it kicked in and did actually work. Because of paying such close attention to these two I did see it coming, but just wasn't fast enough to take the steps to prevent it from getting started.
The trainer loved meeting both of the dogs, and feels that Mia has just moved into a real bully stage with Trinity, and that we should be able to get this back under control. She gave lots of very helpful tips to start with which we all have been using, and even though the girls won't be doing anything tomorrow during our session with her, they all have voiced that they want to go with and be a part of learning. The thought of having to re-home her isn't one that any of us like but if this doesn't work out it will be the step that we take next. So fingers crossed that all of us can learn quickly help Mia to get this back under control.

It is time for Feline, Furball with Feather's Friday again, which means time to head over to visit Steve and Pickle and all of the great animals that drop by over there. I hope that everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Random Thursday

IMG_2509, originally uploaded by torri_g.

Since I don't really have any new photo's that I've shot, I went back into archives and hopefully pulled a picture that I haven't posted here yet. I still have a list of things to try to get done that I just didn't get to yesterday. Getting hit with a migraine while driving will make just about anyone give up on errand running and head back home. I did however, get those senior portraits mailed!

Other than that there really isn't all that much to write about today, so I hope that everyone has a good quiet Thursday.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Busy Wednesday

IMG_4486, originally uploaded by torri_g.

Because I think the next time I will be able to sit down and relax will be around sunset tonight, why not a sunset photo? Lots of errands to get done today, heck by the time I'm done there shouldn't be much of the area that I wasn't in. There is heartgard medicine to pick up for puppies, plus get a print out copy of records showing that they have been micro chipped and had their rabies shots for the new overlords of base housing. Kitty food, doggy food, human food because this whole crew just insist that they all have to eat daily. There are bills to be paid and the biggest thing for today...MAILING THE SENIOR PORTRAIT ENVELOPES!!! Yes you read that right! If you are on the list of family and friends that have been waiting for me to finally get these things in the mail, well you need wait no more because they are going to the post office this morning! Which means that you just have to wait for your mail person to deliver them. Why did it take me so long? Well, I'm sure that I could come up with a dozen excuses but it boils down to one simple thing really, money. Alright maybe two simple things, money and the fact that I kept forgetting about them till after I didn't have money for mailing them all. But this morning they will finally be heading out to all parts of the U.S. and in a couple of days you will have them. Oh and anyone that may not be happy with their final prints I'm not so sure I need or want to hear because you have no idea how much new gray hair I have because of this "little" project of Binky Sue's senior portraits, and I may just end up sitting and crying.

Alright time is now after 0800 and I need to get started with this very busy day of mine here. I hope that everyone has a great Wednesday!