Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Hieroglyphic Staircase is on Amazon

My next book in the series: Mystery-in-Exotic-Places is now available on Amazon for e-readers. 

Elena Palomares’s summer archaeological project in Copan, Honduras turns into a nightmare when she discovers someone has been stealing stones from the Hieroglyphic Staircase, she finds a stranger dead at her work site, and she’s a suspect. She meets Dominic Harte, an ex-priest haunted by his own past, who offers to help clear her good name. In the course of their investigation, they discover that a local homeless boy is key to solving the mystery. But there is a price to pay for disturbing the ghosts of the ancient Mayans, and Elena must decide if she is willing to pay it.

Enjoy! and let me know how you like it.

New Hatch

First meal of Chick Starter
George checks them out
These are the new arrivals, hatched Monday and yesterday. We have six total. One didn't hatch and one Mama smothered. They are toddling around today. Photo is of their first meal with Ma, and Pa comes to check them out.

Country Music Jamboree

Big group jam before each show
Las Tres Amigas Autoharp
Our Saturday performance
Informal jammin'
We had the extreme good fortune to attend this year the High Desert Fiddlers Country Music Jamboree. For three whole days we listened and played and talked and visited with fiddlers, guitarists and more from the Northwest. John took a morning banjo workshop since a friend lent him a banjo and he wants to learn to play. He's been practicing his pickin'.  I took my autoharp and found two other autoharpists and we formed a trio and played for the group on Friday and Saturday afternoons. It was so much fun! Since I had a loaner autoharp I decided that it was time to get my own and my new autoharp should be here Monday.  I've been practicing my strums and am even going to play in our new church band.Watch out!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Llama Trials June 9

Saddling up
Almost ready to go
Heading out
Rest Stop with Rosa
Glad that is over
Llama nose up close
Our ham radio club once again this year supported with radio communication the Happy Hummers 4-H group with handlers and guides on their annual llama pack trials. The Saturday hike ran into snow in the mountains where the hike was scheduled so we came back to the BLM area just north of town to do the three mile hike.

June 5 Snow

We awoke to a snow storm on June 5. The horses stand in front of the shed to get out of the wind and Mama Hen huddles with her chicks by our state-of-the-art horse feeder.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Blitzen is back

Blitzen and crew went to pasture at our neighbor's while we were on vacation. He's almost two months old now and loves to bite and chew. We have to be careful of our fingers. He bites his mother and aunt and they seem to tolerate the doings of a young one. He loves to gallop around the pasture.

Two Ducks Left

Beauty and Scarlett
The ducks are happy after John topped off the pond since the water has dried up in the ditches and pasture around our place. We only have two female ducks left. While we were on vacation the male disappeared. We think he took up with a wild girl.  No baby ducks this year. But they are still laying good. Love those duck eggs. 

Mrs. Speckle's Newest Chicks

There are 8 chicks in this photo. Can you find them all?

John's Truck

Emptying  the tank to refill from the neighbor irrigation well.
Spring wouldn't be spring without a photo or two of John and his truck. He loves that truck! He's getting it ready for fire season. He's a volunteer with the Crane Range Land Fire Department. That water truck stays parked in our yard. I'm glad we have a yard big enough.

Tegin and Sam Visit

Tegin and Sam
Oregon Grape blooming
Myrtle Creek
About the middle of May Tegin and Sam came from Portland for a very days to play music and hike. We went hiking at Myrtle Creek on US Forest Service Land about an hour north of us. We played some music and Tegin caught some songs on a CD by using Garage Band on her Mac. And we did sound like a garage band. But, boy, was it fun jamming! I'm now learning to play the auto harp. John has a banjo a friend loaned him but we can't get it tuned. So he sings a lot.

Lehman Caves at Great Basin National Park

On the way back to Oregon we stopped at Great Basin National Park which is on the Utah/Nevada border. It only has 100,000 visitors a year compared to 3 million at Zion and Bryce. We camped out overnight though it got down to freezing at 7,500 feet. Wheeler Peak is the highest in the park at 13,000 feet. John took the tour of the caves. I tried but didn't make it past the second door. I could feel the walls closing in and beat a hasty retreat. We crossed Nevada part way then turned north to the gold fields at Battle Mountain. I didn't realize how mountainous Nevada is. We traveled route 50 for about 100 miles, known as the loneliest road in America. It was, too.

Bryce National Park

A German couple took this photo of us. We're on our way up out of the canyon. Huff, puff.
The happy hikers at Bryce
We actually walked down this trail into the canyon. Scary.

After Zion we drove about 80 miles northeast to Bryce Canyon National Park home of the famous hoodoos. We stayed at the Lodge which sits on the rim of the canyon. Bryce is about 8,000 feet and cooler than Zion. Also windy. The temps at night got down to zero. John and I stayed two nights. Eleanor and Larry left after one night to go back to Las Vegas. The food at the Lodge is really fine. Eleanor was able to get gluten-free very easily. We saw the mandatory sunrise and sunset over the canyon. John and I hiked down the Navajo Trail and up the Queen's Garden trail. We were huffing up and down. Talked to lots of people. Many foreigners. How do they find these remote places? Everyone had a camera and snapped away. Can one have too many photos of hoodoos? The vistas are breath taking. The rocks are millions of years old. One feels very insignificant among them. I think I liked the hoodoos best.

Zion National Park

Eleanor & Larry at dinner at the Spotted Dog
View from the outdoor cafe at the Lodge
The action of water made the canyon
Flowers growing in the hanging gardens above the first Emerald Pool
View down canyon from trail
View from Sandbridge Trail looking down at road into Zion
Virgin River Gorge looking north
View from the porch of Zion Lodge

Larry, Eleanor and John at Zion Canyon
Looking up from an Emerald Pool
John hiked to the highest Emerald Pool
Well, I didn't get around to posting in May. My excuse is that we were very busy. The beginning of May John and I took a driving trip to Zion, Bryce and Great Basin National Parks. We met our cousins, Eleanor and Larry, at Zion and we visited Bryce together. The photos should tell the story. The scenery is awesome. We learned a lot about the Colorado Plateau and the Great Basin. Harney County, where we live, is on the northern edge of the Great Basin. The weather was perfect. Sunny and about 80. John and I wore ourselves out hiking the Sandbridge trail which was, duh, all sand and used by the horses. Eleanor was very good at finding the good places to eat and what to see. The Virgin River made the gorge. Water seeping through the rocks continues to carve the canyon. It is really, really worth the visit. The Lodge is the place to stay. You are on the floor of the canyon looking up.