Sunday, October 25, 2009

No rest and prayer request

Last night was the final night of the Golden Triangle Writer's Conference held at the Elegante Hotel in Beaumont. My friend Debra Harris Johnson, center, won First Place with her short story, First in Non-fiction, and First with the Writing Jar. Way to go girl!
With us is teacher, Jessica Ferguson

I presented two seminars, The Writing Process, and Journaling and Memoirs. Both were well received. Attending authors held a signing party with our books available to the public.

I will be signing my new book, A Venture in Faith, Texas to Alaska, at Barnes and Noble on Dowlen, Nov. 7, 2009, from 1-3 PM. Hope to see all of you.

On Sunday, Oct. 18, I had an informational table at the Golden Triange Baptist Association Missions Fair, held at First Baptist Church, Nederland. Many visitors have an interest in Alaska.

Author and friend, Laurie Kolp, has a story in a newly released anthology, Christmas Miracles. Here Laurie is holding her book at Barnes and Noble. She will be joining me signing on Nov. 7.
Laurie wrote a glowing interview with me on her blog, Thank you, Laurie!

What I get myself into. I was Assistant Scout Master with Chris's troop in Houston. Now I'm home and available to "volunteer" to sleep on the hard ground, in a tent, and eat kid friendly, high colestrol, calorie laden camp cooking. I joined my boys, Ryan and Kyle and several other Scouts, to spend the week-end at a camporee at Camp Urland. The weather was chilly, the sky ultramarine blue, and the exercise welcome.
Don't the boys look like they are having fun?

Yes, that's a lizard earring on Jimmy.

Darrell, my adopted son is now 27 years old. He is blind and profoundly retarded due to child abuse, shaken baby syndrome.
Darrell has had a series of grande mal seisures. He aspirated fluid and a lung collapsed. He is also fighting an infection. He now struggles with a trach and ventelator.
Darrell spent a couple of weeks in the hospital and is now in a long-term acute treatment facility where he is being weaned off the ventlator and receiving therapy. His very limited mental ability makes all this very confusing for him.

Several years ago after receiving Darrell's medical and children's protective service records, I wrote his story.
I know that God's purpose for Darrell's life is that his story be told to help parents understand the devastation of shaken baby syndrome, how to handle the stress of parenting and to offer encouragement to families of special needs children and adults.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Photo Fans, Blogger's fixed!

My youngest daughter, Cora, fixed blogger! So now I have a couple of weeks of catching up to do. On our last day at Camp Baldwin while we were preparing the waterlines for minus 50 degrees this winter, our young bull moose came to visit and eat the seeded yard. Because of their short necks they get on their knees. I think he's praying that hunters don't make moose-meat out of him.
Leaving Alaska, we drove the AlCan Highway through the Yukon, spending the night at Whitehorse Wal-mart, and then drove on to Watson Lake, famous for the sign post forest. Although this is my fourth trip to Alaska I had not added my sign to the 65,000 plus signs.
I hope I can find it again! It's above Sassie and directly behind the Martin's sign.

We left the AlCan and turned south on the Cassiar Highway, a narrow, mostly gravel road, much like the AlCan on my first trip in 2002. The fall colors, golds of aspen, birch and cottonwood, contrasted with the reds of ground plants and the black/green of the spruce. Magnificent.
We stopped at Jade City, British Columbia, (in the rain). This area of mountains produces the largest quantity of jade in the world. Jade is not only green, but white, pink and black, too.
The figure below is made of stacked raw jade rock. It is called an inookshook. The figures were made by the Canadian First Nation people as trail markers. You still see them today. The inookshook is the symbol of the winter Olympics which will be held in Vancouver.
Near Stewart, BC, we made a short trip back into southeast Alaska at Hyder, population 80, (unless residents have flown out for the winter). We drove an old gold mining road to see the Salmon Glacier, and fish creek. There were no bears at fish creek because the salmon had already run for the season. Last year a bear killed a camper in his tent.

Dale obligated the photographers by ducking under an overhang of a small glacier.

This is one of the many waterfalls exiting the high valley glaciers.

Proceeding south we left the Cassiar Highway for the Yellowhead Highway and continued through the Fraser Gorge. The scenic highway is cut along a canyon wall. Between the river and the highway, the light ribbon is one of two railway lines. Tracks on each side of the river proved for trains to travel in opposite directions.

In Bellingham, the Martins and I shared a farewell lunch and a (almost) tearful good-by as we wnnt our separate ways. They contined south to Seattle, while I turned east.
It's difficult to sift through pictures of Bellinghan, and Seattle, but I chose this one from the Honey Creek campground in Washington.

The cypress trees were so large that I couldn't reach even half way around the smaller ones. Ferns grew out of the tree trunks, with fronds three feet long. Fallen trees had new growth growing straight up out of the horizontal trunks.

Washington, Oregon and northern Idaho were harvesting apples, pears, apricots and other fruits. Vinyards surrounded the highway.
And then what a contrast. Salt Lake City. I drove onto Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake by crossing a causeway from Salt Lake City. The water level in the lake was very low due to summer evaporation. The salts and minerals thickened the water. The island itself is rugged and dry.
To reach the lake and walk in the extremely salty water, I passed through this picnic shelter and walked on the mineral encrusted sand that you see through it. At the horizon is a narrow tan line of dead vegetation, and then the shallow water. Quite a long hike in the brilliant hot sun.

Here are some of the antelope the island is named for. There are also free roaming herds of bison, and many migrating birds.
I was fascinated by the clarity of the sky and the colors of sunset.
The air was so clear that sounds carried for quite a distance.

Then on the visit Arches National Park.

Here is one of the many balanced rocks, left from volcanic extrusions.
Some of the formations look like groups of people.
There are many natural stone arches caused by wind and rain washing away softer rock.

Leaving Utah I drove through southern Colorado and into northern New Mexico.

This metal sculpture of Native Americans is at the visitor's center in Durango.

I've wanted to visit the Georgia O'Keefee museum in Santa Fe, since I visited Ghost Ranceh several years ago. In the city, I quickly learned that even with a GPS, it's impossible to drive a motor home through the narrow streets lined with adobe building.
I spent a wonderfully cool night at Glorieta conference center, and two night in Glen Rose for Camper's on Mission Texas rally, then on to HOT, HUMID Beaumont.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Hot and Humid

I'm terribly sorry but blogger won't accept my photos to upload.
Anyway. I got home safe and sound late Friday.
Saturday was spent cleaning out the RV.
On Sunday I drove Cheri's truck to church and later we went to buy groceries. A few minutes after unloading the truck and while we were putting things a way, a man banged on the front door yelling "Your truck's on fire!"
Sure enough Cheri's truck, that she'd just paid off, was in flames. 911, police and a fire truck joined neighbors with water hoses. It was a total loss.

This weekend I'll try to get someone to help me load pic on bloger, until then,