December 22, 2022
Today we are just chilling in Cedar City, UT in the customer lounge at the Ram service center while we get some warranty work done on the truck. Luckily, I brought my laptop and they have a handy guest Wifi network that I am using to bring some ramblings to you. Do you recall back in July (I think) when we had a ring fall off our drive shaft and it was sliding around making a racket every time we drove? Well, they finally got the replacement part in for us so here we are.
The cold snap is hitting us here as well as everywhere else in the country so we haven’t had too many outings this past week. I delivered some of my home baked cookies locally and mailed them out to close family members and our two closest friends back home. Everyone was very pleased with them. I still have lots left so I think I’ll pack some to share whenever I decide to go solicit a local business. We also have two Christmas gatherings to attend so now I have something easy to share at those.
We did take the dogs out of Harris Wash one afternoon which is a tributary of the Escalante River. We’ve been through this wash before on our way to hike Bighorn canyon so we were familiar with the area. The dogs loved climbing in and out of the wash and sliding on the ice. Luke brought the long lens and captured some really stunning photos of our dog Dobby. Even Sophie decided she could be spry today and did some running and jumping here.
Here are my shots of Sophie and Luke’s shots of Dobby.
We also did a dog run on Smokey Mountain Rd this past week. I realized that Luke and I were both wearing T-shirts I got us from The Nevermind Shop in Upton, MA. The Nevermind Shop is a super cool record shop our friend Mick owns so I posted a photo of us in our matching shirts on Instagram for him.
I finished a paint by number of Yosemite. Painting here at Entrada is wonderful. I just set up the portable easel that Luke’s mother Lynn gave me at the dining room table and had lovely light coming in through our big picture window all day with a wonderful view.
Now that cookies and painting are done I am totally excited to move onto miniature making. I selected the biggest kit I had since this seems like the best place I will be for building one for the foreseeable future. These are the pieces I’ve completed so far. It will be a cross section of a three story home.
I was planning to go on a hike over the weekend with Curtis, but the highs were in the 30’s and I couldn’t find my balaclava so we postponed for warmer weather. A ranger for the monument told me that there was an add on for the Fallout New Vegas game in which you have to complete quests in Zion National Park so we downloaded it and played these quests this past week. It was fun and the part going through the Narrows was reminiscent of Zion. Other parts looked more like the red rocks areas of Kanab and Page more than Zion, but it was cool nonetheless.
My first community potluck Sup Sup was last night. I was anticipating a crowd as many told me they were coming (when I didn’t even bring it up or ask). However, almost no one came. The woman who works in the building we were using was there and stayed for the whole time to help out if needed and lock up when we were done. Her husband also joined us at the end. Our neighbors Wendy and Terry also came and brought meatballs and Luke came, but that was it. Even the woman who encouraged me to do this and helped to organize it had to bail out. I mostly don’t feel like trying this again, but maybe once some time passes I will feel less wounded and have the motivation to try it again. I made a double batch of a Buckeye chili with peanut butter and chocolate and will end up freezing a good portion of it. I wish I hadn’t heard many people enthusiastically say they were coming and then not show up though I was prepared for that to happen. Maybe I won’t be the stranger who shows up and brings the separate factions of this town together. Life can’t always be like a movie though I will continue to believe that I am a hero despite sometimes failing. Apparently, there were some solstice parties going on that were more popular that same night.
In better food news I made a fantastic and easy Mojo Pork in the Instant Pot using this recipe. It was so yummy! In round one we made Cuban sandwiches with it. Round two was quesadillas and rounds three and four are burritos. It gave us about a week’s worth of yummy meals.
I am still enjoying following some other photographers and journeying through my photo catalogue to find relevant things to share. This week I enjoyed participating in Caturday with photos of Junior Buddy in Belize tasting Luke.
I also celebrated #thicktrunkTuesday by sharing these photos of Painted Bark or Rainbow eucalyptus trees we saw in Maui along the road to Hana. These trees give us a great smell of mint and honey and are home to the endangered Hawaiian Hoary Bat. They are also amazing to see. Have you ever seen trees with this many colors?
Luke and I have concluded that the other social media platforms have sold out to advertisers and are garbage. It appears that the rest of the world is beginning to agree with us as well. I still post on them a bit, but really just so friends and family can see what I’m up to. Very rarely do Facebook or Instagram show us anything interesting these days. Just say no to Meta! On Mastadon I have already found some very funny people to follow as well as some very talented photographers. Luke got into a debate with someone on the site who backed up his argument by sharing peer reviewed and published scientific journal articles. This is high quality levels of debating!
Since Luke was kind enough to help me with the cookie making extravaganza, he was able to design a couple himself and then eat his special cookie. He may be the Georgia O’Keefe of cookie design. The ladies I worked with on past productions of The Vagina Monologues would have loved these.
For those of you who celebrate Christmas, we hope you have a Merry one! For those who celebrate other things, we hope all of those other things are merry too. We see deer every day. I hear that since it’s hunting season perhaps they feel safer hanging out in town. Luke captured some nice shots of them late in the day which I leave you as the featured image here.
Jennifer MacNeil is currently traveling the US with her husband and two dogs. She loves to have adventures, explore, meet fascinating people, and see amazing places. She strives to learn every day and spread kindness to others. She documents her journey through her photography and blog to share with others.