Saturday, June 26, 2010


I have officially located two Sasquatch samples.  They live in my house.  This is a picture of my 12 year old son's foot and my 20 year old son's foot.  The 12 year old has the bigger, less hairy foot.  The thing that makes these feet so unique is that boney edge, jutting out below the pinkie toe.  This is a Native American racial trait.  This makes my boy's feet really wide.  When John went to the Naval Academy he was surprised that he measured a n 8 EEE.  He had been wearing an 11 for several years unless he could find a 10 wide.  We were wrong on both counts.  So when Joe was complaining that the size 13 Adidas running shoe was just too narrow I came to the conclusion that he had inherited Native American feet too.  Luckily, after rejecting the narrow Adidas shoes(we would have tried to size up but they didn't have a 14 at Costco), we went to Sams and Bob found that the Avia mens shoes were sold in standard width and in EEEE's.  I figured that a 4 E might fit Joe better than a D width.  We went down a size to a 12EEEE.  I might have been able to get him into a size 11 but he is only 12 and I think his feet may continue to grow.  I'd like him to wear them for at least 3 or 4 months before we have to buy new ones.  They fit him great.  He hasn't complained about the shoes pinching or any thing.  Well, he has complained about sore muscles from Strength and Conditioning Camp while wearing the shoes, but that just goes to show how much he needs the conditoning before football season.

A few years ago Nike came out with shoes specially designed for the Native American population.  They were a 4E with an extra roomy toe box because Native Americans tend to have a wide gap between the big toe and the other toes, and the second toe is often longer than the big toe.  They were available through various tribal organizations and nowhere else.  Unfortunately, you had to be a registered member of a tribe to get them.  I guess they forgot about the vast amount of Americans with Native American roots whose ancestors were too proud to register with a tribe back in the early 1900's.  We need those extra, extra, extra, extra wide shoes too.  Job Stockam failed to take that into account when he refused to register with the Cherokee Tribe.   I tried to find a black market for the Native American shoes but no one was selling them.  I am not sure why Avia makes the EEEE wide shoes, but I am grateful.  The good news is that we can buy them at Sams Warehouse for about $28.00.

Just as a contrast,  I wear a women's size 10 running shoe, which is a really big shoe for a woman.  Yes, I must be a wicked stepsister.  I have never been confused with Cinderella.  Mine is the pink and white shoe and Joe's shoe is the gray and black one.  I kind of feel like Joe is one of those cute puppy's with really big feet and I know what that means.      


John's foot, Joes foot, and my foot (the one with polish).

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Iron Will

It is amazing what the mineral iron will do for my body.  During a recent exam I told my doctor that I thought I had a low thyroid condition because I was always cold when everyone else was warm.  It seems I have watched Oprah one too many times.  She suggested that maybe I had low blood iron and that was making me cold.  Indeed that is how the blood test results came back. 

I have been going to a hemotologist to work on this problem.  I have been going in for iron infusions twice a week.  I have only been in for three infusions so far, but I can already see the difference in some little ways.  I can eat spicier food now.  That was a surprise.  I hadn't seen an intolerence of spicy food as a side effect of anemia and low blood iron in my internet research.  Yesterday I was actually able to eat a jalapeno slice.  My intolerance of spicy food was getting worse and worse.  I was having trouble chewing Dentyne Gum before I started these treatments.  I was able to get through church this Sunday with only a blanket, not a blanket and my winter coat.  My ice cravings are diminishing.  My nut cravings are diminishing.  I am just waiting for the part when I will have a lot of energy.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


My favorite word in the English language is serindipity.  A serindipity is a fortunate accidental discovery.  Last week Bob and I took a trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico while Joe was at scout camp.  Dallas was going to be HOT, HOT, HOT, so Bob had the great idea to go to the closest elevation.  It was about an 12 hour drive, kind of far but no too far.  We spent Monday getting ready to go and driving west.  We spent the night in Santa Rosa, then made the remaining 2 hours of the drive Tuesday morning to Santa Fe.  We spent Tuesday in old downtown Santa Fe looking at art shops, churches, museums, and historical markers.  I could have spent three or four days doing this but I think Bob had had enough of old Santa Fe.

I tried this rabit fur hood on at one of the little shops.  I loved it!  I found some excellently beautiful jackets for about $2000 dollars.  So we really didn't buy anything except for some postcards which we mailed to Joe to let him know where we were.

This is a picture of the famous staircase at the Loretto Chapel.  It was built in the late 1800's by a man who came as an answer to prayer.  The nuns who ran the girls school were trying to get a staircase built up to the choir loft but all of the designs for the staircase took up at least half of the seating in the chapel.  A carpenter showed up and worked on the spiral staircase for 6 months.  When he completed the work he disappeared without leaving a bill for his labor or materials.  He worked alone, using only a saw and a carpenter's square.  The nuns believed that it was Saint Joseph himself who built the staircase, but anyone who knows anything knows it was John the beloved.  

We made camp at the Black Rock Campground in the National Forest.  The campground has recently been remodeled so it was really nice.  Thanks to Obama for the stimulus money that was used for the renewel.  We felt lucky that we were able to see any benefit from the stimulus package.  Most National Forest Service campgrounds are substandard, but not this one.  It is on the road to the SantaFe ski basin.

Good equipment really helps to make camping enjoyable.  You can't see the queen sized air matress inside the tent that is necessary for people of our advanced age to be comfortable while we are sleeping.  Also, not pictured, is the combination campstove/oven that gives a lot more easy cooking options.  Before this, we used dutch ovens.  Well, we thought about using dutch ovens, but they are so much work and are so heavy and messy that the menu was simplified to avoid them.  Not any more.  The only issue that we had to deal with was making adjustments for high altitude baking.  We were up over 8500 feet.  Yes, the night time temps were cool.  I even had to wear a sweatshirt.  I wore my sweatshirt that I bought in Forks, Washington.  Everyone around the campground gave me the nickname of Forks.  It is evident to see that a lot of campers were not really into the Twilight series.  A battery operated Ipod player kept us in tunes.  This was just a nice little feature of our camp.  Another good feature close to the park was the city pool at Fort Marcy in Santa Fe.  We didn't go swimming but we were able to take showers there everyday.  It is really nice to be able to be clean while camping.  Being up so high, the stars were gorgeous!  Living in Dallas with so much light pollution I don't think about the night time sky much.  That beautiful star light just renews my soul. 

On Wednesday  we went on a 3 mile hike up the Black Rock Trail.  It should have been an easy hike, but, did I mention that we were at 8500 feet in elevation?  I had to rest a lot because I was out of breath.

This is me, sittng down resting.  The trail was really nice and we got to a great view of the National Forest.

Lots of aspen, poplar, and ponderosa pine.  We felt lucky that we had such a great trail with the trail head right in our campground.

I probably would have voted to spend Thusday in the little shops in Santa Fe, but Bob had had enough of that so I was looking in the Santa Fe tourist attraction book to see what else might be fun for us.  I found that within about an hour's drive we could go to the Bandelier National Monument near Los Alamos.  What a lucky find!  We spent hours wondering around the ruins of the ancient Pueblo people.

When these caves were in use they had pueblo stuctures in front. 

We were able to look down on the main pueblo ruins from the trail up by the cliffs.  Isn't it interesting that the city was formed in a circle?  Kind of like they were ready to protect themselves from invaders if necessary.


Lots of ladders.  The children who were touring were having a great time exploring the caves.  They weren't nervous about falling off the ladders.  Bob and I were trying to imagine how much fun it would have been to go up with a scout troop years ago and actually be able to spend the night in the caves.

This was supposed to be a picture of Bob's rear, not mine.  But when he found out my plans he wouldn't fork over the camera.  We were on our way up to Alcove House.  It was a cliff dwelling up four tall ladders and a lot of steps.

Up at the top was a kiva and the ruins of a 22 room dwelling.  It was one of the best preserved kivas in the complex.  When it was excavated they actually found corn and other ceremonial items inside.

On the way back to the campground we stopped by Los Alamos where there are several museums to extol the virtues and history of the nuclear bomb and nuclear science.  I felt at home because the housing styles reminded me of government housing built in the late 50's or early 60's, just like the houses on all of the navy bases I lived on while growing up   Los Alamos continues to be a center for the development of nuclear science.

We packed up Friday morning and started back to Dallas.  Joe would be getting home from scout camp on Saturday and he would expect us to be there.  In one of the little Sanat Fe tourist books that we picked up Bob read something about the Blue Hole in Santa Rosa.  We have been through Santa Rosa it seems like hundreds of times and the only good thing we have found there is a McDonalds.  We had been missing out on one of the most amazing places around.  Just south of McDonalds in Santa Rosa, on the south side of the freeway, about a half mile down the road is the Blue Hole.  The blue hole is a deep, clear blue hole filled with 61 degree water year round.  It is about 80 feet deep and is a scuba diving mecca in the middle of the dessert.

Not everyone who uses the Blue hole is suba diving.  We saw a few snorkelers, but most of the people were diving off the low cliffs into the clear water.  I thought about it.  I think it would be really nice to see Bob and Joe dive in.  The water seemed really cold to me.

You can see clear down to the bottom.  There are several diving platforms on the way down.

There is also a city park close by with a lake for swimming which has a great water slide and a toddler area with lifeguards.  All of this is free of charge.  Who'd of thunk?  So now, in addition to stopping at McDonalds, Santa Rosa will be a place we hit for a little refreshing break in the drive out west.  Now that is a serendipity.  

About Me

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I am a stay at home mom but the clock is ticking. My husband and I only have one child left at home. I enjoy shopping and finding great bargains.