Sunday, June 29, 2014

Red, White, Blue - a Beautiful Color Scheme!

My sister Carolyn loves July not just for the fireworks, but for her BIRTHDAY! (Not on the 4th, but close enough to make her smile pretty!)

Red, white, and blue everything!

I am happy to be free, and sincerely thank all those who helped make it possible.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Writers for Life

On June 7th, I was fortunate enough to attend the "Writers for Life" conference at the Utah Valley Medical Center, a cancer research fund raiser put together by Cheminant Flitton. (Standing left in the photo below with the This-Is-such-A-Great-Day smile.)
This conference worked because of the marvelous authors who contributed their time to give fabulous presentations. Below, Lisa Mangum is smiling in the green shirt, because she recently returned from Disneyland. (I could still see the impressions of the Mickey Mouse ears in her hair.) There I am, standing in the pink shirt, and sitting at my left is the oh-so-encouraging Jenni James, who has had crazy good success, putting out an incredible 13 books last year!

I was delighted to see my good friend, Jeff Scott Savage!

And beautiful Josi Kilpack was dedicated enough to come even though she was scheduled for wedding pictures for her daughter later in the day! (Her first child married! Congratulations, and welcome to the Mother-in-law Club, Josi!)

I always love to hear from Larry Correia, a master of action writing!

And here's Brandon Sanderson, who had to talk fast and skip some of his slides to get all of his information in. (He's not short. I had thick-soled flip flops on.) 

Cheminant is also in this photo, because, after all, he was the one who started this whole thing, and he was there until the end. Well done, Shem! 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Visions of Las Vegas

Leaving Las Vegas on Tropicana Avenue, we saw Excalibur

and New York, New York

And here is the Luxor pyramid as seen from my son's street. (Find the pointy thing in the middle between the palm trees.)

I think the planes fly in different directions on different days, because when they went north, they were nearly low enough to part my hair, but on the day I left Las Vegas, the planes were headed west. Look closely...there's an airplane just above the tree to the left of the antenna. I wanted to show how low they were when they took off, and this was the best I could do in the time I had. (Use your imagination! That's what it's for!)

In the parking lot, I had a van park behind me with a sign in its windshield stating, "Desert Memorial - On official business for the coroner's office." (In the dollar store?)

I saw this friendly kitty sitting in a window on my morning walk.

I also kept seeing strange figures on the street that looked like little alligators or pieces of dead animals. (They were shreds from palm trees.)

 The water park was refreshing.

I DID get under the mushroom water fountain, too, I just didn't do it with my phone camera!

Would you really want to eat here?

Or would you rather eat here?

This sign made me happy, because I am a saxophone player!

David Copperfield doesn't even have to DO anything...he just looks magic!

The morning sun sure makes the buildings shine!

 After I painted theirs, my grandchildren kindly painted my face for me. This is my nearly 10-year-old granddaughter's heart creation.

Here is my 3 1/2 year old granddaughters "Rainbow Ninja."

And my six-year-old grandson gave me a zombie arm.

All in all, a great vacation! I'm ready to go again! Where will I end up next time?

Saturday, June 21, 2014


Yes, I applied sunscreen. (See my white shoulder? See my red back?) Note to self - putting hair down while spending time with grandchildren at outdoor Paradise Pool does not block enough sun.

 Self applied sunscreen DOES block the sun, but only as far as I can reach!

As fun and exciting as it may be, Las Vegas was not made for this Nordic blonde.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Where am I?

Can you guess where I am? When I went outside to go for my morning walk and saw Mandalay Bay down the street from my son's house, I thought it was so pretty, I decided to share it with you. (Now are you ready to see my MORNING MUG?)
Okay, here I am, make-up-less, with my new "Cindy Lou Who" smile from emergency oral surgery that saved my front tooth and upper jaw bone. (NO! I'm not mocking you! This is my new face! And, no, I did not get cheek implants! That is, I don't think I did. Who knows what happens when you're unconscious? Blame the doctor if you must, or just say, "Ooo, Shirley, that's a good look for you!")
By the way, Mandalay Bay looks smaller because my camera makes things look smaller than they really are.
 And THEN, if you walk to the corner south and then the corner east, you get to see the McCarran Airport control tower! (It's the promontory next to my re-glued sunglass frame, the one that doesn't have leaves. THE OTHER TOWERS WITH LEAVES ARE TREES, people! (I think it's so exciting when airplanes take off overhead, going somewhere new and adventurous! I think lots of places are fun and exciting.)

I finally found the secret to why Las Vegas is so dry that my eyes hurt! (I have to sleep with wet cotton balls over my eyes. Really.) This is what I saw on someone's very brown lawn: 

Um... aren't you supposed to let the water OUT of the bottles in order to grow anything?

I've found some interesting street names here, including "Valley Nails," "Sun Shimmer," "Magic Forest," and a series of streets that were Native American names like "Hopi," and "Apache," and then there was a "Betty," followed by "Ute." What?! Was there a "Betty" Indian tribe that I missed somewhere in the history books?
Then I found a section of town with royalty names, like Princess Jean and Count Wutzke. Then I came across Prince Scotty, which I took a picture of for one of my own princely sons. The other sons of mine must have street names here somewhere, I mean, after all, there's also a "Shirley Street," but you've got a picture of the real Shirley above, and that's better than a name on a sign, doncha think?
So what do YOU think of Las Vegas?

Monday, June 16, 2014

Why there's a Pirate Flag on a Pink Car

I spied this car on one of my morning walks, and it made me stop and take a picture. If I didn't know the family, I would probably be able to come up with several theories behind the appearance of a pirate flag on a pink car. But this is the best reason I know of:
This family had four girls before they had a boy, so either one of the girls is really into pirates, or they already had a pink play car and didn't want to invest in another one, so they "pirate-ized" the one they already had for their son to ride. It could also be true that the girls and their brother collaborated on this effort, deciding to play "Pirate and Lady Pirates."
Whatever the reason, it struck my fancy, and I hope it tickles yours!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Cat on a Bug Hunt

Beware all bugs who dare to enter the Bahlmann house! (Bob helped, but as you can see, the cat did almost all the work.)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

My Son Made a Waterbed

My son called out, "Mom! I have a waterbed!" Knowing that the last time I checked, he most certainly did not have a waterbed, I had to go see what he was talking about. With visions of some major spill all over his mattress, I went into his room, and this is what I saw spread out on his flannel sheet:
It made me smile, too!
Have you ever had a waterbed? What do you think of them? 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Oldest House in Manti with 1851 Fireplace

This is purported to be the oldest house built in Manti, Utah. The renovating owner, Nate Christensen, who I interviewed for a newspaper article, said that I was the second person to go through the doorway (where I'm standing) in over 50 years. See the rubble where he unblocked it? (I didn't think of taking a picture until the next day, when Nate had already put a door on the opening. He was the first one through!) Don't look at my legs... I forgot to do a model pose with my feet.

Ah, here's my model pose in front of a fireplace with the date "May 1851" etched into the mantel. Just don't look at my left fist.

I'll bet you looked! Do you see why it's better to get someone to do what you want by telling them what you WANT them to do, rather than what you DON'T want them to do? What if I'd said, "Look at that graceful right arm." Then you wouldn't have even noticed my awkward left fist! You see, there's power in the positive!
What positive thing are you doing today?

Monday, June 2, 2014

36 years ago yesterday...

Back in 1978 when casual shots weren't cool, this is the one I loved the best for Bob's and my wedding announcement. (Thank you, friend and co-Snow College student photographer Lyle Erb. I'm sorry to report that Lyle told me his camera never made it back from Paraguay. I appreciate getting this photo before Lyle trotted off to Paraguay.)

Mom said that wasn't the proper kind of picture for an announcement, so we had one taken in dress clothes... and I put them BOTH on the invitation! (I'm kind of stubborn.) Some people thought it was a double wedding for me and one of my sisters! Ha ha! Fun memories. It's been 36 years as of June 1, 1978, and we're still holding hands in church.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Buzzards for my Birthday

How can you possibly have a happy birthday preceded by buzzards? I did not make this up - while riding my bike the evening before my birthday, I noticed three buzzards circling in the sky overhead. Because I thought it was funny to see BUZZARDS on the eve of my 56th birthday, I tried to get their picture, but couldn't see through my view finder very well. (I never do when looking up at the you have that same problem?) Anyway, the dot at the bottom of the blue sky picture below is a buzzard. (His friends were obviously camera shy.)

Then, on the morning of my actual birthday, GOOGLE wished me happy birthday in a creepy/cool way. (The little sign on the bottom right says, "Happy Birthday Shirley" but it looks like I cut my name off when I took the picture, so you'll just have to believe me...or not.)

After that, I was at WalMart painting faces to help raise money for Primary Children's Hospital.

Even with Bob coming to help me at the end, we went two hours over my scheduled four hours, and WalMart asked me to come back next week for an encore.

I went home to see that my good friend, Gidget, brought me BIRTHDAY CAKE! Actually, she brought several cute little heart shaped colorful cakes with sprinkles and frosting on the side and smiley stickers and cranberry pills. (Cranberries are healthy, don't you know? In my world, enough cranberry pills lets you eat all the cake you want!) P.S. If you know me very well, you might see a change in my smile in these photos. I now resemble Cindy Lou Who from "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas." At least my mouth surgery saved my front tooth, my upper jaw bone, and possible infection of the brain... (wait, are we sure about that last one?)

Then Bob took me out to eat at a restaurant in Mayfield. (Interesting name, no?) Just as I was finishing up by cramming all the squash slices I had left into my mouth, Bob started laughing. I thought he was laughing at my eating habits until I heard people singing "Happy Birthday" and here came the staff with a piece of heavenly creamy pie with blueberry topping, just for me! (When I finished swallowing my vegetables, I shared some pie with Bob. After all, today is our 36th wedding anniversary!)

So my recommendation for your is to get yourself a birthday balloon on your next birthday (you can see the top of mine in the picture above) tie it to your belt, and go about your day having a very happy and adventurous time! After all, you were born. That's all you need to be terrific. (*snort of laughter!* "Terrific" autocorrected to "terrify" before I changed it!)
Have some fun today!