Home-base and an Abajo Outing – June 2020

Sunday June 7 to Tuesday June 24:

My mornings start as much as possible with quiet sitting, coffee, journal writing, and uplifting reading of some sort. I water the flowers, fill the bird baths, and run the sprinkler for a few minutes.

Ravens at the bird baths

Clifford starts his day with his ham radio traffic (the passing of radio messages) net before moving on to his other projects, namely virtual flying, playing his dulcimer, and his CI experiments. I continue to make improvements to the backyard, along with editing for my daughter, Ang, posting photo blogs, and occasionally getting out either the cello or viola for a bit of playing.

A cozy corner

We see a little damage from the hail and wind of June 6, but hear of other people with broken windows and broken windshields. As it turns out, we have the roof inspected, there is more damage than we realized, and a claim is filed for hail damage.

Our only outing is a trip up Abajo Mountain and this time we go to Monticello Lake. We are lucky that the spot way at the back behind the earthen dam is available. What a great spot for our picnic and music.

Great spot for a picnic on Abajo Mountain as seen from the dam
Monticello Lake as seen from the dam
Sky reflections
The Leaning Tree

On this trip, Clifford also takes his drones and flies them for a bit. It has been breezy, but he manages to get in a couple flights with each of them.

Clifford flying drones
Aspens near the drone field


The “news” about Covid19 is so contradictory and smothered in political name-calling, it is nearly worthless, as well as filled with negativity. Other than a couple of documentaries sent by trusted individuals, I do not engage in the news about the virus or the riots. Clifford reads news from his outlet daily and fills me in where needed. My own effort in staying healthy and doing something good for the world is to stay in a place of positive vibration, focusing on what is still good, right, and beautiful in my life and in the world.

Trip to Abajo Mountain – October 2019

Monday October 14: A few days after our return to home-base in southeast Utah, with a sunny sky and the promise of a day in the 60’s, Clifford and I make a trip up Abajo Mountain for a photo outing.

We first go to Monticello Lake, which is especially blue with the blue sky above. I walk around to the dam so as to get a better angle of sunlight behind the scrub oak that grows on the hillside around the lake.

Monticello Lake
Walking around to the dam
Grasses growing on the dam
Sunlight through the scrub oak leaves

A strong breeze comes up, and we decide to go on to Pine Flats which may be more protected. Someone is camped in our spot, so we stop in the aspen grove and I take a few photos there.

Our last stop is the Buckboard Campground because the aspens there are quite photogenic, especially along with the scrub oak, all in their autumn colors.

Aspen at Buckboard Campground

Then back down the mountain and the afternoon is spent with our various projects.

Down the mountain

The mountain outing was lovely and back at home-base, I am appreciative of the sturdy house protecting us from the wind, as well as the electricity that allows our numerous projects to continue.

Monticello Springtime – May 2019

The days of Wednesday May 15 to Monday May 20 are spent with the busy work of taking care of emails for CI, paperwork for this and that… things that have been on a back burner while traveling. More interesting for me are blog writing, editing photos, editing for my daughter Ang, sending letters to literary agents, and sending texts with photos to family and friends.

One day Clifford and I make another trip to Abajo Mountain, to Monticello Lake again, so I can gather a few rocks for the landscaping project in the back yard. It is a windy day with a smeary jet-trail sky, so not many photos. However, Clifford takes his dulcimer and I have my journal, and we improvise outdoor seating out of the wind in the lee of the Suburban. We have hot tea and enjoy the warmth of the sunshine out of the wind. Too bad I didn’t bring snacks!

The road to Abajo Mountain
Windy at Monticello Lake
Clifford plays dulcimer in the lee side of the Suburban
La Sal Mountain to the south

Some mornings I can sit outside to write in my journal, but other days, the wind and rain, and even snow, keep me inside.


Some days the high is only in the 40’s, which seems quite chilly for this time of the year. However, my morning writing table at the sliding glass doors provides a view of the backyard, the early morning light, and the activity of the birds coming to the feeder.

Sitting inside at the sliding glass door

I am using the food dryer to dry bananas, apples, spinach, and other veggies so as to have a better supply of food when we are traveling. It is time-consuming to prepare the food for drying, but worth it to have the greens and fruit available.

Clifford continues research in the lab, and we both play our instruments – Clifford with his dulcimer, and me with either viola or cello – whenever time allows.

Research in the lab continues

We enjoy outdoors when the weather allows, whether Abajo Mountain or our backyard.

Enjoying the outdoors

Settling In & First Abajo Outing – May 2019

Friday May 10 to Tuesday May 14: Upon our return to our “base-camp” and the CI lab in Monticello, the days are focused on settling in. This includes unloading essentials from Cougar, catching up with email, Amazon order (food dryer and sprouting seeds), errands, and getting the back yard in shape. Thanks to the winter snows, the yard is green with “grass” and colorful with a crop of dandelions. My daughter Merri and I have a conversation about how much we like dandelions, and shortly after that, Clifford uses the weed-eater to trim the whole backyard. The yard looks great, and the resilient dandelions make a good comeback.

Creative look at dandelions

Sitting out in the backyard with the journal, poems by Mary Oliver, and a good cup of organic French press coffee is my favorite way to start the day.

One day, Clifford and I put together the shed that he had ordered from Harbor Freight last fall. It took all afternoon, but it will provide a good storage space for many items that are in waterproof tubs. Another day we walked to the historic site of the original church, enjoying the blossoms all around.

My favorite day was a trip to the Abajo Mountain. Clifford needed to get pond water for an experiment, so I made a picnic and we went up the mountain to Monticello Lake. I do love being there, and even a bit of rain did not spoil our picnic.

Abajo Mountain still snow-covered
The road up the mountain
Reflections on Monticello Lake
Clifford gathering pond water
Looks like rain is coming
Droplets of rain on the lake while the picnic continues

During these first days back in Monticello, along with settling in, I continue with blog writing and editing of several books while Clifford begins to delve into the lab work of CI.

Life is a Journey – November 2018 (Part 2)

After our two-day trip to Farmington, New Mexico, I spend several days thoroughly cleaning Cougar and packing for the next outing. We have thoughts of going to Canyonlands for a week, but it doesn’t happen, as there is just too much to do here before we leave for the winter.

View from the sliding-glass door

As part of his research, Clifford needs some pond water, so one day we go up Abajo Mountain to Monticello Lake, which really is just a pond. It is a nice enough day that we could have had a picnic, but we didn’t plan for it and Clifford is eager to get back to his research. I am happy to have another outing to the mountain; I feel altogether better when I am here. I submit one of the photos to the San Juan Reporter and am quite delighted when they print it for the featured photo of the week.

Monticello Lake

A highlight of these weeks is receiving the hand-crafted knife that my son Tye has made for me. He has made and sold a number of knives this past year, each one distinctly unique. The beautiful knife made for me fits my hand perfectly and is a pleasure to use.

Our projects continue as the weather becomes more late-fallish. Clifford is spending hours and hours in the lab. Moss balls are sent for and added to the pond aquarium for research. I even get a couple of these “plant pets” for the kitchen. Even though my head and hearing are still not quite right, I begin playing my cello and viola again. Blog and journal writing continue, as well as agent research and a few other home projects.

Thanksgiving: I send texts to family and friends, feeling quite grateful for these people in my life. How I would love to be sharing the day with them. Since we aren’t out camping this Thanksgiving, I fix a turkey dinner, which I haven’t done for years and years.

The weather is turning colder and I am excited to get a photo of falling snow.

Mother Nature is happy to oblige the last day of November, and now we will see what December brings.