Thursday, July 30, 2015

JED'S GRADUATION WEEK IN NEW MEXICO!


FINALLY! A DOCTORAL GRADUATION CEREMONY!

Tuesday, the 5th 
Sunrise leaving Baker City
          We left Baker City a little before 6am bound for Price, UT and a waiting motel room! The trip was uneventful, as we listened to a Robert Parker western.  Weather was clear and sunny, altho a few scattered raindrops in the SLC area.  Ginger drove from Mountain Home to the Switzer  Pass rest area, and then again from Spanish Forks to Price.  We had a nice hotel room at the Legacy Inn off exit 240 on the north side of Price.  Took a walk to stretch the legs and find a possible dinner option.  Rick got on a phone call from Lynn Roehm, though, and we finally ended up in Burger King because I was getting cold standing out in the wind!  A 20 pack of chicken nuggets for dinner along with my salad and fries for Rick.

Wednesday, the 6th: 
Hole in the Wall south of Moab
          We grab breakfast right as the hotel opened it up at 7 and were on the road.  I drove to Moab where we gassed up, Rick then drove clear to Las Lunas!  I finished up the final 50 miles down to Socorro.  We arrived around 5 pm.  We finished our Robert Parker book and started the Clive Cussler one.  Lots of orange mallow around the Shiprock area, also construction north of the border.  We decided to explore an alternate route home that might avoid the construction - and more scenic!
          Dinner with Jed around 6:30 at Socorro Springs - Jed's treat.  That was nice!  Back to just talk a few things over for Thursday.

Thursday the 7th:
   
Haircut from cousin Regan!
    In the morning Rick and I shop at Walmart and Dollar tree, getting the cake and other items lined up for Saturday.  We then grab a quick lunch and  meet Jed at his place to drive up to ABQ.   Since Luke's plane doesn't arrive until later, we take Jed up to Regan for a haircut (she works on the NORTH side of town while the airport is on the south end!), back down to airport for Luke and then to moms (in the middle!) to pick her up for a dinner date at Papa Felipes.  Nice meal together visiting, back to Mom's where we don't leave until a little after 8pm.  A little later than planned!    Back to Socorro by 9:30 and drop boys off before heading back to our room at the Days Inn.  


Friday the 8th: 
We find Jed still using the
towel Cherrie made him for
his high school graduation!
Pictures of our early astronaut!
          We head over to Jed's around 9:30 to work in garage cleaning up and decorating.  Luke and Jed had worked miracles over night!  The garage was

Cleaning up and decorating
the garage!
nearly empty!  We swept, set up ping pong table and sheets for a backdrop hiding all the other junk, left at 11:30 to pick up Subway for lunch and meet Jed at Water Canyon campground for the drive up the mountain.  Jed had a group  of first graders for a tour in the morning and was waiting for his lunch!  We then piled into the MRO rig and Jed drove us up to the top!
Jed outside the MRO at 10,500' 
          What a great tour!  Hubble info, outside with ladder on dome, Jed's weather station - inside to control room, bedrooms, showers, kitchen and lounge.  Eileen has provided a definite touch of classy decor!  NICE!  Then up to the cooler climate controlled dome.  The server room with computer cords everywhere.  Trap door out to roof slope to weather station and access to ladder to top.  Up to mirror floor - control computer.  Jed moved the tele for us - a stealth telescope - so fast and quiet!  Then he rotated the dome.  MUCH noisier and slower!  It was all so exciting to see, and fun to see Jed's confidence in what he was doing.  Writing this up a little 'after the fact' I have forgotten much of the technical information, but one new tidbit of information concerned the MRO's relationship to Hubble.  The mirror for the MRO was originally designed in competition for use in Hubble.  It wasn't selected (their loss, it might have worked better in the long run than the ill-fated first Hubble scope!) so it was revamped from 'space use' to 'land use' and set up on top of Magdalena Ridge!  
Inside the Control Room
This is the little broom Jed used to sweep off the dome last February!
The mirror of the telescope 
Backside of the scope had to be adapted from paper thin gravity free base to one that would work on earth.  
Comfortable living quarters 
Top of the mountain houses an interferonmeter, weather bunker, and other sciency stuff!

          As we drive down off the mountain, Luke napped, and then he drove
Dinner at Twisted Chili
back into town with Jed where they visited Jed's offices, etc.  We went back to the hotel and crashed for hour or so.  We walked down to dinner at Twisted Chili  in Old Town Socorro.  We sat at a fireplace table with a musician singing out on the patio.  Nice.  Windy evening.   Back then to Walmart and Jed's to cut up all the fruit and veggies.


Saturday, Graduation day! 
     

We are up early!  The ceremony started at 9, Rick was going to arrive at 7:30 and secure spots for the chairs, while I went over and decorated the top of the cake, etc.  Ran, Patty, Rach, and Mom R arrived at the school around 8:20.  I walked over with Jed and Luke, Jed prouidly regaled in his robe and hat.
A glance at Rick
as he walks in.

         
Dressed and ready
to roll!
The ceremony lasted about two hours and Jed received his hood and his 15 seconds of fame in the final presentation, final five minutes.  Agh!  I had Sabra live streaming with Mom Mac and told her Jed would be in the first part!  We just said, 'they saved the best for last'.  He looked so good - the only doctorate candidate who had purchased a special robe or wearing the tam hat. No kidding,....he was THE VERY LAST one (partly due to an R name!)

         
Diploma in hand!
A picture with Advisor Eileen
          A mulberry fruit fell on Jed's hood while they were waiting, but the stain was so small and on the hidden underside that Jed probably will not have the school clean it or purchase a new one.  They were VERY apologetic about it and offered to replace.
Eileen hoods Jed....
Happy brothers. 

Family Rembold!
Boys and Grandma R
Dr. J and his ice cream cake!
         Afterwords, Jed and Luke stayed at the reception briefly, I walked back to the house with Rick, and met Rands in car with mom.  I got all the food out, but Eileen showed up BEFORE Jed and Luke got back.  Her husband and son were ill at home, so she came early (and probably stayed longer than planned).  Only other guests were Dave, the faculty advisor who really helped Jed get started on the writing process, Donna, his landlady (that was more by accident), and Rob, his roommate.  A little disappointing, but we realized the circumstances.  I was grateful to get a chance to really visit with Eileen who has been the primary individual influence for Jed's doctorate.
Prof Dave, Jed, and Eileen
          Jed, Rick, and I sat outside visiting after we cleaned up everything around 3:30.  A good opportunity to just relax and talk about future, past, education, goals, etc.  Dinner of ice cream cake!  We said our goodbyes around 9p and back to hotel to prepare for an early departure on Sunday.

Sunday, the 10th:  
          We left Socorro at 6:45am headed for ABQ and a breakfast date with Mom R for Mother's Day.  Hot air balloons were over the city, around 20 probably; they were coming down as we arrived.  We ate at Village Inn, returned the chairs and pan from Scotcheroos, and left about 9:30am.
Mountains west of Durango

           Rick drove to Bernalio, and I drove the 150 miles from there to Bloomfield. Traffic was not bad and I had forgotten how scenic this route is in places.  It plateaus out in the NW corner of the state, but lots of pretty cliffs and draws earlier.  Switched drivers in Bloomfield at a little gas station near Aztec junction that sells refills for 50 cents, any size!  A bargain!  And we had just stopped for potty!
       
South of Moab
 We explored a new route as we cut from Bloomfield up to Durango to miss the road construction on 191 south of Cortez.  The views of mountains were beautiful, but we ran into some storms that blocked the peaks much of the time.  On our second 'new route', cutting through Dolores north of Cortez, the rain was heavy and we didn't see much of what we hoped for!  Ah well.  Another time!  Rick drove to just north of Moab, and I took us the rest of the way into Price.  Same hotel, same room for the night.

Southern Utah vistas

Monday, the 11th:  
        We again grabbed breakfast as the owner was putting it all out, so on the road by 7:10 bound for Baker City.  Rick drove up to Ogden, through our third new road of the return trip - from Provo over to Heber City.  It turned out to be much freer of traffic in Provo than expected on a Monday morning at 8:30am!  Views great of the Watsatch from the east side.  We were in Ogden by 10:15
Heading through Provo toward Wasatch Mts. 
past SLC without entering it!  Gas stop, switch drivers and I took us to Sweetzer Summit north of the Utah border, but was fighting the sleepies. We stopped there for potty and lunch.   Rick drove until east of Boise, and I took us home, arriving just below 4pm PT (we gained an hour), and about 600 miles under our belt for the day! I talked with Liz on phone briefly in the afternoon with instructions to learn how to use Craigslist before we came!  By 7pm Rick had mown the lawn, watered, taken a walk, and started some laundry!  I had unpacked food items, gone to WW, and begun the switchover packing!  Whew!
Going through Provo Canyon

Luke came over at 9 after district tennis to teach me Craigslist.  I wrote my instructions down so I could also give Mac a good set for after we leave (to delete postings especially after they sell!)

Final packing Tuesday am, and by 11am we are ready to roll again..... off to Alaska!  (Next blog!)

Click HERE for all the photos from Jed's Doctoral Graduation

SUMMER HIKING 2015

 ROCK CREEK BUTTE SUMMIT
11 miles RT
Thursday, July 16

          A glorious day to be out on the trails!  We take a longer hike today (preparation for the Elkhorn Crest Trail in three weeks!) and I give the thumbs up to tackle Rock Creek Butte instead of Elkhorn Peak.  (ONLY 4 miles further!)  Luke takes the day to go with us as we are also checking out the condition of the east side of the Marble Creek Pass, a road with a rather poor reputation.  We pick Luke up at 7:45 and head for the mountains!
          And....at 8:45 we pull in to park at the top!  Yes, it takes an hour to travel about 16 miles from Baker City, but the final 5 miles are VERY slow.  It gave me plenty of time from the back seat to check out the flowers growing alongside the road: fireweed, paintbrush, gilia, goldenrod, lupine, etc.  I had my flower book with me still going over some flowers from Olive Lake area!
Back down to Baker Valley
          It is windy on top!  A cooool wind!  I took off on the trail right away, figuring the guys would catch up soon enough.  Stopped to wrap the bandana around my ears as the wind hurt!  But I love the trail as it winds north from the crest - well graded and the views are stunning south toward Sumpter Valley, Phillips Lake, and clear to the Strawberry Mts.  I love the little 'peak through gaps' that occur around the corner of each ridge, where you can see through to the Baker Valley side of the mountains: the patchwork of agriculture, the bright reflections of metal roofs, the train tracks snaking their way through the middle of the valley.
First views of Twin Lakes basin.  Our destination
is the peak at upper right. 

          Rick and Luke caught up with me as we rounded the main curve 3/4 mile up the trail where you can no longer see the truck at the pass, and the mountains circling Twin Lakes come into view.  Elkhorn Peak and Rock Creek Butte.  Our goal!  Another mile plus section of trail finally brings us to the corner where Twin Lakes themselves are visible - such beautiful little lakes nestled right at the edge of the steep dropoff.
          I had been to the top of Rock Creek Butte only once before, when Jed, Rick and I biked about 3 miles and then hiked the rest.  That was back in 2005 or so.  Luke hadn't been to the summit since the PYGS went in 1998!  It is just enough further than Elkhorn that it isn't the easy day hike that peak provides!
Mt. goat ram
   
Trail junction
     Under the flank of Elkhorn we pass the trail sign heading down to the lakes, and then continue high above Twin Lakes, past some bright red rock outcroppings, fields of lupine and lousewort, and through the blasted out notch to the Pine Creek side of the ridge.  This short section of trail was kliterally blasted from the rock to access the crest trail.  And a mountain goat was standing right in our path!  As we neared he just stared until, 50 feet away, he finally took off down the mountain.  A beautiful big male goat.  Speaking of which, we probably saw over a dozen during the day - grazing in the meadows, up on the rocks.  A healthy goat population!

     
Enroute up the flank of Rock Creek Butte
   We had to round the base of Rock Creek to a more northern ridge for the easy access to the summit (easy? No!)  Rick and Luke had been eyeballing the 'Bryan Route' on the south ridge, but decided to take the longer route.  Maybe next time we will try Bryan's route from '98.  It seems like you hike a long way around the mountain before heading UP!  My goal was the summit by noon....missed by 15 minutes, but we were close!  Luke stayed back with me and we visited as we slowly climbed through fields of lupine, dock, and tiny pink flowers, up talus slopes and loose rock.
Inuk construction

         We probably spent a hour at the top, taking pictures, calling Grandma Mac, and then building an Inuk Suk on the northern lower peak where you can look down to Rock Creek Lake.  We remembered Bob's Knob, named by Bryan.  We traced the Crest Trail up to Mt. Ruth in the far distance...a reminder of how far the Crest Trail will be in August!
Inuk guards the valley. 
         Headed down around 1:15, back on the trail by 1:50, and back to the truck at 4pm.   A good day, tired feet, and then a tortuous drive back down the road (it's always worse going downhill!) But Rick and Hondy made it fine.  
         A GREAT day!!  




Some of the MANY wildflowers!
Twin Lakes from near pass through to Rock Cr side
Fuzzy, but the three of us on top! 
Click HERE to view more pictures from the hike

Lakes Basin Peaks Loop
8 miles RT
Tuesday, July 28
Lilypad Lake and Gunsight Peak

          Jed and Andy Munn are both in town, so we all head off for a day's adventure together: Rick, Jed, Luke, Rusty, Andy, and myself.  Felt bad leaving Grandma R at home on her last day in town, but.....this is one of my favorite hikes!  
          We took two separate cars and began the hike from the Anthony Lake turnaround at the far edge of the lake.  Headed up towards Black Lake and the Elkhorn Crest Trail.  A beautiful brisk morning and we are on the trail before 9am, so the sunlight was beautiful on the peaks.  Lily Pad Lake was especially pretty in the morning light.  
          The valley behind the Lakes Basin Peaks is one of my favorites.  The far ridge looks like a cityscape as it branches off from Van Patten Butte.  The meadows far below are lush; the pond in the middle looking bigger than normal.  The hillsides are covered with wildflowers - lupine, pearly everlasting, fireweed, monkshood, sulfur buckwheat and more.  But the flowers seem to be at the end of their peak.  The season has been early and the hillsides are dry.  
Just below Angel Pass

One of the many 'chutes' heading toward ridge
          We stopped for a brief rest at Angel Pass, a final view back into the gorgeous valley to our east.  To the west Crawfish Meadows stretches out and the backwall of Lakes Lookout, Lees, and Angel Peaks form a solid granite barrier.  A short distance further on the trail brings us to a gorgeous overlook of the Dutch Flat drainage and a perfect lunch spot among the buckwheat strewn rocks.  
Approaching 'lunch spot'

Rare gilia flower
          At Dutch Flat Saddle, our loop trail branches off from the Crest trail and we head downhill for a mile or so under the wall of jagged granite rock above us.  Rick and I are surprised to find more evidence of our mystery wildflower - a species of gilia - tucked into a more dry climate on this side of the ridge.  
A little jump action!
          No mountain goat sightings today, but plenty of tracks.  We did see an elk down in one of the ski run meadows at the end of the hike.  
Explorer's Gentian
          At the top of the ski area, we scouted out a route for Luke to bring some Chinese exchange students next week up to Lakes Lookout, and then headed down the Hoffer Basin Trail to finish our loop.  The Hoffer meadows were lush with Rick's favorite flower, the gentian.  
          Jed showed me a new feature on the camera phone that helped us catch some spectacular pictures today!  Love having tech savy children!  All in all, an absolutely fantastic day of hiking!  
The five peaks: Van Patten, Gunsight, Angel, Lees, and Lakes Lookout.  We circled all but Van Patten.  
Hoffer Lake reflections
Panorama of Hoffer Lake and surrounding peaks...wonderful reflections!
Click HERE to see all the photographs from today.             

BLUE MOON ABC'S



A confession on compiling my word list for each letter:  I come up with a few words on my own, but mostly I have really enjoyed going to the SAT Word List on the internet and seeking out some less common, but positive words from that list.  I usually skip over those with negative connotations….why spend time pondering the negative? 

7.25.15   B is for BRINK….
B:  beautiful; boring; brink; ballad, banter, beckon, befuddle, barren, bemuse, benevolent, billow, blithe, boast, bolster, bountiful, brazen, buoyant, blue, big,

               So I checked out that BIG ol’ moon last night…it is only 5 days from full and looking BRIGHT and BEAUTIFUL in the evening sky.  Pretty enough to write a BALLAD or come up with some prose.  BUT I thought of son Jed tonight.  He has been gazing at and filming the dark side of the moon for nearly 8 years in pursuing his doctorate in astrophysics.  Now he is done and on the BRINK of a new career, the excitement and exhaustion of moving just a bit overwhelming.  He has transferred his BELONGINGS to a new apartment and returned home to relax and recuperate.  Jed will be a visiting professor at Willamette University, teaching physics, and with his usual BANTER and dry wit will BEFUDDLE and BEMUSE his students.  Yet, his calling is clear – he can explain the intricacies of our universe in ways that make sense!  His classes won’t be BORING!  And perhaps, he will be able to take a few select students and turn their eyes to the sky and BEGIN to once again gaze at that BIG, BEAUTIFUL ol’ moon. 


7.29.15  L is for LAVISH LAUGHTER
L:   Love, Laughter, Life, Languid, Latent, Laudable, Lavish, Leisure, Levity, Liaison, Lilacs, Legacy, Limpid (clear and bright), Linger, Lithe, Loquacious, LUNAR, luminary, lustrous, lavendar,

               The L list is LAVISH with LAUDABLE words that LINGER with thoughts of LOVE, LIFE, LEISURE, and yes, the LUMINARIA and LUSTER of our LUNAR satellite.  I LOVE the words that build community LIKE LIAISON and LEGACY; words that are bright and carefree such as LIMPID and LANGUID, LITHE and LEVITY. I am found of LAVENDAR flowers LIKE LUPINE, LARKSPUR, and LILACS covered with green LEAVES.  But when all else fails, one word always comes to the top (ok, besides LOVE!) with the LETTER L:  LAUGHTER!  
               LAUGHTER (wow, the more I type the word the stranger it LOOKS!)  It truly is the best medicine!  I was walking my bike down Main Street the other morning and a man sitting in front of a coffee shop called out to me, “You are the first person this morning on the sidewalk who has had a smile on their face!  Thank you!”  I was glad he had caught me in such a position!  It is a blessing to be able to LAUGH with others and LAUGH at oneself.  A good belly LAUGH is exercise, it strengthens muscles, including those in our brain that make us feel good!  There are friends I recognize by their deep, infectious LAUGH and I am rewarded when people tell me they can hear my LAUGH across the room.  LAUGHTER should come easily and frequently.  Be LAVISH with LAUGHTER!   LAUGH under a full, blue moon!  

8.1.15 U is for UNITY through UNDERSTANDING
U: Understanding, umbrage, umbrella, unbiased, uncanny, unconditional, unconventional, undulate, unfettered, unison, unity, universal, universe, unorthodox, unprecedented, unwavering, uproarious, urban, urchin, utopia, unending, ursina,ulex, ugli fruit.

                Wow.  U is a tough letter!  So many of the words begin with UN- which is a prefix for not or less, etc.    I take UMBRAGE at using those frequently negative words!   So perhaps that is why as I read through the SAT word list, when I came to UNISON and UNITY I felt  positive vibes begin to UNDULATE and I wanted to be UNORTHODOX or maybe a little UNCONVENTIONAL (UN- words that I feel are good when you go against the crowd!) and discover the U words that will build us up rather than break us down.  I am seeking the UTOPIAN UNIVERSE!  (Right!  That will happen ‘once in a blue moon’!)
               UNDERSTANDING doesn’t necessarily mean agreement.    UNDERSTANDING is tolerance, empathy, and a willingness to seek mutual ground.  When we love one another UNCONDITIONALLY, we are able to be UNIFIED in our goals for all.  A UNITED world doesn’t mean everyone is exactly alike; the choir won’t sing in UNISON, but the harmonies of race, culture, and faith will blend in an UNPRECEDENTED song of UNITY.  To UNDERSTAND one another in such a way, we must be UNWAVERING in our efforts to reach out and meet, learn, and develop relationships with those who are different from ourselves. We must be UNENDING in our love. 
               Pretty heady stuff for the letter U.  Maybe ‘once in a blue moon’ is a good time to get started.  
P.S.   I learned something new today as well!  With a fondness for flowers, I looked up plants that begin with the letter U.  The list is pretty short, but it included UGLI FRUIT (the orange like ball), URSINIA (which is similar to a sunflower) and ULEX!  ULEX is another term for gorse, the plant that grows rampant at my Mom's in Bandon!  I thought those little yellow flowers looked familiar (if I had seen the thorns in the picture there would have been no doubt!)  I shall call it ULEX from now on, just to be UNORTHODOX!  

8.2.15   E is for EFFULGENT!
E: Exciting, equal, excellent, education, ebullient, eclectic, edify, effervescent, effulgent (radiating light), elation, epiphany, epitome, euphoria, expatiate (further explain), expectation, exuberant, exalt, edelweiss, epimedium

               With the letter U I learned a few new flower terms, and today I am further EDUCATED!  My morning devotion focused on light and I now am EBULLIENT and EXCITED to find the word EFFULGENT!  The word looks somewhat ‘dirty’, perhaps because it reminds me of EFFLUENCE, a EUPHEMISM for sewage.  But let me EXPATIATE further:  EFFULGENT means to radiate light, or in the case of an effulgent person, to radiate goodness and joy.  What a compliment to be told you are an effulgent person!  And…what big, bright, object is the EPITOME of light in the night sky?  Our blue moon of course! 

               And now I am ELATED to bring you new E flowers!  EDELWEISS and EPIMEDIUM (looks like hostas), EASTER LILIES, and EUPHORBIA!  (And way too many plants that begin with Eastern or English!) EUPHORBIA is a huge genus with all sorts of varying species, but I was delighted to find out that it is the mystery plant that grows in my back flower garden.  It reseeds itself, ‘blooms’ with yellow blossom/leaves in the spring, and then remains a solid green plant throughout the summer.  I have a name for it!!  I think I may just be EUPHORIC about EUPHORBIA!  

8.4.15 M is for MISSION MINIONS
Word List: M: Moon, monkey, marriage, majesty,  magnanimous, maritime, maternal, mature, maverick, maxim, meager, meditate, memorabilia, metamorphosis, minion, mirth, momentous, moniker, monotheism, motif, myriad, mullein, monkeyflower, morning glory,  mystery, mission 
          I am thinking back to several months ago to the first of the ABC Quick Writes and the word BLOOM.  I wrote of mountains and Montana and mitres and metrics as we began a Habitat build.  My list of words today seems very different!  There are some great words here!  The MINIONS MOVIE is MOMENTOUS right now, I enjoy MOMENTS for MEDITATION, designing MOTIFS and witnessing God's MAJESTY in the MOUNTAINS. And I can't forget my flowers! MONKEYFLOWERS, MULLEIN, MORNING GLORY, and MISTLETOE!   But the words that speak to me most are MISSION, MYSTERY, and MINION. 
           When I think of MISSION, I think of the job that God has given us to do.  MISSION means reaching out and acting in God's name.  But sometimes that MISSION is and should be a MYSTERY.  We should not act for display or overt attention.  Our works for God should be 'undercover' in a sense.  Moreover,  we each have different talents and gifts that should be used for MISSION, but we don't always realize what they are.  They remain a MYSTERY to us. 
           And then there are MINIONS!  MINION can be a negative term in that the servant has no real worth individually other than service to a greater being.  If we consider ourselves MINIONS for God, our MISSION is to serve God!  The only difference is that we are beloved MINIONS!   Perhaps what we need to be are MISSION MINIONS!  We all have gifts, tasks to perform.  May they not remain a MYSTERY and may we get started on our MISSION road to servanthood!  


8.5.15 O is for ODYSSEY
Word List: Obvious, overwhelm, obscure, ordinary, outside, oasis, obligation, odyssey, olfactory, omnipotent, omniscient, onomatopoeia, opalescent, opaque, optimist, orientation, otiose (no practical purpose), ovation, oxymoron, orchid, oriental lily, oxeye daisy, oxalis (sorrel)
               Rick and I live a rather ORDERED life.  Our trips are planned for the most part.  We ORIENT ourselves in one direction and go.  When I made my list of O words, ODYSSEY struck me.  ODYSSEYS, OBVIOUSLY are not ORDERED….they just happen as one event leads to another. ODYSSEYS OCCUR OUTSIDE the day-to-day ORDINARY of our lives. The definition is a string of adventures on a wandering path.  That makes me OPTIMISTIC about an ODYSSEY of service.  What would happen if we just took off and discovered OPPORTUNITIES to volunteer in random places, staying as long as needed.  Standing OVATION for such an un-ORDERED idea! 

               Considering the OTHER O’s?  I needed flowers to OBSCURE the ORDINARY of the O drawing and to create an OASIS of green, so I found ORCHIDS and OXALIS (somewhat like four leaf clovers – also called sorrel.  I used to find OXALIS OFTEN while hiking in the Mt. Hood area).  OBVIOUSLY in this blue moon ABC write, the OPALESCENT vision of our lunar neighbor must appear, and I felt an OBLIGATION to include our OLFACTORY facial feature, the nose.  Goodness!  I may have OVERWHELMED my brain for O’s today….what about the next O tomorrow??


8.7.15 O is for OCTET 
Word List: O: Only, oriental lily, oxeye daisy, obelia, oblong, obtuse, obsess, occupy, octave, ocular, oddity, office, ogdoad, omega, optima, ocean, onyx, okra, orzo,  ovis (sheep), octet   
    
      I went beyond the SAT word list today and just searched for some lesser-known or four to six letter O words that are OPPORTUNE. I have OPTED for an OCTET of O’s, making my letter an OGDOAD (something with eight parts).   The floral O’s include OXEYE DAISY and OBELIA (a type of moss that grows on piers and rocks in the OCEAN).  ORZO is a type of pasta/grain and I cooked OKRA for the first time this summer.  (That was interesting!)  Can you imagine the ONYX OVIS of the family??  (That would be the black sheep!)  I shall now OMEGA  my summer at the OCEAN!  That makes an OCTET, I do OPINE!  




8.8.15 N is for NURTURE NEGOTIATION
WORD LIST:  nadir (low point), na├»ve (unaffected simplicity), nascent, nautical, narrative, nebulous, necessity, nectar, negate, negotiate, neglect, neophyte, nether (lower), nestle, neurotic, network, nexus, niche, niggle (worry excessively), nirvana, nocturnal, nonchalant, nomadic, nonsensical, nostalgia, notion, nourish, nurture, nasturtium, narcissus  
        I am feeling a bit NEBULOUS about my choice of a key N word, but perhaps I shouldn't NIGGLE about that too much.  I am NESTLED in my father's old recliner watching the NAUTICAL parade of boats patrol the western skyline, NOURISHING my body with the sweet NECTAR of honeydew melon, NOSTALGIA of my family background giving me a sense of NIRVANA. Rick is acting as a NEXUS at the moment, NETWORKING on his cell between the hikers on the Elkhorn Trail and a possible relief truck, the NECESSITY to give a hiker a way out at mid-point apparent.  I don't want to be NAIVE or NONCHALANT in this NARRATIVE, but what word??  
     Later.  I haven't NEGLECTED my writing, but NOW Jed has left for home and two words are coming to the forefront:  NURTURE and NEGOTIATION.  NURTURE is defined as caring for or encouraging the growth of something.  We NURTURE our children, but we also NURTURE our spiritual life.  NEGOTIATION is working to reach agreement or mutual support.  It seems to me that we should be attempting to NURTURE NEGOTIATION!  We should be striving to facilitate all NASCENT attempts to build bridges and mend fences. We must work to NEGATE NEGATIVE emotions and actions that tear people apart.  Let's figure it out, folks, and get along with each other!  

        And that concludes our BLUE MOON ABC'S.  The moon is nearing the new moon phase and it is time to be done!   I have an OCTET of key words here (well, eight letters!) to consider in the days ahead!  
BRINK - LAVISH in LAUGHTER - UNITY through UNDERSTANDING - EFFULGENT - MISSION MINION - ODYSSEY - NURTURE NEGOTIATION