Friday, June 27, 2008

Firefox vs. Internet Explorer

Hello Blog Readers!

It has been brought to my attention that my blog is formatted differently depending on which browser you view it with. What looks right on Internet Explorer looks very different on Firefox, and the other way around. So. . .while I have both browsers on my computer, and will try my best to format the blog to both browsers, my apologies in advance if any of my captions do not line up with the correct photos, or the formatting looks at all strange. :-)

*Back to your previously scheduled blog reading. . .*

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Ironman 2008

It all began very early on a picturesque Sunday morning. . .

2,060 brave athletes from all over the world gathered along the shores of Lake Coeur d'Alene.

The athletes took a plunge into the 50-ish degree lake at 7:00am to begin the annual Ironman competition. The competition involves a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile run -- which must take place between the hours of 7am and midnight. Of the 2,060 who began this year's race, only 1,290 athletes crossed the finish line (at least during the time allotted).

Many people go downtown at 7am to watch the start of the swim. It is quite impressive watching so many people plunge into the (very cold) lake. Most of the crowd gathers on the beach. I watched with my friends Mary and Devin from the top of the CdA Resort parking structure. It was a good view! The only reason I look so awake and chipper is because I had just had hot chocolate. :-)

Many of the swimmers finish the swim in an hour or so. . .and then they are on to the bike leg of the race. One-third down, two-thirds to go!
One of the highlights of the day for me was seeing my friend, Erin, compete. This was Erin's third attempt, but her first time to finish, and it was fun to cheer her on during the bike portion of the race. That's her biking in the picture on the left.

Watching the athletes cross the finish line is quite exciting. It takes many of the athletes over 10 hours to complete the race, and it is so exciting to see the excitement on their faces when the announcer tells them that they are an Ironman.

Some are so exhausted they have to literally be led to the massage station. And others? They look like they could keep going and do the whole thing over again.

The athletes who completed the race certainly fought the good fight and finished the race!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Answer to the Ticket Question

Can it be? Are those tickets that I got in the mail a few days ago really tickets for Phantom of the Opera?? Live? On the stage?? YES! They are, and I am very excited! I will be going with three friends and a friend-of-a-friend in October, and I am pretty sure it will be an exciting night. I will be sure to post some pictures and a detailed summary after the show. . .
"In sleep he sang to me,
In dreams he came.
That voice which calls to me,
And speaks my name.
And do I dream again?
For now I find
The Phantom of the Opera is there,
Inside my mind!"

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A Year of Fun!

Here are a bunch of pictures taken within the last year. This should give you a pictoral idea of what I have been up to in the last year. The pictures are by no means in chronological order. . .but I have tried to caption each one so that you will know what it is a picture of, and when!

(Left) Just one of the pictures I took at Farragut State Park in September, 2007. This picture does not even do the park justice. It is truly amazing (and huge!) and this picture shows just a tiny fraction.

(Right) This picture is a picture that I took while watching the beginning of the Ironman competition in June of 2007. I thought it was pretty cool, with the flag and the Coeur d'Alene clock tower in the background.

(Left) Our house in the snow in January.

(Right) A self-portrait of me and the snow.

(Left) Me on the beach after the snow melted.

(Right) The Mannheim Steamroller concert in December, 2007, began with a bang!

(Left) All hail the Sharpie Queen! This is how I spent the majority of my 21st birthday: At work wearing a fake tiara and my new apron with purple butterflies and my name embroidered on it, carrying a sparkly pink wand with Sharpies dangling off of it (the Sharpies were added after this picture was taken). Yeah, I'm weird.

(Right) Here I am with two of my bestest friends on a nice sunny day in May.

(Left) And lastly, I cannot post a blog entry full of pictures without including at least one dog picture. Here is Reba. Isn't she a beautiful girl?!

For more pictures, look at some of my previous blog entries. . .you'll find pictures of the falls and the local flooding and pictures of my trip to Spokane last week!

I thought I would close with this quote I found online:

"Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you."

~Nathaniel Hawthorne"


These showed up in our mailbox this afternoon. Whatever could they be for? Stay tuned to find out!

Monday, June 9, 2008

~*A Day in Spokane*~

Yesterday some friends and I went across the border for a fun day of exploring in Spokane, Washington. Spokane is about as "big city" as you can get around here, and it was a fun day. Our first stop once we crossed the border was Manito Park. This city park covers 90-acres and is filled with beautiful gardens. The first garden we came to is the Japanese Garden.

The Japanese Garden has a koi pond and a pretty waterfall. . .and this awesome bridge. It looked like it would be a very relaxing garden to sit in and read a book. :-)

Next we visited the Rose Garden, which was also home to some beautiful irises and a mix of other beautiful flowers. I thought the irises were
beautiful. Irises are one of my favorite flowers.
My favorite garden was the Lilac Garden. Spokane is called the Lilac City, and this garden honors that name. Walking through the garden was like walking through paradise. The smell was amazing, and I could have stood there inhaling the fragrance for hours. Yes, lilacs are also one of my favorite flowers! Perhaps they top the list, followed by tulips and irises and, of course, roses.

After we explored all the gardens at Manito Park we headed over to Riverfront Park, home of the 1974 World Fair & Expo. The park is right on Spokane Falls, which are amazing, even more amazing that the falls I saw in Post Falls, Idaho. We rode a gondola over the falls, which was pretty cool!

After exploring Riverfront Park we headed across the street to the mall, which, I am pleased to say, is a multi-story mall (something we are not fortunate enough to have here in CdA!). We explored the mall for a little while, and even saw a large display there for Phantom of the Opera, which will be on tour in Spokane in October. They had some of the costumes on display and they are truly amazing. I am now even more excited about going to the show!!

After dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory (yum!), we headed back home, tired but full of memories. . .and looking forward to our next adventures, whatever they may be.

A Question. . .

I have a question. . .

If you see an endangered animal eating an endangered plant, what should you do?!


Sunday, June 1, 2008

Class of 2008

Congratulations. . .
. . .to my (not-so) "little" brother, Scott, who graduated from high school this past Friday. You made it, bro. . .I'm so proud of you. . .

. . .of course, I should also extend the congratulations to my mother, who has now completed her homeschooling journey after spending the last 16 years teaching us. Thanks, Mom (and Dad!). . .we sure do appreciate all the time you've spent teaching us both for so many years. Y

Once Upon a Springtime. . .

I love taking pictures. Anybody who has spent any amount of time with me recently can attest to that. Whenever I go somewhere with friends it is likely that I will have my camera with me, just in case. :-) My digital camera is one of the best things I have ever purchased.

Just yesterday I went out in our yard to take some pictures of the flowers that are blooming. Spring is such a beautiful season! On the right is a picture of some of our stunning lilacs. Lilacs are some of my favorite flowers. They are purple, they are so pretty, and they smell amazing!

To the left is a picture of one of our irises. They are just starting to bloom. We have all different colors. My favorite are the red ones, but they are not blooming yet. Soon, very soon! :-)

Here on the right is a (in my opinion) really cool picture of our chives, just starting to open. Who knew chives could be so cool?!

The bleeding hearts are so amazing. It's fun to look at them and pull them apart. But last night all I did was use my macro feature to get a close-up picture of them.

Spring is truly a symphony for the senses: the vibrant colors of the flower and trees, the sound of birds, young and old, chirping away a new song every morning to their hearts content, the fragrance of an early-morning spring rain, the taste of fresh fruits only available this time of year, and the texture of fuzzy leaves and delicate petals.
"Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world."
~ Virgil A. Kraft