Sunday, July 27, 2014

July 27, 2014

I must say a few things have happened in the last two months. The end of June was our annual family vacation to the cabin. Even though neither of my children attended this year I was able to enjoy a lot of family. We had a really fun week. And before heading to the cabin I was able to see more family at Sue's house.

It's quite the road trip for Wally and I. The first day we go 500 miles to Boise and spend the night. The next day is about 350 miles. We then stay six nights and repeat the process on the way home. It's a good thing I enjoy driving.

This year the weather was great. It wasn't quite as hot as it normally is when we are driving through Idaho.

A couple of weeks after returning home from the cabin I was able to fly to Utah to meet my newest little grand daughter, Amoura Emilene. It was so wonderful to spend time in my son's home with his sweet little family. She was born on July 6th.

July and August will continue to be very busy months. Summer is going by so quickly but I'm loving it all.

The Gaytan's

2014 Cabin Crew

Avea, Amoura, Grandma Trudy and Annelise (3 of my 4 grand daughters)

Three generations. Daddy Wayne, baby Amoura and grandma Trudy.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

On a Roll

I purchased a sweet little Nikon film camera from a Facebook friend in Ohio. It belonged to her husband who hadn't used it in years. She was cleaning and helped him get rid of it. I'm so hoping he was in on it. She included a flash attachment which I've never used before. I shot a roll of film the last few days and had it put on a CD. Yes, you can still buy film. This camera was one of the first plastic bodies Nikon made so it's really light weight. I do have some manual reading to do to fully understand how to use it. Here are a few of my first photos. Most shot on automatic, a couple on manual.





My attempt at something.



Monday, April 7, 2014

Sweet Smells of Springtime in Seattle

This morning on my way to the gym I rolled my window down just a bit (too see out better). And there was that beautiful scent of April in Seattle. It brought me back to 26 years ago this month when I moved with my new husband and my two kids from Utah to Kent, Washington.

We got married in January of that year, but Wally was working out of town. It was April before he could come get me and the kids and we road tripped it with my car fully loaded and Wally's small truck pulling a small U-Haul trailer. If it didn't fit it was left behind. There were really only a few items that I felt bad about leaving behind.

I even brought house plants with me. My children at the time were 7 1/2 and 5. Wayne wasn't even in school yet.

Here's the interesting thing. I had never been to Washington state before that day we moved here. On our trip from Utah we spent the night with my parents in Boise.

We drove through Oregon and Washington and as we were driving west on I-90 my first thoughts were that there was no big city here. We were moving into the woods, big trees everywhere! I was briefly panicked by that thought.
Then we arrived to our apartment in Kent. At the time Wally selected Kent because it's school district had high ratings in the nation.

When we got out of the car, the first thing that hit me was that wonderful fresh, rainy spring scent in the air. I vividly remember that to this day, 26 years later.

Six months in an apartment then we moved into our home, getting the keys on Wally's birthday in October. I was 31 years old and it was my very first house. And we're still here. What started out as a great little starter home, served us well with 2 kids and is now the perfect size for retirement.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

A Whole Lotta Floating Going On!

Today was my fourth float at U-Float. My first float was February 15th on a Saturday afternoon. It was full of all sorts of emotions.

My second float was on March 7th. It was on a Friday evening. I came home from work, fed Wally dinner, then went to U-Float.

When I finished my second float I told Phil it was 300 times better than my first float. There were lights, there were words, there was relaxation which extended beyond the float.

My third float was also a Friday night. It was two weeks later on March 21st. This time I drove straight from the office, which is a bit of a drive. I got there right at my appointment time so I felt rushed. But I still managed to enjoy the float. I had a very different experience then with my 2nd float.

When I began 3rd float I felt like I was rotating in a circle. I can't remember if it was clockwise or counterclockwise. This went on for a few minutes. Of course there is no time in the tank. Five minutes could be 30 minutes. I felt like I went into a very deep sleep. I don't have much recollection of thoughts while in the tank.

When the piano music softly came on to let me know my hour was up I felt a little disoriented. I had a hard time figuring out how to open the door to get out. But at the same time I wasn't panicked at all. I like the feel of the water. It feels like I belong there. After my first float the darkness no longer bothers me. Not just in the tank but other places too.
 
Between my 3rd and 4th float I traveled out of town to visit family. I slept really well on air mattresses for four nights. I even monitored my sleep with my FitBit so I know I had less disturbances than when I sleep at home. I found that unusual.

After I came home from vacation on a Sunday evening, during the week I just felt like I needed to be in water. Like I craved the feel of it. On one of my regular gym days before work I shortened my work out and spent some time in the pool at the gym. I swam, I floated, I walked in the water.

Today was my 4th float. It was the first time I was able to get on the schedule for a Saturday morning float. My appointment was for 9:00 am. I woke about 7:30 did some things around the house then went to Auburn.

Getting in and closing the door is getting very easy for me now. I try to keep my mind clear and I use relaxation techniques like counting backwards from 10 to go into a deeper relaxation. It was a very relaxing float. When the piano music came on I kept my eyes shut a little longer. Than I stretched, rolled onto my stomach for a couple of minutes then I got out.

There was a little heater in the room which probably didn't need to be turned on, but it was on, so it made it feel like my towel was heated after my shower.

When I got out of the tank I viewed an art book that a Portland float business put together. They gave artists two sessions in the tank then asked them to create some art. It was then put together into a book. It's very cool to look at, and there are photos which I can totally relate to.

I also mentioned to Phil, that I tried hard to not think of things while in the tank, his response to me was priceless. He said, "trying not to think of anything is thinking of something." Point taken.

I have done my initial session, I have used up my 3 pack of prepaid gift certificates. They have now raised their prices to the regular rates. I'm thinking I will continue this journey going once every 3 or 4 weeks.If you are reading this and are the least bit interested in trying it I highly recommend it. Some advice I would give for first time floaters: take flip flops for getting out of the tank and in the shower, before getting into the tank after showering be sure and dry off your face. Otherwise water runs down your face and you have salt water hands, not good. Prop the door open if the darkness and small area disturb you. Go into the darkness gradually, you'll get comfortable with it.

I highly recommend this book, I'm still reading through it. Phil commented that it was even better the second time he read it.
http://www.amazon.com/The-Book-Floating-Exploring-Consciousness/dp/0895561182

Here is the book with the art: http://floathq.com/float-on/programs/artist-program

Sunny St. George, Utah Trip Part 2

After spending a couple of days with my sisters, on Saturday morning my daughter picked me up in Springville for our road trip to St. George in Southern Utah where my son and his family live.

It was a beautiful sunny day. We passed the time in the car by browsing through a AAA NYC tour book. Natalie and I are planning a trip there in August.

When we arrived in St. George we first went to visit another Aunt. My Aunt VeLois. She is the youngest in my Dad's family. She is 85 years old and lives in a lovely home in Santa Clara. We had a nice visit with her.


After our visit we then headed across the valley to Washington, Utah to what is referred to as "the fields". We arrived and were greeted by two adorable little girls outside waiting for us. Natalie and I walked down the street with them to their grade school and spent a little time on the playground.

Avea who just turned 6!


Did I mention it was very sunny? With Avea and Annelise.


Aunt Natalie with Avea.
There was also some trampoline time. It's been years since I was on a trampoline and I thought I did pretty good. Unfortunately the only photo is when I had stopped jumping.


We then went out to dinner to celebrate Avea's 6th birthday. She had picked the restaurant because she liked the sound of it, Sakura. It's a Japanese steak house and sushi. We sat up at the grill and were greatly entertained as our chef cooked our rice, noodles, chicken, steak and shrimp. Wayne had sushi and I tasted my first spring roll and a salmon piece. It was okay. I didn't gag.  The chef delighted the girls with the fire and flipping shrimp into our mouths.

Just when you thought it couldn't get any better, they brought out a piece of cheesecake with a Japanese flowering candle on it for Avea. Her expression was priceless.


We then went home and relaxed for a bit and then Andrea's parents came over for ice cream and cake. Earlier Avea had opened up one present and Annelise also got to open up one early birthday present I had brought her. They were both thrilled with their small quilts I had made them.




Big sister got pretty excited too!
We spent the night and in the morning we were treated to French toast and sausage. We took some photos then we had to hit the freeway.





We left in quite a dust storm which caused large tumble weeds to breeze across the highway. We had a 4 1/2 hour drive to get me to the SLC airport. We had wind, rain and then snow. At the airport they had to de-ice the wings before we could take off. For my 2 hour flight home I was entertained by the woman sitting in the middle seat who started the conversation off by saying, "sorry if I'm talking too much but I had some drinks before getting on the plane." It was an interesting flight.
The quilt on the far right is for my new baby grand daughter who will be joining the family in July. (This picture is before the binding was put on the quilts.)

It was a very wonderful trip to Utah. It was so great to spend time with so much family.
 

We Are Family, I Got All My Sisters With Me!

Here is a photo from 2004. Ten years ago. Nancy's husband had passed away one year earlier. And our mother passed away in February of 2004.



Trudy, Becky, Nancy and Sue


Fast forward 10 years, we're just getting better with age!








Trudy, Nancy, Becky, Sue

Friday, April 4, 2014

Sister's Spring Break - Utah 2014

This might be part 1 of 2 if I get carried away. This is an annual tradition my sisters and I do every spring. Except for last year when I ended up going by myself due to schedule issues. One of my sisters lives in Springville, Utah. My other two sisters and one brother live in Idaho. I'm in Washington state. And somehow after having been born in Utah but raised in Washington, both of my children now reside in Utah.

Years ago we started making an annual spring trip where the four of us sisters would all gather in Springville.

This year I flew out on a Wednesday and Natalie picked me up at the airport at 10 am. It was lightly raining in Salt Lake. We had a delightful lunch at Gourmandise on 3rd East. I'm pretty sure it's in the same location as a very famous Italian restaurant that was there in the 1970s. They were famous for their multiple course dinners. It was a great date spot. For the life of me I can't remember the name of it though. Gourmandise has great food and a fantastic bakery.

Then Natalie dropped me off at City Creek, where I walked around and did some minor shopping. City Creek is very pretty with lots of stores. It was still raining and I walked from City Creek over to the Joseph Smith building, formerly the Hotel Utah. There was a woman playing on the piano on the main floor. I walked up the stairs to the mezzanine where a bride and groom where having photographs taken. I just sat for a few minutes and remembered the grand hotel back in the 1970s when I was in SCL going to college.

View of South Temple from City Creek

I then walked over to Temple Square. I forgot how beautiful the flowers are in the springtime. It was incredible. I took a lot of photos.









Then my cousin Russell picked me up and we met Susan and Becky in Bountiful at my aunt's place. My Dad was the oldest of 7 children. Three of his siblings are still living. They are 85, 90 and 95. On this trip I got to visit Aunt Margaret who is 90 and Aunt VeLois who is 85. Two more cousins came over for a visit. It was fun visiting and sharing family photos and stories.

Visiting with Aunt Margaret and her daughters Jill and Dana.

We left Bountiful and met Scott and Natalie for dinner at Thai Siam in Draper. There were 6 of us at dinner. We had a nice visit. From the restaurant I then drove with Sue and Becky to Springville to Nancy's home. We encountered more rain and possibly light snow flurries.

The next couple of days were spent, cleaning, visiting, eating, watching movies, visiting, sleeping on air mattresses on the floor and just having a wonderful time hanging out together.

View from Springville grocery store parking lot.

We watched lots of Hallmark channel movies, Austenland and Frozen. There was caramel corn, Girl Scout cookies and creamies.

On Saturday morning Natalie picked me up and we grabbed some breakfast at Del Taco with my nephew Scott and then we headed to St. George to spend time with Wayne and his family.