Saturday, April 22, 2017

Getting away with Bear Bones



Making a decision to “get away from it all” isn’t always easy… Having a bucket list is just the start of “one of these days…” Don’t put off exploring your particular interest, life has an expiration date.


Recently, my daughter, Heidi, and I drove through the not-so-far-away wild and wonderful country of the West…Where miles of prairie meet the endless horizon of mountains…Jaw-dropping, stunning-colored granite cliffs pop up amidst gently rolling pasture with great hordes of cattle grazing…Graceful antelopes leaping in total abandon.

It was magical, I was in awe at the stunning surroundings as I gorged up the scenery. l listened to waterfalls, “somewhere way back there in the canyon,” hearing birds sing and cute prairie dogs chirp and squeal. Heidi and I have memories that will last a lifetime…

We were traveling in Wyoming in April. A ninety-mile stretch took six hours! There was so much to see and experience. We took our time to explore an interesting canyon – are there any not-interesting canyons in that State? 

As we hiked about, Heidi skipping in a gurgling creek, she spotted a huge “foot” print. Yikes, looked like a bear’s! 

In the Spring, they are sometime seen at lower elevations, searching for food, and moving about after a long winter’s sleep. With these mountains, there could be a lot of bears. I didn't give it any thought because we had stopped in an RV campground that had a picnic area. Who would have thought bears would be in there?  


But, by the size of a bear’s fresh footprint that Heidi spotted, that was evidence enough for me not to tangle with him!  The footprint, along with a leg of a deer I found right next, that was enough for us to hightail it out of the canyon away from the
buffet table of the bears!

I don’t have a thing about bears –well, maybe polar bears – but I was impressed carnivorous behemoth!

 I didn’t know about “bear spray” hmm, or to be particularly cautious of a bear with a carcass, as they will be very protective (reminded me of Heidi’s puppy,Thor, with a bone in his mouth!).  

These are quite huge creatures with remarkably small eyes. I was told not to be fooled, they can see quite well to attack in a heartbeat if they are protecting a young, or their catch. Speaking of protecting their young, I can't forget something else I saw along this journey...it needs a blog all of its own but it was something I saw in the pushcart memorial museum. I'll share that story soon - You won't believe it!


Saturday, March 4, 2017

Excerpts from the Silver Arrow Illustrated Sequel "The Inner Space Aliens", coming in 2017


EXCERPT FROM "Inner Space Aliens"

 Fjólsvin seethed with rage as he fled into the secret corridor. Wild with anger at what  had happened to his leader, Loki, he frantically rushed from the pandemonium of celebration that occurred after Finna shot her arrow. With amazing accuracy, she had aimed into Loki´s powerful magic stone, shattering it as if it were nothing but a piece of ordinary glass.
         I will kill her, I promise I  will hunt her down and kill her. I will rule planet Earth. Fjólsvin grit his teeth as he viciously kicked a rock. The noise of the clattering that echoed in the corridor brought him temporarily out of his rage.
          Gulping back a shuddering breath he realized that the cheering going outside Baldur´s castle overshadowed any noise caused by his recklessness kicking the rock.He, now, was the only one left that knew of this secret lava tube on Planet Orealis, that knew it was an underground maze leading all the way under the heliport, where the Ruler´s flying machines were parked. This was a perfect corridor to reach without detection. A cunning look swept over Fjólsvin´s hideous face. Quietly now, he made his way to a hidden chamber.
          As he entered, he touched the red stone which hung on a black rope around his huge neck. Instantly, the area lit up with eerie, lime-green light as a huge slab of rock slid back and  revealed a, seemingly endless cavern. An enormous stone-bed was up against one black, glistening basalt rock wall. The opposite wall held a crude, reflective mirror-like silver panel. Alongside the panel was a huge rough-hewn wooden box that resembled a chest.
         Fjólsvin headed for the box. Lifting the lid, he quickly clawed around inside and pulled out a large rubber mask. Looking at himself in the reflective panel he pulled the mask over his head, adjusting it so his round, one-inch middle eye was exposed. Carefully pulling a thick, long strand of black hair he covered his third eye. Now he looked like a sun-tanned Earthling. Shaking his head, he reached again and pulled out a pair of baggy black trousers and held them up from his waist - they were ludicrously short!
         His huge hands groped in a pocket on the inside of the lid and found a burlap-like brown bag half-filled with grey pellets. grabbing a handful he put twelve of them in his mouth, swallowing them in one gulp. He watched in the mirror as his nine-foot frame slowly shrunk down to a man-from-planet-earth size five foot nine. The mask was now to large, so he removed it and threw it back into the chest and groped around for a smaller mask.Finding one, he put it on, adjusting again, carefully making sure his middle eye was uncovered so he would be able to mind-read when that need arose.
         Reaching again into the chest he found a dishdasha, a robe-type garment worn by Arab males and a red-and-black checkered head covering, a keffiyeh, which he laid aside. Putting on the robe over the baggy trousers he saw that the length of it was to his ankles, which was just right. Shaking the long robe, he put on the keffiyeh and finally the black agal, the circlet rope that held the kaffiyeh in place.
         Running his hand inside the lid again he found the rolled-up plan and the list of contacts. The list contained names, locations and how to get in touch with them, as Loki had so carefully planned. The thought of what Finna had done made Fjólsvin ball up his fists in a controlled fury as he spit out I will get even.
         He almost slammed the lid down, but caught himself, no need for unnecessary noise. Stealthily, he moved out of the chamber. Touching again the stone on the cord around his neck, the rock-door to the chamber closed with a slightly grating swoosh. Working his way to a turret-like circular stone steps, he crept quietly upward until he was at a round metal cover. Cautiously, he pushed on the lid with both hands. He found it somewhat difficult as his hands were now very small compared to what they were before he shrunk himself,
         Listening intently, he worked himself out of the clammy turret, hesitated a moment then scurried to an enormous windsock. Crawling inside, he pushed a panel that opened up a small compartment which contained a disc and several buttons.Selecting a blue button with a yellow ring around it that was marked in Arabic...Alladriqlyah  (Laodicea), he pushed firmly with his forefinger. Quick as a thought, he was in that major port city of Syria. He had come here before when Loki had recruited terrorists to join forces with him to conquer the Planet Earth. Fjólsvin pushed the keffiyeh that hid most of his face as he looked around. No one had seen him suddenly appear in the middle of the Temple of Bacchus.
         Now that Finna had destroyed that plan it was to to him to carry out Loki´s dream. The thought of Finna made him choke with rage as his face darkened with hatred. Controlling his sudden surge of anger, he took a shuddering breath then looked in each direction. People were walking leisurely, covered from head to toe. No one paid the least attention to him.
          He saw a dilapidated-looking taxi coming down the street. Quickly he stepped out of the Temple enclosure and waved the taxi down. As he bent down to get into the cab he pushed his hair from his middle eye. He would now be able to mind read and speak Arabic. Checking the addresses, he  gave the driver quick instructions.
  .

.
       


                    

Saturday, February 4, 2017

THE STROKE HASN'T STOPPED ME






                                          

I had the stroke Nov. 1st. Flew to Minnesota mid-December for Christmas with one of my daughters and her family. Flew back to Il.for Christmas and New Years family gathering. Flew to Las Vegas Jan9th through the 12th Unpacked and repacked then flew to Florida on the 22, got to hold an alligator (baby one) and a gorgeous parrot!
 Back home on the 29th in time to have two chipped teeth capped on the 30th.Got in our jam-packed car and headed out of town, out of Illinois into Missouri, then Oklahoma and on into Texas and on into New Mexico and finally Arizona. Found an old lariat at one of our stops, decided to see if I could jump rope with it...Yep, not very gracefully but still jumps :-) Hope to settle down for a few weeks - before heading for Utah in April - and get some writing done 
Adventures in Iceland and sequel to The Silver Arrow - THE INNER SPACE ALIENS! 




Friday, December 9, 2016



Remembering Pearl Harbor, 1941.



In 1939 Adolph Hitler was well on the way of conquering the European Continent. The superiority of the German army seemed unquestionable as they invaded country after country; Denmark, Sweden, Norway. Then France and the Netherlands were overtaken.
When the German's invaded Poland, an ally of Britain, the British entered the conflict and a full scale conflict raged in Europe. Iceland declared neutrality.
In 1941 a fierce fight broke out in the Denmark Straits - the ocean between Iceland and Greenland which became know as 'Torpedo Junction' - and the new German warship 'The Bismarck' sank the British battle cruiser 'HMS HOOD'  the pride of the British Royal Navy.. Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, promptly issued an order "SINK THE BISMARCK" The British Royal Air Force chased down the notorious menace and sank it.
By now the United States had entered the war and  Churchill is said to have "slept the sleep of the saved and the thankful" because " there was now no doubt about the outcome of the conflict." It was no longer just a European war but had now become World War II and American service men and women were sent all over the globe. Among them was U.S. Navy man,Del Herman, who proposed at our second dance and I accepted even though he didn't speak Icelandic and I knew about handful of English, truly it was "love at first sight"...It lasted for 70 years. He passed away in February 2015.

I have been asked; "What was it like, to leave your family, your country and, even your language?" Frankly when you are in love nothing else really matters, at least that's the way I felt. As I reflect back I think having several children - ten total - kept me much  to busy to have any regrets or doubts. At age 28 my husband felt a call for the ministry and I became very busy with children's ministries and church in general. Building, and starting several small churches in central Illinois we traveled quite a bit.

Although I did get a few remarks and unpleasant looks of "OH, ONE OF THOSE WAR BRIDES" most folks at that time had zero clue as to where Iceland was located and I was just happy to talk about my surrealistic, beautiful little country.

Slowly my self-taught English improved, by the help of Readers Digest "It Pays To Increase Your Word Power. Also doing crossword puzzles, which, I admit I am addicted to even to this day :-)

Life wasn't always easy, but it was good.


Thursday, December 1, 2016

STROKE; Dreaded word

I am 91+ always have been very active; exercised, rock-wall climbing, paragliding rope jumping kind of person...

 I woke up aon the morning of Tuesday, Nov 1st. and Idid my routine: ten sit-ups  while in bed  then did a few stretches as I walked into the kitchen to start my coffee. Suddenly the whole kitchen spun with amazing velocity, for a moment I grabbed  my head - I never have headaches - the spinning stopped and I carefully walked back to the bedroom. I found my aspirin and as I swallowed one tablet the bedroom went totally out of control - I knew right away that this was the DREADED STROKE!.
 I live with my youngest child and called to her what was going on. She called 911 immediately. By the time I got to the hospital emergency, 20 minutes or so, my speech was very affected and my left leg paralyzed my blood pressure had shot up. After all kinds of procedures and innumerable hook-ups to machines, I.V stuck into my arms ICU Doctor verified the stroke. Needed my permission to do "clot-buster" procedure, with the usual "this could happen" warning. I told him to go ahead. Later the same day I was able to speak more clearly, lift my leg up and squeeze the Doctor's hand just a little firmer.
On the evening of the 2nd. I was moved out of ICU. My hospital bed had nice "grip-railing" on each side so I was able to do small sit-ups - as much all the paraphernalia hooked to my body would allow me to do.
November the 4th. I was dismissed. Feeling almost "myself" again I did my usual exercises; My Microwave Hop Prance and Dance - the Crane Stand and Wand.

November the 7th. Did rope jumping on the deck

Keep moving and exercising pays off big-time; Doctor follow-up; "You are doing very well, Ieda, keep doing what you're doing"...Stroke therapist; "You don't need therapy, Ieda, keep doing what you are doing"

I am determined, I've made up my mind I'll keep moving my body, it's the only one I'll ever have.



I choose to have Joy, I have confidence that God is in control

The Window, by G.W. Target...From Charles R. Swindoll's book, Laugh Again.

Two men, seriously ill, occupied the same small hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.
The men talked for hours on end. And every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he wold pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window. The man in the other bed began to live for those one-hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the outside world
   The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake, the man said. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Lovers walked arm in arm amid flowers of every color of the rainbow. As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene. Unexpectedly, an alien thought entered his head. Why should he have all the pleasure of seeing everything while I never get to see anything?
    As the days passed and he missed seeing more sights, his envy eroded into resentment and soon turned him sour. He began to brood and found himself unable to sleep. He should be by that window - that thought now controlled his life.
    Late one night as he lay staring at the ceiling, the man by the window began to cough. He was choking on the fluid in his lungs. The other man watched in the dimly lit room as the struggling man by the window groped for the button to call for help. Listening from across the room, he never moved, never pushed his own button which would have brought the nurse running. In less than five minutes the coughing and choking stopped. Now there was only silence - deathly silence.
    The following morning the day nurse found the lifeless body of the man by the window and called the attendants to take it away - no words, no fuss. As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.
     Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look. He strained to look out the window by the bed.
     It faced a blank wall.
                                                            ******

    One ship drives east and another drives west
    With the selfsame winds that blow.
     'Tis the set of the sails and not the gales
     Which tells the way to go

    Like the winds of the sea are the ways of fate,
   As we voyage along through life:
    It's the set of the soul, that decides it;s goal,
    And not the calm or the strife.

     The winds of Fate, by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

WHAT ARE THESE CREATURES?


                                     
1945

                                         
After an eleven-day, arduous journey from my country, Iceland, I arrived in Normal, Illinois, USA
Mary's (my new mother-in -law) house was a small, one-story, white painted home in a row of other similar
homes in an older neighborhood. That evening I stood in the yard and looked around familiarizing  myself with my new surroundings.
Across the street from Mary's house was a church. I was looking at the building and thinking how strange it was - almost middle of June and very dark outside. I was used to seeing part of the sun all night at mid-summer. Then I saw these little sparks! The church must be on fire!
I ran inside and tugged at Mary's dress.
"Hey, you, kirkjan (church) fire, fire!" I stuttered. Still not used to saying Mary, or Mom, I often called her 'hey you'. I pulled her to the front door and pointed. The sparks were even thicker that before and coming dangerously close to us!
"Fire?" She stared out and then looked at me, puzzled."Where? I don't see any fire." She cocked her head at me, trying to understand my fear.
Frantically I pointed. "See there, there!" I was twenty and acting like a six-year-old.
Turned out this was my first encounter with fireflies.Bugs with their own lights! Startling, and scary, I thought as I watched these little sparks land in grass and bushes, and not starting any fire. Mary had quite a time in educating me.

2012...5:45 A/M

Suddenly I'm awake. I started to get up and glanced at the white sheers at the window where glimmer of sunlight was filtering through. I stared at the weird shape; PALM-OF-MY-HAND-SIZE, BLACK BLOB..Then frantically shook my husband, Del, and whispered "what is that thing clinging to the curtain?"
Both of us stared for a moment. "I can't make it out." Del said
"I'm scared." I eased my feet to the floor.
"Get a towel or something, and I'll grab it." Del bravely offered.
The THING hadn't moved so I crept closer o the window, IT didn't move. Frightened beyond belief I crept closer and peered at the creature.
"It has a face and pointy ears like a mouse, but THIS has wings!" I gasped in unbelief as I backed away.
"GET A TOWEL,I'LL GET THIS THING." Del started to get up
" I'm scared." I whined. "What if you miss, what if IT takes off? It looks hideous!" I was now frantic with all the awful possibilities racing through my head. "What if IT has a family in here? Surely IT didn't hatch all by itself, maybe there are bunch more and come to look for this one, THEN WHAT???!!!"
"JUST GET A TOWEL!!!" Del raised his voice.
I got the towel. Del grabbed, and wrapped the THING in the towel without any trouble. The THING didn't protest as I put IT into a plastic bag, towel and all, then tied a firm knot. Put it into another plastic bag and firmly tied a solid knot. There the bag awaited for us to take it somewhere for the CREATURE to be identified.


10:45 A/M

We were dressed and had breakfast then, with hands on my hips, I demanded of my hero. "Now what? We got a horrendous creature in the bag...do we call the fire department? The terminator? The firing squad?" I wanted this THING out of my house, like RIGHT NOW!!
Del held up his hand "Let me think... Okay, let's drive over to the zoo and see if there's someone who can identify it."
I fortified myself with six cups of coffee and gingerly picked up the bag, all was quiet inside. I felt remorse:God had created IT and I just couldn't let IT suffocate.I picked up a toothpick, holding my breath, thinking IT might just explode out of the bag. But everything was suspiciously quiet as I made few holes.

The Zoo was a madhouse, school buses and kids everywhere. No place to park. Del had to stay in the car while I went for help.
"You mean you have IT in that bag?" The guard exclaimed after I related the episode
"Yes."' I nodded.
 "I'll call someone from the animal house, please wait outside" She pointed to the door. I stepped out, bag firmly in hand, and sat down on a bench.Pretty soon a burly individual swaggered up to me and asked.
"So, what do you have in there?" I proceeded to explain.
"Hmm, sounds like a flying squirrel." I felt better, a squirrel doesn't sound so bad. The man pursed his lips.
"How did you get it in there?"
"My husband grabbed it with a towel, so it's all wrapped up in it, and then I put it all into the plastic bags"
"Wait here while I take this over to that tree." Taking the bag out of my hand he opened it up against the tree-trunk and shook the towel. He cocked his head and studied the THING for a moment then wadded up the towel in the bags.
"It's a bat, and still alive. I will throw all of  this away." Indicating to the towel and bags.
"Yikes! I sure don't want it! How in the world did a bat get into my house? Do I have to worry about more of them, a mom, a dad, a brother or a sister?" I must have looked a little nuts. I think my English went north for a minute.
The burly guy laughed."I don't think so, this one probably came through an open door and couldn't find its way back out." As I profusely thanked him, he continued. "It only eats insects!" He chuckled, reading my mind. Somewhere I've read that bats suck the blood out of humans!