Give Thanks

A Few Camp Pictures

A cool picture near "Columbus Creek"
Daniel and his log at The Red Rock River
Skunks' view of camp.

The Red Rock River

The Skunk Chronicles Part Three

Wednesday...and what a Wednesday it is! As usual; we sit around the fire, drinking coffee and thinking about breakfast. Kathy makes some awesome breakfast burritos for the occasion. After breakfast Bethany and Daniel go on a bug catching spree, play in the water and just have fun. Snacks are involved. The last of the oatmeal pies have been eaten and I think Danny has hidden the pecan swirls in a secret location. There is talk of buying much more Little Debbie snacks for the next camping trip! (Hey!!! I just remembered I only got 1 brownie....hmmmm...wonder who ate 'em all). Lunch time is approaching. We dine on chicken & shrimp quesadillas, black beans and probably something else. At some point during the meal it becomes evident that none of us would be able to finish their food. Danny comes up with a great idea. He suggested we save the leftovers and about the time the skunks are due for their nightly visit; we spread the leftovers a short distance from camp. The critters will find the food before they find us. Brilliant!!! Fast forward....the food is spread out along the rocks for our little friends. We cook hot dogs over the fire for dinner. So far no skunks in camp. We stoke up the fire and Danny plays guitar while Kathy sings Dutch Oven songs(kinda like Silly Songs With Larry). Laughter abounds. There is a skunk sighting. Not to worry though; its scurry through camp to join its pals at the "skunkateria"(credit to Kathy for the name). Danny gets the spotlight and shines it into the skunk zone. We see at least six skunks chowing down! Yay, we are skunk free! Danny, Bethany and Daniel commence to story & joke telling. We eat "PUD cake minus the P" which was made earlier in the day. A great night!

Thusday morning I take my coffee and wander down to the skunkateria and find nothing left except a part of a green pepper! Someone said(I think it was Daniel), green peppers give skunks gas and we sure don't want skunks with gas!! Too funny. Breakfast consists of Dutch Oven pancakes and turkey sausage. Leftovers are saved. I pack up my stuff and get ready to leave camp(after lunch of course). The Wrights are staying another night. Danny makes lunch..burgers, sauteed mushrooms and beans. Also, leftover "PUD cake minus the P"(skunks were not getting that!)
Its time for me to hit the road..The Skunk Chronicles have ended(for this Year).

The Skunk Chronicles Part Two

Its now Tuesday. We discover that skunks love bread and we would not be having french toast on this camping trip because they managed to get to and eat half a loaf of the bread. We sit around the fire drinking coffee and warming up. We eat a huge breakfast of steak, fried potatoes, scrambled eggs and garlic bread. We sit around the fire some more (which goes all day), snack on Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pies, Pecan Swirls, chips n dip etc. There is a daytime skunk sighting. Bethany and Daniel go play in the creek. Its almost lunch time but no one is hungry (I wonder why)so we opt to skip lunch. Danny & Kathy decide to drive their mail in ballots to the nearest polling place in our county; Bethany goes with them. Daniel and I go in search of more kindling and small logs for our never ending fire. We then go to "Columbus Creek" (named by Bethany & Daniel)where Daniel decides he wants to relocate a large log to "The Red Rock River"(also named by B & D). Not an easy task but, he is determined. I help get the log through a rough spot. We take a short break and Daniel goes back to work. I supervise. Later he decides to wait for Bethany to return so they can work on it together. Good plan! The voters return. B & D work on moving the log and dinner is started. Soon we feast on grilled chicken, baked potatoes and sauteed spinach. The skunks arrive as dessert is being prepared. One of the varmints wanders directly beneath Daniel's chair...he could have reach out and touched it. It finally moves away and Danny and Daniel throw rocks in the skunks direction. They scatter. We take out dessert(banana boats)into the trailer to eat them. Stay tuned...the Chronicles continue!

The Skunk Chronicles Part One

It was Monday afternoon when I arrived at the campsite. After unloading and setting up; I wandered off into the woods in search of firewood. Not long into my journey (about 50 ft or so) I noticed a skunk! I immediatly headed back to camp. But wait!! Aren't skunks nocturnal creatures??? This daytime skunk sighting could be a bad sign. More later. Fortunatly, I had the forsight to bring wood and kindling from the big city and I also boughtt a bag from the camp host.
Expecting the arrival of the Wright family around 6:30pm; I fire up the grill at 5pm. It was about 6pm and dinner was almost ready...steak, potatoes, garlic bread and spinach ready to be sauted in garlic and olive oil! At 6pm a text message was received. "No running lights, Hm to fix. May have to leave a.m. if cant fix tnite, very sorry. We'll keep u posted." Bummer I thought. We will have steak, potatoes and eggs for breakfast then. I let the food cool, wrapped it up and put it away. The steak in the cooler and the bread and potatoes in my car. 6:58 text message: "we should be heded that wy shortly." I reply: "ok call when u get to camp car hiding from skunks!...mite fall asleep." About 20 minutes later I can't see any skunks lurking around so I grab my crossword puzzle book and bravely step out of my far so good. I throw a log on the fire, light my lantern and see a skunk about 2 feet from me. Slowly and silently I step onto the picnic table bench. How high can skunks spray I wondered. With that thought in mind I them stood on the table top! Must have been quite a, standing on the holding a lantern while a couple of skunks fearlessly nosed around the totes and coolers. After a while they departed. However, I wasn't really sure they were gone so I just sat down on the table and worked on my crosswords. 8:53pm text message: "1 Mi from xit." Yay, the calvary is coming!! Stoke up the Fire!! Soon after; the Wrights arrive, set up etc.. I relay the daytime and evening skunk stories.
To be continued....

I Have Returned!

Wow! So its been a while since I posted anything. I think it could be due to the fact that my brain was fried from driving the Easy Bake Oven (see last post). The neurons and receptors ceased firing…short circuiting the part of the brain that allows blogical thinking. That is my story and I am sticking to it! Well really you haven't missed much..except for viewing my (almost) 10ft tall sunflowers! This season I am not planting anything in my garden. Instead I am preparing the soil for the next planting season. There are now layers of compost, newspaper and shredded paper, peat moss, grass clippings and dirt in my garden. The space is totally covered over with a large sheet of beautiful black plastic. Supposedly; when I remove the plastic in about six weeks, all that stuff will have morphed into rich garden soil. We shall see! I would take a picture but really, who wants to look at that?! It is quite amusing however to watch Marmalade walk across it…she tip toes..I mean tip paws across. Highly amusing.

Easy Bake Oven

I drove an Easy Bake Oven from the airport to the Wright's home yesterday. Believe me when I say there was nothing sweet about it!! There was no light bulb (or air conditioning) involved here. Just heat. I think I got a sunburn ☼

A Cats Tail...or...Tale

So yesterday I remembered it was time to get Marmalade her yearly shots (actually past time). I called the Vet’s office to schedule an appointment. It so happened there was an opening that very same day at 5:45pm. Anyway; I got off work a bit early and rushed home. I immediately got the pet carrier out and Marmalade went into hiding. Apparently she knows what the carrier means…..and she does not like it! Fortunately I live in a small place so there are not many places for her to hide. I had to drag her out from under the desk kicking and screaming (that was me, she was meowing and scratching!) I only sustained one minor scratch-hardly bled at all. We made it to the office and while in the exam room Marmalade protested loudly (as only she can) at the injustice of it all. After a thorough examination including 3 shots, the dreaded weigh-in and $118.00 the cat was declared healthy…yea! It appears that lying around in the garden has proven to be beneficial for Marmalade. She has lost 5 ounces in the last year and now is a svelte 14lbs 10oz big baby kitty! When we got home she demanded to be let out to the backyard…without delay she stomped into the garden and took a nap. What a cat!

At Least its Not Heartbreak Hotel

Just borrowing some of Elvis’ song titles.

Life. Its So Strange. I’m All Shook Up and have the Steamroller Blues. I’ve dreamt The Impossible Dream but Its Over and I am Way Down and Indescribably Blue. I know there will be Peace in the Valley, but Where Do I Go from Here? Probably out In the Garden. Okay. I feel better now. Kinda.


At my workplace we have something called Performance Goals. These goals are concocted by upper management and are different every year. One of the goals for my department this year was to watch several assigned online videos and write a 1 – 2 paragraph report on each subject. Here is my favorite submission.

“Image Counts-Presenting Yourself as the Face of Maricopa County”

Image is everything. People judge you by first impressions, and as the saying goes: “you only get one chance to make a first impression”. This powerpoint presentation outlined 5 area where we are Maricopa County’s “face”.
1. Respect = greet each client
2. Communication = speak clearly
3. Be responsible for your actions = do the right thing
4. Follow policies and procedures = know what they are
5. Grooming, dress and hygiene = practice it!

It is imperative to dress for the occasion, whether it is for the workplace, church or other social setting. What is acceptable in one venue may not be in another. For example: I would not come to work wearing the clothes I wear while working in my garden. Nor would I arrive at work with the garden dirt under my fingernails…not acceptable! I would’t come to work wearing a bathing suit (OK I would not go ANYWHERE wearing a bathing suit). Just a little humor for your reading pleasure. 

In my opinion; if you dress inappropriately, you will project a negative image to others, and quite possibly lose credibility with those you are entrusted to serve.

Hurray for casual Fridays!!

Fresh Garden Pictures

A view from the porch

Marmalade lurking among the sunflowers
Its blooming! I think it is a yellow squash plant.
Peppers, tomatoes, corn and leeks.
Tons of tomatoes.

Its a Concrete Thing

The back and side yard pre-patio.

Night on the new patio

Day on the new patio


My new patio is awesome~block fence coming soon!

Yet Another Template

Hi there. Well I have done it again...changed my template! I, along with Kathy, was having trouble reading it through the very cool sunflower background. make things easier I found a new one. I like this one and I think I will keep it for a while. Of course, that is what I said about all of the others! Hope you like it.

Blue Ribbon Crop

This is my award winning weed garden. I am letting it grow until it reaches the top of the garage. then I will chop it down!

Its That Time Again

How about that corn!
Keeper of the garden.
Lots of tomato plants.
Tomato up close and personal!
Here we have broccoli, yellow squash, tomatoes, carrots, spinach and green onions!
Full view of garden. Yes there are sunflowers! And weeds too!

Name Change

Hi there. I have decided to renew,revamp, restructure my blog. Into the Abyss will be no more, but first I have to come up with a new name. I have had a few suggestions and would like your opinion; or feel free to suggest one of your own ideas. Here are a few of the suggestions:

The Village Idiot Speaks
Weeds "R" Us
Mountains out of Mole Hills
Row by Row
The Shallow Abyss
Through the Mud Clearly
The Space Between my Ears
Just thoughts
Thoughts, More Thoughts and Other Thoughts


Song of Solomon

A modern day version..OK this morning after sleeping on a less that comfortable hide-away bed (meaning very little sleep)I thought this was funny. A couple of the names have been changed to protect the innocent. The following post appeared on Facebook last night...

Silly boy to silly girl (name changes) "I tried to send you an iHeart, but I couldn't get the application to work. Consider this an iHeart. BTW, your island is BEAUTIFUL! Wow! So many trees!"

Kathy said "kind of reminds me of a modern day Song of know where Solomon is describing his love..."your island is beautiful" We both laughed...a lot. I still think its funny..This might be one of those "you had to be there". Too funny!

Its A Crime(Scene)

The poor rabbit was doomed from the beginning. It seemed he was destined to become a solid milk chocolate Easter bunny. Everyone knows what fate befalls Easter bunnies…especially chocolate ones. In case you are one of the few people who don’t know….they get EATEN!! But; what happened to this particular bunny was unthinkable. He seemed to be having a pretty good day; sitting in a basket of colorful grass leaning against the handle while assorted mini chocolate bars lay at his feet. Suddenly, he and his basket full of friends was swooped up, placed in a paper bag(where it suddenly got dark) and was whisked away in an orange vehicle. So far it wasn't’t too bad, the orange car made it comfortable for the bunny and his chocolate friends by turning on the air conditioning(after all this is Arizona). But then…the orange car stopped, a door opened and closed. A beep was heard. They were locked in! Several hours later the orange car drove to its home. It was then noticed that the solid milk chocolate Easter bunny had melted into an unrecognizable form. A blob if you will. This is where it became a crime scene. The evidence spoke for itself…an accidental melting! The perpetrator of this crime was shown leniency, after all it could happen to any bunny.

He Is Risen

Happy Easter.

April Fools

I pulled off the greatest April Fools joke ever! I told all my coworkers that tomorrow would be my last day at work as I was getting married on Saturday and moving to Georgia on Sunday. This news was met with much happiness, dismay and even a few tears. They began to plan a going away party for Friday. Before things got too out of hand I announced: APRIL FOOLS!!! For the rest of the day nobody would believe anything I said! It was a good one…too bad its not true.

OMG=Oh My Garden

Every day I come home to a surprise. This is in my abbreviated backyard.
The hose is watering a tree in the other half of the yard.

Looks more like a junkyard. But if you click on the picture you can actually see vegetables (and weeds) growing.

It will be nice when it is all done!

I Have A Question


8 Hours

Yep, 8 hours. That is how much time I spent in my garden today! Those darn weeds!!!! Marmalade help me dig....and fertilize (I think):) I now have corn, sunflowers, tomatoes, yellow squash, zucchini, watermelon, cantaloupe, okra, broccoli, lettuce, carrots, peppers and leeks in various stages of growth/non growth. I find gardening to be very rewarding...and relaxing..who knew?!

Just Stuff

My friend David
Scenic Sedona rock formations.

I have been busy. Last Saturday I planted my garden. No pictures yet....soon. Monday a friend and I went to Sedona. Actually the trip was planned last month for David's birthday but, it was snowing and raining with an expected high temp of 46 we waited until the weather was reasonable. It was a beautiful day and we had a wonderful time playing tourists. Tomorrow I get to go have an Echo cardiogram....what fun!!

Its All About Mud

A few weeks ago my landlord; aka Karen says to me: “we are going to make some big changes around here.” She proceed to tell me about plans to replace the wooden fence with block; shoring up the foundation, creating a berm around the house so that the irrigation water could not get under the house and last but not least; pouring cement for a larger patio! The tractor would arrive in the morning to begin the process. So…the next evening I came home to see the yard (front, back and side) had been scraped and leveled (except my garden) and dirt had been pushed around to create the berm. The fence had been moved inward to create a smaller, yet secure backyard while the block fence was being built. Then it started to rain. Hard. It has been raining ever since! Well, there have been a few days between the rains but not enough to dry anything out. And nothing further can be done until things dry out a bit. Don’t get me wrong…I love the rain….it just makes it a little difficult to work in my garden. Even getting to the garden is quite an adventure! I now refer to the yard as the mud pit. Daily I mop my kitchen floor because Marmalade refuses to wipe her paws when she comes in from laying in the garden. I’m just thankful that her fur doesn't get muddy!! I think I will just enjoy the rain because summer will be here soon enough and when its 110 outside I will be wishing for the mud pit. I took pictures but my camera seems to be in rebellion and refuses to download them! Hopefully I will be able to post them later.

And The Winner Is:

We had a drawing at work today. I won the "Chocolate Basket" It is full of dark chocolate which is VERY healthy. We all know dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants and flavonoids. OK I will share.

I'm Baaaaack

I took a break from blogland and now I have returned! I figured I would change my template, however it is still the same blog. You will continue to read about my garden, the adventures of Marmalade, interesting(in my opinion) work tidbits and other stuff. Now I just have to catch up on my reading my favorite blogger posts!

The Name Game

YOUR REAL NAME: Mary Lee Glassburn
YOUR GANGSTA NAME(first 3 letters of real name plus - izzle): Marizzle
YOUR DETECTIVE NAME (favorite color and favorite animal): Red Cat
STAR WARS NAME (The first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first name, first 3 letters of Mom's maiden name): Glamastr
YOUR SUPERHERO NAME (2nd favorite color, favorite drink): Orange Coffee
YOUR WITNESS PROTECTION NAME (Mother's middle name and fathers middlename): Catherine Dean
YOUR GOTH NAME: (black, and the name of one of your pets): Black Marmalade (Marmalade gone bad!)

Comment Moderation

Hello fellow bloggers! I have enabled comment moderation on my blog because of inappropriate and off the wall comments left by a couple of thoughtless/unscrupulous bloggers. So, your comments will be monitored from now on. Now I just have to write something! :) Thanks for your patience.

A Reminder

Where I work there is always a lot of drama. I am a Judicial Clerk aka Support Staff. Working with troubled teens/preteens their parents and probation officers this occurs on a daily basis. Somehow, from day one, the PO's knew that I was/am "safe" to talk to and not a day goes by when at least one of them is in my office(or calls me to their office) confiding in me about their personal and/or professional lives. Yesterday was no exception. One of the POs ran into my office and said "YOU have to go down to _____ office, she is sobbing". I went. I knew what had happened before I got to her office because she has shared much with me. Anyway, it was a reminder of what I believe is God's purpose for giving me this job...

New Year New Trick

Actually its a new version of an old trick! For the past several mornings I have woken up lying sideways on my bed in a fetal position, while my cat is stretched out on the bottom half of the bed. When this happens and how she gets me to move like that is a mystery to me. In the old version of the trick I would wake up smashed against the wall while she would be contentedly snoring (yes she does snore!) on the rest of the bed. So... I am re posting a video in Marmalade's honor. Enjoy!!

This cat actually looks like Marmalade!


Just a short post to say: